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Research Implementation at Future Earth

The Future Earth Science and Engagement Committees, global and regional Secretariat teams and Governing Council recently met in Japan for a series of meetings on developing the Future Earth  network, building its research programme and extending its regional coverage.

The major outcome is a Research Implementation Plan to be finalised in early 2016. It is a programme of activity including a framework for facilitating research and synthesis, engagement and communication, capacity building and fundraising.

The Research Implementation Plan is built around the creation of a number of Knowledge-Action Networks (KANs) that will focus on key global challenges as outlined in the Future Earth 2025 Vision, as well as cross-cutting topics. They will bring together a broad community of researchers and stakeholders and be developed in partnership with the existing community of research projects through a rigorous co-design process, involving societal partners from the outset to ensure that the KANs deliver the knowledge that society needs. 

KANs will involve existing core project communities and foster new research initiatives and activities. Further details about how the research community can get further involved will be announced in the coming months.

An open network

Future Earth is attracting significant interest. Many leading researchers and projects want to know how they can contribute to the Future Earth vision and research agenda. Future Earth committee members agreed on a Future Earth Open Network for individuals, projects, institutions and networks, to drive new collaborations, catalyse solutions and engage with stakeholders. It will build on the strong foundation of the existing Global Environmental Change programmes, core project communities, national committees and networks. 


Committee members agreed to focus on further diversifying funding to support these novel activities.

Capacity building

Future Earth has signed a strategic partnership agreement with START, through which START is engaged in the development and implementation of a capacity building strategy for Future Earth in collaboration with Future Earth global hubs in Colorado, Tokyo and Paris.

Regional activities

The meeting of the Science and Engagement Committees was immediately followed by a meeting with representatives from the Regional Centres which are now composed of Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, and progress was made on embedding Future Earth activities at the local level. Committee members also heard about progress on establishing a Regional Centre for Africa, which is being supported by START.

The meetings were hosted by the Tokyo Hub of the Future Earth Secretariat with support from the four Global Hubs and many others, including the Regional Centre for Asia in Kyoto, Japan, the Science Council of Japan, University of Tokyo, the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Keio University and the Science and Technology in Society forum.

This post was updated on December 16 2015.