The CCRI enjoys a strong international reputation and continues to contribute to the advancement of rural development in Europe and beyond. As well as through funded research (reported in the Funded Research section), this is achieved through invited presentations on a wide range of rural development issues at international conferences, as well as membership of international bodies and committees.
International Activities 2010
In March 2010, Professor Nigel Curry visited the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, to discuss the development of research agendas in respect of rural older people with the University's Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Rural Connectivities Team. The week's study tour included a visit to the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities in Augustine, and was part of a grant provided by the CIHR. The visit specifically related to the Grey and Pleasant Land project on which Nigel and the CCRI worked on, together with the University of Plymouth (lead partner), Bournemouth University, University of the West of England, Cardiff University and Swansea University.
The project investigated how older people living in rural SW England and Wales interact with their local community, and what social and economic issues are important to them. It was funded under the 'New Dynamics of Ageing' programme, a seven-year research initiative - the largest research programme on ageing to date in the UK - which is a unique collaboration between five UK Research Councils – ESRC, EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC and AHRC – supporting scientists from across the disciplines to work together on research which will benefit the quality of life of older people.
In January 2010, Dr Janet Dwyer gave oral evidence to the House of Lords EU Committee Inquiry into 'Adapting to climate change: EU agriculture and forestry'. In the Committee's final report, her evidence was cited several times and the Committee recommended a number of policy changes based specifically upon Janet's suggestions.
On 5 March 2010, Dr Janet Dwyer gave a presentation on 'The future role of Axis 3 - broader rural development and quality of life' at the SWCoRE sponsored conference on ‘The future of the CAP beyond 2013’, at Bicton College, Devon.
Dr Janet Dwyer spoke at the Agra Europe 'Outlook 2010' conference at the Hilton Courthouse Doubletree Hotel in London on 17 March, on the subject of the future for rural development within the CAP.
Dr Janet Dwyer hosted a policy symposium and presented a paper on 'Evaluation of EU Rural Development Policy and pointers for the future', at the UK Agricultural Economics Society conference in Edinburgh on 30 March 2010.
On 19 May 2010, Dr Janet Dwyer presented some reflections from the RD instruments and RuDI projects on the CAP Pillar 2 at a conference in Brussels in a presentation that was entitled ‚What we have learned from evaluating EU rural development policies?’ The conference formed part of the US-EU rural development policy project led by Professor David Blandford (Pennsylvania State University) and Professor Berkeley Hill (University of London) and was organised and hosted with the help of Valentin Zahrnt at the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE).
Professor Janet Dwyer gave a presentation at an international conference on the topic of marginal areas and the appropriate policy response. The conference was held in Rome on 4-5 November 2010 and was entitled "The territorial approach in agricultural and rural policies. An international review". Giuseppe Blasi, Director of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, opened the conference and other Speakers included representatives from organizations such as the European Commission, the United Nations, the Ford Foundation and other prestigious research institutes, all from different geographical areas to show evidence of territorial approach effectiveness in socially and economically distinct rural contexts.
Professor Janet Dwyer is currently working as an expert to the European Network on Rural Development in a working group on the Theme of the Delivery of rural development programmes 2007-13. The group is chaired by the European Commission – DG Agri – and holds regular meetings in Brussels to discuss progress and commission case study reports and other work from different countries. Dr James Kirwan has been assisting Professor Dwyer. The work will be completed by June 2011.
In September 2010, Professor Brian Ilbery accepted an invitation to sit on an International Organic RDD (Research, Development and Demonstration) Expert Panel to assess research applications to the International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems (ICROFS) in Denmark. The Panel was endorsed by the Danish Council for Strategic Research, part of the Danish government.
In April 2010, James Jones was appointed as an advisor to the sub-panel of the Economic Affairs Scrutiny Panel of the States of Jersey. He will be providing them with help to oversee the Review of the Rural Economy Strategy 2011 - 2015 for the island.
Dr Owain Jones was a keynote speaker on UK Rural Culture and Art at the International Conference 'Inland: Art, Agricultures and Countryside' on 21-23 October 2010 at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid. This event formed part of the ‘Inland – Campo Adentro’ project, which was presented in Madrid at the start of the summer. It is a discussion and practice-oriented project that examines the role of territory, geopolitics, culture and identity in the relationship between the city and the countryside in Spain, and seeks to set out a pro-rural cultural strategy. p>
Dr Owain Jones convened a session on Social and Cultural Geographies of the Coast at the Royal Geographical 2010 Annual International Conference in September 2010, together with Dr Kim Ward from Exeter University. Owain also presented two papers at the conference. The first was on Poets, Arts and the Severn Estuary at the 20th Century Poets and Geography session with the artist Davina Kirkpatrick, and the second a paper on Absence and Landscape, in the Geographies of Absence session.
