Regional Conference of MUG in Krakow in 2014

After eighty years, the Polish geographers’ community had the opportunity to organize the so-called a small congress of the International Geographical Union, i.e. the IMU Regional Conference. The previous event of this importance, the Congress of the International Geographical Union, took place in Warsaw in August 1934. The rank and importance of these two meetings of the international community of geographers is evidenced by the honorary patronage of the Presidents of the Republic of Poland – in 1934 Ignacy Mościcki, in 2014 Bronisław Komorowski – and also, among others, a significant number of participants.
To organize the Conference in 2004, a Steering Committee was established, consisting of the Polish Geographical Society, the Institute of Geography and Spatial Development of the Polish Academy of Sciences and three universities: Jagiellonian University, Warsaw University and Silesian University. Prof. was elected as the Chairman of the Steering Committee. Marek Degórski, Chairman of the National Committee for the International Geographical Union. During its ten-year activity, the Steering Committee was expanded to include three more universities: the Pedagogical University of Krakow, the University of Łódź and the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, and carried out organizational work using its own funds.
The conference took place on August 18-22, 2014. Its motto “Changes, Challenges, Responsibility” referred to the basic research issues of contemporary geography. The conference was attended by nearly 1,400 participants from 64 countries, representing all inhabited continents of the globe. Not counting geographers from Poland, whose share amounted to approximately 25% of the total participants (350 people), the largest group were geographers from Germany (almost 100 people), Japan (78), the Czech Republic (60), Great Britain (58) and China ( 52 people). The countries represented by over forty participants included: Russia, the United States, France and Hungary, while over 20 geographers came from Italy, India, Spain, Israel, Finland, South Africa, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Sweden and Brazil. The remaining countries were represented by from one participant (such as the Bahamas) to nearly 20 (Switzerland, Canada, South Korea, Australia).
From a substantive point of view, the MUG Regional Conference in Krakow gave Polish geographers the opportunity to show the international community their research achievements and workshop skills, as well as learn about current trends in global research. Many contacts have been established between researchers, which may result in joint research in the future, especially in large international projects, and, consequently, in interesting publications.

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