The structural and functional details of the AAAI workshop in Australia are outlined below, but it is equally important to say a few words about the qualitative and subjective elements of this event. We begin by offering our deepest and most sincere thanks to the Australian Plague Locust Commission (Graeme Hamilton, David Hunter, Peter Spurgin, and the other staff who so ably assisted in the effort) who hosted our Association with grace, humor, and attentiveness. We can not overstate the debt of gratitude that AAAI owes to this fine organization and its staff.
Although the structure and function of AAAI were variously modified, perhaps the most important aspect of the workshop was the development of trust and a common vision for our Association. Building from scratch a community of acridologists with so many different backgrounds, countries, and contexts is an immense challenge, and there was plenty of reason to be suspicious of AAAI and its motives. After all, how many pest management NGOs exist in the world, and how many international, scientific organizations are modeled on the notion of pure cooperation? The defining core of AAAI is one of trust among people and institutions. Our radical assumption is that industries, agencies, organizations, and people who have been fierce competitors for markets, funding, status, and projects can and will work together for the common good of the people and ecosystems. The "winner" is not a political or economic agent but the people and places that we serve. By integrating altruism and enlightened self-interest, AAAI seeks to build a community of scientists and managers who will work together. Such a model is founded on people and grounded in trusting relationships. With the completion of our first workshop, there can be no doubt that we have the "right" people and that the process of building familiarity, cooperation, and trust is well underway. Getting to know and understand one another during dinners, beers, van rides, and raucous debates was one of the most important and unquantifiable aspects of the workshop. Indeed, the sense of potential and excitement that grew during the meeting was perhaps the best measure of the value of this venture.
AAAI can offer the world >300 years of collective, cumulative experience,
extensive knowledge, and absolute objectivity, but these assets can only
emerge through our cooperative efforts and projects. And so, the success
of AAAI is entirely (at least largely) a function of our collective will.
The only major obstacle that we face is our own imagination and energy
(limited by distrust, ambivalence, or self-interest), and the relationships
developing among our Associates are fast eroding these obstructions. Of
course, there remain various concerns, differences, and doubts, but we
have begun a healthy, open, and active dialogue. We are extremely optimistic
regarding the future of AAAI. Converting this feeling into concrete terms,
there are two critical challenges facing us in the coming year - we must
develop projects to demonstrate our credibility and capacity and we must
retain and expand our sponsorships.
1. Current Associates: The names, addresses, phone/fax numbers, emails and expertises of the Associates are listed in AAAI Associates. We ask that each Associate check this information for accuracy and provide us (Alexandre or Jeff) with corrections.
2. Attending Associates: The following Associates attended the workshop in Australia: Brown (South Africa), Dobson (United Kingdom), Everts (Senegal), Hunter (Australia), Lange (Argentina), Latchininsky (United States), Lecoq (France), Li (China), Lockwood (United States), Lomer (Turkey), Magalhaes (Brazil), Mohsin (Pakistan), Moore (United Kingdom), Ould Babah (Mauritania), Peveling (Switzerland), Sergeev (Russia), Sokolov (Russia), and Spurgin (Australia).
3. New Associates: Following extensive discussion by the Associates of the Board's recommendation to invite 2-3 new Associates, the following individuals were identified as being critical to AAAI in terms of their expertise (operations, logistics, and management) and geographic setting (north Africa): Boutros (Pesticide Specialist in the Plant Protection Directorate, Sudan) and Said Ghaout (Director of the National Centre of Locust Control, Morocco). The need for an AAAI presence in India was deemed to be most appropriately addressed through an Affiliate (see item 4 below).
