Forensic geology, also known more broadly as ‘forensic geoscience’ or ‘geoforensics’ is the application of geology to policing and law enforcement, which may potentially be applicable to a court of law’. More simply, forensic geology is the application of geology to aid the investigation of crime. Forensic geology also includes serious crimes (e.g. homicide, rape and other sexual assaults), serious and organised crime (e.g. related to gangs and cartels), counter terrorism, water searches, search for people who have been reported as ‘missing’ or lost, humanitarian incidents, environmental crimes, wildlife crime, precious minerals and minerals theft minerals substitution, assay sample adulteration, fraudulent and financial crimes, conflict minerals, fakery (e.g. gemstones, minerals, precious metals, valuable or rare fossils, art and artefacts), geotechnical engineering, engineering geology and geohazards.

THE Initiative on Forensic GeologY

The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), Initiative on Forensic Geology (IFG) was launched at the 62nd Executive Committee meeting of the IUGS, at UNESCO headquarters, in Paris, France, on 22 February 2011.

The objectives of the IUGS-IFG are to:

1. Collate and disseminate data and information on forensic geology applied to policing and law enforcement, criminal, environmental and civil investigations.
2. Promote international meetings, seminars, conferences and training.
3. Develop a Committee to act as principal advisers, collaborators and active participants.
4. Develop an international network whereby each member will act as a principal contact in their respective country for the collation and dissemination of information on forensic geology.
5. Collate, make available and where appropriate review any existing documentation and
publications in forensic geology.
6. Produce a document endorsed by the IUGS Executive Committee called; ‘A Guide to Forensic Geology’.

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