• 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 .

Planet under pressure: new knowledge towards solutions

March 26, 2012 - March 29, 2012
London, United Kingdom
Owen Gaffney (owen.gaffney@igbp.kva.se)
Wendy Broadgate (wendy@igbp.kva.se)
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The research community has a responsibility to provide the knowledge needed to move society towards effective stewardship of the planet. Scientists have a duty to communicate the urgency of this challenge to society. But science alone is not enough. The 2012 Planet Under Pressure conference is intended to be a major opportunity to link global-change science in a two-way engagement with the wide range of other stakeholders working towards global sustainability.


Research delivers the knowledge to assess the nature and magnitude of global environmental change, its drivers and the risks it poses to society. It must also help society mitigate dangerous changes, cope with changes we cannot avoid, and illuminate opportunities. This requires partnerships with policy and industry decision-makers.

Based on the latest scientific evidence, the Planet Under Pressure conference will provide a comprehensive update of our knowledge of the Earth system, the pressure our planet is now under and a vision for the future. Drawing on our knowledge about the past, the present and future, the conference will focus attention on the latest research in climate science, ecosystem services, land use, biodiversity loss, planetary thresholds, and food, water and energy security.

The coincident drivers of these changes - globalization, urbanization and consumption - continue to intensify. We need a more effective 'global innovation system' to respond to the implications of the increasing rates of change in the drivers of global change. The conference will contribute to this challenge and leave a legacy of new partnerships to help forge a sustainable future. It will examine governance across temporal and spatial scales, links with poverty alleviation, human well-being, and engineering and technological solutions.

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 This website is no longer updated.

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