Future Earth History - Global Environmental Programmes



Industrial Information (IT)
The project aimed at improving the understanding of the ways in which society could combine economic and social development with the reduction of pressure on the environment. The scientific agenda of the IHDP IT has been built around a number of research questions in the fields of: energy and material flows; food; cities with focus of water and transportation; information and communication; governance and transformation processes.

More information at IT: http://www.ihdp-it.org/

Anna Wiecziorek
Mail to: Anna.Wieczorek@ivm.vu.nl

Knowledge Learning an Societal Change (KLSC)
Understanding complex information, making informed decisions with that information, and taking action to build more sustainable futures for all is a vital, but very difficult challenge, especially in the face of rapid local and global change. KLSC is dedicated to addressing that challenge by working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, knowledge holders, and rights holders to improve our understanding of the interplay between knowledge, learning, and societal change and to increase the capacity of stakeholders at multiple levels to make practical use of that understanding.

More information at KLSC: http://klscproject.org/

Prof. Dr. Ilan Chabay
Mail to: ilan.chabay@iass-potsdam.de

The International Programme on Biodiversity (DIVERSITAS)
DIVERSITAS is an international biodiversity research programme that aims to promote and support the knowledge about biodiversity. DIVERSITAS’ commission is to support the integrative research on biodiversity by combining biological, ecological and social sciences.

With the implementation of Future Earth DIVERSITAS will close in 2015.

More information at DIVERSITAS: http://www.diversitas-international.org/

International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP)
The focus of IGBP is on biogeochemical processes and interactions. Research topics of IGBP focus on (1) the correlation between biological, chemical and physical processes, (2) their changes and the dynamics of the earth system and (3) human activities that influence this system.

With the implementation of Future Earth, the IGBP started its second synthesis phase in 2014 and will close in 2015.

More information at IGBP: http://www.igbp.net/

World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)
WCRP identifies gaps in the scientific understanding of climate change and its variability. Through observations and modelling, WCRP enables policy-relevant climate predictions.

More information at WCRP: http://www.wcrp-climate.org/

WCRP Joint Planning Staff
c/o World Meteorological Organization
7bis, Avenue de la Paix
Case Postale 2300
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Phone: +41 22 730 81 11
Mail to: wcrp@wmo.int

International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP)
The focus of IHDP was on interests of social, economic and political science and the communication of scientific insights to politics.

With the implementation of Future Earth, the IHDP closed in June 2014.

Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP)
In ESSP, the four international research programmes DIVERSITAS, IGBP, IHDP and WCRP brought their capabilities together and paved the way for the integrative research of the earth system.

With the implementation of Future Earth, the ESSP closed in December 2012.

bioSUSTAINABILITY develops new knowledge for policy and decision-makers to encourage a more sustainable use of biodiversity. bioSUSTAINABILITY aspires to establish the scientific foundations for appropriate future social actions aimed at maintaining an acceptable level of biodiversity on our planet.

Note: Merged with ecoSERVICES in 2014.

ecoSERVICES seeks to establish a robust understanding of the ecological, economic and cultural consequences of biodiversity loss and change. Functioning ecosystems are essential to human well-being. Thus the aims of ecoSERVICES focus on the impact of biodiversity changes on human and livestock health.

More information at ecoSERVICES: http://www.ecoservices.asu.edu/ecoservicesproject/

School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ 85287-4501
United States
Mail to: Maureen.Lynch@asu.edu

The aim of bioGENESIS is the documentation of biodiversity, the degree of diversification, and the effects of human-induced changes. In the face of progressive environmental change, the goal of bioGENESIS is to increase efficiency in the assessment of biological diversity.

More information at bioGENESIS: http://www.biogenesis-diversitas.org/

Anne-Helene Prieur-Richard
57 rue Cuvier - CP 41
75231 Paris Cedex 5, France
Mail to: anne-helene@diversitas-international.org

ecoHealth focuses on the study of the relationships between plant and animal biodiversity and the emergence or re-emergence of infectious diseases, and the consequences for wild biodiversity and human societies.

