• 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: November 10, 2014

Future Earth vision for 2025 published

News |

The new ten-year research initiative Future Earth has published its vision for 2025. The vision outlines eight challenges the programme will focus on to contribute to sustainable development.

The 2025 vision sets out how Future Earth will coordinate international research to drive interdisciplinary science around focused global challenges.


Mark Stafford Smith, Chair of the Future Earth Science Committee, said,

“This document identifies eight crucial challenges for scientific research to address to help society meet increasing rates of global change.”


The eight challenges:


1. Deliver water, energy, and food for all, and manage the synergies and trade-offs among them,by understanding how these interactions are shaped by environmental, economic, social and political changes.


2. Decarbonise socio-economic systems to stabilise the climate by promoting the technological, economic, social, political and behavioural changes enabling transformations, while building knowledge about the impacts of climate change and adaptation responses for people and ecosystems.


3. Safeguard the terrestrial, freshwater and marine natural assets underpinning human well-being by understanding relationships between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and services, and developing effective valuation and governance approaches.


4. Build healthy, resilient and productive cities by identifying and shaping innovations that combine better urban environments and lives with declining resource footprints, and provide efficient services and infrastructures that are robust to disasters.


5. Promote sustainable rural futures to feed rising and more affluent populations amidst changes in biodiversity, resources and climate by analysing alternative land uses, food systems and ecosystem options, and identifying institutional and governance needs.


6. Improve human health by elucidating, and finding responses to, the complex interactions among environmental change, pollution, pathogens, disease vectors, ecosystem services, and people’s livelihoods, nutrition and well-being.


7. Encourage sustainable consumption and production patterns that are equitable by understanding the social and environmental impacts of consumption of all resources, opportunities for decoupling resource use from growth in well-being, and options for sustainable development pathways and related changes in human behaviour.


8. Increase social resilience to future threats by building adaptive governance systems, developing early warning of global and connected thresholds and risks, and testing effective, accountable and transparent institutions that promote transformations to sustainability.


More from the Future Earth website.


The Future Earth 2025 Vision.




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