Science Week (14 – 18 September) is drawing closer, certainly one of the high points in the World Agroforestry Centre’s calendar. This year’s Science Week aims to position agroforestry firmly on the sustainable development goals (SDG) agenda, as it is held the week before the UN General Assembly where the SDG’s are to be agreed.
Once a year, all ICRAF scientists meet face-to-face, normally in Nairobi, Kenya. This year it will be in Bogor, Indonesia, for the first time outside headquarters’.
The week is meant to update each other on new findings, new methods and approaches and new answers to old questions. But more importantly, Science Week gives researchers the space to introduce new topics that are likely to become important in near future.
“We want to find out what’s new, and how our networks can be further strengthened,” coordinator Meine van Noordwijk says. “Especially on Thursday, when we will discuss our role in the sustainable development agenda, our partners outside ICRAF are welcome to join us.”
A highlight of the 5-day program is the up and coming topic “Research in Development”, which means that scientists do research where and while development work is going on, having a direct feedback in the learning loops.
Overall the week’s program consists of lectures, field visits and group discussions. It leaves enough time for informal exchanges – and this is the main idea behind the event.
“We will talk about how relevant agroforestry is to tackle global challenges,” van Noordwijk explains. “Of course we will raise the question of how this is addressed within the CGIAR in its second round of research programs.”
For this second round, the CGIAR Research Program on Forests Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) has just formulated its “pre-proposal”, a starting point for a year-long fine-tuning process. ICRAF is one of the key players in the second phase of FTA, proposed to lead Flagship projects on genetic resources, smallholder livelihoods and landscapes.
“We need to position ICRAF’s research in the evolving CGIAR roadmap for flagships,” Meine van Noordwijk says. “Science Week offers us a welcome opportunity to broadly discuss their ideas and hopes for the new phase.”