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PuP 2012

Planet Under Pressure: New knowledge towards solutions



The Planet Under Pressure conference (26-29 March 2012, London, UK) was the largest and most ambitious conference (and broader engagement strategy) ever attempted by the global environmental change programmes (DIVERSITAS, IGBP, IHDP, WCRP, and their Earth System Science Partnership ESSP). It attracted an audience of 3,000 scientists, policymakers, media, industry and NGO delegates from around 100 countries representing many facets of global environmental change science and policy; plus an additional 3,000 participants online. This was made possible thanks to the generous support of the conference sponsors and the DIVERSITAS, ESSP, IGBP, IHDP, and WCRP core sponsors.



The objectives of Planet Under Pressure were to:

  • Strengthen the building of the global-change research community, in particular form fostering closer links between natural and social sciences;
  • Contribute to the design of the next 10 years of the global environmental change science to build global sustainability.
  • Reach out to a broader community – the development community, policy, industry, media, and public.
  • Contribute to the UN’s Rio+20 Summit, the largest summit on sustainable development in UN history (June 2012).


Themes and programme

The main themes of the conference were:

  • Meeting global needs: food, energy, water and other ecosystem services
  • Transforming our way of living: development pathways under global environmental change
  • Governing across scales: innovative stewardship of the Earth system

To address these themes, oral and poster sessions were organised as follows:

  • Day 1: State of the planet: the latest knowledge about the pressures on the planet
  • Day 2: Options and opportunities: exchanging knowledge about ways of reducing the pressures on the planet, promoting transformative changes for a sustainable future and adapting to changes in the global system
  • Day 3: Challenges to progress: clarifying what is preventing or slowing humanity from implementing potential solutions
  • Day 4: Ways ahead: a vision for 2050 and beyond, and exploring new partnerships and pathways towards global sustainability

See here the detailled conference programme.


Main outcome

  • Publication of the State of the Planet Declaration.
  • Launch of the new community for Future Earth.
  • Production of nice policy briefs on global sustainability for Rio+20 information.
  • High-level policy day introduced by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

See here detailled main outcome of the conference.



See here DIVERSITAS contribution to PuP conference.


Conference sponsors

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN)
  • The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)
  • Australian Government AID (AusAID)
  • Commonwealth Scholarships
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)
  • Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)
  • Department of Energy & Climate Change
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • Department for International Development
  • Earthwatch Institute
  • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • Indian Institute of Science
  • International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP)
  • Living With Environmental Change (LWEC)
  • Ministerio da Ciencia Tecnologia e Inovação do Brazil (MCTI)
  • Ministry of Earth Sciences of India
  • NASA
  • Natural England
  • Natural Environment Research Council
  • NR2154
  • National Science Fountation (NSF)
  • The Research Council of Norway
  • The Royal Society
  • The Scottish Government
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • Sweden International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
  • UK Collaborative on Development Sciences (UK CDS)
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)


More information on the Official Planet under Pressure 2012 conference website

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