Previously known as OCEANS, IMBER was initiated by the IGBP/SCOR Ocean Futures Planning Committee in 2001. The intention was to identify the effects of global change on the ocean and the most important biological and chemical aspects of the ocean’s role in global change. The first IMBER Science Plan and Implementation Strategy was published in 2005.
During its first five years, IMBER progressed in parallel with GLOBEC. A Transition Task Team was set up to recommend how the second phase of IMBER should accomodate new developments in marine ecosystem research. When GLOBEC ended in March 2010, ongoing regional programmes were incorporated into IMBER.
The supplement to the IMBER SPIS was developed to give guidance on integrating the regional programmes into IMBER and also on developing new areas of relevant research.
A new SPIS to be published in 2017, focuses eveh more on the integration of marine and human systems. To reflect this, the name of the project was changed to the Integrated Marine Biosphere Research project (IMBeR).