INTERVIEW OF PROFESSOR ELCHIN KHALILOV, CHAIRMAN OF THE WORLD FORUM ON NATURAL CATACLYSMS GEOCATACLYSMS-2011 TO THE IC GEOCHANGE INFORMATION SERVICE
WORLD FORUM ON NATURAL CATACLYSMS HAS FINISHED ITS WORK
The world forum on the subject “Natural cataclysms and global problems of modern civilization” held in the Istanbul Lutfi Kirdar Congress Center on 19-21 September 2011 has finished its work. We have asked the Chairman of the World Forum, Chairman of the International Committee on Global Geological and Environment Change GEOCHANGE (Germany) Professor Elchin Khalilov to comment on the forum’s results.
Mr. Khalilov, how do you assess the Word Forum on natural cataclysms held in Istanbul?
First of all I would like to give you brief information about the forum itself. The Word Forum – International Congress “GEOCATACLYSM-2011” was held on 19-21 September 2011 in the prestigious Lutfi Kirdar Congress Centre which is situated in the cultural and historical center of the European part of Istanbul.
Main organizers of the World Forum were:
- International Committee on Global Geological and Environmental Change GEOCHANGE (Munich, Germany);
- Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia);
- Halberg Chronobiology Center of the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, USA);
- International Academy of Science (Innsbruck, Austria) - Pakistan Academy of Sciences (Islamabad, Pakistan);
- “Ondokuz Mayıs” University (Samsun, Turkey);
- World Organization for Scientific Cooperation WOSCO (Munich, Germany);
- Global Network for the Forecasting of Earthquakes GNFE (London, UK). Scientists from more than 30 countries took part in the World Forum. During the Congress there was an exhibition which demonstrated the modern achievements in the field of science and technology, and personal exhibition halls of famous scientists: Honorary Chairman of the Congress, Professor, Doctor Franz Halberg, Honorary Director of the Halberg Chronobiology Center (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA); and Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Victor Khain (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia).
During the exhibition, the following items were demonstrated: ATROPATENA CRYSTAL (Kh11) earthquake forecasting station; new technology of seismic resistant construction “Dancing Building Technology”; new specialized Social Network ArkNow.net for training and preparation of people for natural disasters; natural zeolite-based products aimed to reduce negative effects of natural disasters on human health; other technologies.
The following sections were held during the Congress: Special Section “Earthquake Forecasting – 2011”; Section on Earth Sciences; Section on Cosmic-terrestrial relations, chronobiology, BIOCOS program; Section on Health Care; Section on Construction; Section on Economy, Finances and International Law; Section on emergency management; Section on Ecology and Environment.
More than 200 presentations of the Congress participants were heard, dedicated to the problems of forecasting and studying earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and other natural disasters; reducing the negative effect of natural disasters on human health; impact of solar activity and space factors on human health and biological rhythms; problems of economy and international law during emergency situations; emergency management problems etc.
At the end of the plenary session of the forum opening, a 45 minutes long documentary titled “Catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan on 11 March 2011” was demonstrated, specially compiled by the working group of the Congress’ Organizing Committee. The film which was created on the basis of footage obtained by the Organizing Committee from Japan shook all congress participants most of which were excited to the innermost of their hearts with what they saw. The real events of the monstrous catastrophe which took tens of thousands of human lives made the scientists who have devoted their lives to natural disaster researches shudder. The last call in the credits of the film left no-one indifferent: “We are praying for the people of Japan, but it is not enough to save”. Following requests by a great number of Congress participants and Board members, this film will be made available for viewing and downloading with unrestricted access on the World Forum’s website: www.2011.geocataclysm.org. The forum participants from Japan expressed their gratitude to the Organizing Committee for the demonstration of the film which caused the general sympathy and solidarity with the people of Japan.
Which of famous scientists took part in the World Forum and on what did they focus attention?
From right to left: Prof. Yoshihiko Watanabe (Japan), Prof. Vitaly Starostenko (Ukraine), Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman (Pakistan), Prof. Nikolay Laverov (Russia), Prof. Elchin Khalilov (Azerbaijan), Prof. Franz Halberg (USA), Prof. Ahmet Bulut (Turkey), Prof. Cengiz Toklu (Turkey).
Speaking about the most prominent scientists I would like to list all present members of the Congress Presidium:
I would like to begin with the excellent plenary presentation of the Honorary Chairman of the Forum, Professor Franz Halberg, prominent American scientist and founder of the science of chronobiology, Honorary Director of the Halberg Chronobiology Center of the University of Minnesota (USA), who led a delegation of scientists from the USA and headed the Congress Section on Cosmic-terrestrial relations, chronobiology, BIOCOS program.
