Cardinale named to international research initiative, Future Earth


By EEB
Jul 03, 2013 Bookmark and Share

cardinale future earth

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Professor Bradley Cardinale was nominated to serve on the Science Committee for a new international research initiative called Future Earth.

Future Earth represents a new partnership between seven international organizations that, among others, include the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). This partnership was formed after UNEP published its 2012 Global Environmental Outlook, which concluded that humanity has failed to move towards sustainable use of the world's natural resources, and this is compromising the health and prosperity of billions of people on the planet.

Future Earth takes several existing environmental change research programs and merges them into a single 10-year initiative that will more holistically address the causes and consequences of global change, and accelerate the science needed to transform the planet toward sustainability.

Future Earth is an exciting opportunity to forge a new model for science, and will help develop a clearer path towards a sustainable, prosperous future for our generation, as well as the next.” said Cardinale, who is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and in the School of Natural Resources and Environment.

The 18 members that will populate Future Earth's Science Committee represent many global environmental change leaders, from natural and social sciences to humanities and engineering. The committee’s role is to make recommendations to Future Earth's governing board on how to get the best science from existing projects, and to set priorities for emerging research needs.

U.S. representatives were nominated by the International Scientific Organizations of the U.S. National Academies.  Another U.S. representative is Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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 the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s Climate Adaptation Flagship in Canberra, Australia, and the committee’s inaugural co-chair. “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.”

Cardinale’s research uses theory, experiments, and syntheses of existing data to understand and predict the consequences of biodiversity loss for humanity, and to reverse these impacts through the restoration of degraded systems. He is perhaps best known for his meta-analyses that have helped build a scientific consensus on how biodiversity loss will affect the functioning of ecosystems and their ability to provide society with the goods and services needed to prosper.

Membership on Future Earth's Science Committee was announced Tuesday, June 18, 2013 by ICSU and ISSC, on behalf of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability.

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