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 Indiana University Bloomington

Brondizio selected for Future Earth Science Committee

June 18, 2013

Members of the first Science Committee for Future Earth, a new international research program on global sustainability, were announced June 17, 2013.  Indiana University Department of Anthropology professor Eduardo Brondizio was one of 18 scientists from around the world selected to fill the committee's roster.

Established by the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability (ICSU, ISSC, UNESCO, UNEP, UNU, the Belmont Forum, and WMO), Future Earth is a 10-year international research initiative that will develop the knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and for supporting transformation towards global sustainability in the coming decades. Building upon the existing global environmental change programs (IGBP, IHDP, DIVERSITAS), Future Earth will mobilize thousands of scientists while strengthening partnerships with policymakers and other stakeholders to provide sustainability options and solutions in the wake of Rio+20.

“Future Earth is going to change the way we do science globally. It represents a unique opportunity to provide the research needed to address the biggest challenges of our time on global sustainability, and to do so in partnership with decision-makers,” said Mark Stafford Smith, Science Director of CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship in Canberra, Australia, who was named inaugural chair of the Science Committee.   “We’ve assembled an impressive and truly international team for this committee; we are all looking forward to continuing to develop the science agenda and global networks for this innovative programme.”

The committee members encompass a diversity of disciplines and expertise necessary to address global environmental change in all its dimensions, including natural and social sciences, humanities, and engineering.  The committee has been assigned the task of making recommendations on new and existing projects as well as on emerging priorities for research.  It will provide scientific guidance, ensure scientific quality, and guide the development of new projects.  The committee is also charged with overseeing the transition of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP), and Diversitas activities into Future Earth and securing a strong partnership with the World Climate Research Programme community.  It will also provide guidance on new activities for Future Earth.

The Science Committee members will serve from June 2013-2015.  The chair and vice chairs will serve from June 2013-2016.  Both terms are extendable.

An environmental anthropologist, Brondizio is dedicated to a long-term research program among rural populations in the Amazon and their interactions with regional, national, and global processes. His current research applies complexity theory to analyze interactions among rural, urban, conservation, and indigenous areas in the Brazilian Amazon. Brondizio has published extensively on land-use change and agricultural intensification, small-farmers’ livelihood, adaptation to environmental change and interactions with commodity chains, and more broadly rural development and poverty, urbanization, ecosystem services, and institutional analysis of resource systems. He has been involved with several international research efforts, among others the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, and more recently the UN’s Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Brondizio remarked, "The Future Earth program has 'big shoes to fill' as it builds on the impressive legacy of global environmental change programs like IGBP, IHDP, and Diversitas and their suite of core projects and extensive international network of scientists, including many colleagues at Indiana University.  The Alliance for Global Sustainability and Future Earth propose significant transformation of the science agenda, institutional organization, societal connections, and funding structure that supports research on global environmental change and sustainability sciences. I am excited to be a member of the Science Committee that will help to craft Future Earth and its long-term goals, and I hope that many colleagues and students at IU will join me in this effort."

A significant transformation

Eduardo Brondizio

"The Future Earth program has 'big shoes to fill' as it builds on the impressive legacy of global environmental change programs like IGBP, IHDP, and Diversitas and their suite of core projects and extensive international network of scientists, including many colleagues at Indiana University," Dr. Brondizio remarked.  "The Alliance for Global Sustainability and Future Earth propose significant transformation of the science agenda, institutional organization, societal connections, and funding structure that supports research on global environmental change and  sustainability sciences. I am excited to be a member of the Science Committee that will help to craft Future Earth and its long-term goals, and I hope that many colleagues and students at IU will join me in this effort."