An Australian scientist will Chair the Science Committee of the new international Future Earth initiative. CSIRO researcher Dr Mark Stafford-Smith has been appointed as the inaugural committee’s Chair, he will be joined by fellow Australian scientist Prof Xuemei Bai who was also named as a member.

The far-reaching Future Earth initiative brings together scientists from the United Nations, the International Council for Science (ICSU), and the International Council for Social Science, to further the work of previous environmental programs such as the International Geosphere Biosphere Program and the World Climate Research Program.  It seeks to create a global platform for collaboration to deliver solutions for sustainability, environmental change and development challenges to satisfy human needs for food, water, energy and healthcare.

Foreign Secretary of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Andrew Holmes congratulated the researchers on their important new posts, saying “Future Earth is an important international research initiative that will help the entire planet respond effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and support transformation towards global sustainability... to have two Australians appointed to this 18-member team is a strong endorsement of Australia’s contribution to global knowledge on climate change, and well deserved recognition of Dr Stafford-Smith’s and Professor Bai’s important work”.

Dr Stafford-Smith is Director of CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship. Professor Bai is a Professor of Urban Environment and Human Ecology at the ANU's Fenner School of Environment and Society.

More information on Future Earth is available at