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ICSU's Future Earth Program Overview

Future Earth is a 10–year international program on Earth system research for global sustainability. The program is being carried out through the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability (the Alliance), comprised of the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the Belmont Forum (composed of international science funding agencies, including NSF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the United Nations University (UNU), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as an observer.

For more information on the Future Earth Program, please consult the Future Earth Initial Design Report.

North American Regional Consultation for Future Earth

Future Earth is offering many opportunities for the U.S. scientific community to become involved. Suggestions from the U.S. scientific community were key in the creation of the Draft Interim North American Consultation Report.

Your input will also be very important in the preparation of the Final North American Consultation Report. In order to provide your input, please consult the survey below.

Notepad ImageWe need YOUR input!

We appreciate your thoughts and would like your suggestions on the direction of the Future Earth initiative.

Please provide your input through our online survey.

In addition to our efforts to gather suggestions from the U.S. scientific community, a number of the U.S. national committees (USNCs) are watching closely in order to be ready to act. These include the USNCs in the Earth sciences (IUGS, IUGG, INQUA, and Soils), the biological sciences (DIVERSITAS), the social sciences (IUPsyS) and math and the physical sciences (IMU and IUPAC), and the USNC for the Pacific Science Association (PSA). Each USNC is reaching out to its own community in different ways, including communications with professional societies.

BISO is working with the USGCRP (United States Global Change Research Program), NSF and NASA on a Future Earth regional consultation for North America, and more information will be posted in the coming weeks. To read more about Future Earth, please view this flyer (also in French).

Webinar and Meeting Presentations for the North American Regional Consultation
In order to assist North American scientists to become more familiar with Future Earth and its potential implications for Earth System Science research, two consultation webinars were hosted. The consultations were undertaken on behalf of ICSU and its partners in the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability. Archives of these broadcasts' presentations can be seen below.

Future Earth May 2, 2013 Webinar Presentation Archive
Meeting Presentations

Future Earth May 30, 2013 Webinar Presentation Archive
Meeting Presentations

We are also planning on hosting an in-person meeting in 2014. Details will be provided as soon as they become available.

Future Earth News and Events

Future Earth Meeting in Washington, DC
BISO hosted and participated in an international Future Earth meeting held January 20-22, 2014 at the National Academies in Washington, DC that allowed members of the Future Earth science and interim engagement committees and the Future Earth secretariat to meet with the leaderships of ICSU's Global Environmental Change (GEC) core projects and programs to discuss their integration into Future Earth. ICSU’s GEC programs include DIVERSITAS, the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP), the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). The 74 participants provided input into the merger of the GEC programs, established task forces, and discussed potential fast-track initiatives, cluster activity proposals, and advanced communications among the core projects.

Future Earth Science Committee Announced
Mark Stafford Smith, Science Director of CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship in Canberra, Australia will be the inaugural Chair, Melissa Leach, Director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre in the UK and Belinda Reyers, a Chief Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa, will serve as Vice Chairs. The Science Committee is the first of the governance bodies to be appointed for Future Earth, which will be supported by an interim secretariat until a permanent secretariat is set up in 2014.

The Committee will make recommendations on new and existing projects, and emerging priorities for research. It will, in particular, oversee the transition of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) and DIVERSITAS activities into Future Earth.
The full list of members is available here.

  Program Information  

Stay up to date with Future Earth via social media!

Future Earth Online Magazine


Follow Future Earth!

Organizing Committee

ICSU International Website

For inquiries, please contact:
David Allen, United States Global Change Research Program.