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Land use change can be seen as consequence and cause of global change and as a solution towards sustainability transformations. For the past 11 years our interdisciplinary community of over 2000 researchers worldwide have been producing knowledge to better understand and guide such transformations under the umbrella of the Global Land Programme (GLP), now a Global Research Project of the Future Earth, a research initiative of the International Science Union (ICSU).
We envision land system science as evolving from research about development of human-environmental systems to research for sustainable development of human-environmental systems.
In order to realize our vision we believe that scientific excellence can and must be linked to societal impact. Accompanying the first years of the recently endorsed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, the GLP is working to exemplify how to produce knowledge for sustainability transformations by demonstrating new forms of interaction and collaboration between researchers, policy makers and development practitioners including the development of a science-policy interface on land where policy-makers, civil society, and land system scientists and other researchers can work together to identify pathways for sustainability transformations.
We invite you to join us! For more information contact email@example.com.
The GLP working group on co-production held its first webinar, a kick-off session for anyone interested in co-production in the field of land-system science, in June. View a recording of the full webinar, download copies of the presentations, and more.
GLP Fellow Morgan Grove is spearheading a project for the U.S. Forest Service that matches non-profits employing formerly incarcerated workers who deconstruct abandoned buildings in big metropolises such as Baltimore with private companies looking for a dependable supply of reclaimed lumber.
In a new paper GLP Member Dr. Qiangyi Yu and colleagues, combined the number of cropland patches with the total cropland area for a more comprehensive characterization of cropland change in China based on GlobeLand30.
GLP Member Dr. Qiangyi Yu has been working on the "harvested area gap", a relatively new concept that measures the potential harvested area if all croplands are cultivated as frequently as possible. Here he summarizes several of the resulting publications.
Future Earth has named 12 leading sustainability innovators to its recently-formed Advisory Committee, which will guide the next phase of Future Earth’s research and engagement. The new members of this committee come from the worlds of research, business and politics; they include a former member of Mongolia’s parliament, as well as a technology CEO named one of Time magazine’s most influential people. This group of inspiring innovators join co-Chairs Johan Rockström and Leena Srivastava, who were appointed to the Committee late last year.
Worsening land degradation caused by human activities is undermining the well-being of two fifths of humanity, driving species extinctions and intensifying climate change. It is also a major contributor to mass human migration and increased conflict, according to the world’s first comprehensive evidence-based assessment of land degradation and restoration.
Biodiversity – the essential variety of life forms on Earth – continues to decline in every region of the world, significantly reducing nature’s capacity to contribute to people’s well-being. This alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of people everywhere, according to four landmark science reports released in March, written by more than 550 leading experts, from over 100 countries, including several GLP Members.
The International Resource Panel is seeking volunteers to contribute a very short (750-1500 word) policy chapter on one of the SDGs addressing the (a) co-benefits and possible costs/tradeoffs of land Restoration for the SDG, and (b) strategies for using land restoration to achieve the SDG. The chapters should be written for policymakers, and supported by at least several references. Responses from scientist-practitioners with both specialized knowledge of individual SDGs and an understanding of sustainable land management/restoration/rehabilitation are particularly welcome.
A major reduction in global deforestation is needed to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss. Recent private sector commitments aim to eliminate deforestation from a company’s operations or supply chain, but they fall short on several fronts. Lead author GLP Fellow Eric Lambin and GLP Member Robert Heilmayr review current supply-chain initiatives, their effectiveness, and the challenges they face, and go on to identify knowledge gaps for complementary public–private policies.
Plentiful food, clean water and healthy air are among the most valuable and visible benefits of nature to people. This has reinforced the widespread, and increasingly controversial, belief that nature is mainly a source of services or commodities. Writing in the prestigious journal Science, thirty global experts associated with the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and led by GLP Member Professor Sandra Díaz and new SSC Member Professor Unai Pascual, have presented an innovative new approach: the idea of using all of nature’s contributions to people to inform policies and decisions.