4. Affiliates: The Board recognized that AAAI needs to expand its network of expertise while maintaining low overhead. Adding Associates has considerable costs to AAAI with respect to paid attendance at the annual workshop. As such, the Board recommended and the Associates approved the creation of a new category, called "Affiliate".
a. Advantages: An Affiliate would gain the advantages of being able to attend the annual workshop (although the costs would not be borne by AAAI), receiving our newsletter (see item II.B.3), participating in projects, gaining peer recognition, and identifying with AAAI via our website and other materials. The AAAI gains formalized recognition of a more diverse group of experts, enhanced credibility and strategic access to acridologists, and facilitated relations between Associates and Affiliates at no additional financial cost.
b. Methods: Each Associate may nominate up to 5 Affiliates. The
goal is to allow Associates a mechanism to build relations with individuals
of strategic scientific, managerial, economic, cultural, political, and
geographic value to the Associate and hence to AAAI. It is not necessary
that an Associate identify any Affiliates or that all 5 posts be filled
within a particular period of time. The procedure for including an Affiliate
begins with an Associate initiating contact and establishing the nature
of the relationship to AAAI with the nominee. Then, the Associate submits
the nominee's name and credentials to the Board, who will vote on the nomination.
We anticipate that our Associates will, with very rare exceptions, bring
highly qualified individuals to the attention of the Board, so approvals
are expected to be common. Upon approval, the Board will formally extend
an invitation to the Affiliate.
B. Institutional Partners: The goodwill of our Institutional Partners and their understanding that AAAI is an ally, rather than a competitor, is critical to the functioning of our Association. In context of the importance of these Partners, three relevant matters were addressed.
1. Current Institutional Partners: Our institutional partners include 8 agencies, laboratories, and institutions as summarized in AAAI Partners.
2. Partner and Participant Institutions: It appears that some institutions may be uncomfortable with the nature of the relationship that is implied by the term "Partner". For some, this may connote a degree of association that is too intimate or interdependent. However, the term "Participant" was viewed as being less laden with the potential for mixing allegiances. Conversely, some institutions appear to prefer the stronger relationship implicit in the term "Partner". To resolve this matter, the Board and Associates agreed that the institutions should simply be free to select whichever of these terms most effectively conveyed the nature of their relationship to AAAI. There will be no differentiation among our "Partner" and "Participant" institutions with respect to AAAI services and communications, but this choice allows these bodies to define their association in culturally and politically acceptable terms. We will continue to use the term "Partner" for all current institutions, until and unless they notify us that "Participant" is the preferred term. All future invitations to institutions will make this choice of terms available at the time of formal association with AAAI.
3. New Partner/Participant Institutions: A call for new institutions to which an invitation from AAAI should be extended resulted in three nominees: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kazakhstan Institution of Plant Protection, and Uzbekistan Institute of Plant Protection. Invitations will be sent in the names of the Associates who indicated these institutions. The Board encourages all Associates to continue to communicate the names of prospective Partner/Participant Institutions.
C. Industry Sponsors: Industry Sponsors are vital to the development of AAAI, as our projects are not yet generating the revenue needed to operate the Association. Although AAAI is non-profit, basic costs of the workshop, administration, mailing, phone, etc. need to be covered by direct funding or in-kind support.
1. Current Sponsors: Our meeting was sponsored by Rhône-Poulenc, Sumitomo (Australia), Uniroyal, and SGB (the commercial producer of Metarhizium in Australia). Our thanks for their support will be extended by the Board on behalf of AAAI. Furthermore, we will determine how these companies (i.e., AAAI sponsors or workshop sponsors, or both) wish to be associated with AAAI and if continued support will be forthcoming.
2. Terminology: The question was raised as to why we used the term "Industry Sponsor". The Board recognized that this term was overly restrictive, particularly when there was an explicit intention to secure sponsorships from non-industrial sources (e.g. environmental organizations, pest management agencies, etc.). As such, AAAI will adopt the term "Sponsor", dropping the adjective "Industry" so that the label is consistent with the broader intention of sponsorship.
3. New Sponsors: It is absolutely critical that AAAI continue to expand and diversify its Sponsors. We are delighted to have had four companies support our current activities, but there are others who have a great deal to gain from our pool of experts. We are in communication with Mycotech and Dow AgroSciences, and we have Associates who can serve as liaisons with Bayer, Micronaire, and Zeneca. However, the likelihood of attracting sponsorships is heavily dependent on the familiarity and credibility that an Associate can offer as a liaison between AAAI and the prospective Sponsor. As such, we are urgently asking all Associates to assist us in identifying prospective Sponsors and providing whatever level of facilitation that is possible in establishing a relationship.
