• A personal note on IGBP and the social sciences

    Humans are an integral component of the Earth system as conceptualised by IGBP. João Morais recalls key milestones in IGBP’s engagement with the social sciences and offers some words of advice for Future Earth.
  • IGBP and Earth observation:
    a co-evolution

    The iconic images of Earth beamed back by the earliest spacecraft helped to galvanise interest in our planet’s environment. The subsequent evolution and development of satellites for Earth observation has been intricately linked with that of IGBP and other global-change research programmes, write Jack Kaye and Cat Downy .
photo: Corel Draw


IGBP is funded primarily by contributions from around forty countries.


  • Annual budget: 1.5 million Euros
  • Largest contributor: United States

Some key funding agencies
International group of funding agencies (IGFA)

Belmont Forum

National Science Foundation (US)

Natural Environment Research Council (UK)

BMBF (Germany)
CNRS (France)

Department for the Environment and Marine Resources (Norway)

National Natural Science Foundation of China (China)

CSIRO (Australia)

Vetenskapsrådet (Sweden)

In 2009, IGBP's income totalled 1,531,000 EUROS.

National contributions recieved by level of contribution

2. Germany
3. Sweden
4. France
5. Japan
6. UK
7. Brazil
8. Italy
9. Spain
10. Netherlands
11 Australia
12. Switzerland
13. China: Taipei
14. Norway
15. Russia
16. Belgium
17. China: Beijing
18. Austria
19. Denmark
20. Korea
The national contributions typically represent 60—70% of the total central income. The remaining fraction of the income comes from specific grants to support IGBP projects (where funds are simply administered by the Secretariat), research activities and conferences.

Around one-third of the unencumbered income is spent on Secretariat salaries (a significant fraction of which directly supports scientific activities), and around half is spent on non-salary scientific and communication activities.

About 10% of the income covers Secretariat operating expenses, and the remainder (around 5%) funds IGBP publications and the IGBP website.

Scientific activities funded include project activities, workshops and conferences, meetings, contributions to the Earth Systems Science Partnership, Group on Earth Observations and other partners, and integrative research efforts.

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Please note!

IGBP closed at the end of 2015. This website is no longer updated.

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