In June 2018, the Centre for Mountain Ecosystem Studies will host the second international Mountain Futures Conference. Mountain Futures 2018 will offer unique opportunities to participate in and shape the new activities of the Mountain Futures Initiative, and continue knowledge and innovation-sharing for all with interests in mountain regions.
On behalf of the Canadian Association of Geographers and the Université Laval, North America’s oldest French-language university, we are pleased to invite you to Quebec City to participate in the 2018 International Geographical Union (IGU) Regional Conference - Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) Annual Meeting - National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) Annual Conference to be held in Canada from August 6 to 10, 2018.
GLP is pleased to announce the 2018 GLP Asia Conference in Taipei September 3-5, 2018. The teleconnections and telecouplings offer conceptual frameworks to evaluate socio-economic and environmental interactions over distances. In order to transition to environmental sustainability, the frameworks are helpful to measure drivers and impacts of the interactions, and to model the interactions from global to local scales.
The meeting May 9-11, 2018, is designed to provide a collaborative, transdisciplinary space for people with diverse perspectives to explore transformations and the SDGs in Africa. It will be a relatively small meeting (300) and is designed to be conference of dialogue and engagement rather than of conventional presentations.
Join a deeply interdisciplinary conference June 6-8, 2018, which aims at exploring the manifold and mutual relationships which are at the basis of the landscape-safety nexus, crosscutting research and practical experiences and policies bridging the landscape and green planning, health, and urban policies fields.
As the Trump administration slashes federal estimates of the future costs of climate change, new research by GLP Member Thomas Hertel and colleagues suggests that even the much higher cost calculated by the Obama administration might be too low.
GLP Fellow Patrick Hostert and GLP Members Volker Radeloff and Crystal Schaaf will serve a five-year term from 2018 to 2023. The team’s primary responsibility is to conduct Landsat-based scientific research and engineering studies, develop useful data products and applications and share the results of its work with the USGS, NASA and others.
Beginning in 2018, Leena Srivastava and Johan Rockström will co-chair the Advisory Committee as it guides Future Earth into the next phase in the organization's evolution as an international platform for research and innovation.
The international research organisations will join forces to catalyse new research to inform evidence-based policy focusing on the world’s biodiversity.
GLP Member Laura Sonter found mining significantly increased Amazon forest loss up to 70 km beyond mining lease boundaries, causing 11,670 km2 of deforestation between 2005 and 2015. This extent represents 9% of all Amazon forest loss during this time and 12 times more deforestation than occurred within mining leases alone.
A century of fire suppression followed by the worst drought in recorded history has put California’s forest landscapes and water supply at risk. A study led by GLP Member Van Butsic of U.C. Berkeley proposes a new way to manage forests.
GLP Member Van Butsic writes in a new PPIC report that California’s headwater forests are not thriving under current management practices, and changes are needed to make them more resilient to periodic drought and long-term climate change.
The first of a series of Future Earth Natural Assets Knowledge Action Network (KAN) workshops was held this past September 12-13 at the University of Bern, Switzerland.
GLP Member Eric Lambin and colleagues have shown there is a surprisingly cheap and easy way to slow the pace of deforestation in Uganda: Just pay landowners small sums not to cut down their trees. A recent article in the New York Times details how it works.
GLP Member Matthias Baumann's research on how Chaco trees are used to make charcoal highlights the threats to dry forests.
SSC Member Ole Mertz found context is very important for understanding different design and outcomes of land sparing and land sharing policies and that more evidence is needed on the processes for integration of rapidly evolving scientific debates in land policy-making in developing countries.
On June 14 Future Earth announced Amy Luers as its new executive director. Dr. Luers has over 20 years experience working on sustainability at the intersection of science, technology, and policy. She will start her new role at Future Earth in September 2017. GLP is a Global Research Project of Future Earth.
GLP SSC Member Allison Thomson recently served on a DuPont panel to help fill a climate exposure and natural resources gap in the company's Global Food Security Index (GFSI).
In developing countries, rural smallholders and communities derive about one-quarter of their income from the forest around them. But a recent study by GLP Member Kathleen Hermans-Neumann indicates that these resources are becoming scarcer, with their availability dwindling over time.
