The Center for Research and Sustainable Development Communication (Centre de Recherche et de Communication pour le Développement Durable or CERED) is a recently established interdisciplinary research center in Loyola University of Congo (Université Loyola du Congo in French) in Kimwenza in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).
CERED is part of the Institut Supérieur Agro-Vétérinaire Saint Pierre Canisius (ISAV) and now called Faculté des sciences Agronomiques et vétérinaires (FSAV), a Jesuit institution dedicated to research in agriculture, veterinary, and sustainable development, where sustainability involves anthropological, social and economic factors. The program is multidisciplinary and participatory, involving diverse stakeholders that include researchers, students, research technicians, as well as local communities. Research in CERED covers both theoretical and practical aspects and topics of natural sciences and the social sciences, and puts the welfare of people at the core of the research concerns.
Ghislain Tshikendwa Matadi, SJ, coordinator of CERED and part of the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN)-Ecology, shared that “our meetings at Loyola and Stockholm encouraged us to work together on key areas including forests and water and upon my return to Kinshasa, we have worked to establish CERED.”
Inaugurated in February 2016, CERED has a five-year (2017-2022) research program with a threefold mission:
- To contribute to the development of global knowledge in climate change, sustainable management of natural resources, impact of human activities in ecosystems, among others, in the context of Africa in general and the DR Congo in particular;
- To participate in the production of knowledge that contributes to a development framework which is sustainable and empowering. This knowledge must be objective and integrates the ecological and cultural conditions in DR Congo and contributes to the development of Africa and DR Congo.
- To gather, encode, and validate the relevance of African traditions and explore the appropriate integration in the sustainable development of Africa and DR Congo.
With Professor Bila Isia Inogwabini, CERED’s scientific director, Father Ghislain shared that they are already engaged in research on the Congo Basin, especially in the Plateau de Batéké where they have an agroforestry center. CERED will work on the analysis of climate change impact in the Kinshasa area to provide basic and reliable meteorological parameters for farmers and establish at the same time a databank for monitoring climate variations and extreme weather events.