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Future Earth – Research for Global Sustainability


Future Earth – Research for Global Sustainability

The Earth System Governance Project welcomes the launch of Future Earth, the new 10-year international interdisciplinary research initiative that shall develop the knowledge for responding effectively to global environmental change and for supporting transformation towards global sustainability. Future Earth will mobilize thousands of scientists while strengthening partnerships with policy-makers and other stakeholders to provide sustainability options and solutions.

The Earth System Governance Project supports Future Earth and looks forward to contributing to the ambitious research initiative.   

Future Earth will be a global platform to deliver:

– Solution-orientated research for sustainability, linking environmental change and development challenges to satisfy human needs for food, water, energy, health;

– Effective interdisciplinary collaboration across natural and social sciences, humanities, economics, and technology development, to find the best scientific solutions to multi-faceted problems;

– Timely information for policy-makers by generating the knowledge that will support existing and new global and regional integrated assessments;

– Participation of policy-makers, funders, academics, business and industry, and other sectors of civil society in co-designing and co-producing research agendas and knowledge;

– Increased capacity building in science, technology and innovation, especially in developing countries and engagement of a new generation of scientists.

Future Earth Science Committee Announced

The International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC), on behalf of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability, recently announced the members of the first Science Committee for Future Earth. Mark Stafford Smith, Science Director of CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship in Canberra, Australia will be the inaugural Chair, Melissa Leach, Director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre in the UK and Belinda Reyers, a Chief Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa, will serve as Vice Chairs. The committee will comprise 18 members and encompasses the diversity of disciplines and expertise needed to address global environmental change in all its dimensions, including natural and social sciences, humanities and engineering. The Science Committee is the first of the governance bodies to be appointed for Future Earth, which will be supported by an interim secretariat until a permanent secretariat is set up in 2014.

The Committee will make recommendations on new and existing projects, and emerging priorities for research. It will oversee the transition of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) and Diversitas activities into Future Earth, secure strong partnership with the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) community and provide guidance on new activities for Future Earth. The Chair and Vice Chairs will serve from June 2013-2016, the Science Committee members will serve from June 2013-2015, both terms being extendable. The full list of members is available from the Future Earth pages on the ICSU website.

Frans Berkhout Interim Director of Future Earth

Professor Frans Berkhout has been appointed the Interim Director of Future Earth. Professor Berkhout will lead the implementation of Future Earth – bringing existing and new research communities and stakeholders together to deliver solutions-oriented knowledge for global sustainability. Watch a video introducing Frans Berkhout on the Future Earth blog.

Call for Expression of Interest to Host Future Earth Secretariat

The Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability is launching an open competitive process for the selection of a permanent secretariat for Future Earth. Interested parties are invited in this first stage of a three-step process to express their interest in hosting the permanent secretariat for Future Earth by 23 September. The call is being managed by the International Council for Science (ICSU). Read more

Read more about Future Earth

Link to article with Professor Frank Biermann on “What is Earth System Governance” at the Future Earth blog

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