Current research recognizes the inherent complexity of ecosystems and the inability to foresee all consequences of interventions across different spatial, temporal, and administrative scales. Ecosystem management is thus seen as a “wicked problem” that has no clear-cut solution, write GLP Member Ruth DeFries and GLP SSC Member Harini Nagendra in Science.
AidData has announced the public beta launch of geo(query), a geospatial data extraction tool that makes is easier for policy analysts, program evaluators, and scientists to contuct analysis of development policies and programs using geospatial data.
The aim of the conference is to present recent advances in landscape research to enhance the development of sustainable agricultural land use and landscape strategies. The particular objective is to bring together key findings from relevant disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches as well as from basic and application-oriented research.
If increasingly globalized societies are to make better land management decisions, the geosciences must globally evaluate how humans are reshaping Earth's surface, writes GLP Member Erle Ellis and colleagues.
GLP Members Verena Seufert and Navin Ramankutty published a commentary on CNN.com showcasing their conclusions about organic versus convention agriculture on three key fronts: environmental impact, producer and consumer benefits. They discovered that organic farming does matter -- just not in the way most people think.
Stitching together production, trade and customs data, GLP Member Javier Godar and his colleagues at the Stockholm Environment Institute and Global Canopy Program have produced detailed maps of the flow of beef and soy from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. With an aim to help companies, financial institutions and governments understand the social and environmental impacts of the global trade in agricultural commodities, Trase is connecting each link in the supply chain, from source to port.
Despite advanced monitoring systems and global initiatives and policies aimed at preserving the world’s rainforests, controversy remains over whether deforestation rates are, in fact, declining, writes GLP Member Navin Ramankutty.
GLP IPO staff, along with Future Earth and other colleagues, are leading a lively set of presentations at the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty.
Written by an interdisciplinary team of leading researchers, this report describes a science research agenda toward improved probabilistic modeling and prediction of multiple breadbasket failures and the potential consequences for global food systems.
Ecosystem services are a way of thinking about – and evaluating – the goods and services provided by nature that contribute to the well-being of humans. This MOOC from the University of Geneva will cover scientific (technical), economic, and socio-political dimensions of the concept through a mix of theory, case-studies, interviews with specialists and a serious-game.
GLP Scientific Steering Committee member Prof. Harini Nagendra of Azim Premji University in Bangalore, India, has been chosen as a Lead Author of the IPCC's report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC: an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty (SR1.5).
In this paper, GLP Member Qiangyi Yu and colleagues introduce a smartphone-based app, called eFarm: a crowdsourcing and human sensing tool to collect the geotagged ALS information at the land parcel level, based on the high resolution remotely-sensed images.
New research from GLP Members Peter Alexander and Calum Brown at the University of Edinburgh reveals almost 20 per cent of the food made available to consumers is lost through over-eating or waste.
A best-practice ‘toolkit’ of approaches that can be used to decide on policies and actions by Governments, the private sector and civil society produced by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is now available.
In Nature, Erle Ellis and colleagues call social science and land use essential to defining the Anthropocene: Involving social sciences in defining the Anthropocene
Teaming with colleagues in geography, archaeology and anthropology, GLP Scientific Steering Committee member Erle Ellis writes: "The causes of Earth’s transition are human and social... so scholars from those disciplines must be included in its formalization." The global history of land use changes by agriculture and urbanization and their environmental and social consequences is key to understanding how and why Earth has entered a new epoch of geological time.
In the Anthropocene, human societies have emerged as an Earth-changing force, with all of its complexities, demanding answers to some hard questions.What are human societies doing with Earth? What can be done better? By engaging the most robust science across disciplines to codesign land systems and land governance strategies, the GLP is working on answering these questions.
Trase (Transparency for Sustainable Economies) platform by GLP Members Javier Godar and Patrick Meyfroidt is now available online. Map the movement of agricultural commodities from the places of production all the way to the country of consumption, identifying the key supply chain actors along the way.
