New Developments at ICARDA

July 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Since our last update of 13 May 2012, there have been new developments at ICARDA. These are being misrepresented in some of the media and resulting in misinformation. The facts of ICARDA’s current situation are as follows:

On 2 July 2012, we decided that our headquarters and principal research station at Tel Hadya, 30km outside Aleppo, is no longer secure. Armed groups have intruded for several nights and stolen vehicles, some farm machinery, equipment and computers.

Fortunately, our e-mail and financial systems and our data bases have already been transferred to the cloud and are fully accessible. All buildings and laboratories are safe, including the gene bank. All our gene bank accessions have already been safety duplicated in the locations outside Syria.

In light of these events, and in the interests of the safety of our staff, we have reduced our activities at Tel Hadya to a minimum, and re-located the majority of our staff and all valuable scientific and professional equipment and data to our premises in Aleppo, where we are establishing our offices and some laboratories.

As of 3 July, the Government of Syria provided protection around Tel Hadya, since when the situation is calm, and we are monitoring the situation. Fortunately, the cropping season was successfully completed. and we had already harvested more than 95% of the field experimentation and the seed increases. The remaining fields are being completed.

Most of our expatriate staff has already relocated to ICARDA’s regional offices and they continue to implement their research programs and projects in 40+ countries. A few key principal scientists and all of senior management remain in Aleppo and will relocate depending on the security situation.

The last few days have been most critical and we would like to commend the Center’s senior management and our dedicated local staff for the huge undertaking in moving so much of our valuable assets from Tel Hadya to the Aleppo city.

 

Henri Carsalade, Chair, Board of Trustees

Mahmoud Solh, Director General

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1 Comment »

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  1. All my solidarity to all the ICARDA staff and their families. Warm regards,
    Julio Berdegué


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