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Published: July 21, 2009

Call for proposals to host a major international global-change Open Science Conference in 2012

Press release |

Planet Under Pressure: new knowledge, new solutions

IGBP is seeking sponsors and a host city for its 2012 Open Science Conference, Planet Under Pressure: new knowledge, new solutions. The three-day science conference will attract around 2500 world-leading environmental-change scientists. It will be followed by a day dedicated to discussing the findings with policymakers, the public, and funders of environmental science.

The deadline for applications is 30 October 2009.



Call for proposals to host a major international global-change Open Science Conference in 2012.

For over 20 years the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) has been a world leader in providing scientific knowledge on global change to improve the sustainability of the living Earth.

IGBP is seeking sponsors and a host city for its 2012 Open Science Conference, Planet Under Pressure: new knowledge, new solutions. The three-day science conference will attract around 2500 world-leading environmental-change scientists. It will be followed by a day dedicated to discussing the findings with policymakers, the public, and funders of environmental science.


IGBP has two main work programmes: the nine core and four joint research projects (for a full list see below) plus fast track initiatives; and our programme of synthesis. These will feature prominently though not exclusively in the Open Science Conference programme.

IGBP is at the first stage of developing ten global-change synthesis reports to be published between 2010 and 2014. IGBP will work with the International Council for Science's three other international global-change programmes to develop these syntheses. These programmes, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) and DIVERSITAS, along with IGBP, form the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP).


  • Global limits to growth
  • Geoengineering
  • The role of changing nutrient loads in coastal zones and the open ocean in an increased CO2 world
  • Global nitrogen assessment and a future outlook
  • Earth-system resilience: Earth-system prediction
  • Earth-system impacts from changes in the cryosphere
  • Megacities and coastal zones
  • Global environmental change and sustainable development: the needs of least developed countries
  • The role of land cover and land use in modulating climate
  • Aerosols


The Open Science Conference programme will be designed to engage and attract:

  • The global-change research community. IGBP is particularly keen to enable researchers from the developing world to attend the conference.
  • International bodies such as the United Nations Environment Programme, WHO, UNESCO, and the World Meteorological Organization.
  • The International Council for Science's other global-change programmes: WCRP, IHDP and DIVERSITAS, which form the ESSP.
  • Government departments.
  • Environmental protection agencies.
  • Funding agencies.
  • Environmental charities and other non-governmental organisations.
  • International media.


The deadline for applications is 30 October 2009. The successful host nation will be announced 1 December 2009.

All proposals should be submitted electronically to the conference management company:

Helen Schneider Lemay
The Schneider Group
Email: helens@sgmeet.com
5400 Bosque Blvd. Suite 680
Waco, TX 76710
Tel: 001 254 776 3550

The conference management company may contact groups submitting proposals for further information.  The company will also offer advice on negotiating prices and other logistics of preparing a bid for such a large event.

For other queries or an informal chat about the conference contact IGBP

Director of Communications
Owen Gaffney
Email: owen.gaffney@igbp.kva.se
Tel: 00 46 8 673 9556

Scientific liaisons

IGBP Deputy Director Natural Science
Dr Wendy Broadgate
Email: wendy@igbp.kva.se
Tel: 00 46 8 673 9559

IGBP Deputy Director Social Science
Dr Joao Morais
Email: morais@igbp.kva.se
Tel: 00 46 8 166 448


Proposals should specifically include information on:

1) Scientific representation. Outline briefly who will represent the host country on the scientific organisational committee and which organisations are represented by the proposal.

2) A suitable meeting venue (or alternative venues) that can accommodate around 2500 participants. When choosing a suitable meeting venue, please take into account costs for less expensive international air travel, road and rail links and environmentally-friendly transport options (such as minimising connections). The proposed meeting facility must be able to accommodate the following:  Plenary sessions, around 15 concurrent sessions, poster and exhibit area, receptions and other possible functions, auxiliary workshops, and other small meeting rooms.

3) Expected level of local support and associate funding, including value-added components for the proposals, namely on external co-funding for the conference and environmentally-friendly added-value. Note: it is intended that registration fees for conference attendance will cover a significant percentage of the cost of the conference, though to encourage attendance from the developing world, there will be a subsidised or even free registration stream. For a sample budget or to discuss further, contact the conference management company  (address above).

4) Suitability, preferential rates (if applicable) and costs for hotel accommodation for around 2500 participants, with detailed costs for low and high season.  Several hotels may be suggested to offer a range of rates and types of sleeping rooms.

5) Is the venue location suitable for any extra events/excursions that may be planned? Also, is the meeting site easily accessible to attendees such that additional transportation is not required from local hotels to the site each day?

6) Suitability to target national and international funding agencies as well as other kinds of financial support.

7) Associated added-value, e.g. national/regional outreach and networking activities.

8) Any concession items and additional resources available from the region or city.

9) Environmental and sustainability efforts by the city/region and meeting location.

10) Staff resources or other local organisations - to assist the conference organiser with logistical arrangements, accommodation bookings, visa invitation letters, meeting support, etc.

Note: The professional conference management company will work with host committees on logistics and contracts, managing the abstract submissions, registration of attendees including collecting registration fees, and other administrative tasks and responsibilities. For a full list of responsibilities speak to Helen Schneider Lemay.


The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) is a research programme that studies the phenomenon of global change. The vision of IGBP is to provide scientific knowledge to improve the sustainability of the living Earth. IGBP studies the interactions between biological, chemical and physical processes and interactions with human systems and collaborates with other programmes to develop and impart the understanding necessary to respond to global change.

The first Open Science Conference (Challenges of a Changing Earth) was held in Amsterdam in July 2001 and attracted around 1800 participants. This meeting led to the creation of the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP). The first ESSP Open Science Conference - (Global Environmental Change: Regional Challenges) was held in Beijing in November 2006 at the Beijing International Convention Centre (BICC).


Analysis, Integration and Modelling of the Earth System (AIMES)
Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC)
Global Land Project (GLP)
International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC)
Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS)
Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER)
Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ)
Past Global Changes (PAGES)
Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS)


Global Carbon Project (GCP)
Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS)
Global Water System Project (GWSP)
Global Environmental Change and Human Health (GECHH)

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

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