In 2016, IRD introduced a new strategy for international presence, compliant with the objectives of the 2016-2030 Strategic Direction Plan and the ambitions stated by the governance keen to make IRD a world scientific benchmark for sustainable development issues. This new approach was applied throughout the year, with the introduction of a series of actions, coalitions and partnerships designed to promote the role of science and innovation when it comes to formulating responses the challenges of global changes and the role of partners from the Global South in the sustainable development agenda, and contributing to the visibility of French/Francophone research. To convey these messages to international, regional, European and partner country institutions, IRD has begun work to renew its network abroad and in French overseas territories, to rescale it and adapt it to this new strategic vision.
With regard to international organisations, IRD has worked with the governing bodies of Agenda 2030, most notably as part of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). The first session of the HLPF was held in New York from 11-20 July 2016 on the theme ‘Ensuring that no one is left behind with sustainable development’. This was an opportunity to promote the role of research and the interaction between the SDGs during the plenary sessions and side events.
The Institute also calls on partner organisations to support research. This was the case at the general assembly of the United Nations in September 2016 when IRD, in partnership with the French mission to the UN, organised a special event on the fate of natural and environmental resources in the oceans. It was again the case at the 16th Francophonie Summit in Madagascar on 26-27 November 2016, where IRD explained the dynamics of Francophone research in partnerships and its role in reaching the SDGs. In all, IRD and its partners were involved in 10 colloquiums, seminars and “16th Summit”-labelled schools in 2016.
The mobilisation of partners, particularly those from the Global South to encourage them to take on-board sustainable development issues, formed the core of the Institute’s action. In this respect, it is worth noting IRD’s high level of involvement alongside the Moroccan universities and French institutions at the Climate COP22 held in Marrakesh in November 2016, giving the Institute the opportunity to position itself as a benchmark stakeholder in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Likewise, IRD’s participation in the third United Nations conference on housing and sustainable development, Habitat III, held in Quito from 17-20 October 2016, was an opportunity to product the co-production of knowledge by scientific communities from Africa, Asia and Latin America.