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Future Earth Strategic Research Agenda 2014

Priorities for a global sustainability research strategy

The research priorities are organised under the conceptual framework proposed in the Future Earth Initial Design Report. Research activities are grouped under the themes of Dynamic Planet, Global Sustainable Development, and Transformations towards Sustainability. Each priority addresses one or more of the critical global sustainability challenges set out in the Future Earth 2025 Vision.

Research Agenda: Future Earth Strategic Research Agenda 2014

The strategic Research Agenda addresses the key issues Nexus, decarbonisation, natural capital, cities, rural futures, health, consumption and Governance.

The following eight global sustainability challenges were identified by the Future Earth Vision 2025 (link see below):
1.Delivering water, energy, and food for all.
2.Decoupling carbon emissions from economic growth.
3.Safeguarding land, freshwater and marine natural assets.
4.Building healthy, resilient and productive cities.
5.Promoting sustainable rural futures.
6.Improving human health by incorporating global change concerns.
7.Encouraging sustainable consumption and production patterns.
8.Improving governance and early warning systems to respond to complex future threats.

These challenges form the basis for the research agenda. The research agenda is structured as follows:

A. Dynamic Planet
A1 Observing and attributing change
A2 Understanding processes, interactions, risks and thresholds
A3 Exploring and predicting futures

B. global sustainable Development
B1 Meeting basic needs and overcoming inequalities
B2 Governing sustainable development
B3 Managing growth, synergies and trade-offs

C. Transformations towards sustainability
C1 Understanding and evaluating transformations
C2 Identify and promoting sustainable behaviours
C3 Transforming development pathways


  • Land ecosystems
  • Oceans
  • Politics
  • Pollution
  • Water pollution