To this end, we are attaching a copy of our "standard" letter of introduction
to a prospective Sponsor for your consideration (Appendix
1). This letter can be modified to identify elements of an association
between AAAI and a Sponsor that would be particularly meaningful or attractive,
and any other changes that the Associate feels are necessary or useful
can be accommodated. The letter will be sent from the Director and Executive
Director to assure that communications are clearly established, but the
full participation of Associates in this process is strongly encouraged.
1. Completed Projects: Although AAAI is less than a year old, we already have a number of accomplishments.
a. Technical Translation: The "From Fipronil to Adonis®" (a product Guide for Fipronil) was translated from French to Russian by Alexandre Latchininsky for Rhône-Poulenc. AAAI also handled the printing and production of the translated guide. The translation was received with great interest by plant protection specialists in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Georgia, and a reprinting is anticipated.
b. Scientific Publication: A report entitled "Distribution of the Italian Locust (Calliptamus italicus L.) in the Western Part of the Altai Region" by Michael Sergeev was published under the joint auspices of AAAI and Novosibirsk State University.
c. Workshop Co-sponsorship: The AAAI co-sponsored a NATO Advanced Research Workshop on "Acridogenic and Anthropogenic Hazards to the Grassland Biome: Managing Grasshopper Outbreaks without Risking Environmental Disaster" in Estes Park, Colorado.
d. NGO status: After seeking legal counsel regarding the nature of non-governmental organizations, AAAI has been determined to meet the criteria of an NGO, and we are now using this term in describing ourselves.
e. Website: The AAAI website is now up and running. We will be making periodic updates and corrections, so if you find any element of the site that needs revision, please call it to our attention. This site should prove a valuable tool in informing our Associates, Institutional Partners/Participants, Sponsors, and potential clients of our organization.
f. Workshop: The first AAAI workshop was held in Australia and hosted by the Australian Plague Locust Commission. By any measure, the workshop was an enormous success, and there can be no doubt that this project will be vital to the continued health and growth of AAAI.
2. Ongoing Projects:
a. Guide to Central Asian Acridids: A "Guide to the Common and Harmful Grasshoppers and Locusts of Central Asia" is now fully funded and in development. A consortium of industry and academic sources have supported this venture, while AAAI played the leadership role in generating and conducting this project. An international team of 8 specialists (including 4 AAAI Associates) from 4 countries is preparing the guide, which covers >300 species of acridids. Publication is expected in May 2000.
b. NATO Proceedings: The NATO Advanced Research Workshop (see Item IIA1c) is publishing a book "Grasshoppers and Grassland Health", and AAAI will be recognized as a co-sponsor of this venture and is serving as the editorial board.
c. UN NGO: The application for official recognition of AAAI as an NGO by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization has been submitted (June 1999) and acknowledged. We will be providing an update of these materials with respect to the developments emerging from our workshop, and we remain optimistic that our application will be favorably received.
3. Projects in Development:
a. Working Groups: The Associates felt that "working groups" organized around areas of particular strength, interest, and need would facilitate the development of collaborative projects. As such, we are proposing three working groups (the exact names of which can be modified by the members), and we are asking Associates to let us know which of these groups they would like to join and whether they would be willing to serve as a (co)-leader of the group.
The Board will put the members of the working groups together and assure that there is at least one leader to move the effort forward. The directions and functions of the working groups will be largely self-defined, but we are suggesting that each group consider developing an applied research project and a 1-5 day training program that AAAI could market to prospective clients. Please consider the following groups:
i. Non-uniform Application Methods: This group would work on barrier, irregular, RAATs, and other application tactics.
ii. Biocontrol/Metarhizium: This group would work on the development and application of biological controls, with Metarhizium serving as the current focus.
iii. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Impacts: This group would work on the evaluation and mitigation of environmental effects associated with grasshopper and locust control.
