Global Land Project (GLP) (http://www.globallandproject.org)

The Global Land Project is a joint research project for land systems for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP). The Global Land Project Science Plan represents the research framework for the coming decade for land systems. This development of a research strategy is designed to better integrate the understanding of the coupled human-environment system. These integrated science perspectives reflect the recognition of the fundamental nature of how human activities on land are affecting feedbacks to the earth system and the response of the human-environment system to global change. The Global Land Project Science Plan has been defined by scientists sponsored by the IGBP and the IHDP.

The focus of GLP is largely “land-centric” which includes the people, biota, and natural resources (air, water, plants, animals, and soil). The strategy presented here critically emphasizes changes in the coupled human and environmental system. The research planning builds upon the extensive heritage of IGBP I global networks of scientists, data, and largely disciplinary understanding, particularly from the Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems (GCTE) project and the Land Use/Cover Change (LUCC) project. Their heritage will become basic components of the evolving integrative science of IGBP II and strongly promotes the linkage with the research approaches of the IHDP. In addition, during the past decade the value of critical assessments of global change science has proven to be essential in providing timely information to decision makers. Our research strategy will provide research support for the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in the coming decade.

The Science Plan is the outcome of numerous meetings during the past two years beginning with an initial scoping meeting in October 2001 at the Max-Planck Institute of Atmospheric Chemistry, Mainz, Germany, where the Global Land Project and the Integrated Land Ecosystem – Atmosphere Processes Study (ILEAPS) were defined. This meeting was followed with a series of Global Land Project meetings at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO in January of 2002 and again in April of 2003. A critical joint IHDP and IGBP-sponsored meeting in Bilthoven, The Netherlands, in October 2002, enabled scientists from core projects associated with both programs to provide input in the development of the science plan.

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