Mamirauá - January 2006
The IANAS Steering Committee held its third meeting in Mamirauá on January 23, 2006. Organized under the auspices of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and hosted by the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute, inside a national reserve in the middle of the Amazon region, the meeting discussed the evolution of the Science Education and Water programmes and the actions of the network since its last meeting in Tobago. The active role played by the network in the OAS, the structuring of the Capacity Building Programme and the launch of a IANAS-Ford Foundation Study were also issues in the agenda.
STEERING COMMITTE MEETING
Monday, January 23rd, 2006
• Welcome and Introductions
• Minutes of the Previous Meeting
• Science Education Programme
• Water Programme
• Capacity Building Programme
(a) "S&T Policies for Development";
(b) "The leading Latin American universities and their contribution to sustainable development in the region"
(c) "The role of Science, Technology, Innovation and Science Education as a major tool for the recovery of the social, economic and political importance of Latin America and the Caribbean region in the global scene"
• Other business
List of Participants
Ana Rita Pereira Alves
General Director of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute
Av. Brasil 197, Juruá
Cx. Postal 38
69470-000 Tefé AM - Brazil
Tel: 97 - 3343 4672
Tel/fax: 97 - 3343 2736
Avílio Antonio Franco
Secretary in Charge of the Research Institutes
Ministério de Ciência e Tecnologia
Sub-secretaria de Coordenação das Unidades de Pesquisa
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco E - sala 280
Brasília - DF - Brasil - 70067-900
Academia de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y Naturales de Venezuela
Palacio de las Academias
Avenida Universidad, Apdo. de Correos 1421
Caracas 1010-A - Venezuela
Tel: +58 212 482 2954 / 7513
Fax: +58 212 484 6611
Caribbean Scientific Union
C/o Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science
The University of the West Indies
St. Augustine ? Trinidad & Tobago
Tel : +1 868 663 5812
Fax : +1 868 645 7132
Brazilian Academy of Sciences
Rua Anfilófio de Carvalho 29/3
20030-060 Rio de Janeiro, RJ - Brazil
Phone: +55 11 3091 3839
Fax: +55 11 3091 3839
Royal Society of Canada
283 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario - Canada KIR 7X9
Phone: +1 613 562 5270
Fax: +1 613 562 5271
José Galizia Tundisi
National Focal Point - Brazil
International Institute of Technology
Rua Bento Carlos, 750
São Carlos - São Paulo ? Brazil
Phone: +55 16 3371 5726
Fax: +55 16 3371 5726
Chilean Academy of Sciences
Almirante Montt 454
Santiago - Centro
Phone: +56 2 664 41 96
Fax: +56 2 638 2847
Marcos Cortesão Barnsley Scheuenstuhl
IANAS ? Brazilian Secretariat
Office of International Affairs
Brazilian Academy of Sciences
Rua Anfilófio de Carvalho 29/3
20030-060 - Rio de Janeiro RJ - Brazil
Phone: +55 21 3212 2419
Fax: +55 21 3212 2401
US National Academy of Sciences
Office of the Foreign Secretaries
500th Street, NW
Washington DC 20001 - USA
Phone: +1 202 334 2800
Fax: +1 202 334 2139
Report on the Third Meeting of the IANAS Steering Committee
Monday, January 23rd, 2006
Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Mamirauá, Brazil
Hernan Chaimovich (co-chair, Brazilian Academy of Sciences); Howard Alper (co-chair, Royal Society of Canada); Claudio Bifano (Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences of Venezuela); Harold Ramkissoon (The Caribbean Scientific Union); Juan Asenjo (Chilean Academy of Sciences); Michael Clegg (National Academy of Sciences); José Galizia Tundisi (Water Programme co-chair); Marcos Cortesão Barnsley Scheuenstuhl (IANAS - Brazilian Secretariat); Avílio Antonio Franco (Secretary in Charge of the Research Institutes, Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology); Ana Rita Pereira Alves (General Director of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute).
Unable to Attend
Octavio Paredes (Mexican Academy of Sciences).
The meeting was convened at 9:00 a.m.
• WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS
The session was opened by Hernan Chaimovich, who welcomed all to Mamirauá and thanked the participants for making such a long journey expressing his belief that this effort would be rewarded by the experience of holding the meeting in such a unique venue. He stated that Dr. Krieger, president of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, had sent his compliments to the participants of the meeting, regretting that he could not be present due to commitments at the Ministry of Science and Technology on that same date. H. Chaimovich then thanked Avílio Antonio Franco, Secretary in charge of the Research Institutes of the Brazilian Ministry of S&T, for coming to Mamirauá to represent the Minister at the third meeting of the IANAS SC. He stressed the importance of the presence of the Ministry at the meeting, stating that this was very important to provide to the Brazilian government a closer view of the actions of the network and potential possibilities of cooperation. Similarly, he thanked Ana Rita Pereira Alves, General Director of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI), for so kindly hosting the meeting of the SC. H. Chaimovich explained that the Brazilian Academy of Sciences had decided to organize the meeting at Mamirauá as a way of showing to the members of the SC a successful experience of Brazilian Science, where not only high level research is being developed, but scientific knowledge is being used to bring better living conditions for local populations, with the adoption of sustainable practices. He then he presented the meeting's agenda and invited Howard Alper to complement his remarks.