More information at ecoHEALTH: http://www.diversitas-international.org/activities/research/ecohealth

Catherine Machalaba
EcoHealth Alliance
460 West 34th Street – 17th floor
New York, NY 10001
Mail to: machalaba@ecohealthalliance.org


agroBIODIVERSITY aims to inspire and facilitate interdisciplinary research for understanding the role of biological diversity in agricultural landscapes. Agrobiodiversity, as used here, refers to managed and unplanned biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems, which closely interact with wild biodiversity within the larger landscape matrix.

More information at agroBIODIVERSITY: http://www.agrobiodiversity-diversitas.org

Mirjam Pullemann
Wageningen University
Dept. of Soil Quality
P.O.Box 47, 6700 AA
Wageningen, The Netherlands
Mail to: mirjam.pulleman@wur.nl


Although water and water conservation are issues of global concern, most projects and international agreements do not adequately address freshwater biodiversity. The main goal of the freshwaterBIODIVERSITY project is to meet the urgent need to improve documentation and understanding of freshwater biodiversity itself, and the ecosystem goods and services that it provides.

Note: merged with ecoSERVICES in 2014.

bioDiscovery faces the challenge to assess biodiversity, its current and future changes and the mechanisms at the origin of these changes. The first aim of bioDISCOVERY is to advance efforts to measure and describe biodiversity at the level of genes, species and ecosystems. bioDISCOVERY aims to improve our capacity to recognise change and loss, and to find out why it is occurring.

More information at bioDISCOVERY: http://www.diversitas-international.org/activities/research/biodiscovery

bioDISCOVERY Secretariat
Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN)
75231 Paris Cedex 05
Mail to: bruno@diversitas-international.org

Global Environmental Change and Food Systems Project (GECAFS)
GECAFS is an international, interdisciplinary research project, developing strategies to cope with the impact of global environmental change on food systems. GECAFS is aimed at achieving a better understanding of the links between food systems and socio-economic and biogeophysical components of the earth system.

More information at GECAFS: http://www.gecafs.org/

The GECAFS International Project Office is now closed but was hosted by the Environmental Change Institute, at the School of Geography and the Environment.
Any queries relating to GECAFS activities should be directed to John Ingram, the former GECAFS Executive Officer (mail to: john.ingram@eci.ox.ac.uk).

Global Water System Project (GWSP)
The GWSP objectives are to develop and promote the global and interdisciplinary dimensions of water research. A wide range of activities focusing on developing new knowledge (international comparison of estimates of world water balance; development of internationally comparable environmental flows; elaboration of concepts of global governance of water; development of new integrated indicators of the global water system); capacity building, networking and information exchange (i.e. digital water atlas, global change in the Danube basin).

More information at GWSP: http://www.gwsp.org/

Anik Bhaduri
Global Water System Project, International Project Office
Walter-Flex-Strasse 3
53113 Bonn, Germany
Mail to: gwsp.ipo@uni-bonn.de

Global Environmental Change and Human Health (GECHH)
The GECHH was launched to respond to the growing need to understand better linkages between global environmental change and human health. The GECHH aims at elucidating the spectrum and magnitude of risks to human wellbeing and health, consequent upon human-induced global environmental changes, in order that society at large has a fuller understanding of the actual and likely consequences of the ways in which, collectively, human societies are changing the Earth System.

More information at GECHH: http://www.gechh.unu.edu

United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)
175 Longwood Road South, Suite 204
Hamilton, ON L8P 0A1

Global Carbon Project (GCP)
GCP's goal is to achieve a better scientific understanding of the carbon cycle to slow the rate of increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. GCP is aimed at developing a complete picture of the global carbon cycle, integrating biogeochemical, biophysical and human components and at the development of a comprehensive, policy-relevant understanding of the global carbon cycle.

