IUGG has initiated and/or vigorously supported collaborative efforts that have led to highly productive world-wide interdisciplinary research programs, such as the International Geophysical Year (IGY, 1957-58), the Upper Mantle Project (1964-70), the International Hydrological Decade (1965-74), the Geodynamics Project (1972-79), the Global Atmospheric Research Program (1967-80), World Climate Research Program (1980-present), International Lithosphere Program (ILP, 1981-present), Global Geodetic Observing System (2003-present), International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD, 2021-present) and others.
These programs have set a model for international, interdisciplinary cooperation.
Several international programs have been associated with IGY’s 50th anniversary. These are shining examples of international scientific cooperation between international, regional, and national societies and unions: IPY (2007-2008), International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE, 2007-2009), the International Heliophysical Year (IHY, 2007-2008), and the Electronic Geophysical Year (eGY, 2007-2008). IPY covered two full annual cycles at both poles and sponsored 170 projects involving 60 countries resulting in an overall project budget of about one billion EUR.
IYPE, which was proposed by IUGS and UNESCO, endorsed by the UN General Assembly, and enthusiastically supported by IUGG, produced an excellent international outreach program ensuring greater and more effective use by society of the knowledge accumulated by the world’s Earth scientists. One element of this program was an international meeting of Young Earth Scientists.
The IUGG programs, eGY and IHY, were more specific: IHY focused on studies of fundamental heliophysical processes, whereas eGY fostered international cooperation in data stewardship. As an example of fruitful cooperation, eGY provoked the creation of scientific bodies dealing with data and information and developed links between them: the ICSU Scientific Steering Committee for Information and Data, IUGG Commission on Geophysical Data and Information, AGU Focus Group on Earth and Space Sciences Informatics, and EGU Division on Earth and Space Science Informatics.