Whether in forests, croplands or in cities, the world’s population ever more depends on sustainable uses of land and on conservation of natural environments and the protection of life within them. These human activities relate critically not only to future food production but also to health, freshwater availability, economic development and inequities, crime and corruption. The insights of many research disciplines can illuminate and assist in solving these complex challenges. Sometimes it is essential to focus on regions – the Himalayas or the northern US, for example. New technologies can have a global impact – genome editing and nanoscience, to name just two. The roles of insects and microbes in soils and plants have drawn increasing research attention – in documenting them in large datasets and in analysing them in ecosystem modelling. Research about all of these – and informed opinions too - can be found in our content across books, journals and magazines. We hope that this hub will provide you with fascinating and stimulating reading.