Zen (noun) is a kind of Buddhism that is popular in Japan, also, used to represent a relaxed state of mind. That is what the PLE 2 group went in search of, a relaxed mind and basically a day off from the hustle and bustle of a normal 8 to 5 day. The venue? Zen Gardens, Westlands.
The morning of Monday the 28th of February marked the day when the team would brainstorm about how it will progress forward. The meeting kicked off at around 9 am in the morning led by Jan De Leeuw, who started by discussing about the teams meeting that was held on December the previous year and the target outputs for 2011, that were proposed in the meeting.
The PLE Theme Director, Dr. Shirley Tarawali, made a presentation about the Center-Commissioned External Review (CCER) on pastoralism, and the Consortium Research Program (CRP 1.1). In her presentation she talked about the five themes which include breeds and species, rangelands and ecosystem, markets and value chains, milk production and vulnerability and how these would link to the current research that PLE is undertaking.
Other presentations followed which included Natural Resource Management and Biodiversity conservation in the drylands of East Africa (NRM) by Mohammed Said, Valuing ecosystem services and climate change adaptation by Polly Ericksen, Environmental and social impact assessment and climate change mitigation by Jan De Leeuw.
As the day progressed the team brainstormed on the instruments that would inform the teams’ work plan. Potential Countries and partners were also identified.
People Livestock and Environment (PLE), has been in existence in ILRI for roughly eight years now and it is one of the most active themes in ILRI. They have been able to achieve so much and have provided their partners as well as the community with effective guidelines towards sustainable feed options that enhance livestock production. All work and no play may as well lead to no work and that being said and done; the day spent at Zen gardens was highly appreciated.