b. Central Asia: We are engaged in discussions with the FAO regarding the possibility of collaborative consulting, training, and research programs in Central Asia. It appears that there are excellent opportunities for parallel and mutually supportive efforts between our organizations in this region.
c. Development Agencies: We have opened discussions with the European Union, US Agency for International Development and the World Bank concerning the sorts of projects that AAAI can offer with regard to ongoing and impending grasshopper and locust outbreaks.
d. "Development Marketplace": This new program of the World Bank is offering grants to organizations to address poverty issues in developing countries. We have submitted an AAAI proposal supported by collaborators in the World Bank, European Union, and Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan Plant Protection Institutes.
e. Associate Projects: We are strongly encouraging every Associate to seek opportunities to include AAAI as a partner or leader in applied acridology projects. Such efforts can be as simple as including your AAAI association on publications, reviews, acknowledgments, and other documents. Associates and Institutional Partners/Participants might also consider using AAAI as a means of peer review, program review, or proposal development. Ongoing projects that AAAI could "coat-tail" with regard to assessment, review, or participation would be extremely welcomed. If AAAI could co-sponsor a meeting, workshop, or training session by facilitating communication/advertisement, providing materials/expertise, or editorial services, please let us know. Of course, "major" projects would be most welcomed, and we look forward to initiatives arising from the working groups. It is critical that AAAI develop a record of productivity, and no project is too small if the quality of the product reflects well on the Association.
f. Next Workshop: The workshops are a central "project" for the
Association. It was generally agreed that the primary function of the workshop
must be to facilitate personal communication and foster collegiality and
collaboration among the Associates. It may be useful to have a theme for
the workshop to focus discussion or to organize sessions around the working
groups. The location of the workshop is considered a "value added" element,
with the goal of selecting a site where we can benefit from the knowledge
of our hosts (i.e., Associates-as-students) and/or provide a service via
consultation or training to our hosts (i.e., Associates-as-teachers). The
possibility of a workshop in Central Asia was discussed, and other venues
were suggested. The pros and cons of a laboratory-based workshop were also
discussed. It may be possible to precede a 1-week workshop for Association
business and Associate communications with a 1-week optional field-based
workshop. At this time, no commitments have been made, but we are exploring
several options. If the workshop is held during a "field season" in the
northern hemisphere, the next workshop may not occur for another 15 months
1. Advances in Applied Acridology 1999: The annual report of AAAI is intended to highlight the work of our Associates and Partner/Participant Institutions, while also recognizing the important advances by other acridologists and organizations. The publication will be posted on the AAAI website (using a .pdf format to facilitate printing), and 25-30 hardcopies will be printed and distributed to Partner/Participant Institutions, Sponsors, and prospective clients.
a. Logistics: Each Associate is expected to provide a contribution to Advances in Applied Acridology 1999. Your submission is due December 31. It should be prepared using either Word or WordPerfect and emailed as an attachment to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The text is limited to 1 page, single spaced, with 1" (2.54 cm) margins. The font should be Times New Roman, 11 point. You are strongly encouraged to make use of references, websites, and other sources of "additional" knowledge to direct the reader to more in-depth information. Your report should be clearly divided into one or more sections (see II.B.1.b) with each section able to stand alone. The collective publication will be organized by these headings, so these sections of your contribution will be sequenced accordingly (with authorship attached to each of the sections). You may contribute to one or more sections, but it is critical that you identify the section under which you wish to have your text listed. Editorial and stylistic changes to assure a high quality product will be made at the discretion of the editors (Lockwood and Latchininsky).
b. Sections: The following sections will be used to organize the publication into relevant themes.
