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.
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 .
Policy briefs for Rio+20 | “Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.” Principle One of the Rio Declaration. Multiple environmental stresses and rapid social change reinforce the need for better evidence – evidence that is robust and the product of interdisciplinary and intersectoral collaboration.
Policy briefs for Rio+20 | Worldwide, global energy systems face an array of challenges, from access for the poor to reliability and security. Meanwhile, the provision of energy creates local human and ecological health impacts as well as dangerous global climate change.
Policy briefs for Rio+20 | Humanity is at a crossroads. Social, economic and environmental crises that have played out in recent years offer a unique opportunity for a step change in the way humanity does business. Although the concept of the ‘green economy’ was introduced to address today’s challenges, its continued dependence on traditional – and questionable – trickle-down economic growth theory has rendered it inadequate.
Policy briefs for Rio+20 | Our rapidly increasing and urbanizing global population is facing unprecedented food, energy, economic and security crises, which are being compounded by climate change and extreme environmental events. As planetary boundaries are placed under increasing stress, so too are social bonds, relations and thresholds.
Policy briefs for Rio+20 | We share this planet with millions of other species and varieties of life, and depend on ecosystems for all our basic needs. While current trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services are sharply and dangerously negative, the right actions, developed and implemented promptly, can restore a biologically rich and ecologically viable planet.
Policy briefs for Rio+20 | Global environmental protection has featured high on the international political agenda since the United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. Yet, despite more than 900 environmental treaties coming into force over the past 40 years, human-induced environmental degradation is reaching unprecedented levels.
Policy briefs for Rio+20 | The challenge of feeding the world efficiently and equitably is considerable, but not insurmountable. Achieving food security for all, both now and in the future, depends on putting in place a strong foundation of multi-lateral and cooperative mechanisms that work across disciplines, sectors and national boundaries.
Policy briefs for Rio+20 | Water is the common thread that links all aspects of human development. Water security is therefore vital to all social and economic sectors as well as the natural resource base on which the world depends.
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...
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...