On behalf of the non-residents of Brazil, Howard Alper thanked the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the MSDI for organizing the meeting in such a wonderful place. He stated that it was a unique and life-long dream to be at the heart of the Amazon jungle, especially at the Mamirauá Reserve, which operates as a living laboratory. He then addressed the audience remembering that IANAS has been operational only since 2004, notwithstanding the network has been extremely active, being highly recognized by many governments and organizations. From his point of view, the future is most promising for the network and the third meeting of the SC had the crucial task of orienting our next steps.
Avilio Antonio Franco then spoke on behalf of the Brazilian government, thanking IANAS for having chosen Mamirauá as the venue for its SC meeting. He stressed that it is important for researchers from other countries to get to know the Mamirauá experience, which is a unique project in Brazil. Throughout the years the Ministry of Science and Technology has been supporting this initiative and promises are that investments will increase. A. Franco stated that the Ministry of S&T understands that Mamirauá is an important part of the effort to develop scientific capacity in the Amazon region and expectations are that the project will expand in the years to come.
The General Director of the MSDI was the next speaker to address the meeting. Ana Rita Alves thanked the SC of IANAS for holding its meeting at Mamirauá, stating that she hoped that the accommodations of the Uacari Lodge were suitable enough for the meeting. When the Brazilian Academy of Sciences first contacted the MSDI to discuss the possibility of holding the meeting at Mamirauá, there was a big concern on offering to the members of the SC the necessary conditions for the development of a successful meeting. The institute's team worked hard to make this possible, closely discussing with the Academy what could be done to assure the necessary infrastructure. One of the demands of the Academy was that they mobilized researchers from the institute to provide a few presentations on the work developed at Mamirauá. She hoped that the presentations already delivered and the one programmed for that night would satisfy this demand. She also declared that the debate held after the presentations had been extremely positive to the institute team and would certainly help them reflect about their working experience. In closing, A. R. Alves stated that in the next meeting of the Council of the MSDI they would discuss the possibility of inviting IANAS to help them organize a process of external evaluation, which would be very important for the strategic planning of the future actions of the institute. She concluded her words by expressing her hope that the local organization had been satisfactory and wishing all a good meeting and a good stay in Mamirauá.
Hernan Chaimovich thanked the previous speakers and stressed how positive it was for Brazil to hold the SC meeting in Mamirauá, closed the opening session. He reaffirmed the importance of having a representative from the Ministry of S&T at the meeting getting acquainted with the actions of IANAS and discussing with the members of the SC the niches where the network could develop actions to cooperate with the government for the social and economic benefit of the country, making knowledge useful for society. He stated that IANAS would be glad to build partnerships and work as an ally with both the Brazilian government and the MSDI. IANAS received gladly and readily the proposal from Mamirauá to work as a partner in evaluating the institute's experience and as soon as a formal proposal was presented the network would be happy to discuss it.
• MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
The second item on the agenda was the discussion and approval of the minutes of the previous meeting of the SC, held in Tobago on May 2005. These have been sent to the members of the SC by e-mail past June. Although no corrections on the distributed version were received, the report needs formal consideration by the SC.
Hernan Chaimovich asked for any corrections or addendums. The minutes were recognized as complete and providing a good overview of the meeting, being formally approved by the members of the SC.
• SCIENCE EDUCATION PROGRAMME
Juan Asenjo presented a general overview on the Science Education programme. After reviewing the major objectives of the programme, he recapitulated the history of this IANAS initiative launched less than two years ago during the network's inaugural general assembly held in Chile. Counting with national focal points from 16 IANAS member Academies, the programme implemented several activities within its framework in 2005, among which were listed: Second Inter American Course of Molecular Biology and Genetics for Secondary School Teachers (Argentina, February); Third International Conference on Science Education (Mexico, March); Inter American Course for Leaders among Science Teachers of Latin America - Training the Trainers (Colombia, May); Inter American Course on Green Chemistry for High School Natural Science Teachers (Argentina; July-August); Second Meeting of IANAS Focal Points (Canada, September); Strategic Planning Workshop to Scale-Up Inquiry-Based Science Project K-8 (Chile, November); and Inter American Course on Mathematics for Secondary School Teachers (Peru, November).
Besides fostering national science education meetings, another goal of the programme is to stimulate the exchange of science education materials. To reach this objective, J. Asenjo informed that the programme will encourage the exchange of materials by financing the purchase and shipment of prototype materials (modules, kits) from one country to another. It will also encourage the exchange of written teacher and student guides, text-books, CDs, etc. The programme urges the Academies that have intellectual property ownership of some of these materials to freely license and waive payment for their use by other members of IANAS.
Juan Asenjo then stated that the programme would also organize strategic planning workshops. These will be modeled after the LASER K12 Strategic Planning workshops organized by the NRC (USA), which are designated to prepare multidisciplinary teams from countries, states or educational districts that are planning to introduce IBSE projects in their schools. These week-long workshops provide multilateral teams with an in depth exposure to the collective experience of leaders of successful projects that have been implemented. The IANAS workshops will be open to teams originated from the different countries in the hemisphere and will involve experts from several countries where these projects are being implemented. The programme will provide partial support to the foreign multidisciplinary teams and may also provide prototype materials to participants.
