It was a great sorrow to learn that our colleague, Adalberto Vallega, President of the International Geographical Union, passed away Wednesday, November 22, 2006.
He was a professor of urban and regional geography, but in his work he paid great attention to coastal management and cultural geography. In the context of the University, he was appointed Director of the Institute of Geographical Sciences, Director of the Department of Urban, Regional and Landscape Planning, and Head of Faculty of Education of the University of Genoa, Italy. In the context of the Italian geographical milieu, he was President of the Association of Italian Geographers (1983-1985), a member of the Executive Committee of the Italian Geographical Society (1985-1997), and Chairman of the Italian Committee for the International Geographical Union (IGU).
In the context of IGU, he founded first the Study Group on Marine Geography, and then the Commission on Marine Geography. He promoted the Oceans 21 - science for sustainable use of ocean and coastal zones, a co-operation programme established by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. In 2004, in the context of the 30th International Geographical Congress, the General Assembly of IGU elected him President for the 2004-2008 term. In the context of international organisations, Adalberto Vallega was the Scientific Co-ordinator of the International Conference on Ocean Management in Global Change. In 1998, he served as Scientific Co-ordinator of the International Conference on Education and Training in Integrated Coastal Area Management. Furthermore, in 1993 he designed and promoted the establishment of the International Centre for Coastal and Ocean Policy Study (ICCOPS), recognised as a non-governmental organisation of the UNEP/MAP and given observer status with regard to the Barcelona Convention.Last but not least, Professor Adalberto Vallega was a source of inspiration to many students and young researchers. He influenced many persons to follow him on the path of integrated coastal management and sustainable development. His fascination with the seas, oceans and the coasts was contagious. He left his trace in many of us making us richer in coastal and environmental sensitivity.