In late 2005, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth. 2008 will be the central year in a Planet Earth triennium that will begin in January 2007 and end in December 2009. The implication of a UN proclamation is that all 191 UN nations have adopted the aims and ambitions of the IYPE and are willing to contribute to their implementation. Hence, this proclamation is the most ambitious scientific and outreach program ever designed in the geosciences, and provides an unprecedented opportunity to showcase to the world the relevance and socioeconomic importance of the Earth sciences.
This new international multidisciplinary Earth science initiative was conceived by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), which represents about 250,000 geoscientists from 117 countries. Planning for the IYPE began in 2000; twelve-organizations--IUGS, IUGG, IGU, AGI, INQUA, AAPG AAPG, ILP, IUSS, ISRIC, GSL, TNO, and AIPG -- were part of the initial effort to organize this special year for the Earth sciences and became Founding Partners.
They will share responsibility for activities in 2007-2009 with an IYPE Board of Officers and UNESCO.