Another important activity highlighted by J. Asenjo was the Workshop on International Evaluation of ECBI Programmes, held in Stockholm on September. This IAP workshop assembled experts on science education from different countries to discuss the production of an international evaluation instrument that could assist IBSE projects willing to undergo a self-evaluation, which will be useful both for their own and other IBSE efforts worldwide.
Right after this IAP workshop, the IANAS Science Education Programme held its Second Meeting of the Focal Points, in Edmonton, on the 26-27 of September. Hosted by the University of Alberta, this meeting represented a good opportunity for the IANAS focal points to report the national efforts that are being developed to improve science education of children and young students through the inquiry-based methodology. The meeting also appraised the different activities that had been organized by the programme in the past year, appreciated the project that was submitted for funding at the OAS and discussed future initiatives.
As decided by the Edmonton Meeting, the following activities will receive support from the IANAS Science Education Programme in 2006: Inter American Course on Material Science for Secondary School Teachers (Argentina); Workshop on Training the Trainers (Bolivia); Inter American Workshop on Evaluation of Inquiry-Based Science Education (Brazil); Conference on Science Education for Sustainable Development (Caribbean Region); Strategic Planning Workshop for Preparing New Leadership Teams in IBSE Projects (Colombia); Inter American Course on Biology and Molecular Genetics for Secondary School Teachers (Costa Rica); 3rd IANAS Focal Point Meeting on Science Education (Mexico); and Workshop on Comparative Analysis of the Development of IBSE Projects in the Americas (Venezuela).
In closing, J. Asenjo reported on the evolution of the negotiation between IANAS and OAS on the funding of a project on science education activities in the hemisphere. A project has been structured and, at the present, the formal endorsement of the proposal has been asked to the Science Academies. A few have already sent letters of support, but more adhesions are expected since the official support from the national Academies is understood as an important ingredient to increase the competitiveness of the project.
The project to be presented to OAS is fundamentally oriented towards the improvement of Science Education in the basic and secondary levels in the participating countries (those endorsing the project). Its main objectives are: to recruit the best research scientists working in the Americas for the task of improving the preparation of teachers responsible for the education of small children and older students at the basic and secondary levels; to introduce the methodology of inquiry-based science education in schools of our countries to stimulate the students? interest for sciences and its values; to integrate the experiences and share materials and ideas of the participating countries in order to facilitate and strengthen the development of the science education projects that have the participation of IANAS member Academies; and promote and enhance the collaboration between Science Academies, Ministries of Education and teacher training centers.
The first to comment on the Science Education programme was Marcos Cortesão, who stated that it was very gratifying to testify the evolution of the Science Education programme since the last meeting of the IANAS SC held in Tobago. He recalled that at that time, despite the recognition of the success of the programme, one of the major concerns raised by the SC was the need of more precise information on the quality and quantity of the national experiences implemented under the auspices of IANAS. This data would be crucial to allow the network to perceive more clearly how to support future development. Initiatives such as the Workshop recently held in Stockholm were crucial to provide input for the necessary evaluation. He also stated that the Brazilian Academy of Sciences was happy to contribute to this process, both by integrating the International IAP Working Group on Evaluation of IBSE Projects and by hosting a regional workshop on evaluation, to be held in Rio de Janeiro coming May.
Howard Alper was the next to share his views on the science education programme. He first thanked J. Asenjo for providing the SC with such a good overview on the programme. He then agreed with M. Cortesão's words, emphasizing that indeed IANAS had acted as a catalyst, stimulating the global evaluation process embraced by IAP. If at the Tobago meeting there was some uncertainty on what was related to the extent and quality of the ongoing experiences, the programme was now on its way to clarifying issues that are crucial to orient the Academies in the implementation of its actions. Additionally, this evaluation process was important not only for monitoring, but also to provide information usually considered important by the funding agencies.
Hernan Chaimovich recognized the importance of the evaluation process that had been launched. This would allow us to answer questions such as: ?Where were we? Where are we? Where do we want to be in the future?? He also stated that IANAS should see how to engage the members Academies on this evaluation process. Similarly, the possibility of inviting representatives from non-member countries to participate as observers on this process should also be considered. Chaimovich pointed out that obtaining data for this discussion is not an easy task, but this should be done. As the ongoing national programmes develop and grow, we shall be increasingly concerned on their quality. He concluded his comments by recognizing that the Stockholm meeting had been a step forward and that IANAS should keenly look into the process that had been launched.
Harold Ramkissoon commented upon Chaimovich's words, stating that he totally agreed that IANAS should try to bring other countries to participate in the network's programmes. Participants from nom-member countries could participate with an observer status, which would contribute to capacity building in the countries with no Science Academies. As for the Science Education Programme, H. Ramkissoon stated that the programme is growing rapidly in the Caribbean region, but one of the major difficulties was the training of the trainers. IANAS could help on this process, supporting more effectively the training of trainers.
Marcos Cortesão exposed that the issue of growing with quality was very present at the Brazilian Science Education Programme. Just past November a national seminar was held and it was recognized that the Brazilian programme was expanding at a steady pace, with initiatives being introduced in many different regions and cities throughout the country. Although this growth was understood as important, there was a very high concern on how could the national experience evolve, preserving its quality. It could be interesting for IANAS to analyze how is this developing in other countries.
