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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

2013 Review Conference

growing to the global challenge, creating a sustainable future


Chris Knight, Head of Agriculture, Campden BRI, CABI Review Conference 2013 – Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel, nr Oxford.  25-26 June 2013

Around 70 delegates from 37 countries - more than ever before - attended the conference.

The conference followed on from our Regional Consultations and outlined how CABI planned to address the shared priority areas of our Member Countries by delivering practical, on the ground programmes – growing our work together.

The theme of the event was ‘growing to the global challenge: creating a sustainable future.’ At the last two Review Conferences (2009 and 2011) we highlighted the challenges the world is facing in addressing food security in a changing climate and CABI’s contribution to these issues over 100 years of scientific endeavour around the world.

In 2013 we looked to the future - focussing on ‘growing’ solutions together to address Member country’s needs, and the challenges we face in agriculture, trade and in improving livelihoods sustainably. Download the programme.

At the Opening session, delegates were welcomed by Dr Lutz-Peter Berg, Chair of CABI's Executive Council, and Mr John Ripley, Chair of CABI's Board, who gave opening remarks, and set the scene for the whole Conference. Dr Lutz-Peter Berg continued to chair the next two plenary sessions.

Overview and finances

On 27 June, Dr Trevor Nicholls provided a progress review on CABI’s performance and activities since last Review Conference held in 2011, and presented a medium-term strategy for 2013-2015 ("Continuing to Deliver"), and a vision for the future ("Vision 2020"). A financial report was presented by Ian Barry, CFO.

Introducing the CABI focal areas

This was followed by Dennis Rangi, Executive Director, International Development introducing our strategic focal areas.

Knowledge management, communication and use

Morris Akiri, Regional Director, Africa then set the scene and chaired the "Knowledge Management, Communication and Use" focal area, and then Liaison Officer for India, Dr Rajesh Ranjan, and Global Directors, Dr Elizabeth Dodsworth and Ms Dannie Romney presented a plenary session on this focal area.

CABI's presentations described plans and approaches for addressing Member Country priority areas within the Knowledge Management and Knowledge for Development themes:

Seed systems (Dannie Romney).

Open and linked invasives species data (Martin Parr).

Supporting farmers at scale - mobile (Phil Abrahams).

Development of communication material (Victor Clottey).

Plant health

Ulrich Kuhlmann, Regional Director – Europe Switzerland, CABI then looked at the progress, impacts and lessons learned in the Plantwise programme to date, including a special focus on the perspectives of partners in Kenya.

James Wanjohi, Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture spoke about building capacity for sustainable Plant Health Systems; and Rose Kamau gave a Plant Doctor's perspective. There was a video presenting the farmers' perspective.

There was then a series of presentations focussing on Plantwise:

Ensuring the quality of plant doctor advice (Rob Reeder).

Monitoring and evaluation in Plantwise (Dannie Romney).

Putting Plantwise policies into practice (Wade Jenner).

Plantwise Knowledge Bank (Shaun Hobbs).

Biodiversity and invasive species management

The next plenary session was on biodiversity and invasive species management led by Ravi Khetarpal, Regional Director – South Asia, CABI with presentations by Mr Michael James, Liaison Officer for Barbados, and CABI Regional Co-ordinators for IAS, Drs Arne Witt and Dick Shaw.

CABI's and partners' presentations described plans and approaches for addressing Member Country priority areas within the Bioservices and Invasives themes:

Invasive species, livelihoods and biodiversity (Arne Witt).

Biopesticides (Dave Moore).

Invasive species management (Dick Shaw).

Services for microbial diversity (Paul Bridge).

The second day started with a session on trade and market access and development chaired by Wai-Hong Loke, Regional Director – South East Asia, CABI, with contributions from Liaison Officer for Kenya Dr Joseph Mureithi, and CABI Global Director, Dr Julie Flood and Business Development Manager, Philippa David (CABI).

