Earth System Governance, Newsletter March 2011

* Registration is open for the Colorado Conference on Earth System Governance
The registration is open for the 2011 Colorado Conference on Earth System Governance "Crossing Boundaries and Building Bridges". Register by 28 February 2011 to receive the early-bird discount on registration fees.
Conference abstracts and a preliminary conference schedule are available at Conference speakers include Oran Young (University of California-Santa Barbara), Arun Agrawal (University of Michigan), and former Colorado governor Bill Ritter (to be confirmed). In addition to numerous paper presentations, the conference will feature innovative interactive sessions on the role of technology in crossing boundaries and building bridges and on identifying tools for linking research and practice. Additional highlights include a barbeque dinner in a traditional Colorado setting with live bluegrass music. 

* Special Journal Issue on Agency in Earth System Governance 
The role of agency in earth system governance is at the centre of a new special issue of the journal International Environmental Agreements:
Politics, Law and Economics. The special issue employs different theoretical perspectives and offers a rich set of empirical case studies. It further advances the conceptualization of this important part of the earth system governance research agenda. See for more information:

* The Grand Challenge of Earth System Governance
The International Council for Science (ICSU) has launched an initiative to mobilise the global change research community around a limited number of "Grand Challenges". This initiative shall stimulate innovative new research, help prioritise research topics, and inform potential users of research findings. The Grand Challenges are outlined in the ICSU report "Earth System Science for Global Sustainability: The Grand Challenges".
(available at The Earth System Governance Project has welcomed the ICSU Grand Challenges in a new Report “The Grand Challenge of Earth System Governance”. In this report, Frank Biermann and Ruben Zondervan lay out how the Grand Challenges are interlinked with the Science and Implementation Plan of the Earth System Governance Project, and how the Project will support research on the ICSU Grand Challenges. For more information and to download the report see

* Earth System Governance and REDD+
On 6 December 2010, a new special issue of the journal Environmental Science & Policy on "Governing and Implementing REDD+" was presented at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico. The special issue draws on the earth system governance framework to explore the governance of REDD+. The side event was organised by the Environmental Change REDD+Institute of the University of Oxford and the Tyndall Centre, and attracted over 200 national delegates, practitioners and researchers. See

* Upcoming Events
- Resilience Conference 2011, held 11-16 March 2011 in Tempe, United States.
The Earth System Governance Project will convene a special panel on "Adaptiveness in Earth System Governance". See
- 10th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference on "Power Landscapes: Histories and Futures", to be held 14-16 June 2011 in Stockholm, Sweden, with the endorsement of the Earth System Governance Project. The Conference is a collaborative effort of Stockholm University, the Stockholm Environment Institute, and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, which is one of the nine Earth System Governance Research Centres.
- Thor Heyerdahl Summer School in Environmental Governance on "Institutions for Sustainable Development", to be held 20 June-1 July 2011 in Aas, Norway. The summer school is the first in a series of summer schools on environmental governance for PhD students and young researchers. The school is endorsed by the Earth System Governance Project and offers the opportunity to critically reflect on the status of theory and practice in the field, and to discuss alternatives. See for information and the call for applications:
- International Workshop on "The Fragmentation of Global Environmental Governance: Causes, Consequences and Responses", to be held 29-30 August 2011 in Bonn, Germany, with the endorsement of the Earth System Governance Project. This workshop is hosted by the German Development Institute together with the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) of the University of Oxford, and organized by the COST Action "The Transformation of Global Environmental Governance: Risks and Opportunities". Deadline for abstract submissions is 15 April 2011. See for more information and the call for papers:

* From the Earth System Governance Network
- Frank Biermann, chair of the Earth System Governance Project and professor of environmental policy at the VU University Amsterdam, has been appointed to the High-Level Expert Panel in the United Nations Environment Programme new Foresight Process initiative. This Foresight Process shall inform the UN system and the greater policy community about the global environmental issues that need most attention over the next years. The results of the Foresight Process will also provide input to the "Rio+20" UN Conference on Sustainable Development scheduled for May 2012. The Expert Panel consists of 20 distinguished scientists from around the world, chaired by the UNEP Chief Scientist Professor Joseph Alcamo.
- Since January 2011, the Earth System Governance International Project Office is hosted by Lund University, Sweden. Please note the new contact information and update your records if necessary:
- New affiliated project: Novel Multi-sector Networks and Entrepreneurship (NMNE). This project theorizes small businesses as agents of change in the multi-level governance of climate change, and cities as niche spaces in which sustainable development paths might be explored. See
- New affiliated project: A Normative Foundation for Ecological Economics and the Tools for its Assessment. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal and York University in Toronto will study in this three-year research project (2009-2012) the normative foundation for ecological economics within the constraints of the Earth’s biophysical systems. A major goal is to trace the governance consequences of this work.

* Selected new publications
More publications and abstracts of all publications can be found at
- Benecke, Elisabeth. 2011. Networking for Climate Change. Agency in the Context of Renewable Energy Governance in India. Earth System Governance Working Paper, No. 12.
- Betsill, Michele M., Philipp Pattberg, and Eleni Dellas. 2011. Special Issue: Agency in Earth System Governance. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, in press / online first.
- Corbera, Esteve, and Heike Schroeder. 2010 (in press). Governing and implementing REDD+. Environmental Science & Policy.
- Dellas, Eleni, Philipp Pattberg, and Michele Betsill. 2011. Agency in earth system governance: refining a research agenda. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, in press / online first.
- Desai, Bharat H. 2010. Multilateral Environmental Agreements: Legal Status of the Secretariats. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
- Rindefjäll, Teresia, Emma Lund, and Johannes Stripple. 2010. Wine, Fruit and Emission Reductions: The CDM as Development Strategy in Chile. Earth System Governance Working Paper, No.11.
- van Asselt, Marjolein B.A., Susan A. van 't Klooster, Philip W.F. van Notten and Livia A. Smits. 2010. Foresight in Action: Developing Policy-Oriented Scenarios. London: Earthscan.

Imprint Earth System Governance Project / contact: ipo [at] The Earth System Governance newsletter is the e-mail newsletter of the IHDP Earth System Governance Project. Please note that the Earth System Governance Project occasionally sends other relevant information to the subscribers of the newsletter. Follow the Earth System Governance Project on Facebook: or on LinkedIn:  

Unsubscribe from this newsletter: