The Earth Science Matters Foundation is an outcome of the International Year of Planet Earth (IYEP), proclaimed by the United Nations for 2008 and operational in the period of 2007 until mid 2010. The Foundation was formed at the request of many of the 80 National and Regional IYPE Committees who have been particularly successful in promoting the contribution made by the Earth sciences to Society during the IYPE Triennium. These Committees expressed their hope to continue such outreach activities under an international umbrella. The Earth Science Matters Foundation provides that umbrella.

Through its Strap-line: brining knowledge of the Earth to everyone, the Earth Science Matters Foundation will spread knowledge of the Earth beyond the professional Earth scientific communities to a wider audience, including politicians, decision-makers, funding organisations, students and the public at large. That will be achieved through publications, events, projects, the media and a variety of other communication tools. National Committees will play a key role in such outreach activities. As in the IYPE, the Earth Science Matters Foundation believes that knowledge of the Earth is essential to making our planet a safer, healthier and more prosperous place for the future generations.

Founding leadership of the Earth Science Matters Foundation, from left to right: Eduardo de Mulder (Executive Director), Wolfgang Eder (Chair of the Board), Sospeter Muhongo and Sierd Cloetingh (members of the Board), gathered in Munich during the Fragile Earth Conference, 4-9 September 2011.

The Earth Science Matters Foundation was registered on 17 December 2010, initially as The Planet Earth Institute and is based at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in Wageningen, The Netherlands. Using the accumulated experience of many hundreds of professionals who contribute to the successful International Year of Planet Earth, both at international and national levels, the Earth Science Matters Foundation is well placed to enable organisations to communicate their Earth-related message to a wider audience, including funding organisations.

The founding Earth Science Matters Foundation Board was chaired by Wolfgang Eder (formerly of UNESCO) and comprised board members; Sierd Cloetingh (President of the International Lithosphere Programme), Aberral Mogessie (President of the Geological Society of Africa), Gina Ross (Treasurer, International Association of Mathematical Geoscience) and Wang Meng (President of the Young Earth Scientists Network).