His presentation together with a group of famous scientists from the USA, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Germany and Italy on the plenary session of the Congress made a deep impression on the forum participants as it dealt with a very topical subject, which is creation of an international multilingual interdisciplinary Internet database for monitoring and controlling the impact of cosmic and geophysical factors on the physiological condition and health of people. Prof. Halberg’s presentation contained unchallengeable facts about changes of blood pressure, cordial and cerebral rhythms and other human physiological parameters before devastating earthquakes, the Japanese earthquake in particular. He showed the presence of similar rhythms in human physiological processes and in a number of natural and space processes, for example, cycles of solar and seismic activity and a number of other geophysical parameters. Professor Franz Halberg’s presentation explicitly demonstrated to the participants how closely the person and nature interact and how strong the impact of space and natural processes on human life and health is. Professor Halberg addressed the World Forum with a suggestion to prepare and send a Congress appeal to the UN and World Health Organization to support those research directions and relevant programs.
Academician, Prof. Nikolay Pavlovich Laverov, Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, President of the National Center for Development of Innovational Technologies of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the Expert Commission on environmental safety of the Russian Federation Security Council conveyed to the forum participants greetings of the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, academician Yuriy Sergeyevich Osipov. At the plenary session of the Congress, acad. N.Laverov made a detailed speech and presentation titled “Natural and human-made catastrophes: challenges and threats to a stable development”. In his presentation academician N.Laverov mentioned unchallengeable facts indicative of a steady rise in the number and energy of natural disasters and large-scale technogeneous cataclysms caused by them, which are a great threat to humanity. All this is becoming the source of deep social, economic and technological perturbations, causing great numbers of victims and destruction. The threatening consequences of the growth of natural and human-made catastrophes lead to the increased necessity of coordination of international efforts on developing and introducing technologies and systems of forecasting and monitoring imminent dangers, risk assessment and organization of emergency management.
Academician, Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman, Co-Chairman of the Congress, President of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, General Coordinator of the Committee on Science and Technology of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (Islamabad, Pakistan) made a speech at the plenary session with presentation titled “Natural cataclysms and quality human resources which ultimately matter”. He gave an account of his work experience as a Minister of science and technology – Higher Education of Pakistan within the period of 2000-2008. He spoke about the great attention paid to science and education in Pakistan. For example, a Pakistani Professor’s salary makes $ 5000, which is five times the salary of federal ministers. There are tax benefits for university teachers and lecturers: their salary tax is reduced by 75%. More than 1 billion dollars is spent every year on education of young people abroad. The speaker also cited other indicators attesting the highest development rates of science and education in Pakistan. The necessity of focusing maximum attention on the branches of education dealing with reducing risks and negative consequences of natural cataclysms was also emphasized.
Honorary Co-Chairman of the Congress, President of the International Academy of Science, Academician, Prof. Walter Kofler (Innsbruck, Austria) in his speech at the plenary session of the World Forum mentioned the special importance for world community of integration of scientists of different countries to develop unified strategy and tactics of action in an era of increased danger of natural disasters all over the world. He spoke about vast activity of the International Academy of Science in this direction, about such programs as forecasting and studying of earthquakes, new technology of seismic resistant construction, natural mineral-based new medical preparations to increase immunity in natural disaster zones and to raise the resistance of the human body to stresses etc.Professor Walter Kofler gave a high assessment to the World Forum in Istanbul and noted its special role in uniting the scientists of different countries for joint development of the action program.
Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Congress, Academician Vitaly Starostenko, Director of the Institute of Geophysics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Kiev, Ukraine) in his welcoming address to the Congress participants noted a special role of the World Forum on natural cataclysms in development of a unified action plan of scientists of different countries and international organizations. According to Academician Starostenko, the Congress solves a very important task of uniting the scientists of different countries to combine efforts for reducing risks and negative consequences of natural cataclysms;
In his welcoming speech to the forum participants, Professor Ahmet Bulut, Co-Chairman of the Congress, Vice-Rector of the “Ondokuz Mayıs” University (Samsun, Turkey) pointed out the special significance of the problems of natural cataclysms being discussed at the forum, which are very topical for Turkey as well. He mentioned issues related to education and its role in preparing personnel for elimination of consequences of natural disasters.
Known Japanese scientist Professor Yoshihiko Watanabe spoke of very interesting facts about changes of physiological parameters of people before strong earthquakes and other natural catastrophes, in particular, changes in rhythmics of heart activity, blood pressure, etc.
Members of the Congress Presidium
Director of the Prince Sultan Cardiac Center of Saudi Arabia Professor Abdullah Alabdulgader informed the audience about the results of researches carried out at the center headed by him and dealing with the impact of cosmic and geophysical parameters on human life and health. He particularly stressed that he had carried out these researches in close cooperation with Professor Franz Halberg who leads the BIOCOS international program.
