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Belmont Challenge

Project focus

The project will analyse the international research capability to respond to the challenge of delivering knowledge to support human action and adaptation to regional environmental change including climate change—with a focus on solvability of problems and infrastructure and personnel needed.
To address this overarching question, the study should:

  • assess the current readiness of the entire international community in the context of the Belmont challenge, its linkages and systems, and then recommend actions. These recommendations should not specify funding augmentations.
  • address the integration of climate, energy, engineering, and social science aspects at the regional level.
  • focus on the near-term, as well as medium-term options (20 years), challenges, and approaches to the needed level of international activity.
  • discuss adaptation and mitigation science needs.
  • adopt a ‘SWOC’ (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges) plan for analysing the international research activities. Candid discussion of impediments will be helpful to define solutions and new collaborative activities across the international partners.

The final report was published in September 2010.


A panel of 16 international experts under the leadership of a chair will carry out the analysis and to write a report. In addition to individual input to the report writing and interactions among the members, the members are expected to join two meetings of the whole group in Paris. All members of the panel will serve in a personal capacity, and their breadth of expertise should cover the range of perspectives outlined in the previous section. Efforts should be made to obtain input from a wide scientific community. As an example, current IGBP and WCRP joint initiatives in related areas are relevant to this project and linkages to them will be critical.


Deliang Chen
ICSU Executive Director

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