An initiative began at the first AAPG conference in Yangon (August 2014), with the presence of Jon Blickwede, then president of the AAPG Publication Pipeline, to supply the universities of Myanmar with a selection of books. The initiative received considerable interest and when the PP committee said that it could be done the question was how to fund this great initiative to benefit the students in Myanmar. The AAPG Asia Pacific team were able to secure sponsorship for the logistics required with the generous support of Chevron, Statoil and Schlumberger.
It was decided to make the formal presentation of the books to the Myanmar Universities during the 2nd AAPG/EAGE/MGS geological conference on 18 November 2015. Prior to that date 33,000kgs of books on 60 pallets were delivered to Yangon University from the Publication Pipeline HQ in Houston. Yangon University would then distribute books to all the other participating Universities. This is the single largest shipment made by the Pipeline to date. In fact if the books were laid out end on end they would stretch for over 1km!!!.
The handover ceremony on 18 November was an extremely rewarding day. The acting Rector of the University of Yangon, Dr Pho Kaung, and the Professor of Geology Dr Day Wa Aung both represented the Myanmar Universities with the President of the AAPG Asia Pacific, Peter Grant, representing the donors. Unfortunately, Jon Blickwede from the AAPG PP could not attend for personal reasons. The sponsors were represented by Deborah South (Statoil), Kevin Kveton (Chevron) and U Tin Han (Sclumberger) and the Myanmar Geoscience Society who assisted in the arrangements were represented by their President U Soe Myint and other leading members. It was very pleasing to see many students attend and to see how they had much interest in the event and the books.
After a series of excellent speeches where both the MGS and the University mentioned how the Myanmar Universities are very short on geological books, the attendees went to view the large room where all the books were housed and inspected a selection the books. The volume of books was very impressive and were a combination of old and new text books from around the world, field and case studies, memoires and journals. All seemed to be of a high quality. The significant task ahead is for the University to catalogue the books and then make them available for students and the other participating Universities. We wish them well in this huge project!!
The goodwill shown by all and the enthusiasm received for this donation has left a great feeling of satisfaction within the AAPG and sponsors and we hope that this is just the first of more donations from the PP to be made in Myanmar in the future. There is no doubt that the books are needed and very valued by the Universities of Myanmar.