International Council for Science ICSU

The International Council for Science (ICSU) is a non-governmental organization with a global membership of national scientific bodies (119 members) and international scientific unions (30 members) … (about 1/2).

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About 2/2: Introduction: The International Council for Science (ICSU) is a non-governmental organization with a global membership of national scientific bodies (119 members) and international scientific unions (30 members).

ICSU mobilises knowledge and resources of the international scientific community to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. Activities focus on three areas: International Research Collaboration; Science for Policy; and Universality of Science.

The long-term strategic vision is for a world where science is used for the benefit of all, excellence in science is valued and scientific knowledge is effectively linked to policy making. In order to achieve this vision, ICSU has developed a Strategic Plan 2006-2011 which identifies key priorities and associated actions.

Below is a summary of key priorities and a few examples of specific activities to illustrate how ICSU operates.

International Research Collaboration:

ICSU works with strategic partners to plan and coordinate international research programmes that address major issues of relevance to both science and society. To this end, a number of Interdisciplinary Bodies have been created, addressing various themes, including oceans, the Antarctic, space research and solar-terrestrial physics. ICSU is also exploring whether it can make significant contributions in areas such as health and energy.

Global Environmental Change has been a key area for ICSU for more than 40 years. Currently, there are four global environmental change programmes co-sponsored by ICSU—the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) and DIVERSITAS (an international programme on biodiversity). Together, these programmes promote, coordinate and integrate over 2 billion euros of research and provide the scientific basis for major international assessments and conventions, including the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) was established in 2008 to address the impacts of disasters on regional and global scales. IRDR brings together the combined talents of the natural, socio-economic, health and engineering sciences from around the world. The programme will focus on hazards related to geophysical, oceanographic, climate and weather events.

Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) was established in 2008, to address the scientific knowledge gaps identified in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. PECS aims to determine how policies and practices affect resilience of ecosystem services that support human well-being and allow for adaptation to a changing environment.

The International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY) was one of the most ambitious coordinated international science programmes ever attempted. Over 160 projects involving thousands of scientists, from over 60 countries and a wide range of research disciplines, set out to discover more about the Polar Regions and their critical influence on the rest of the planet. The results from the research will continue to become available over the coming years and will play an important role in ensuring the vitality of the Polar Regions.

Science for Policy: … (full text about).

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