Howard Alper noted that each country experienced this growing issue in a different manner. This was perceived in the meeting of the focal points held in Edmonton, where some participants reported successful expansion of their national programme while others manifested apprehension on how was the quality issue being dealt with as the programmes grew.
Harold Ramkissoon agreed that this was something that should be seriously monitored by the programme and the Academies. In the Caribbean region, the Science Education Programme has been growing and the Caribbean Scientific Union is concerned with the quality of what is being developed.
Claudio Bifano then geared the discussion, calling attention to the importance of allowing the countries that are in the process of initiating their national programmes to get better acquainted to the experiences of other countries, which already develop successful programmes. He informed that this demand was very clear to Venezuela and for this reason the Venezuelan Academy will be holding a workshop with the Academies from the US, Canada, Chile, Brazil and Colombia to discuss, in detail, each one of these experiences. On his opinion, it is important for the people that are building the programme in Venezuela to get to know exactly which were the steps given by these countries in the establishment of their programmes. What were the problems and difficulties? What should be done? Exactly what was done in each of the phases of implementation? A workshop where each of the mentioned countries had enough time to provide an in detail view of their experience will be crucial to help Venezuela implement its programme. Bifano commented that this probably would also be very useful to other Academies interested in establishing national programmes. He also pondered that it would be good to examine the possibility of holding the meetings of the IANAS programmes with simultaneous translation. Considering that most participants have Spanish as their native language, simultaneous translation could be advantageous, allowing all to make their selves clearly understood and better understand what is being said.
Michael Clegg then addressed his comments on the Science Education Programme. He agreed that the programme was evolving very well and had been effective in launching a process of evaluation. He also pointed the importance of having the programme focus on actions that will have an impact on science education, since initiatives on this area are expensive and budget is short. He also informed that the National Academy of Sciences has a good amount of material that can be made available for translation and shared with the IANAS member Academies interested in using these.
Juan Asenjo thanked for the comments and complemented that it is important that IANAS understands its limits. The network may offer its expertise to the countries, but it will depend on each to decide how things should be done. Each country has a different reality and the educational systems are different, so each Academy should appraise what would be more appropriate to its national reality.
Howard Alper agreed with J. Asenjo's words, stating that in Canada, as in other countries, education is province based. Even within the different provinces inside Canada the realities were different. E.g, only a few of the provinces in Canada have thus far adopted science education programmes.
Claudio Bifano then affirmed that the reality in Venezuela also varies from state to state. As for the programme implemented by the Academy, this is being developed at a small-scale pilot experience involving a small group of selected schools. Presently, around 750 students are participating on this experience, but other schools have already demonstrated interest to participate and the number of schools and students involved will probably go up on a slow, but steady pace. Although the experience has no support from the federal government, a growing number of teachers is demonstrating interest to know more about the project. Recently a workshop has been organized to analyze the reality of science education in Venezuela and to discuss the organization of the national programme.
Juan Asenjo mentioned that in Chile, due to legal aspects, in the past scientists could not teach science in schools. Only teachers from the formal educational system could do so. Such limitation kept away from the school system both retired university professors and young scientists and mathematicians just graduated with a degree, which could significantly contribute to the improvement of science education in the country. For the benefit of Chilean education, in the last few years this situation has changed and now scientists can, after a period of training in teaching methods, teach science and mathematics in school.
José Tundisi stated that indeed science education was a key challenge to be faced. He mentioned that one of the priorities of the Water Programme is increasing public awareness towards the water issues and problems. In Brazil he has developed an initiative called ?Water School?, where students and society as a whole are exposed to lectures, panels; booklets, exhibits, etc. on aspects related to water and society. This experience has been very successful in increasing the awareness on the importance of water and the problems related to water pollution and water waste. Maybe the Water and Science Education programmes could consider the possibility of developing joint initiatives in this area.
Hernan Chaimovich congartulated J. Asenjo for presenting such a precise report on the state of the art of the programme. He also asked Asenjo to transmit to Jorge Allende the recognition of the SC of his leadership on this programme. Currently we can see a new generation coming into this area and getting involved with science education. Chaimovich also thanked C. Bifano for having invited him to represent IANAS at the launch of the Venezuelan Science Education Programme.
• WATER PROGRAMME
José Tundisi delivered the presentation on the evolution of the IANAS Water Programme. He initially addressed a few words to the members of the IANAS SC in the quality of president of the Administration Council of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute. He emphasized how important it was for the institute to host the IANAS meeting and thanked the SC for choosing Mamirauá as the venue for its third meeting. He also informed that at the next meeting of the institute's Council he would raise the proposal of inviting IANAS to help in the organization of an external evaluation process, as suggested by Ana Rita during her inaugural speech.
Before entering the discussion of the programme, J. Tundisi thanked the IANAS SC for inviting him to the meeting and for providing him an opportunity to personally present a general overview on the framework of the IANAS Water Programme. As everyone was aware, due to a heart surgery he was not able to be present in Chile when of the establishment of the programme. After the Chile meeting, he and Luis Marin had been in contact and a very productive meeting was held in Bogotá, with the national focal points of the programme. Now he and Marin needed to contact each other to discuss the plan of action for the year of 2006.
