Landscape view Panengahan

Science Plan

Land is at the nexus of human activities and the environment. It is where we live, and derive resources such as food, forest products, minerals, oil, and freshwater, and where most of the world’s poor earn their livelihood.  It is also where human decisions and their impacts are most visible. Biodiversity loss, degradation of ecosystems, greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater depletion and pollution, and soil erosion are all environmental problems resulting from and impacting human land use. Such land system dynamics create winners and losers across many scales, with benefits often accruing to powerful actors and costs borne by historically marginalized communities.

The Global Land Programme (GLP) convenes an interdisciplinary community of LSS scholars and practitioners to address these myriad complex and interconnected global challenges. This Science Plan lays out a 5-year program of research to guide the GLP community, which reflects both societal changes and the ever-evolving constellation of approaches and perspectives of its members and LSS more broadly.  

Download our Science Plan and Implementation Strategy 2024-2028 for more detailed information on the science plan, governance, and implementation strategy of GLP.

Structure of the Science Plan 

The structure of the new GLP Science Plan is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of our approach to Land System Science research. It unfolds in a deliberate sequence, beginning with our identity and historical context before delving into our research priorities:

Section 2: Who We Are and Our History - This section forms the foundation of the Science Plan, offering insights into the GLP's origins, evolution, and current identity. It sets the stage by detailing our journey, milestones, and how our past shapes our present.

Section 3: Research Goals - Here, we articulate the driving forces behind our research. This section explains the objectives and aspirations that guide our scientific endeavors, giving a clear understanding of why we pursue specific areas of study and what we hope to achieve.

Section 4: Main Research Agenda - As the core of the Plan, this section presents our primary research focus. It outlines the key areas and themes we aim to explore, reflecting the current and future priorities of the GLP community.

Section 5: Our Approach to Scientific Enterprise - This final section delves into the methodologies and strategies that underpin our scientific pursuits. It describes how we approach research, emphasizing our commitment to innovation, collaboration, and ethical practices.

This structure represents a significant evolution from previous Science Plans. Rather than simply listing key research questions or topics, this Plan adopts a broad programmatic framework, a strategic choice by the GLP Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) to avoid limiting our scope to the perspectives of a select few. We acknowledge that any list of topics could inadvertently reflect the biases of the SSC members. To counter this, we've strived for diversity in authorship, aligning with our commitment to inclusivity. However, it's important to recognize that this Plan, like any collaborative work, is influenced by the knowledge and worldviews of its contributors. For a deeper understanding of how this Science Plan was developed, we encourage you to refer to the Front End Sheet, which details our process and efforts to incorporate a wide range of perspectives and expertise.