LOICZ scientists are working on the “Grand Challenges" of Earth System Science for Global Sustainability. They are an outcome of a global visioning process inviting serveral thousands of global research peers and which was conducted by the International Council for Sciences (ICSU) in 2009-2010.

The five ‘grand challenges’ proposed encompass:

  • Forecasting: improve the usefulness of forecasts of future environmental conditions and their consequences for people
  • Observing: develop, enhance and integrate the observation systems needed to manage global and regional environmental change 
  • Confining: determine how to anticipate, avoid and manage disruptive global environmental change 
  • Responding: determine what institutional, economic and behavioral changes can enable effective steps toward global sustainability 
  • Innovating: encourage innovation (coupled with sound mechanisms for evaluation) in developing technological, policy, and social responses to achieve global sustainability

Important links:

BELMONT FORUM funding decisions for recent calls on the themes of Coastal Vulnerability and Freshwater Security relating to LOICZ

funding decisions for recent calls relating to LOICZ

Belmont Challenge

Belmont Challenge


To access the final version of the Grand Challenges as well as the Science article (no registration required), go to the Grand Challenges page and follow the links.

Update: The Grand Challenges featured in a new Science Policy Forum article

ICSU PRESS RELEASE Thursday 11 November 2010 - Scientific Grand Challenges identified to address global sustainability

Earth System Visioning