By Seniorl Anzu
Service providers in agricultural research and development in PNG can participate in the Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD) by registering their information sources and services. CIARD is a new movement aimed at making agricultural research information publicly available and accessible to all stakeholders globally. The CIARD initiative (http://ring.ciard.net) is headed by the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR), an Italy-based international fora. So far over 140 service providers have registered more than 270 services.
An international expert consultation on “Building the CIARD Framework for Data and Information Sharing” was held for more than 80 experts in agricultural knowledge management and information systems across the globe. The consultation, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences with support from GFAR and FAO, was held in Beijing, China, during June 21-24 2011.
Among CIARD’s actions were advocating for and promoting open access, improving applicability and enabling effective use of data and information in agricultural research and innovation.
The CIARD notion has evolved to address coordination and coherence issues in communicating research outputs in light of the opportunities offered by the emergence of information technology and digital media. Researchers and the agricultural community at large need new knowledge generated from research, especially in the face of rapidly shifting challenges such as climate change, trans-boundary pests and diseases, combating
desertification and degradation of fragile soils and managing agricultural biodiversity.
New media such as wikis, informal blogs and online community of practices enrich conventional communication pathways such as scientific publications (eg journals) and face-to-face events. However a challenge exists in the scattered way in which scientific knowledge and information are being made available, making it difficult to share data and information effectively within and between scientific communities and the wider
stakeholders involved in agricultural innovation systems. The CIARD movement capitalises on the current trends in information technology and web practices to develop a coherent framework for sharing of agricultural information.
The Beijing meeting was aimed at taking stock of and sharing experiences of the current practices in management and sharing of information; and charting for future actions, strategies and activities to further enable collaboration and partnerships involving fast
growing economies in global agricultural research information sharing and exchange at various levels.
The PNG-based organisations can participate through the CIARD Routemap to Information Nodes and Gatesways (RING) portal at http://ring.ciard.net. More information on CIARD and the CIARD RING can also be found on this site.