In May 2010, the CCRI completed a report for the Arkleton Trust entitled "Adaptation to Climate Change by Local Communities in Rural Europe; a Review of some Recent Experience". The joint authors were Dr Carol Kambites, Katarina Kubinakova and Professor Malcolm Moseley. The report comprised in large part an inventory of 84 local projects spread across 20 European countries, with brief descriptions of each written on the basis of various on-line searches and enquiries. Some general observations were made looking across the whole range of projects. In no sense is the inventory comprehensive or even a random sample, but will prove useful for further research and for seeking out models of good practice. Arkleton has commissioned similar surveys relating to parts of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australasia.
Dr Damian Maye spent the whole of March 2010 in Australia, where he took up a visiting scholarship at Monash University, Melbourne. He visited the Department of Sustainability, Environment and Society, School of Geography and Environmental Science in order to develop a research proposal on animal and plant health in Australia, together with Dr. Jacqui Dibden and Dr. Vaughan Higgins. Whilst there, he presented two research seminars on the emerging food security debate.
A paper by Jane Mills, David Gibbon, Julie Ingram, Matt Reed, Chris Short and Janet Dwyer, entitled ‘Collective action for effective environmental management and social learning in Wales' was presented by David Gibbon at the 9th European International Farming systems Association Symposium, held in Vienna from July 4th to 7th 2010. The paper explored key factors that might lead to successful agri-environmental collective action in order to deliver landscape-scale resource management within agri-environment schemes. It comes under the theme ‘Knowledge systems, learning and collective action’ and the sub-workshop in which the paper will be presented is entitled 'Innovation and Change Facilitation in Rural Development'. The paper was also selected (with 8 others) to be reviewed for possible publication in a special issue of the Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension in March 2011.
CCRI project members of the RuDi project were in Brussels on 15 June 2010 for the final RuDi conference `Beyond indicators: evaluating the process of EU rural development policies´. More than 110 people participated in the event and the key findings and recommendations of the project were well received, by both the stakeholders and the policy-makers. Loretta Dormal-Marino, the Deputy - Director General for Rural Development of Directorate General Agri (DG Agri) attended the conference, as did Danielle Tissot from DG Research, who funds the project under the 7th Research Framework Programme. Patrick Salez (DG Regio) and Mark Cropper (DG Agri) were also present to speak about the future of rural development policy.
The research findings and recommendations were presented at a crucial time as they were able to inform the policy making process of DG Agri, who were at the time considering its proposals for the 2014-2020 framework period. The research will also help to establish an interface between science and policy for future collaborations. The CCRI project team comprised Professor Janet Dwyer (CCRI Project Leader), Dr James Kirwan, Damian Maye, Sandrina Pereira and Ken Thomson. See project details.
In March 2010, a selection of papers from the The 12th Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons, which was organised by the CCRI in July 2008, were published in the International Journal for the Study of the Commons, Volume 4, Issue 1 (2010). Over 500 delegates from over 70 different countries attended the conference, which, through five days of excellent participation and stimulating discussion, raised awareness of how mis-management is damaging our 'global commons' and contributing to ecological poverty, and sought to explore how these 'commons' should be managed at local, regional, national and global levels to promote a more sustainable world. The editorial includes a reflective piece by Dr John Powell and Christopher Short (both CCRI) who organised the event.
During May 2010, Christopher Short was invited by the European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastorialism to take part in an innovative knowledge exchange visit to Northern Spain. The aim of the visit was to take both farmers grazing common land in England and those studying commons to see at firsthand how areas of communal grazing are managed in the mountain and upland areas around the Spanish Cantabrian Mountains. The group of eight met with farmers and government researchers and project officers from three regions in northern Spain. It is anticipated that the trip will lead to a further exchange visits and the development of research and knowledge exchange projects. One immediate outcome was for at least one delegate from Northern Spain to be invited to the National Seminar on Common Land and Town and Village Greens on July 1st to talk about the situation in this area of Spain and the initiatives used to support the traditional management system which the government accept is the most sustainable way to manage these high and extensive areas of shared pasture.
Christopher Short presented a paper, which was co-authored with Dr Owain Jones, at an international conference held at Sheffield Hallam University on 15 –17 September, entitled ‘The End of Tradition? Aspects of Commons and Cultural Severance in the Landscape’, which looked at the threats to biodiversity from cultural change and the abandonment of traditional management. The paper was part of the dissemination of a project funded by Natural England and the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group on the evaluation of a participatory approach aimed at assisting local communities to deliver national environmental targets.