As for the programme, J. Tundisi stated that it was impossible to talk about the IANAS Water Programme without having in mind the IAP Water Programme. Evidently there are specificities and particularities that are characteristic to the region and shall be addressed by the IANAS programme, but the general outline of the network's programme must be akin to the IAP programme. Otherwise we would be duplicating efforts and irrationally allocating funds and efforts.
He highlighted that the challenges of water scarcity require a vigorous scientific, technological and managerial action in order to adequately and better use the existing supplies, to recover degraded surface and groundwater reserves, and to secure for the future generations the necessary water resources. It is clear that water scarcity will be a major cause for the loss of opportunity for economic development in the years to come. To face this situation, it is necessary to improve programmes of conservation and to provide scientific and technological tools to assure a more rational use of water supplies. Thus, the development of new strategies for water uses, water recycling, and conservation of rivers, lakes and reservoirs represent a most important challenge. Crucial components to the water programme include capacity building for water resources management, the stimulus to research that will result in new water management strategies, and the education of society on the need for a more rational use of the existing water supplies.
José Tundisi reported that as agreed in the Bogotá meeting the IANAS programme will operate under a systemic view that integrates surface and underground waters in a watershed approach. Water quality and water quantity will have an equal attention in the programme, what is considered fundamental to improve the management of both surface and underground waters. It is vital to emphasize that capacity building must encompass the training of managers and decision makers with an integrated, predictive and watershed approach. Training shall be based on research and on the study of global, regional and local water problems.
A strategic goal for the programme is to ensure that water resources decision makers have adequate and consistent information that will enable them to enhance the optimization of the multiple uses of water resources at national and regional levels. Expected responses are: the integration of research, management and training; education of mid level water resources managers and governmental authorities; and building up of an improved capacity to predict changes at local, regional and global levels. These will enhance the understanding that is necessary to protect water resources and to manage freshwater ecosystems (surface and underground waters) in the Americas.
It was informed that the programme plans to promote publications focusing on water issues in the Americas. A first publication that could be ready in 2006 is a book dealing with water issues in the Americas.
José Tundisi concluded his words by asserting that presently there are several programmes dealing with water issues, through a wide range of approaches. A major problem is the lack of integration among these, which leads to an inefficient duplication of effort. This is caused by a focus on limited aspects of the problem as well as too much disciplinary research, which impairs a systemic approach and makes difficult the transference of technology, delaying innovation. The IANAS water programme brings an innovative approach, representing a new step forward on water research and management. This is a relevant contribution that IANAS will bring to international scientific debate and knowledge.
Howard Alper was the first to comment the presentation on the water programme. He congratulated J. Tundisi for his presentation and stated that it was excellent that J.T. could come to Mamirauá to describe to the SC his view of the programme. Before the Mamirauá meeting he had never had the opportunity to meet J. Tundisi and he was very happy that they had now met. H. Alper affirmed that he was most positively impressed by J. Tundisi's systemic comprehension of the water problem and he considered it an honor to have Tundisi as one of the co-chairs of the IANAS Water Programme.
Agreeing with the previous comment, Michael Clegg expressed his concern on the visibility of the programme. The building up of a website to the programme could be a good strategy of spreading the message to the targeted public. As for publications, he understands that these have an importance but he was not sure if these would be affordable.
José Tundisi agreed that a website would be of the utmost importance to the programme, explaining that the IAP programme plans to develop one. Evidently the IANAS programme could and should benefit from this website. As for publications, he stressed that in Brazil there is a very successful experience in publishing for capacity building of water managers. From his experience working with Latin-American countries, he was most convinced that the proposed publications would be extremely advantageous to the countries in the region.
Marcos Cortesão then explained that the dynamics of the IAP water programme comprehends the organization of six regional workshops around the world: Americas, to be held in Brazil; Africa, to be held in South Africa; East Asia & Pacific Region, to be held in China; Middle East & South Asia, to be held in Jordan; Central Asia, to be held in Kazakhstan; and Europe, to be held in Poland. Each one of these workshops will discuss the major water issues in the respective regions and the idea is to have the outcome of the discussion presented in a book. These 6 publications will provide a wide panorama of the major water issues in each of these regions. In a second phase, an international workshop will be held to discuss the issues regionally raised through a global perspective. At this point the programme will be able to identify the major demands presented to science by managers. This information will be the basis for the capacity building actions that will make accessible to managers the available knowledge, which can be immediately used to cope with existing problems. Similarly, the water research community will be called for action to face the major challenges that still demand further research. To foster these actions, a more in depth publication will be prepared after the international workshop.
Hernan Chaimovich commented upon M. Cortesão's words, emphasizing that one of the big challenges that the programme has to face is reaching out for the policy makers. From his point of view, the publication of one or more books can play an important role not only in facilitating the dialogue between researchers and managers, but also in increasing the visibility of the programme. Good publications can represent concrete products that may sensitize both policy makers and potential donors. So, when of the launching of these publications the programme shall widely disclose the initiative in order to assure a strong impact.
Howard Alper indicated that we should question ourselves on how IANAS is contributing to the IAP water programme. Understanding that the two programmes should work in an articulated manner, we should clearly identify what are the goals and milestones of the IANAS programme.
