This session, chaired by President of Agropolis International Dr. Bernard Hubert, provided participants with the most recent “forward looking” research for world agriculture, including the IAASTD and the 2008 World Development Report (WDR). Respondents from the GFAR regional fora commented on the convergent and divergent views of the steering committee research prepared for the session.
“We need thorough forecast analyses, as what we may agree on today may not be relevant for tomorrow or in five years time,” said Ralph von Kaufmann, presenting the response from the FARA region.
There was consensus at the session on the relevance of future looking exercises—including foresights, projections, and assessments—to help guide research strategies in agriculture in spite of the fact that many issues may remain controversial both in terms of substance and methods.
“There must be a dialogue which is participatory and includes many world views,” said Michel Petit of CIHEAM.
The participants then discussed how to orchestrate more such future-looking research exercises. “In order to have a diversity of research options available—for small holder farming, for a diversity of regions, for climate change, we have to start now to develop the diversity of models of AR4D we need,” said Hubert.