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 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

Planet Under Pressure (PuP)

Planet under Pressure

LOICZ Session at PuP: Risk and opportunity in urban coasts

Mark Pelling, King's College London, UK; Jim Hall, Oxford University, UK

LOICZ Session at PuP: State of the Coastal Zone

Joan Nymand Larsen, Stefansson Arctic Institute and University of Akureyri,, Iceland; Alice Newton, NILU-CEE, Norway

UGEC seeks Urbanization experts for Scientific Steering Committee

Deadline: IMBER ClimECO3 Summer School

The deadline to apply is 1 March 2012

LOICZ Session at PuP: Toward a sustainability-science knowledge-network on marine-ecosystems

With LOICZ contribution by Marion Glaser, Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology, Germany

LOICZ Session at European Geosciences Union (EGU)

General Assembly 2012 Vienna | Austria | 22 – 27 April 2012 BG3.2 Biogeochemistry of coastal seas and continental shelves Read more:

LOICZ Imagefilm online!

Bild Film