CABI's and partners' presentations described plans and approaches for addressing Member Country priority areas within the Commodities theme, followed by short talks about focus initiatives and opportunities for discussions and feedback:

SPS capacity development (Roger Day). Rwanda coffee video

Improving smallholder market access (Charles Agwanda)

Trade - animal health and welfare (Robert Taylor)

Food supply chain academy (CABI-Campden Initiative) (Chris Knight/Julie Flood)

Growing to the challenge: panel debate of invited speakers

There was then a new Review Conference feature: “Seed to shelf” - a panel debate chaired by Dougal Thomson of The Economist, featuring contributions from Jan Kees Vis, Unilever, Global Supply Chain Director Sustainable Agriculture, Unilever; Stephen Walker, Director General, Campden BRI; Pablo Jenkins, Standards & Trade Development Facility;Daphrose Gahakwa, Deputy Director General, Rwanda Agricultural Board; David Croft, Waitrose, Fresh Produce Development Manager; and Chris Brett, Senior Vice President, OLAM.

Actions and next steps - CABI governance and resolutions

The session on Governance and resolution matters was chaired by Dr Lutz-Peter Berg (Switzerland), Chair of CABI Executive Council. It was started with the Board report by John Ripley, Chair of CABI Board. Discussions were held on six formal papers, and resolutions were sought for CABI Visions 2020 and Medium-term Strategy (Trevor Nicholls).

Member and partner knowledge exchange

12 delegates gave presentations at the member and partner knowledge exchange, where they discussed ideas relating to the approaches they are deploying in ensuring food security. Here are some of them:

Australia – Dr Paul De Barro, Theme Leader, Biosecurity and Invasive Species, CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship: Safeguarding Australia, the establishment of CSIRO's Biosecurity Flagship

Bermuda - Fred Ming, Director, Department of Environmental Protection, Ministry of planning Bermuda Government, Development of a strategy for the future of agriculture in Bermuda

Brunei Darussalam – Yang Mulia Madam Hajah Hasnah bte Ibrahim, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry & Primary Resources: Working in Partnership with CABI

China – Mr Tang Shengyao, Deputy Director General for International Co-operation, Chinese Ministry of Agriculture: Improving food security through strengthening the partnership between China and CABI

Colombia – Mr Juan Manuel Uribe, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Colombia (showing a video on behalf of Dr Luis F. Samper, Colombian National Federation of Coffee Growers, 2013): Lessons on sustainability

FAO – Dr Stephen Rudgard, Chief, Knowledge and Capacity for Development, Office of Knowledge Exchange: Global partnerships with member countries

Ghana – Dr Abdulai Baba Salifu, Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research: Enhancing Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change in Ghana through Science and Technology

Myanmar – U Hla Kyaw, Director General, Department of Agricultural Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation: Agriculture sector development: opportunities and challenges in Myanmar

Pakistan – Dr Shahid Masood, Member (Crop Sciences), Pakistan Council of Agricultural Research: Approaches for addressing food security in Pakistan

Sri Lanka – Dr W. Wahundeniya, Director, Horticultural Crops Research & Development Institute:Link with CAB International towards agriculture development in Sri Lanka

Summing up

Finally Trevor Nicholls summed up the two day event.

Pre-Review Conference Tour of CABI Science Site attracts 22 delegates

On 26 June, 22 delegates from CABI Member Countries, CABI Board and partner organisations joined the tour to CABI Science Site in Egham. A tailored programme enabled delegates to see and hear first-hand CABI in action, particularly in the areas of Publishing, Knowledge Management, Commodities, Invasive Species Management, and Bioservices, preparing them for in-depth discussions and deliberations for the forthcoming Review Conference. Download the programme.

There were a series of presentations including:

CABI overview

Publishing presentation

Bioservices introduction

An introduction to CABI Europe-UK

Cocoa rehabilitation

Coffee Berry Borer

Red Palm Mite

Natural enemies for the control of Floating Pennywort, Hydrocotyle ranunculoides, in Europe

Coffee and climate change

Finding a biocontrol agent for Crassula in the UK