2. Quarterly Report on the State of Acridid Outbreaks: These electronic reports will provide valuable information to our Associates and Sponsors concerning the current state of grasshopper and locust infestations around the world. After considerable debate concerning the obligations of Associates to share their knowledge and the need of AAAI to provide a valuable service to our Sponsors, it was decided that the "Quarterly Reports" would be provided in "real time" to our Associates and Sponsors, and then released to the public via our website after 3 months (i.e., with the release of each "Quarterly Report" to our Associates and Sponsors the previous report will be posted on our website). This compromise allows AAAI to offer a valued service to its Sponsors while meeting our obligations to share our information publically.
a. Logistics: After considerable discussion on the optimal timing
of the "Quarterly Reports", the following, experimental time-table was
|Date that Associate Reports are Due||Date that Associate Reports are Released|
|November 15||December 1|
|February 15||March 1|
|May 15||June 1|
|August 15||September 1|
Every Associate is required to submit a report once per year (February 15 for the Northern Hemisphere and August 15 for the Southern Hemisphere). A partial list of the countries that Associates intend to cover in their reports was developed at the workshop, but we are asking all Associates to send the countries for which they can collect information to the relevant editors. This preliminary information and subsequent reports should be submitted to Michael Sergeev for the Northern Hemisphere (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to David Hunter for the Southern Hemisphere (David.Hunter@affa.gov.au). Reports at interim dates are at the discretion of the Associates and should be submitted if important, new information has been obtained. Associates are not expected to conduct surveys or collect first-hand information on infestations. Rather, they are asked to simply compile and organize information that is available in their country or region through existing survey and monitoring programs. The value of the "Quarterly Report" lies not in its "original" information but in the synthesis and unification of existing data in a single, concise, organized publication.
b. Format: The reports submitted by the Associates should be formatted as described in II.B.1.a. The sections of the "Quarterly Reports" are as follows (all sections for which there is information should be completed):
3. AAAI Newsletter: To maintain, expand, and foster communications among Associates, Partner/Participating Institutions, and Sponsors, we will produce a quarterly newsletter. This publication is intended to provide valuable information regarding opportunities, events, activities, and other aspects of applied acridology. The Newsletter will be provided electronically to Associates and Affiliates; hardcopies will be sent to Sponsors and Partner/Participating Institutions.
a. Logistics: Sustaining a newsletter can be challenging, but for a dispersed organization like AAAI such an instrument of communication is critical to building relationships and creating collaborations. As such, we are requiring that every Associate submit an item to the Newsletter twice a year. The informational item(s) should be submitted to the editor, James Everts (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The following schedule indicates the deadlines for submitting your information (of course, if items come to an Associate's attention at other times these should be submitted as well). The groups were arbitrarily assembled at the workshop.
Submissions due May 15 and November 15 for Group 1: Lomer, Magalhaes, Mohsin, Moore, Ould Babah, Peveling, Price, Sergeev, Showler, Spurgin, Tingle, and Zweigert.
Submissions due February 15 and August 15 for Group 2: Brown, Dobson, Everts, Foster, Hunter, Johnson, Kambulin, Kang, Lange, Latchininsky, Lockwood, and Lecoq.
b. Format: Submissions should be formatted as described in II.B.1.a. The newsletter will have various section headings. Associates are asked to indicate which of the following sections would be most appropriate for their item(s):
1. Identify and nominate Affiliates (I.A.4.b)
2. Identify and nominate Institutional Partners/Participants (I.B.3)
3. Identify and facilitate solicitation of Sponsors (I.C.3)
4. Select one or more Working Groups to join or lead (II.A.3.a)
5. Provide and describe active and developing projects (II.A.3.e)
6. Submit your contribution to the Advances in Applied Acridology (II.B.1.a)
7. Submit your contribution to the Quarterly Reports (II.B.2.a)
8. Submit your contribution to the Newsletter (II.B.3.a)
B. Summary of Due Dates: To facilitate the Associates in meeting
deadlines for our publications, the following summary is provided (information
for the Newsletter and Quarterly Reports can be made on or before any of
the quarterly deadlines for "non-required" submissions)
|Date||Newsletter||Quarterly Report||Advances in Acridology|
|Feb. 15||Group 2||Northern||xxx|
|May 15||Group 1||xxx||xxx|
|Aug. 15||Group 2||Southern||xxx|
|Nov. 15||Group 1||xxx||xxx|
|Dec. 31||xxx||xxx||All Associates|