I can mention the speeches and presentations of scientists for a long time. I can only point out that there were so many interesting lectures that for the three days of the Congress some scientists who had two presentations did not have time to make a second speech. Besides, video recording of speeches at the plenary session are expected to be placed soon on the Congress website www.2011.geocataclysm.org.
Mr.Khalilov, your detailed presentation was heard at the plenary session. What was it about?
My presentation was based on the first report of the International Committee GEOCHANGE supplemented by new data. The presentation contained many aspects which demonstrated threatening global changes occurring in recent years in all layers of the Earth from its core to the ionosphere and magnetosphere. It was shown that the steady increase in the number and energy of natural cataclysms is not only the cause of numerous human casualties but also adversely affects to a huge extent the world economy and financial system, aggravating economic problems of the world community. The following facts were given as a graphic example: if economic damage from natural disasters for world economy was 63 billion dollars in 2009, the economic damage as of September 2011 for the incomplete 9 months is over 600 billion US dollars. The growth dynamics of the 24th 11-years cycle of solar activity from 2011 has begun to considerably exceed the forecasted estimates made by NASA in 2009 but are completely in line with the forecasts given by the International Committee (IC) GEOCHANGE in its report of June 2010. The increase in the number and energy of earthquakes and volcano eruptions which began in 2010 completely corresponds to the long-term prediction graphs given in the GEOCHANGE report. I would like to remind that according to IC GEOCHANGE forecasts, the peak values in the number and energy of natural cataclysms fall within the years of 2013-2014.
Changes in the geophysical parameters of the Earth, in particular, the five-fold acceleration of the drift of the North Magnetic pole, changes in the form and geometric parameters of the Earth, variations of its angular rotation velocity and axial inclination, displacement of the center of the masses and global irregular fluctuations of the oceans’ level indicate the beginning of the so-called “global energy leap” on our planet and in the Solar system in general. Therefore, scientists of different countries should combine their efforts in order to inform the world community, influential international organizations including the UN, UNESCO, European Commission, heads of state and parliaments of the true state of affairs as to the changes in natural environment and their possible technogeneous, economic and social consequences.
I would like to particularly stress that in the process of discussing this report, special emphasis was put on the full harmony between the cited results and conclusions and the data given in the presentation of academician N.Laverov. N.Laverov expressed full support for the World Forum GEOCATACLYSM-2011 by the Russian Academy of Sciences and willingness of RAS to pick up the baton and hold the next World Forum on natural cataclysms in Russia in 2014, in association with the International Committee GEOCHANGE.
Mr.Khalilov, were there any concrete steps taken to prepare people for natural disasters?
Certainly, such steps were first taken at the World Forum. At the plenary session of the Congress, there was a presentation of a new specialized social network ArkNow.net designed to prepare the planet’s population to independently rescue themselves and their families during natural disasters. The new social network, one of the main founders of which is IC GEOCHANGE, essentially differs from all existing networks. The network participants will get access to the information about all natural disasters occurring throughout the planet and forecasts for some of them.
For the first time, a social network will be openly issuing short-term and medium-term forecasts for the zones of higher seismic activity all over the world. This information will be provided by the Global Network for the Forecasting of Earthquakes (GNFE). Imagine that someone is going to visit the resort island of Bali in Indonesia for family holiday. What will they do in the first place as members of the social network ArkNow.net? Right, they will take a look at the seismic hazard forecast map of ArkNow.net. And if a higher risk of strong earthquakes is expected for that period in the area given, the journey will be most likely postponed to a safer time. This is of concrete help to the planet’s population aimed at reducing risks for people. Some time later, it is going to become as ordinary and necessary part of our life as viewing a weather forecast before a trip to another country or city.
Another novelty is that any participant of the social network ArkNow.net being in a natural disaster zone will be able to quickly transmit a video recording from their phone or web camera live to the Internet television of the social network ArkVideo. Thus, members of the new network will be the first in the world to watch live broadcasts from a natural disaster area. Presently, the new social network is gradually being put into operation in the test mode.
Mr. Khalilov, you were Chairman of the World Forum and Chairman of its Organizing Committee. Tell us please about the Congress’ organization. How difficult was it to hold this event in Turkey?
Frankly speaking, preparations for the Congress turned out to be a very labor-consuming job. To compare with, holding an average international conference “on home turf”, in one’s own country to be attended by scientists from several countries takes a lot of time and effort. The successful holding of the World Forum – International Congress in one of the Turkey’s biggest and prestigious congress-centers, attended by prominent scientists from more than 30 countries appeared to be not so easy. It was realized due to the selfless work of the Organizing Committee in Baku and participation of a number of influential international organizations, including International Committee on Global Geological and Environmental Change GEOCHANGE which comprises scientists from more than 90 countries, World Organization for Scientific Cooperation and some other organizations.
