To improve communication, facilitate collaboration among partners and enhance the relevance of research and development activities related to livestock-environment interactions, the Livestock, Environment and Development (LEAD) Initiative established a Virtual Centre for Research and Development.
The Virtual Centre fulfilled these objectives through a regional network of LEAD Platforms and the LEAD Research Network.
The LEAD Platforms provided information, decision support tools, promotion and dissemination of LEAD activities and networking facilities around particular thematic issues identified in their regions.
The main thematic issues were:
involution of mixed farming systems
global environmental effects in relation to livestock production
The LEAD Platforms operated in Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, and additional language platforms were also developed in Arabic and Portuguese.
The LEAD Platforms supported networking on livestock and environment interactions by connecting people and institutions working on livestock and environment issues.
The Virtual Centre and the LEAD Platforms worked together to provide decision support to the global community on livestock and environment interactions within the framework of rural sustainable development.
The LEAD Virtual Research and Development Centre promoted multidisciplinary research and development, and increased awareness among key stakeholders of the complex interactions of human needs, animal production and the sustainability of global natural resources.
LEAD Research Network
The LEAD Research Network served as the hub for information exchange of the LEAD research projects in the field. Acting as a complement to the LEAD Language Platforms, registered researchers could exchange data, documents and links, and have access to shared resources.
The LEAD Research Network also acted as a forum for scientific debate and provided decision support tools for research, extension and policy formulation.