SSRP Symposium 2018
Date: 11th September 2018
Location: Fulton Building
The first SSRP Symposium was held on Tuesday 11th September 2018 on the University of Sussex Campus. In attendance were a majority of Principal Investigators on SSRP projects, as well as Co-Investigators, Post-Doctoral Research Assistants, and members of the SSRP Programme Management Group and Secretariat. The Symposium commenced with a welcome from Michael Davies, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, who highlighted the success of the SSRP in seeding high-quality research projects with the capacity to grow and generate further research income for the University.
In his Introduction, Joseph Alcamo, Director of SSRP, remarked that the Symposium would be an opportunity to collect findings relevant to SSRP’s stakeholders, and for colleagues to influence the future direction of the SSRP. He emphasized that it was urgent now to publish and distribute SSRP research findings as quickly as possible and to communicate these findings to people that needed to hear them from the local to global scale. Following these introductions, two PIs gave plenary presentations of their SSRP projects.
First, Peter Newell presented the project, Climate-resilient agricultural systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, and described the political, economic and socio-cultural policy approaches to climate smart agriculture for increasing productivity and adapting to climate change. Second, Alan Stewart presented Enhancing health in a vulnerable rainforest setting, detailing the project’s aims to systematically map the evidence base for integrated conservation and health services in a Papua New Guinea rainforest community.
The rest of the morning featured “Speed Briefings” (5-minute presentations of project objectives and findings) from 15 SSRP projects.
The afternoon consisted of breakout sessions at which researchers identified key crosscutting findings up to now from SSRP research and articulated follow-up research questions. The sessions were organised according to the following themes:
- Biodiversity and food
- Global health and environment
- Climate change and food insecurity
- Peri-urban environment
- Sustainability perspectives
- Trade, debt and the SDGs
The symposium closed with a discussion about future research and how to foster collaboration within the SSRP research community. Joseph Alcamo reflected on the considerable progress made by SSRP to date, the need to identify and convey policy-relevant findings from its current research, and the opportunity for SSRP to become a world-leading source of knowledge and information for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.