ESSP - Earth System Science Partnership 


The ESSP is a partnership of four international global environmental change research programmes for the integrated study of the Earth System, the ways that it is changing, and the effects on global and regional sustainability:

  • IHDP - International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change
  • IGBP - International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
  • WCRP - World Climate Research Programme
  • DIVERSITAS - an integrated programme of biodiversity science

ESSP's mission

The ESSP is interested in human-driven changes, which are multi-dimensional and have a cascading effect on the Earth System. These properties make them difficult to understand or predict. Integrated science approaches and the application of advanced modelling technologies are helping to develop a clearer picture of the past and project various scenarios for the future.

The ESSP 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 and regional sustainability.

ESSP's Joint Projects

The central activities of the ESSP are Joint Projects on issues of global sustainability, created to address the global environmental change aspects of four critical issues for human well-being: energy and the carbon cycle (GCP), food security (GECAFS), water resources (GWSP) and human health (GECHH). The ESSP is also developing a small set of Integrated Regional Studies (IRS), designed to contribute correct scientific understanding in support of sustainable development at the local level. The first study is in Monsoon Asia (MAIRS). The Joint Projects START and MAIRS all have a strong suite of capacity building and networking elements to their activities. ESSP Partners also collaborate closely with the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI).

ESSP downloads


Martin Rice
MNHN, 57 rue Cuvier - CP 41
75231 Paris Cedex 05

Phone: +33 (0)1 40 79 80 42
Fax: +33 (0)1 40 79 80 45
E-mail: mrice [at]