Subdivisions of the Organizing Committee were operating in different countries of the world – the US, Russia, Germany, Austria, Turkey and others. In many countries, national coordinators of the World Forum were appointed, who were doing a great work on involving scientists of their countries in the Congress. Joining of the Russian and Pakistan Academies of Sciences to the organization of the World Forum was undoubtedly a serious contribution to the successful holding of the Congress.
The Lutfi Kirdar Congress Center is a four-storey complex with a great number of halls and various services, luxury restaurants and cafes. During the World Forum, the Congress Center’s lobby was housing the exhibition. Every Congress day there were coffee-breaks during the short rests, and tourist agency representatives were working in the lobby where, according to the contract with the Organizing Committee, the Congress participants were signing up during the breaks for excursions at a reduced price. A number of hotels, including Hilton Istanbul Hotel, based on their agreement with the Organizing Committee provided their services for the Forum participants with a 30% discount. Information service, press-center, technical support service for copying documents, faxing and solving other problems of the Congress participants were uninterruptedly functioning in the Congress Center. Wi-Fi was constantly available in the entire building to provide free Internet access for the Forum participants.
Co-chairpersons and participants of the Forum were interviewed in live broadcast by TRT1, NTV and other popular channels of Turkey and other countries all the time during each Congress day. The Congress was widely covered not only on TV but also in press by the leading Turkish newspaper “Milliet” and other newspapers.
Could you please tell us about the results of the Congress?
The Congress’ results are best reflected in the World Forum’s resolution approved by the Congress’ participants in its final Plenary Session. Let me quote below the main part of the resolution:
“Congress participants state that the persistent tendency for global changes of the geological and geophysical parameters of the Earth and near-Earth space, increase in the number and energy of natural cataclysms throughout the Earth: in its interior, in the hydrosphere, atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere represents a serious danger to the stable progress of humanity.
Technogeneous consequences of natural disasters cause irreparable damage to ecology and environment and lead to irreversible processes in the planet’s biosphere.
Global climate change connected with natural and anthropogenic factors brings about destruction of the global ecosystem, large-scale desertification, soil degradation, reduction of the ozone layer and other negative consequences which may cause food shortages for inhabitants of large territories across the planet. Natural cataclysms can in a short period of time lead to catastrophic consequences for whole regions of the planet; take lives of many people; deprive populations of large areas of shelter and livelihood; destroy economies of entire states and cause large-scale epidemics and severe infectious diseases. Today, the world community is not prepared for such a possible development of events. Meanwhile, the geological life of our planet has repeatedly seen periods of significantly increased activity of natural cataclysms, and the next such period, as many geological indicators show, has already begun.
The Forum participants emphasize that the biggest loss from natural disasters is suffered by less developed countries and low-income population. Special programs must be worked out to reduce negative consequences of natural disasters for those countries.
It is necessary to mention the ever growing demand for coordination of international efforts for developing and introducing new technologies of forecasting and monitoring of imminent natural and human-made hazards, risk assessment and organization of emergency management”.
The participants have decided as follows:
- To send the World Forum resolution to the UN Secretary-General, UNESCO, European Commission, heads of state, to parliaments and governments of all countries, authoritative international organizations;
- To approve the date of the next, third World Forum – International Congress “Natural cataclysms and global problems of the modern civilization” as 2014.
- To approve Moscow, Russian Federation as a place of holding the next World Forum.
- To approve the Russian Academy of Sciences and the International Committee on Global Geological and Environmental Change GEOCHANGE (Germany, Munich) as main co-organizers of the third World Forum.
- To entrust the Chairman of the World Forum Prof. Elchin Khalilov to appeal to the International Geological Union and International Union of Scientific Societies for integration of the World Forum into the International Geological Congress and conferences of the International Union of Scientific Societies.
Mr.Khalilov, the World Forum is over and it is probably time to relax. What plans do you have after the Congress?
It took a week to rest after the World Forum and now the Organizing Committee has resumed its work of which there is a good deal. A special editorial group is to finish editing the Congress resolution and send it to all Chairpersons and only after their unanimous endorsement it will be sent to the UN Secretary-General, UNESCO, European Commission, heads of state and parliaments, to authoritative international organizations. The Congress participants have also addressed the Organizing Committee with a request to keep the “GEOCATACLYSM” World Forum website working for an unlimited time and create a photo album there, and to open a special forum for Congress participants. I would also like to point out that the Organizing Committee of the World Forum will continue its work until the next, third World Forum, and the proceedings of the International Congress will be published within 6 months.
We wish you success in your difficult and noble work for the good of people.