To follow-up on our conversation this week, it is my distinct pleasure to formally extend to your company an invitation to become an Sponsoring Partner in the newly formed Association for Applied Acridology International (AAAI). As you know, despite recent advances in our capacity to manage grasshopper and locust outbreaks, these pests continue to cause phenomenal losses of agricultural production. Ironically, as techniques and products have become increasingly sophisticated in the last 20 years, the capacity to refine and transfer the methods and knowledge has declined and the demand for innovations in pest management has increased. Thus, we have arrived at what appears to be an extremely opportune moment in history for applied acridology. The global expertise is strong but highly dispersed, while the need for this expertise is great and increasing. We believe that it is possible to develop an alliance of scientists, institutions, and industries that can collectively meet theQ„ 4 h€ ‰ DATU € €
The Association presents an innovative approach to rebuilding the critical mass of expertise necessary to address the devastating, ongoing and future grasshopper and locust outbreaks throughout the world. The Association is comprised of: 1) a group of 25 Associates, who form a coordinated, operational pool of world experts, accessible to governments, agencies, and companies, 2) a set of 12 Institutional Partners, representing the world's best organizations dedicated to the study and management of acridids, and 3) a coalition of private industries and organizations, including the most progressive and innovative leaders in the field of chemical and biological acridicide research, development, and production.
The Board and Associates met this November to refine the infrastructure of our organization and to review our core of Associates, Partners, and Sponsors using the criteria of expertise, geographic representation, reputation, and activity. Your company was identified as one of the world's leading organizations. Of course, we intend for Sponsorship to be a mutualistic relationship, so we are offering the following services and benefits:
Full Sponsorships of the Association ($25,000 per year) will receive: 1) a waiver of all overhead costs (currently set at 41%) on projects conducted through the Association, 2) quarterly reports of the current situation pertaining to grasshoppers and locusts in all major markets in the northern and southern hemispheres, 3) the Annual Report on Advances in Applied Acridology, including summaries of projects conducted through the Association and reviews of recent advances and innovations relevant to applied acridology, 4) advertizing through Association-related materials, and 5) invitations to attend Associate workshops and the Association Board meeting, which will provide contact with the Associates as well as cutting-edge information on grasshopper and locust management.
Supporting Sponsorships ($10,000 per year) will receive: 1) a 10% overhead on projects conducted through the Association, 2) the Annual Report on Advances in Applied Acridology including summaries of projects conducted through the Association and reviews of recent advances and innovations relevant to applied acridology, 3) advertizing through Association-related materials, and 4) invitations to attend Associate workshops and the Association Board meeting, which will provide contact with the Associates as well as cutting-edge information on grasshopper and locust management. We would hasten to note that in consideration of the scope of your company, and in light our the Association's desire to meet the needs of a wide range of Sponsors, the proposed two-tier model is only a starting point for discussion. We would be delighted to work with you in negotiating a mutually beneficial exchange of support and services that addresses both of our needs and abilities.
Although there are tangible benefits of becoming a Sponsor of the Association, we believe that scientists, institutions, and industries also have a social obligation to work on behalf of human and environmental well-being. As the governments of the world become increasingly nationalistic in their concerns, someone must take the leadership in solving international and global problems. Although scientists, institutions, and companies will continue to compete for opportunities and markets, our competition must be balanced by cooperation. The idea of historical competitors working together to build an Association dedicated to solving serious problems of agricultural and natural lands is a radical departure from tradition. However, it is our contention that this newly forming consortium is not only an effective strategy, but it is a truly good thing to do, as well.
The structure of the Association, including its raison d'etre, institutional
setting, quality assurance system, time-line, financial plan, and organizational
structure are explained in our website (select Association for Applied
Acridology from the left-hand frame at
grasshopper/). We would ask that you review this information and provide us with your response to this invitation at your earliest convenience. Of course, you may have questions, require clarifications, or express concerns, and we will be more than happy to address such matters. Please feel free to contact us via phone, fax, email, or regular post.
Jeffrey A. Lockwood
Professor and Director AAAI Executive Director AAAI