Official launching of GCHERA Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for the Agricultural and Life Sciences

Universities of agriculture worldwide decided to set up a global association to promote their key role in the development of agriculture and life sciences.

Background

GCHERA was conceived in 1998 by universities presidents as a result of shared concern for the future of the planet and a conviction that higher education in agriculture should play a leadership role in solving problems associated with food security and environmental sustainability.

The Consortium was named the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research for Agriculture (GCHERA). It has held Conferences biennially since its creation, each conference being organized by the President’s home country. The association, then informal, was steered by an Executive Committee.

Conveying the voice of agricultural and life sciences universities on the global stage

During the 2009 and 2010 Executive Committee meetings of GCHERA, it was agreed that the present organization of GCHERA should evolve towards a Confederation of Regional University Associations, with the aim to go beyond the current activity of a biennial conference and to emerge as a partner to other international organizations, such as FAO, in the development of sustainable rural economies worldwide.

Aftermath of the 7th Conference in Beauvais, June 2011. Photo: LaSalle Beauvais

The next step was to officially register GCHERA in order to be a fully recognized organization, with headquarters in Paris.

This official action was decided during GCARD2, in Montevideo, on 28 October 2012. during a Founding General Assembly. Philippe Choquet (LaSalle Beauvais University – France) , former Chair of GCHERA, was reelected as Chair of the new Confederation, as well as the steering committee.

GCHERA in figures

Through its members, GCHERA represents more than 500 universities, which may represent more than 1,5 million students, a flow of more than 300 000 graduates every year throughout the world, which irrigates the whole chain of agriculture, food and environment.

The challenges for the global higher education community

The global agricultural and food communities, taken in the widest definition, need to enhance the quality of life and human endeavors through promotion of:

¨       Sustainable agricultural development

¨       Food and nutritional security and safety

¨       Remediation and sustainability of fragile ecosystems and environments

¨       Improved health and nutrition

¨       Development and utilisation of bio-renewable resources, and

¨       Enhancement of economic viability of the food chain and reduction of poverty

The global higher education community has the challenge to provide graduates who have the skills, entrepreneurship and creativity to succeed in their future careers in addressing these challenges. The higher education global higher education community has also the responsibility to conduct both science driven and innovation driven research which will underpin the resolution of these challenges through effective knowledge transfer.

The GCHERA Approach

GCHERA is a confederation of higher education associations – either national or regional associations.

Plenary session on the role of agricultural universities as entrepreneurs for sustainable development, June 2011. Photo: LaSalle Beauvais

GCHERA’s mission is to encourage mutual understanding and global cooperation among the higher education associations and to provide, within the global context, leadership in education, research and innovation in the agricultural and life sciences. In particular it will support it members in addressing the global challenges list above.

The GCHERA Board participates in global forums to contribute the views of the global higher education community in addressing the global challenges facing agriculture, food and natural resource management systems.

The difference GCHERA will make

GCHERA will, through collaborative ventures between the member higher education associations, enhance the success of higher education institutions in delivering graduates which have the skills, entrepreneurship and creativity to succeed in the global, regional and national contexts, enable each higher education association to play an enhanced role at the regional or national level through a shared understanding of the global contexts and innovative approaches in addressing the challenges facing agriculture, food and natural resource management systems.

 

Contact

Marie Dubruque

Executive Secretary

Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais

19 rue Pierre Waguet – BP 30313

F-60026 BEAUVAIS Cedex – France

(33) (0)3 44 06 93 24

e-mail: secretariat@gchera.com                                          

www.gchera.com


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