Future Earth builds on more than three decades of global environmental change research that began with the the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), DIVERSITAS and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP).

Key Milestones and Events

Future Earth was officially announced in June 2012 at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), to be created as a global initiative to strengthen the interface between policy and science.  

Over the next eighteen months, an open bidding process was held to operationalize the new initiative and a design phase was led by a Transition Team of more than 30 international experts representing the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and international policy, research funding, and business. The final report of the Transition Team is available for download.

In 2014 a five-country consortium successfully bid to create an interim Future Earth Secretariat. Future Earth became fully operational with a permanent Secretariat at the end of 2015.

We are currently governed by the International Science Council, the Belmont Forum of funding agencies, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization(UNESCO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations University (UNU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum. See Governing Council for more information.