Future Earth is a 10-year international programme on Earth system research for global sustainability. The goal of Future Earth is to develop the knowledge required for societies worldwide: to face challenges posed by global environmental change and to identify and implement solutions and opportunities for a transition to global sustainability.
The development of Future Earth has been at the request of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability, which brings together organisations that represent the international science community, funders and users of environmental research, and environmental information providers. Today, these include ICSU, ISSC, Belmont Forum, IGFA, UNEP, UNESCO, UNU and WMO as an observer.
Future Earth builds on and will bring together the excellent research and capacity developed through the current Global Environmental Change programmes – IGBP, DIVERSITAS, IHDP, WCRP –, their projects, and their partnership ESSP – and seeks to introduce a more integrated scientific and organisational approach to the sustainability challenges faced by society.
The ‘Alliance’ has charged a team composed of scientists, sponsors and users, under the leadership of Professor Johan Rockstrom and Professor Diana Liverman, to develop the initial design of Future Earth. The initial design report will be completed by early 2013, and the focus is now moving to the implementation of Future Earth.
A Future Earth Interim Director is now needed to provide executive leadership for the Future Earth programme, as it transitions from initial design to full implementation.
· The Future Earth Interim Director will be responsible to Professor Jakob Rhyner (UNU) and Dr Steven Wilson (ICSU) in their role as co-Chairs of the Alliance Future Earth Transition Management Project Board. Scientific Leadership will be provided by the Future Earth Science Committee. The Future Earth Interim Director will be supported by a small dedicated team, together with contributions from across the Alliance members and existing Global Environmental Change programme secretariats.