One of the world's largest gathering of scientists who study global environmental change will take place this November in Beijing. More than 1,000 international scientists from a variety of natural and social science disciplines will attend an open science conference sponsored by the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) to share their assessments of natural and human-driven changes to Earth.
Titled Global Environmental Change: Regional Challenges, the four-day event will feature more than 40 plenary and parallel sessions devoted to topics including environmental change in China, the effects of global environmental change on food security, sustainable water management, human health, and biodiversity, and carbon management in megacities. The sessions will underscore how regional sustainability challenges can best be met by an integrated, global approach.
News can be expected on the following topics and more:
- How can food systems be better managed to improve food security in the face of global environmental change?
- Can the Earth's finite water resources be managed sustainably to meet the growing needs of humans and of nature in ways that avert a coming crisis?
- How will changing environmental conditions affect human health and how can we measure it?
- What are the implications of changing climate and rising CO2 levels to biodiversity? How will our coasts be affected?
- What steps can we take to make cities and urban regions more carbon friendly?
- Can an effective post-Kyoto climate change regime be designed?
- How will a changed monsoon climate impact further the social and economic development of Monsoon Asia?
Speakers will include Dahe Qin of the China Meteorological Administration, Rik Leemans of Wageningen University and Oran Young of the University of California-Santa Barbara. They, plus other speakers from around the world, will be available for interviews during the conference or via pre-arranged telephone interviews.
The November conference follows on the first Global Change Open Science Conference, held in Amsterdam in 2001, which deepened scientific, political and public understanding of the notion that global change encompasses much more than climate change. One outcome of the 2001 Conference was the formation of the ESSP, a partnership of four large international global change research programmes:
- DIVERSITAS - an international programme of biodiversity science
- IGBP - the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
- IHDP - the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change
- WCRP - the World Climate Research Programme
The second ESSP Open Science Conference will present the progress made since 2001 in understanding the natural and social systems of global environmental change, and will propose an agenda for the continued strengthening of ESSP's collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to finding sustainable solutions to global environmental change.
Journalists, editors and producers can register for the conference free of charge via the conference home page: www.essp.org/ESSP2006 (proof of media affiliation will be required at the conference venue). Journalists from outside of China must also pre-register with the conference local host, the China Meteorological Administration, who will facilitate necessary approvals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. Please see the conference web page for more information. If you can't attend the conference, visit the virtual media room for session summaries, press releases and photos. Also, special events and highlights of the conference will be posted daily on the web site during the event.
About the ESSP
Since its inception the ESSP has established major interdisciplinary studies on carbon, food, health and water to explore the relationship between global environmental change and sustainable development. The studies follow an Earth System Science approach that brings together researchers from diverse fields and from across the globe to undertake an integrated study of the Earth System, its structure and functioning, the changes occurring to the system and the implications of those changes for global sustainability. In addition, the ESSP has initiated the first of a series of integrated regional studies which focus on human-monsoon system interaction in Monsoon Asia.