José Tundisi clarified that the major goal of the programme is to develop capacity building on water management in the Americas. A few centers of excellence will be identified and, supported by these, capacity building initiatives will be developed in different countries of the hemisphere. Publishing shall also represent an important component to support the capacity building initiatives. Agreeing with the points raised by H. Alper, Tundisi stated that during the America's regional workshop the national focal points to the programme should clearly define the milestones and a plan of action.
Hernan Chaimovich reinforced H. Alper's concern declaring that it is important that IANAS keeps in mind what are the limits of its actions. We must be clear on what we may be asked for and on what may we specifically contribute.
Michael Clegg then stressed the importance of providing to the Academies as a whole a good perspective on what is the proposal of the water programme. A good opportunity to achieve this will be during the IAP General Assembly, which will be held in Egypt by the end of 2006. The organization of a symposium during the General Assembly, as proposed by the programme, is an excellent idea, but ideally this should be organized as part of the core programme of the meeting and not as a satellite symposium. Not all Academies are present at the satellite symposia that are held during the IAP General Assemblies and having the water symposium as part of the core programme would assure a better visibility to the programme. Additionally, M. Clegg affirmed that the Water Programme should consider the possibility of proposing to IAC the development of a global study on water. IAC has already developed studies on Capacity Building in S&T and on Agricultural Productivity and Food Security in Africa. Presently two other studies are being developed: Sustainable Energy and Women for Science. Water is an extremely sensitive issue and IAC could be interested in establishing a study on this area, which would be complementary to the action of the IAP programme.
Harold Ramkissoon expressed his satisfaction with the design of the programme and agreed that indeed capacity building in the area of water management was a need to many countries in the world. He also stated that the publishing of a book focused on global water management challenges and demands would be a very important initiative, which should strongly be pursued by the programme. To amplify the impact of this publication, the programme should consider the possibility of organizing a launch of this book at the headquarters of the United Nations.
José Tundisi thanked for the comments and suggestions and expressed his gratitude for the IANAS SC having invited him to come to the Mamirauá Meeting. He still had not had the opportunity to discuss with the members of the SC his views on the water issue and on the programme itself and the opportunity provided by this meeting was very important for the building up of future actions. He stated that water management around the world is a very serious problem and the situation in the hemisphere is not different from that of most developing countries. Taking into account the existent knowledge and technology, it is a shame how water management is dealt. There is an urgent need to get international organizations involved with this problem and the Water Programme will develop a big effort to bring to the table the most different actors to discuss this issue. As known, there are several programmes and initiatives on this area, but these do not operate in a harmonious and articulated way, leading to an irrational duplication of efforts. IANAS shall try to bring to discussion these experiences to build from them, amplifying the synergy among the existing programmes. In closing, he emphasized that there is a need for a big shift in the approach adopted by most experiences. A new culture must be developed, with water management being understood through an integrated and holistic approach.
Claudio Bifano then congratulated J. Tundisi for his work and stated that Venezuela would soon be officially joining the Water Programme. He had already discussed this matter with Tundisi, but to the present the Venezuelan Academy had not yet identified its representative at the programme. Arriving back in Caracas he would discuss this with the Academy and very shortly the Academy would be nominating a focal point to the programme.
Howard Alper was the last speaker to address the audience on this topic. He stated that the discussion had been very rich and interesting and that the issues raised were very challenging. He thanked J. Tundisi for his participation at the meeting and wished him success on the development of the programme.
• CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMME
Hernan Chaimovich provided a short background on the discussion related to this programme, remembering that in the last meeting of the SC held in Tobago it was decided that IANAS should develop a Capacity Building Programme, to work in conjunction with IAP. A few initiatives had been undertaken to the present, but responses were not as fast as we wished.
Michael Clegg stated that capacity building is and should be a major role of IAP and IANAS. This issue has been the focus of several discussions within IAP and the draft IAP Strategic Plan for the 2007-2009 period, which will be discussed in the next General Assembly in Egypt, emphasizes that priority should be given to initiatives and activities that can help member academies, especially in developing countries, raise their public profile and strengthen their capacity to advice government and society. A major problem is that many times the Academies have become closed institutions that do not actually represent their national scientific communities. Similarly, many times Academies limit themselves to an honorific role, not providing much attention to the important role that they can play in providing advice to their governments and societies. IANAS can play a very active role in raising this discussion in the region. This would be especially important to the Central American region, which has very few countries with organized Academies. As an example, Nicaragua has recently looked for this advice and a delegation from IANAS will shortly be going to that country to discuss the potential benefits of the national organization of the S&T community in an Academy. H. Alper and himself will be integrating this delegation and it would be good if another member of the IANAS SC could join them to this visit. In short, IANAS has a clear and important role to play, which is helping the countries in the region with no Science Academy to establish one.
Harold Ramkissoon reinforced the words of M. Clegg, informing that in a recent meeting of the Caribbean Scientific Union (CSU) the situation of Nicaragua was discussed and there was a clear recommendation that CSU should support the organization of an Academy in that country. Therefore he believed that it would be good to have a representative from the Caribbean region in the group that was to visit Nicaragua.
M. Clegg agreed that it would be positive to have someone from the Caribbean region at the group, but stressed that it would be very important to have someone from a Spanish speaking country joining the group that would visit Nicaragua.
