Future Earth

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Future Earth is a 10-year international research programme which aims to build knowledge about the environmental and human aspects of Global change, and to find solutions for sustainable development. It aims to increase the impact of scientific research on sustainable development.

Future Earth is an interdisciplinary research programme bringing together natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities, engineering and law, and focused on designing and producing research together with stakeholders from outside the scientific community.

Mission and principles[edit]

Future Earth's mission is to "build and connect global knowledge to intensify the impact of research and find new ways to accelerate sustainable development". Its vision is for "people to thrive in a sustainable and equitable world". To do this, Future Earth aims to mobilize the international community of global environmental science researchers to:

  • Inspire and create interdisciplinary science relevant to major global sustainability challenges
  • Deliver products and services that society needs to meet these challenges
  • Co-design and co-produce solutions-oriented science, knowledge and innovation for global sustainable development
  • Build capacity among scholars world-wide


Future Earth was launched in June 2012, at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).[1]

The Science Committee of Future Earth is chaired by Dr Mark Stafford Smith, who is the Science Director of CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship in Canberra, Australia.[2] The co-chairs are Professor Melissa Leach, who is Director of the Institute of Development Studies,[3] and Dr Belinda Reyers, Chief Scientist in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa.

The Engagement Committee of Future Earth is chaired by the Indian economist and politician Jairam Ramesh,[4] and the co-Chair is Amy Luers, Director of Climate Change for the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

A globally distributed consortium was appointed as the Secretariat of Future Earth in July 2014, with offices in Montreal (Canada), Stockholm (Sweden), Colorado (USA), Tokyo (Japan) and Paris (France).

Paul Shrivastava is the Executive Director.[5][6]


Scientific research and synthesis in Future Earth is carried out by a number of international networks, known as ‘core projects’, many of which were launched under the umbrella of the existing four global environmental change programmes, DIVERSITAS, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP),[7] the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Some further projects arose out of the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP). A formal process for the affiliation of these projects into Future Earth began in 2014. The projects are:


  1. ^ http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30277519
  2. ^ http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/yournews/53816
  3. ^ http://steps-centre.org/2013/blog/future-earth-takes-flight-with-inaugural-scientific-committee/
  4. ^ http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-10-26/news/55446646_1_jairam-ramesh-technology-alliance-sustainable-development
  5. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/Montreal/ID/2653713268/
  6. ^ http://www.theclimategroup.org/what-we-do/news-and-blogs/pioneering-climate-research-platform-future-earth-launched-in-montreal-quebec/
  7. ^ http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n10/full/nclimate2395.html

External links[edit]