Future Earth was announced in June 2012 at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). In 2014, a consortium based in five countries successfully bid to create Future Earth. In April 2015, the interim secretariat completed the handover to the permanent secretariat. Future Earth became fully operational at the end of 2015.
Future Earth builds on more than three decades of global environmental change research through the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), DIVERSITAS and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP).
Future Earth is rooted in the work of 20 Global Research Projects. These networks have a long history, in some cases stretching back decades, of generating research at the forefront of sustainability science. They played a critical role in forming the field of Earth system science – which considers how all of the parts of the planet, including human societies, connect to and shape each other. Our Global Research Projects also led in defining the Anthropocene, a new epoch in the geologic history of Earth marked by the influence of humans on the planet.Future Earth builds on this scientific legacy to accelerate transformations to sustainability through research and innovation.