Open Harvest 2016 participants release Chania Declaration

The participants of the Open Harvest 2016 event, currently underway until the 21st of May in Crete, have released a vision statement called the Chania Declaration, which aims to develop a cohesive framework for e-infrastructures for 'agricultural research, extension and development.'

GODAN partner Agroknow is hosting the event for the 30 participants, who represent organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) , the French Agronomic Institute (INRA) and the Wageningen University (WUR) of the Netherlands.

The text below is the declaration in its entirety, written in the words of the participants, as posted by Margarita Gourgourini on Agroknow's blog .

Chania Declaration

We the signatories of this declaration have come together at the “Open Harvest” event, to collaborate in developing a vision for e-infrastructures for agricultural research, extension and development.

We seek to catalyze creation of a powerful ecosystem of linked data repositories, data management services and virtual collaboration environments to increase the pace of knowledge production for agricultural innovation.

We agree to strengthen our collaboration through building a common roadmap for the infrastructure elements our sector so desperately needs.   As we define infrastructure we consider every element that is needed to achieve our goals: physical structures; software; standards; and procedures. First of all we need to support collaboration. This means nurturing relationships that represent truly international perspectives and include both the public and private sector in partnerships.

To pursue these goals

  • We will present our plans to the framework of the European Horizon 2020 program and we will seek funding through this mechanism. We will work with donors to enable discussions with us to build coordinated effort and avoid duplication.
  • We recognize the importance of enhancing existing semantic standards and we encourage the initiatives behind GACS (Global Agricultural Concept Scheme) and Agroportal to continue to develop these services of vocabularies and ontologies into a coherent platform for agricultural semantics.
  • We see the value of existing information systems for agricultural science and technology information such as “AGRIS” and “CAB Abstracts” in exploring collaboration to achieve more comprehensive access to agricultural research and technology information, including but not limited to bibliographical data. We strongly encourage FAO to continue to invest in and support AGRIS as the largest freely accessible system in the field.
  • We applaud plans by the CGIAR to build a cross-disciplinary big data platform. The CGIAR platform will be a cornerstone of a common e-infrastructure and we encourage the CGIAR to move ahead with this plan and to share stories of how it is achieving impact as they emerge.
  • We appreciate the constant support that is given by the GODAN (Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition) Secretariat to our initiatives. We consider GODAN as our voice for the advocacy of open data worldwide.
  • The Interest Group on Agricultural Data of the RDA initiative is an important element of our collaborative structure. Furthermore, we will set up an informal “Open Harvest working group” to facilitate global collaboration in a broader context.  We agree to use existing conferences and gatherings to continue this debate and we will organize a follow up “Open Harvest” meeting in 2017 to discuss the progress made.

We sign this declaration in our personal capacity, but we commit to continue to engage through our own organizations to get support for the development of these projects and others conducted in common.

In Chania, 19.05.2016

  • Sophie Aubin (INRA)
  • Elizabeth Arnaud (Bioversity International – CGIAR)
  • Thomas Baker (Independent – FAO)
  • Patricia Bertin (EMBRAPA)
  • Christopher Brewster (TNO)
  • Caterina Caracciolo (GAGS working group)
  • Fabrizio Celli (consultant)
  • Michael Devlin (Science for Development Platform)
  • Christine Geith (eXtension)
  • Odile Hologne (INRA)
  • Ilkay Holt (Ozyegin University)
  • Johannes Keizer (FAO of the United Nations)
  • Devika Madalli (ISI/DRTC)
  • Nikos Manouselis (Agroknow)
  • Laura Meggiolaro (Land Portal)
  • Graham Mullier (Syngenta)
  • Valeria Pesce  (GFAR)
  • Rob Lokers (WUR Alterra)
  • Martin Parr (GODAN Sec.)
  • Philip Roberts (CABI)
  • Armando Stellato (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
  • Giannis Stoitsis (Agroknow)
  • Imma Subirats (FAO)
  • Ferdinando Villa (Basque Centre for the Climate Change)

The Chania Declaration has been made available as a PDF

Follow up to date highlights on Twitter at @Agroknow and @godanSec