New titles out in the Springer's human-land interactions series: "Land Use Competition: Ecological, Economic and Social Perspectives" and "Social Ecology: Society-Nature Relations across Time and Space"
The Global Land Programme (GLP) holds its 3rd Open Science Meeting in Beijing, China
The Global Land Programme (GLP), one of Future Earth’s core projects, convened its bi-annual open science meeting in Beijing, China October 24-27, 2016. The meeting was hosted by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). In response to the recently endorsed Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the conference theme was ‘Land system science: understanding realities and developing solutions’.
Education and capacity building in the field of water management hold the key to many of the present most pressing water challenges on the regional to local scale.
The upcoming Symposium on Eco-Innovation for the Water-Energy-Food Nexus is addressing innovative strategies and solution to reduce adverse effects of climate change on the W-E-F-Nexus in the MENA Region.
Understanding atmospheric processes, both physical and chemical and their interrelationships with Earth-surface processes, including changes in surface characteristics and terrestrial ecosystems remain still incompletely understood scientific challenges. An recent international workshop shed some light on these and related issues.
Supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, China has recently launched 37 National Key Research and Development Programs on "Ecological restoration and protection in the typical ecological fragile zones" led by GLP Scientific Steering Committee member Prof. Dr. Lin Zhen.
Future Earth (FE) has been designed to provide the knowledge needed to support transformations towards sustainability. In addressing major sustainability challenges in the MENA Region, FE provides a tangible and adequate framework to achieve significant and lasting progress. In this context, the creation of a FE MENA Regional Center at the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus (FEMRC; http://fe-mena.cyi.ac.cy/index.php), is considered particularly relevant.
We would like to draw your attention to three fully-funded 4-yr PhD positions that are open for applications as part of an international research project focusing on “Continuous satellite-based indicators for mapping subtropical forest degradation and its environmental impacts (ReForcha)”, funded by the Belgian Science Policy.
The Land Systems Science Symposium at American Association of Geographers (AAG) annual meeting in Boston will focus on advances in research on land systems and land systems change, focusing particularly on geographic perspectives.
The European Space Agency together with GEO, FAO and EU are organising the WorldCover 2017 Conference. The event will be hosted in ESA-ESRIN from 14 to 16 March 2017.
The meeting will focus on the approaches, methods, tools, and indicators to assess how, where, and why governing forest and forest mosaics for improving livelihoods works, and how it can be strengthened.
As a significant contribution to the growing literature on interdisciplinary sustainability studies, the book by GLP Member Helmut Haberl and colleagues introduces the purpose and nature of Social Ecology and then places the Vienna School of Social Ecology within the broader context of socioecological and other interdisciplinary environmental approaches.
Nature in the City describes ecological changes in the urbanizing landscape of Bengaluru, one of the world's fastest growing cities, using a deep historical dive from the 6th century CE to current times. SSC member Harini Nagendra’s new book is a compelling account of the ecological history of one of the world's fastest growing cities adds to our limited knowledge of urban change in the global South.
GLP Scientific Steering Committee member Erle Ellis presented a plenary presentation on GLP and GLOBE, entitled "Globalizing Ecology in the Anthropocene: Networks, Cyberinfrastructure, and Analytics" at the First International Long Term Ecological Research (ILTER) Open Science Meeting 9-13 October in 2016 in Skukuza, South Africa.
The GLP community extends a warm welcome to the new North America Nodal Office to be housed at the Center for Global Change & Earth Observations (CGCEO) at X Michigan State University, USA.
There may be many ways to feed a growing world population without losing more forests. That is the conclusion of a new study led by Karlheinz Erb, a professor at the Institute of Social Ecology at the University of Klagenfurt in Vienna.
The Third Open Science Meeting of the Global Land Project will take place from 24-27th October, 2016 at China National Convention Center, Beijing.
The first GLP Open Science Meeting 'Land Systems, global change and sustainability' took place at Arizona State University and aimed to bring together large parts of the international research community working on land change issues, showcase the width and scope of ongoing research, help build a community in this highly interdisciplinary field, inspire new research, and facilitate review, theory building and extrapolation.