More information at GCP: http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/

Pep Canadell
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research
GPO Box 3023
Canberra, ACT 2601
Mail to: pep.canadell@csiro.au

Climate and Ocean – Variability, Predictability, and Change (CLIVAR)
CLIVAR’s aim is to facilitate observation analysis and prediction of changes in the Earth’s climate system, with a focus on ocean-atmosphere interactions, enabling better understanding of climate variability, predictability, and change, to the benefit of society and the environment.

More information at CLIVAR: http://www.clivar.org/

Valery Detemmerman
International CLIVAR Global Project Office
State Oceanographic Administration First Institute of Oceanography
6 Xianxialing Road
Qingdao 266061, P.R. China
Mail to: icpo@clivar.org

Climate and Cryosphere (CliC)
The CliC project (Climate and Cryosphere) attempts to analyse the impacts of climate variability and change on components of the cryosphere as well as the impacts of changes in the cryosphere on the global climate system. To reach this goal, CliC has developed several activities: observation of the cryosphere and integration of cryospheric processes in climate models.

More information at CliC: http://www.climate-cryosphere.org

CliC International Project Office
Norwegian Polar Institute
Fram Centre
Hjalmar Johansens gate 14
NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway
Mail to: info@climate-cryosphere.org

Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX)
The focus of the Global Energy and Water Exchanges Project (GEWEX) is the observation, understanding and modelling of the atmospheric, hydrologic and thermodynamic processes and dynamics that determine the global hydrological cycle and the energy budget. Important topics within GEWEX are global water resources, especially the prediction of changes in the water cycle affected by global change.

More information at GEWEX: http://www.gewex.org/

GEWEX International Project Office
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910-6374
United States
Mail to: gewex@gewex.org

Stratosphere-troposphere Processes and their Role in Climate (SPARC)
SPARC coordinates international efforts to bring knowledge of the stratosphere to bear on relevant issues in climate variability and prediction. SPARC themes and activities address areas of societal concern such as: Climate variability and change, Ozone, Atmospheric chemistry and aerosols, and Polar processes.

More information at SPARC: http://www.sparc-climate.org/

SPARC Office
c/o ETH Zurich
Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science (IAC)
Building CHN
Universitaetsstrasse 16
CH-8092 Zurich
Mail to: office@sparc-climate.org

International Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS)
SOLAS is aiming to understand the key biogeochemical-physical interactions and feedbacks between the ocean and atmosphere. Achievement of this goal is important to understand and quantify the role that ocean-atmosphere interactions play in the regulation of climate and global change.

More information at SOLAS: http://www.solas-int.org/

SOLAS International Project Office
GEOMAR Helmholtz-Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Düsternbrooker Weg 20
24105 Kiel
Mail to: ebreviere@geomar.de

Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS)
iLEAPSis the land-atmosphere component of the IGBP. It focusses on the basic biogeochemical processes that link land-atmosphere exchange, climate, the water cycle and tropospheric chemistry. Knowledge transfer is an essential component of iLEAPS. Knowledge transfer includes interdisciplinary training, capacity building and student outreach.

More information at iLeaps: http://www.ileaps.org

iLEAPS International Project Office (iLEAPS IPO)
University of Helsinki, Department of Physics
Division of Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysics
P.O. Box 48
FI 00014 University of Helsinki
Mail to: ipo@ileaps.org

Past Global Changes Project (PAGES)
The PAGES project is an international effort to coordinate and promote past global change research. The primary objective is to improve the understanding of past changes in the Earth System in order to improve projections of future climate and environment. PAGES encourages international and interdisciplinary collaborations and seeks to promote the involvement of scientists from developing countries in the global paleo-community discourse.

