International Roundtable:

Investments in agroecological research for development. Where do we stand?

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About
In order to achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next decades, more integrated and holistic research approaches are needed. Food systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) require fundamental transformation to tackle increasing challenges related to climate change, rural poverty, demographic pressure or land degradation. Currently, agricultural research is dominated by highly specialized research, which produces isolated ad hoc solutions. Inversely, systemic and transdisciplinary approaches aiming at a redesign of the whole food system do not appear to have received a commensurate share of research funding. Hence, we need a shift in the type of investments in the agricultural research system.

Agroecology is now gaining momentum and support by an increasingly wide range of experts within the scientific community, international organizations and governments as a mean to reach the SDGs.

The roundtable aims to discuss pathways for transforming agricultural research agenda towards more sustainability.

The A4A “Advocacy for Agroecology” project, implemented by the Biovision Foundation and IPES-Food, in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), aims to assess the state of play in terms of where agricultural research and development funding is flowing – and why.

During the roundtable, main findings on the analysis of funding flows of major institutions and how they shape food and farming pathways in sub-Saharan Africa will be presented. The main drivers of funding allocation will also be discussed.

Interactive discussions between participants will focus on recommendations to overcome the current deadlocks that prevent the transformation of food systems to sustainability and to promote greater investments in research on agroecological and similar practices.

Date and time:

22 November 2019

 8:30 – 17:30

Venue:

Blue Monkey – Zürich

Switzerland

Participants:

up to 60 participants

  • public and private donor community
  • agricultural research for development community: leaders of research institutions, civil society organizations

Venue map and directions

Roundtable Venue
Blue Monkey, Zunfthaus zur Schneidern
Zunftsaal
Stüssihofstatt 3
8001 Zürich
Switzerland

Direction

Direction

Programme

Time Topic Format and speaker
8.00 – 8.30
Registration & Coffee
8.30 – 8.45
Welcoming Words
By Michelle Grant, Moderator
8.45 – 9.00
Key Note
By Dr. Hans R. Herren, President Biovision Foundation, IPES Food Panel Member
9.00 – 9.20
Towards sustainable food systems
By Dr. Emile Frison, IPES Food
9.20 – 9.40
What is agroecological research?
By Dr. Rachel Bezner Kerr, Cornell University
9.40 – 10.00
Q&A Session
Interactive session
10.00 – 10.30
Coffee Break
10.30 – 11.00
Political economy anaylsis of research investments
By Dr. Imogen Bellwood-Howard, IDS
11.00 – 11.30
Discussion / Q&A
Interactive session
11.30 – 12.15
Break out group 1: What are drivers, barriers and opportunities to conduct, fund and support agroecological research?
Group discussion
12.15 – 12.30
Discussion / Q&A
Interactive session
12.30 – 13.45
Lunch
13.45 – 14.35
Funding flows for 3 case Studies (Kenya, Switzerland, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
By Dr. Matthias Geck, Biovision Foundation; Sinan Hatik, George Washington University; Dr. Charles Odhong, Biovision Foundation
14.35 – 15.05
Discussion / Q&A
Interactive session
15.05 – 15.35
Presentation of synthesis and the recommendations
By Stefanie Pondini; Dr. Charlotte Pavageau, Biovision Foundation
15.35 – 16.00
Coffee Break
16.00 – 17.00
Break out group 2: Pathways to transformation: What, who and when?
Group discussion
17.00 – 17.20
Open Mic: Other elements/ideas to be considered
Interactive session
17.20 – 17.30
Wrap-up and Next Steps

Download presentations

Dinner

Participants are invited to join for a social dinner after the roundtable. Kindly inform the organizers by 31 October in case you would like to join the dinner.

Travel

Arrival by plane

If you arrive by plane, the easiest way is via Zürich Airport (ZRH) with numerous European and international connections. From the airport to the city centre: the fastest way to get to the centre of Zurich is by train (about 10 minutes). Trains run daily from Zurich Airport to Zurich Main Station every 5–10 minutes between around 5.00am and 0.30am. The ticket is valid also on trams and buses. In the basement of Zurich Airport you will find the railway station, which is also called "Zurich Airport" (German: Zürich Flughafen). There is no need to leave the Airport, just use the escalators and follow the signs.  

Arrival by train

Zurich also offers multiple train connections within Europe. The station is a major hub and connects Zurich with Paris, Milan, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, Budapest and other cities in Europe. signs.  

Visas

Switzerland joined the Schengen visa scheme in December, 2008. Therefore, all foreign nationals who require a visa for entry into Switzerland will now require a Schengen visa to enter Switzerland. Participants are advised to seek information on requirements applicable in their case from Swiss diplomatic or consular missions in their home countries.

For information on visa and other relevant regulations for travelling to Switzerland please also refer to the website of the Federal Office of Migration of Switzerland: https://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/entry-switzerland-residence/visa-requirements-application-form.html.

Accommodation

We have negotiated a deal with Hotel Scheuble where we reserved some rooms for interested participants. Please contact us immediately in case you are interested in being accommodated in this hotel.

Hotel Scheuble Location

Voltage

Electricity in Switzerland is generally 230 volts and 50Hz. Travelers with computers and other appliances are advised to carry a plug adapter kit for the kind of plugs and sockets that are in use in Switzerland (type J)

Currency

The monetary unit is the Swiss Franc. 1 Swiss Franc is equivalent to approximately 1.02 US$ or 0.92€

Weather

The average temperature in November in Zurich is around 4°C (ranging from 0 °C to 8 °C) and approximately 11 days of rain.

Contacts

Stefanie Pondini, Program Manager
s.pondini@biovision.ch
+41 79 607 40 72

Charlotte Pavageau, Program Manager
c.pavageau@biovision.ch
+41 79 633 35 69

SOCIAL MEDIA

@FutureForAll @IPESFood #agroecology #food #agresearch