The United Nations (UN) proclaimed the triennium 2007-2009 as “International Year of Planet Earth” (IYPE), which was officially launched in the UNESCO Headquarter on 12th February 2008. The Young Earth Scientists (YES) Network is one of the major global legacies of IYPE.
The initiative to build a global network of young geoscientists was initiated at the end of 2006 by two Italian Earth scientists, David Govoni and Luca Micucci of the Young Section of the Geological Society of Italy. The initiative grew rapidly, with the support of the Italian Committee for IYPE and the Geological Society of London, and the later endorsement of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). The YES Network was officially launched at the IYPE Opening Ceremony in Paris at the UNESCO Headquarter in February 2008, where students, young Earth scientists, students and professionals from all over the world attending the Ceremony were invited to participate in the Network. During the 33th International Geological Congress (IGC) in Oslo, Norway, in August 2008, the YES Network held its first formal meeting with just a bit more than 30 attendees and representatives from about 10 countries, including China, India, Italy, Malawi, Russia, Tanzania and Uzbekistan.
During this meeting, on the basis of a proposal by a young geologist from the China University of Geosciences (Beijing) Meng WANG, China won the bid to host the First World Young Earth Scientists Congress in Beijing in October 2009. The initiative was endorsed by leading organizations from China, India, Italy, Tanzania, Yemen, Uzbekistan, UK, USA, in addition to other international organizations, such as EuroGeoSurveys, UNESCO and IUGS. From there, the YES Initiative expanded, eventually leading to a formal structure, a network of individuals and supporting organizations.
In present time, in 2014, the YES Network has a membership of 4000 young Earth scientists from 120 countries worldwide, and is affiliated to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), and the American Geological Institute (AGI), and cooperates with several scientific non-governmental organizations, inter-governmental organizations, such as UNESCO and the International Council for Science (ICSU) .
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