More information at PAGES: http://www.pages.unibe.ch/

International Project Office
Zähringerstrasse 25
3012 Bern
Mail to: pages@pages.unibe.ch

Analysis, Integration and Modeling of the Earth System, AIMES
AIMES builds on the foundation of the Global Analysis, Integration and Modeling (GAIM) task force. The challenge for AIMES is to achieve a deeper and more quantitative understanding of the role of human interferences to the Earth's biogeochemical cycles and their interactions with the coupled physical climate system.

More informationen at AIMES: http://www.aimes.ucar.edu/

Kathy Hibbard, Executive Officer, Senior Program Manager
Mail to kathy.hibbard@pnl.gov
Jennie Rice, Science Officer, mail to jennie.rice@pnl.gov

International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project (IGAC)
IGAC coordinates and fosters atmospheric chemistry research towards a sustainable world by facilitating international collaboration of atmospheric chemistry and multi-disciplinary research, coordinating the synthesis, assessment, and summary of research, cultivating the next generation of atmospheric chemist, and acting as the liaison between the atmospheric chemistry community and the broader Earth System Sustainability community.

More information at IGAC: www.igacproject.org

IGAC Project
University of Colorado
Box 216 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309, USA
Mail to: info@igacproject.org

Integrated Marine Biobeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER)
IMBER is an international project that aims to investigate the sensitivity of marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems to global change, on time scales ranging from years to decades. IMBER aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of, and accurate predictive capacity for ocean responses to accelerating global change and the consequent effects on the Earth System and human society.

More information at IMBER: www.imber.info

Bernard Avril
IMBER International Project Office
Institute of Marine Research
P.O. Box 1870
Nordnes 5817
Bergen, Norway
Mail to imber@imr.no

Integrated History and future of People on Earth (iHope)
The Integrated History and future of People on Earth initiative is a global research network, demonstrating that earth system changes in the past have been strongly associated with changes in the coupled human-environment system. IHOPE supports sharing knowledge and resources from the biophysical and the social sciences and the humanities to address analytical and interpretive issues associated with coupled human-earth system dynamics.

More information at IHOPE: http://ihopenet.org/

Department of Archaeology and Ancient History
Uppsala University
Uppsala, Sweden

Global Land Project (GLP)
The Global Land Project (GLP), aims at improving the understanding and modelling of the effects of human actions on natural processes of the terrestrial biosphere. Changes in land use and management affect the states, properties and functions of ecosystems, which, in turn, affect the provision of ecosystem services, and, ultimately, affect human well-being.

More information at GLP: http://www.globallandproject.org/

Fabiano Micheletto Scarpa, PhD
National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
Av. dos Astronautas, 1758
Prédio Planejamento Sala 12
Jd.Granja 12227-010
São José dos Campos
São Paulo - Brazil

Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ)
For almost 20 LOICZ focuses on the land and ocean-based drivers of biogeochemical and geophysical change affecting coastal zones. Coming from a natural science based approach the expert network expanded its focus to incorporate social sciences and humanities to research global phenomena of changing coasts in the context of social – ecological systems in the early 2000s.



Dr. Marion Glaser
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
LOICZ International Project Office
Institute for Coastal Research
Max-Planck-Str. 1
21502 Geesthacht

Earth system governance Project (ESG)
The Earth System Governance Project defines Earth System Governance as the interrelated system of formal and informal rules, rule-making mechanisms and actor-networks at all levels of human society that are set up to steer societies towards preventing, mitigating and adapting to global and local environmental change and earth system transformation, within the context of sustainable development. The project will develop policy responses to the pressing problems of earth system transformation.

More information at ESG Project: http://www.earthsystemgovernance.org/

Dr. Ruben Zondervan
Lund University
LUCSUS, Gamla Kirurgen
Sandgatan 3, 3th floor
Lund, Sweden

Integrated Risk Governance Project (IRG)
The Integrated Risk Governance Project (IRG) intends to direct the attention to a number of concerns, including policies designed to reduce the vulnerability of individuals and communities to the impacts of extreme events, decision-making processes regarding the establishment and deployment of response capabilities, etc. It aims to identify mechanisms, trends, impacts and the predictability of risks in the context of global change, and will develop risk assessment models and methods for integrated risk simulation.

