• 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 .
Published: July 3, 2014

Future Earth secretariat announced

News |

The secretariat for the new ten-year research initiative Future Earth has been announced. Future Earth's  secretariat will span three continents with five global hubs in Montreal, Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm and Boulder, Colorado (U.S.)


The new secretariat was announced by  the International Council for Science on behalf of the members of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability (the Alliance).


ver 20 expressions of interest were received for the Future Earth ecretariat. Following a two-day bidders' conference hosted in Paris, consolidated final bids were reviewed on the basis of their vision, capability, organisational model and management plan and funding.


The preferred bidder is an international consortium of several lead organisations: 


Montreal International (Montreal, Canada)

Ministry of Higher Education and Research (Paris, France)

Science Council of Japan (Tokyo, Japan)

Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Stockholm Sweden)

University of Colorado (Boulder) and Colorado State University (Fort Collins).


This is complemented by regional hubs co-ordinated by:


Latin America: Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research

Asia: Research Institute for Humanity and Nature

Europe: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

Middle East and North Africa: Cyprus Institute


Discussions to develop an African hub are underway, with plans in other regions also under consideration.


“This is an innovative model for traditional academic approaches to research and engagement, but one increasingly adopted throughout the private sector, because a globalized world demands innovative and collaborative approaches. We believe a globally distributed leadership model will serve the international community best in advancing new knowledge and novel approaches to solve humanity’s most pressing global sustainability challenges” said the international consortium, in a joint statement.


The preferred bidder consortium is currently working with the Alliance to refine details of their proposal ahead of agreeing a Memorandum of Understanding. Members of the consortium are also in discussion with the Future Earth Interim Secretariat and the Science and Engagement Committees in order to plan a smooth transition, with a view to becoming operational by the end of 2014.


More information, key contacts, and statements from members of the Alliance are available on the ICSU website.


Share this page
Tell a friend (opens in new window)
Follow us

Please note!

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

No events available

  • Global Change Magazine No. 84


    This final issue of the magazine takes stock of IGBP’s scientific and institutional accomplishments as well as its contributions to policy and capacity building. It features interviews of several past...

  • Global Change Magazine No. 83


    This issue features a special section on carbon. You can read about peak greenhouse-gas emissions in China, the mitigation of black carbon emissions and the effect of the 2010-2011 La Niña event on gl...
RECOMMENDED