SIBER is an international programme co-sponsored by IMBER and IOGOOS (Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System). The overarching goal is to motivate and coordinate international interest in Indian Ocean research to improve our understanding of the role of the Indian Ocean in global biogeochemical cycles and the interaction between these cycles and marine ecosystem dynamics. This understanding is required to predict the impacts of climate change, eutrophication and harvesting on the global oceans and the Earth System and it is fundamental to policy makers in the development of management strategies for the globally important Indian Ocean.