More information at IRG Project: http://www.irg-project.org/ or http://www.globalclimateforum.org/

Elke Henning
Mail to: elke.henning@globalclimateforum.org

Urbanization and Global Environmental Change Project (UGEC)
Today, more than half of the world's population lives in cities. It is clear that the development of urban areas holds the key to many of the challenges faced in interactions with environmental change. The UGEC seeks to provide a better understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between global environmental change (GEC) and urbanization at the local, regional and global.

More information at UGEC: http://ugec.org/

Dr. Corrie Griffith
Arizona State University
Global Institute of Sustainability
PO Box 875402
Tempe, AZ 85287-5402
Mail to Corrie.Griffith@asu.edu

Overview organisation and co-operations (2011).


For the last three decades, international research on global change has primarily been designed, coordinated and realised by the ICSU, ISSC, UNESCO and WMO as well as by IOC-supported environmental research programmes: World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), International Geosphere Biosphere Programm (IGBP), International Human Dimensions of Global Change Programme (IHDP), by the international research programme on biodiversity, DIVERSITAS, along with the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP).

At the 1stWorld Climate Conference in 1979, in which the ICSU participated as a sponsor, it was decided that the international activities in climate research should be combined and coordinated. In 1990, the world climate programme WCRP was established by the WMO. In the 1970s and 80s, the ICSU’s strategy committee (Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment) discussed ­‑ amongst other things - the possible coordination of research activities on land and atmosphere and the IGBP was launched in 1986. Together with the ISSC, the ICSU established the IHDP in 1996 and joined DIVERSITAS – which IUBS, SCOPE and UNESCO had founded in 1991 – in the same year. The four programmes that then came all under the patronage of the ICSU offered a wide range of possibilities for research activities in the broadly different fields.

In 2001, more than 10 years later, all the programmes were brought together for the very first time in an international science conference on “Challenges of a Changing Earth“ with the purpose to discuss progress in the different research fields. It was identified that there is the need for more intense cooperation between the research fields led to the Amsterdam Declaration. In the same year, the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) was founded as an interdisciplinary network of the four global change programmes. Since the founding of ESSP, integrative research has been carried out in the four priority areas of global change, i.e. water, health, food and carbon. Also capacity building has increasingly been furthered within the ESSP.

Over the last years, the ICSU was the only international organisation that sponsors all global change programmes. Review processes and scientific committees which may, for example, initiate core projects (e.g. the Global Land Project - GLP), continue to further develop and support the international programmes. A budget of around 7 million euros per year is available from different nations to coordinate the programmes and its numerous joint/core projects, i.e. management, communication, science-policy dialogue, capacity development, workshops and conferences. Research carried out within the programmes are mainly funded by national/regional bodies.

2012 was another significant year for the global change programmes and the ESSP: the “Future Earth: research for global sustainability” initiative, the result of an intense consultation process, was introduced at the 2nd joint conference of the global environmental programmes (Planet under Pressure, London 2012). Because of the urgent societal need to find approaches to the complex phenomena of global change, it was recognised as inevitable that research that had thus far been mainly influenced by natural science had to move towards integrative research. The new Future Earth initiative will therefore be based on the knowledge and experiences of the international global change programmes, and will primarily promote research that contributes to transforming society into one that acts in a globally sustainable way.

Future Earth will be fully established in 2014. All core projects of the environmental programmes can choose to be included in Future Earth on the condition that they fulfil the requirements. Within fast track initiatives, all parties involved in the core projects will be given the opportunity to initiate new and integrative activities.

The secretariats of IHDP, IGBP and DIVERSITAS will be closed by the end of 2014/2015.