• 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 .
photo: iStockphoto/ermingut


Scientific committee

IGBP's main decision making body is its Scientific Committee. The committee meets annually and decides upon policy and future research.

The Scientific Committee is made up of people appointed by the International Council for Science, the chairs of IGBP's core projects, key stakeholders and IGBP's Executive Director.


IGBP's chair and vice chairs form a small subset of the committee, the Officers. The Officers meet annually.

Secretariat, Brazilian regional office and project offices

The Secretariat and our regional office in Brazil are the “glue” for the network, facilitating information exchange and scientific synthesis and integration.

The Secretariat directly supports the activities of the Scientific Committee, including managing the records and information relating to Scientific Committee meetings and memberships, and projects' Scientific Steering Committee memberships. The Secretariat also promotes IGBP and disseminates its scientific results to different audiences.


IGBP has 12 major international projects (including 4 joint projects coordinated by the Earth System Science Partnership). Each project has an international project office (IPO). Several projects also have satellite offices - "nodal offices" -  throughout the world.

  • Analysis, Integration and Modelling of the Earth System (AIMES)
  • 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 Interaction in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ)
  • Past Global Changes (PAGES)
  • Surface Ocean—Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS)

Joint projects and studies**

  • Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
  • Global Carbon Project (GCP)
  • Global Environmental Change and Human Health (GECHH)
  • Global Water System Project (GWSP)
  • Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training (START)
  • Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS)

** coordinated by the Earth System Science Partnership

Major endorsed projects

  • African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA)
  • International Nitrogen Initiative (INI)
  • Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative (NEESPI)


  • Earth-system impacts from changes in the cryosphere
  • Impacts from changes in the cryosphere on the biota and societies in the arid Central Asia
  • Megacities in the coastal zone
  • Global environmental change and sustainable development: needs of least developed countries
  • Geoengineering impacts
  • Nitrogen and climate
  • Impacts of land-use-induced land-cover changes on the functioning of the Earth System
  • Air pollution and climate

Fast-track initiatives

  • Megacities and the Coastal Zone: air-sea interactions (2009-2011)
  • Ocean Acidification over Time (2005-2008) in collaboration with SCOR
  • Plant functional types (2006-2009) in collaboration with DIVERSITA
  • Regionalisation of the Nitrogen Visualisation Tool (2009-2011
  • The Global Iron Cycle (2003-2005) in collaboration with SCO
  • The Global Nitrogen Cycle (2003-2005) in collaboration with SCOP
  • The Planet in 2050 (2006-2008
  • The Role of Fire in the Earth System (2003-2006
  • Upper-Ocean Nutrient Limitation: processes, patterns and potential for change (2009-2011) in collaboration with Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR)

National committees

IGBP has voluntary national committees in 51 countries. The committees initiate and organize activities at the local and regional level and are an important interface with the wider international research community.

Share this page
Tell a friend (opens in new window)
Follow us

Please note!

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

No events available

  • Global Change Magazine No. 84

    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...

  • Global Change Magazine No. 83

    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...