Claudio Bifano then stressed that from his point of view it would be very important to have H. Ramkissoon going to Nicaragua. He has been a very active person in mobilizing the Caribbean countries and his experience could be very helpful in the discussion with the Nicaraguan scientists.
After a general debate, H. Chaimovich suggested that the official IANAS delegation to the Nicaragua mission should be H. Alper, M. Clegg, H. Ramkissoon and C. Bifano. Considering that the last two would have difficulties to cover their travel expenses, IANAS would be responsible for this. As soon as the members of the proposed delegation got back to their countries, they should check their agendas and contact M. Clegg to confirm participation on the visit.
Juan Asenjo then addressed the meeting commenting that, although he did not have much information on that, he was aware that there had been some recent discussion on the possible organization of an Academy in Uruguay.
H. Chaimovich added to that, informing that he had been recently to Uruguay and he had talked to several prominent members of the Uruguayan scientific community. Although this discussion had indeed occurred, the decision was not to establish an Academy at the time. But IANAS should try to establish contact with Uruguay to work with them on this discussion.
Closing this discussion, M. Clegg suggested that during the next IANAS General Assembly, a workshop on capacity building should be organized and representatives from non-member IANAS countries should be invited. This would be the moment to effectively launch the Capacity Building Programme.
• S&T Policies for Development
H. Chaimovich then provided an update on the actions that had been proposed during the last meeting of the SC, held in Tobago. He recalled that he had suggested the development of a study on 's&T Policies for Development?. Basically this would be focused in the analyses on how to gather quantitative data that could help demonstrate how society gains when it invests in S&T. As he had expressed during the last SC meeting, the major problem was that it is not clear how to relate quantitatively S&T to development. Undoubtedly there are many well-known success stories in this area, and there is much information on these, but we do not have a methodology to analyze how and to what extent have these experiences effectively contributed to development. Considering that this would be a quite expensive study, he had addressed a Brazilian think tank - CGEE (Center for Management and Strategic Studies) ? to discuss the possibility of having them support a study on a few successful cases in Brazil that could serve as a path for the development of an analysis methodology. As he had informed at the last SC meeting, CGEE had demonstrated its interest in such a study and promised an answer, but to the present this answer had not been given. In the last months, he had contacted CGEE several times asking for a position. All he could get back was that they were still interested on the study, but they still needed some more time before approving it. In conclusion, H. Chaimovich commented that all that could be done, at the moment, was to keep waiting for a reply.
• The leading Latin American universities and their contribution to sustainable development in the region
Having all agreed that there was not much to discuss on the 's&T Policies for Development? study, H. Chaimovich moved to the next initiative, which was the study on the ?leading Latin American universities and their contribution to sustainable development in the region?, to be funded by the Ford Foundation. The focus of this study will be the analysis of a select number of cases in Latin American countries - in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico - in which higher education research institutes and groups were able to develop activities that had or are having a strong scientific content providing, simultaneously, a significant contribution to the social well being of their societies. The main hypothesis behind this study is that in spite of the overall institutional rigidity and resource limitations, there are still found in many higher education institutions in the region some scientific and technological research groups, programs and institutions that have been able to create the innovative arrangements that are necessary for their work, and should be studied as models and examples to follow. The study will examine: the role of institutional autonomy and flexibility to engage in partnerships with government and with the private sector; the flow of knowledge and issues of intellectual property; the main differences between the natural sciences and technology and the social sciences; and the reward systems for academics. The study will be carried on under the responsibility of the ?Instituto de Estudos do Trabalho e Sociedade? in Rio de Janeiro, in cooperation with IANAS. Having this initiative already been approved by the Ford Foundation, it will be launched in Rio during the next meeting of the Executive Committee of IAP.
H. Alper then commented on this initiative, informing the SC that he had two long discussions with Jorge Balán, from the Ford Foundation. During these conversations he had the opportunity to explain to him what IANAS was, since he was not acquainted with the network. His impression was that he was very enthusiastic with the study proposal.
H. Chaimovich stressed that although the study was to be carried out by Simon Schwartzman, from the ?Instituto de Estudos do Trabalho e Sociedade?, it was clearly recognized that this was a joint initiative, where IANAS? identity is clearly affirmed. Chaimovich also highlighted that the project is very well structured with a clear chronogram for action, being led by a very experienced Brazilian researcher. This initiative was a clear output of IANAS, having the initial proposal surfaced during a discussion on the last meeting of the SC.
Juan Asenjo informed that the Chilean Academy of Sciences had just finished a study on the state-of-the-art of Science in Chile. This study was delivered to policy and decision makers in Chile and the impact was very positive. He suggested that this study should be considered by the study on the ?leading Latin American universities and their contribution to sustainable development in the region?, to which all agreed. Similarly, the study should also be made available to IANAS members.
H. Ramkissonn noted that the Caribbean Scientific Union had also developed a report on the state-of-the-art of Science in the Caribbean region.
