GCHERA brings together its Higher Education Associations in support of a mission to
- encourage mutual understanding and global co-operation among higher education associations and their constituent member universities
- provide leadership in education, research, innovation and outreach in agricultural and life sciences
- be a catalyst for the sharing and adoption of best practices across its membership.
Our agricultural and life science universities and faculties have the mission to support the development of the bioeconomy: the production of biomass and its utilisation in the food and non-food value chains, with due regard to the maintenance of a sustainable environment and an integrated rural economy.
Thus our agricultural and life science universities and faculties will be key players in addressing the global agenda enumerated by UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ratified in September 2015, and the COP21 Paris Agreement, November 2015. Whilst our universities and faculties can contribute to many of the 17 SDGs, they must play a critical and central role in:
Goal 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss, and
Goal 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
The focus of our agricultural and life science universities in addressing COP21 and the SDGs can be summarised as securing:
- food and nutritional security and safety
- sustainable management of the natural resources
- development and utilisation of bio renewable resources
- enhancement of the economic viability of the food and non-food value chains, and
- reduction of poverty.
Our agricultural and life science universities will make this contribution through education, research, innovation and outreach.
Our universities aim to provide graduates with the knowledge, skills, ethical foundation, and creativity to be successful leaders in industry, government, NGOs and civil society. Industry, government, NGOs and civil society require leaders who have not only the knowledge, skills, and competencies to act in specialist fields but also leaders who have interdisciplinary competencies to be effective leaders in the wider bioeconomy.
Our universities also have the responsibility to conduct science driven research, and to be innovative in applying the outcomes of that research which will underpin the resolution of the challenges set out by COP21 and the SDGs through effective knowledge transfer and capacity building. In this regard our universities and faculties will be effective players in collaboration with industry, NGOs, government and civil society.
 Agricultural and Life Sciences: in this context refers to the natural and social sciences relating to agriculture, forestry, food and non-food value chains, environmental sustainability and natural resource management, and the rural economy.