The scientific activities of RAMIRAN will already be familiar to
many who have taken part in the consultations, workshops or working
groups or who have read the reports and proceedings of these meetings.
This introduction aims to place RAMIRAN in context within the FAO
and to outline briefly the history and previous activities of the
RAMIRAN is part of the ESCORENA network - the European System of
Cooperative Research Networks in Agriculture. ESCORENA was established
by the FAO Regional Office for Europe (REU) in 1974. It is a form
of voluntary research cooperation among interested national institutions
involved in research in food or agriculture in European countries.
Over the years, ESCORENA has expanded its field of activities to
include topics and themes of interest to other countries, particularly
those from the Near East and Mediterranean area.
The current objectives of ESCORENA are to:
- Promote the voluntary exchange of information and experimental
data on selected topics.
- Support joint applied research on selected subjects of common
interest according to an accepted methodology and an agreed division
of tasks and timetable.
- Facilitate voluntary exchange of experts, germplasm and technologies.
- Establish close links between European researchers and institutions
working on the same subject to stimulate interaction.
- Accelerate the transfer of European technology advances to,
and in cooperation with, developing countries.
ESCORENA comprises 13 cooperative research networks of which RAMIRAN
is one. Today, with its 13 networks, it links over 2500 researchers
accross Europe and, in some cases, accross the globe. The networks
have a simple and flexible organisation and their activities are
basically self-regulating. Most of the networks include sub-networks
or working groups covering specific topics. In collaboration with
FAO, the networks or working groups convene workshops, technical
meetings and network consultations. The ESCORENA networks are grouped
into 4 categories : Crops, Livestock, Food and Nutrition and Agri-Environment.
Agri-Environment comprises The Sustainable Rural Environment and
Energy Network (SREN), that deals with issues including pollinator
diversity, renewable energy production and use and organic farming,