• The role of Science, Technology, Innovation and Science Education as a major tool for the recovery of the social, economic and political importance of Latin America and the Caribbean region in the global scene
Hernan Chaimovich reported the discussions that he has held with Ignacy Sachs on this study proposal. To the present, there are no concrete details, only ideas and a very preliminary discussion. Basically this would be a IANAS study, to be coordinated by Ignacy Sachs, focused on the role of Science, Technology, Innovation and Science Education as a major tool for the recovery of the social, economic and political importance of Latin America and the Caribbean region in the global scene. Sachs has contacted a few former presidents from the region and they are willing to support this initiative, which would be submitted to OAS for funding. To the present there is not much to be done. We should wait for an initial draft proposal, which will be submitted by Ignacy Sachs to IANAS.
Agreeing that not much more could be discussed at the moment on the three study proposals that were presented, H. Ramkissoon stressed that the focus of IANAS? capacity building actions should be where scientists really are, and on the case of most countries in the region the universities are this place. He agrees that the traditional view of IAP on capacity building of Academies is important, but IANAS should also consider the strengthening of the universities in the region as a crucial aspect of regional capacity building. He recognizes that this is type of effort is expensive and difficult to fund, but organizations such as TWAS could be approached to work together on this.
H. Chaimovich agreed with H. Ramkissoon's consideration, highlighting the fact that having the offices of IANAS, TWAS and ICSU presently hosted in Rio, at the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, could help in the building up of common actions. Obviously it is important to understand that each organization has its own identity that shall be preserved, but joint actions can add an important synergy to all.
H. Alper referred to H. Ramkissoon's words to emphasize that the IANAS visit to Nicaragua expressed exactly the concern of going to where scientists are, or in other words, to meet people at the university to discuss capacity building. As for the development of joint actions involving the different international S&T organizations, H. Alper mentioned that governments are presently concerned with this. He mentioned the case of the South African government. He stressed that the role of each of these organizations should be discussed and clearly identified. As for our region, we were lucky to have them all together in the same building, which might help promote a better integration among the different organizations. This might be a experience that, if successful, would represent an example to be followed.
Hernan Chaimovich stated that the IANAS and TWAS offices were already operational, while the ICSU regional office was in the process of being implemented. He and Sergio Pastrana, from the Cuban Academy of Sciences, were presently working on the establishment of a foundation that would administer a fund to support the functioning of this office.
Harold Ramkissoon stressed that IANAS should try to regionally mobilize these organizations to jointly tackle the major S&T challenges and problems. And, most important, we should ask ourselves if Science is getting exactly where it should be reaching. If we do not have this clear, we are not achieving to do what would be most important for us.
The last one to speak on this was H. Chaimovich, who suggested that a joint IANAS/TWAS//ICSU regional meeting could target this issue, involving on this process the Science Academies, governments and the most important universities.
Hernan Chaimovich reported that the Plan of Action and budget breakdown for IANAS in 2006 had already been sent to the Executive Committee of IAP, which will discuss it in its coming meeting in coming March. He also acknowledged that IANAS has been receiving a quite good support from IAP to run its activities. Similarly, he also acknowledged the important support that the network has been receiving by the Brazilian and Canadian governments.
Howard Alper agreed that we should be very grateful to the generous support of these donors, without which IANAS would not have become a reality. Nevertheless, he emphasized that it was important for IANAS to approach other organizations to seek for additional funding.
Michael Clegg stated that IANAS could approach the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to discuss possibilities of cooperation. Although IBD does not provide grants, we should look into possibilities of interaction with this organization.
H. Chaimovich agreed with M. Clegg, stating that we should also approach the Organization of American States (OAS). Although we still have not been recognized as an official civil society organization within OAS, we have had much space on this organization in the past year, through an active participation in the OAS General Assembly process. Chaimovich reported that presently there is an internal restructuring going on within the OAS structure and the Office of Science and Technology may be incorporated by another office. This would be very bad for it would indicate a loss of prestige to the area. Contacts are being made by some Academies to try to avoid this and IANAS should keep the pressure. If the office is incorporated by another, the impression is that IANAS will keep its political space in the organization, but perspectives for funding will not be the best. In closing, Chaimovich emphasized that IANAS had dedicated a big effort to the General Assembly process, participating in several meetings and coordinating two virtual forums. If OAS will not support IANAS actions, we should reconsider if we should keep the level of commitment that we have had in the recent months.
Both H. Alper and M. Clegg argued that IANAS should pursue its goals since the network has been quite influential and it is important that IANAS continues to play a role in enhancing the role of science and technology within OAS. Additionally, IANAS should try to mobilize its member Academies, stimulating them to contact their governments to discuss with them the importance of keeping the Office of Science and Technology as an independent unit within the OAS structure.
• OTHER BUSINESS
Hernan Chaimovich remembered that the IANAS General Assembly will be held in Venezuela and asked Claudio Bifano if the Venezuelan Academy had news on the organization of this meeting.
C. Bifano replied that in spite of some difficulties, the Academy was most willing to host the General Assembly, which would be a very important event to increase the visibility of the Academy. The idea would be to hold the meeting at the Margarita Islands and by the next meeting of the SC he will present a more detailed proposal on the agenda.
• NEXT MEETING
The suggestion is that the next meeting of the IANAS Steering Committee should take place in Mexico, in a date to be settled. The Mexican Academy of Sciences will be contacted to see if they are willing to host this meeting. If by any chance Mexico cannot host the meeting, The Academies from Chile, USA and Venezuela are willing to do so.
The meeting was successfully concluded at 13:40 p.m.