.Science assessments indicate that human activities are moving several of Earth’s sub-systems outside the range of natural variability typical for the previous 500000 years. Human societies must now change course and steer away from critical tipping points in the Earth system that might lead to rapid and irreversible change. This requires fundamental reorientation and restructuring of national and international institutions toward more effective Earth system governance and planetary stewardship.

Changes in the behavior of citizens, new engagement of civil society organizations, and reorientation of the private sector toward a green economy, are all crucial to achieve progress. Yet, in order for local and national action to be effective, the global institutional framework must be supportive and well designed. We propose a first set of much-needed reforms for effective Earth system governance and planetary stewardship. The 2012 Rio Conference offers an opportunity and a crucial test of whether political will exists to bring about these urgently needed changes.

Full text article published in Science on March, 16th 2012: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/335/6074/1306.full.pdf

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