The Road Ahead: The OIDCI View of the Future

 

It is but fitting that we close this chapter in OIDCI's long history by looking at what the future has in store for the next quarter century. OIDCI and its principals remain confident that the wealth of lessons learned from its 25 year journey would provide a strong foundation to enable it to forge ahead and meet the challenges of the future. This section which contains excerpts from the Company's rolling corporate plan provides a peek into that future.


PLANNING FOR CHANGE AMIDST UNCERTAINTY

When talking about the future, one hears the often-quoted phrase, “the only thing certain in this  changing world is change itself”. In the report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), these uncertainties and surprises are anchored on: a) social, economic and political inequities driving war and conflicts; b) uncertainties of food prices and the ability to sustainably produce food; c) changes in fossil-based energy economics; d) emergence of new competition for natural resources; e) increasing chronic and new diseases; and f) changing environmental conditions especially climate change-driven and growing awareness of the importance of sustaining ecosystem services. But even with the most proactive “eye” one is never certain and the world springs many “surprises”.

The world is rapidly changing and humanity will be traversing unfamiliar roads in the near future. The drivers of this change will still be a burgeoning human population but with the added dimensions of rapid urbanization, changing diets, spiraling energy demands and dwindling natural resources continuously under pressure. This increasing demand by an expanding population on one hand, and a stressed natural resource base on the other, create a “double squeeze” that increase risks and uncertainties exacerbated by climate change. The impact will be a greater need for food and nutrition security and environmental restoration, especially of biodiversity elements required for food production, human well-being and ecosystem services. There will also be greater realization of the need for more functional social and institutional structures and arrangements which will promote resilience, inclusive growth and more equitable development. Strategies required to support these imperatives at all levels of human society will become more urgent and compelling.

As the global society prepares for the end of the first Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the beginning of the succeeding MDGs (or Sustainable Development Goals after 2015), all sectors of human society should strive to contribute more to finding solutions for these challenges at all levels and encompassing both the natural and social systems. When we evaluate ourselves and humbly accept that the world has fallen short of its MDG targets, it is also bringing forward important lessons in preparation for the next courses of action. The most important lesson is that global targets must have the dimensions of peace and security, inclusive of economic and social development, and environmental sustainability. To enhance the attainment of these dimensions, interventions must be anchored on three basic core and inter-related principles: human rights, equity and environmental integrity.

From this standpoint there are a myriad of concerns and issues that need to be addressed. There is so much to do and so much to cover that it is very easy for an organization to be overwhelmed by the challenges. No doubt that there will be a sprinkling of involvements that would test the diversity and flexibility of this organization. Against this backdrop of emerging and interlocking issues, OIDCI's view of its future involvements as contained in it corporate plan will revolve around the following major development themes.

 

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