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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.
Paul Shrivastava named Executive Director of Future Earth On February 13, 2015, the International Council for Science, on behalf of the Science & Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability, announced the appointment of Paul Shrivastava as Executive Director of Future Earth. Shrivastava, a U.S. citizen, was born in India and works in Canada and France. He will take up his post in early February 2015, based at the Montreal Global Hub of the Future Earth Secretariat. He will lead a globally distributed secretariat composed of five global hubs functioning as a single entity, located in Montreal, Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm and Boulder, Colorado. The global hubs will be complemented by a set of regional hubs for the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Full press release.
Future Earth Operating Through Globally Distributed Secretariat As of late 2014, Future Earth has a new Secretariat in place, with a unique and innovative structure that spans three continents, as announced by the International Council for Science on behalf of the members of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability (the Alliance). Over 20 expressions of interest were received for the Future Earth Secretariat, now comprised of five global hubs that will function as a single entity. They are located in the United States (Colorado), Canada (Montreal), France (Paris), Japan (Tokyo), and Sweden (Stockholm). For more details, please consult the Future Earth website.
Future Earth Engagement Committee Announced The Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability (the Alliance) has announced the appointment of an Engagement Committee with 15 members, who will work on involving stakeholders throughout the entire research process from co-design to dissemination. Jairam Ramesh will chair the Committee, which will provide leadership and strategic guidance on engaging societal partners with Future Earth, ensuring that Future Earth provides the knowledge society needs. This committee will work closely with the Science Committee to deliver the objectives articulated in the Future Earth 2025 Vision and Future Earth Initial Design Report. For more details, please consult the Future Earth website.
DIVERSITAS Celebrates 23 Years of Existence and Transition to Future Earth A conference to celebrate the DIVERSITAS programme on biodiversity science brought together seventy guests representing past and present members of the DIVERSITAS community. The September 2014 event showcased the achievements and legacy of DIVERSITAS over the course of its more than 20 years of existence and highlighted new opportunities for biodiversity science afforded by the transition to Future Earth. A group of four young scientists were selected to report on the meeting, and links to their blogs, photos, and videos can be found on the Future Earth website. More information about DIVERSITAS and the former U.S. National Committee for DIVERSITAS can be found here.
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. This meeting 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.
North American Regional Consultation for Future Earth
Future Earth has offered 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. In addition to the 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.