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IGFA – Quo Vadis?

IGFA – Quo Vadis?

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IGFA – Quo Vadis?

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  1. IGFA – Quo Vadis? Thomas Rosswall Executive Director, ICSU IGFA Annual Meeting, Mexico City 1-3 October 2008

  2. A bit of history • Informal discussions at the First IGBP Open Science Conference (Stockholm 1998) • IGFA established in 1990 with consultation meeting in Washington, DC and formal meeting in Bonn • Resource Assessment in 1995 • Quo Vadis in 2008 IGFA Annual Meeting

  3. ICSU and IGFA • “With UNESCO out of the way, it (IGFA) has no rivals and thus is ICSU’s only link to governments” !! (Kwa, Sci. Publ. Pol. 457-467, 2006) • “It has acquired the position to hold (1995) IGBP and ICSU accountable as IGFA’s evaluation of IGBP illustrates” !!! (op cit.) • “IGFA tends to look at ICSU ... as a collection of scientists near or past retirement age, and generally stemming from a bygone age of pure science” !!!! (op cit.) IGFA Annual Meeting

  4. ICSU Startegic Plan 2006-2011 • “it is important that mechanisms be developed to foster a dialogue between the international planning and the national funding and policy-making.” • “IGFA is currently the only forum at the international level where such a dialogue exists in relation to funding”. IGFA Annual Meeting

  5. International science-funding dialogue • IGFA • Krusenberg Meeting 2005 • Consultative Fora – International Polar Year • Funding agency participation in Open Science Conferences • Multilateral and bilateral donors in the context of IMoSEB (DIVERSITAS), etc. IGFA Annual Meeting

  6. Financing IPY 2007-2008 Total for IPY € 850 m 1.6m (UK+) 250k (ICSU, WMO) • 100% • 0.1% • 0.02% • Seeding and catalysis Research Planning and Coordination Initialization ICSU IGFA Annual Meeting

  7. Changing Interdisciplinarity • 1957-1958: International Geophysical Year; geophysical disciplines • 1964-1974: International Biological Programme; biological disciplines • 1980 - : Global Change Research Programmes; initially physics, chemistry and biology • 2001 - : Earth System Science Partnership; natural and social sciences • 2008: Global Change Research and Development Research; the next challenge bridging disciplines and scales IGFA Annual Meeting

  8. The Big Challenges • We need to respond to the challenges posed by the big disconnects by: • Changing what we research; subjects that are relevant to society • Changing how we research it; interdisciplinary and participatory • Changing how we fund research; link science and development funding agencies • Sara Farley, IGFA Annual Meeting 2005 IGFA Annual Meeting

  9. The Changing Context • The landscape of research and its funding, observations, monitoring and policy is rapidly changing! • Review of IHDP published in 2006 • Review of ESSP published in 2008 • Reviews of IGBP and WCRP Reports ready in early 2009 • Review of IGFA when? IGFA Annual Meeting

  10. What is needed? • A stronger IGFA with a vision and strategy • A more inclusive IGFA • A more engaged IGFA • A more policy oriented IGFA • A definition of IGFA ”global change” IGFA Annual Meeting

  11. A Stronger IGFA • An IGFA Vision and Strategy • An IGFA with representatives with policy responsibility within their organization • An IGFA that can keep its members informed of crucial developments • An IGFA with capacity of horizon scanning • An IGFA with a dedicated and efficient secretariat function IGFA Annual Meeting

  12. A More Inclusive IGFA • An IGFA that better represents the national funding community, incl. stronger engagement with developing countries (IAI, APN, AfricanNESS, etc.) • IGFA members that represent funding of both natural and social sciences; i.e., often more than one per country • An IGFA that also invites bilateral donors interested in global change science; IDRC participated in the first IGFA meeting IGFA Annual Meeting

  13. A More Engaged IGFA • Better links between science and funding at the national level • IGFA member provide inputs to Review Panels, etc. • An IGFA that engages more inter-sessionally • This will only be possible if staff time of IGFA members is available IGFA Annual Meeting

  14. A More Policy Oriented IGFA • IGFA members must keep abreast of what is happening nationally in the link science – monitoring – assessments – policy • Engage in the discussion of the future of global change research; cf. ESSP and IGBP reviews • Links between global change, development and the MDGs IGFA Annual Meeting

  15. Identification of IGFA ”Gloabl Change” Research • Does it include the International Polar Year? • Does it include the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk? • Does it include Ecosystem Change and Human Well-being? • Does it limit itself to programmes (co-) sponsored by ICSU? IGFA Annual Meeting

  16. A Way Forward • Over the next six months, develop the vision and strategy • Convince high level individuals in key IGFA members of the essential mission of IGFA • Engage fully in the discussions following the global change reviews with a strategic vision • Develop agendas for Annual Meetings in close consultation with programmes and IAI & APN • Develop a strategy how to deal with crises, such as GWSP, or crucial needs, such as ESSP • Find ways to seriously consider joint approaches to funding of new initiatives (e.g., CCCP) IGFA Annual Meeting

  17. A Way Forward • Show ICSU and the global change research programmes that Kwa was correct that “IGFA ... reinforced the domination of science by policy in the respective participating countries to a considerable degree”. IGFA Annual Meeting

  18. Pasteur's Quadrant Bohr Pasteur Relevance for advancing knowledge Most scientists are here!? Edison Relevance for immediate applications Stokes, D. E. (1997). Pasteur's Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation. IGFA Annual Meeting