Initiated by the Global Science Forum, the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) opened in March 2009 in Pavia, Italy. GEM is a global collaborative effort that brings together state-of-the-art science, national, regional and international organisations and individuals aimed at the establishment of uniform and open standards for calculating and communicating earthquake risk worldwide.
The issue of earthquake science was first addressed by the Global Science Forum, under the leadership of the Delegation of Germany, at a workshop on 1-2 June, 2006, in Potsdam. The aims of the workshop were to:
- review the history and current trends in earthquake science, with an emphasis on new developments and paradigms;
- compare and contrast national and regional approaches, plans, projects and priorities;
- identify potential new sources of data and the relevant needed infrastructures;
- examine the state of international cooperation and explore prospects for new initiatives;
- agree on a set of findings and conclusions that would be included in a brief, policy-level report.
The principal recommendation of the Potsdam Workshop was the creation of an international “Global Earthquake Risk Map” initiative. The goal of the initiative would be to create a global earthquake risk analysis information resource, using internationally agreed standards.
Interested countries and stakeholders were invited to discuss how to move the initiative forward (defining an organisational model, a business plan, solutions for the continual updating of the information and long-term funding of the platform, solutions for data access, interoperability, etc.). An international Steering Committee was set up to prepare detailed documents for establishing the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) as an international public/private project.
On 25-26 January 2007, a follow-up workshop took place in Gebze, Turkey. The main features and methodology necessary to produce a “Global Earthquake Risk Mapping and Monitoring Programme (GEM)” were defined.
On 1 February 2008, a third workshop was held in Paris with the objective of finalizing the GEM Business Plan.
On 14-16 June 2008, a strategic planning meeting was held in Zurich to present GEM to the global professional community.
On 21 November 2008, EUCENTRE in Pavia, Italy, was selected by the interim Governing Board as the host institution for the GEM Secretariat.
On 9 March 2009, the GEM Foundation, a non-profit organisation, was incorporated and became a legal entity.
To learn more about GEM, please visit the GEM website: