Woman and child, Senegal C. Dangléant © CIRAD

Our ethical commitments

For CIRAD, responsible research operations mean rigorous scientific and partnership strategies and practices, to guarantee the integrity of its research and the reliability of its results. In its code of ethics, the organization sets out the ethical standards expected of its employees, with particular emphasis on research for development partnerships and collaboration with the private sector.

Ethics are crucial for CIRAD. After signing the French national charter for research integrity in 2015, we rolled out our own code of ethics in 2017. It sets out the main ethical principles and rules to be observed by our administrative and scientific staff.

The code was drafted based on previous work by other research organizations, and on French and international texts and regulations concerning research integrity.

It contains specific references to research for development partnerships, the matrix within which CIRAD conducts its research operations for the benefit of the world's most disadvantaged people. Its ethical principles also fully apply to its collaborations with the private sector. Within such collaborations, we commit to providing credible, independent, relevant and effective expertise.

In line with its strategic vision and values, CIRAD:

  • promotes balanced, equitable relationships with its partners;
  • prioritizes sustainable development;
  • builds research, training, appraisal and innovation capacity among its partners in the global South.

An Ethics and Research Integrity Office

An Ethics and Research Integrity Office was created on 1 October 2018. It comprises a Head and his deputy. It is supported by an ethics watch committee with seven members, covering various types of professions at CIRAD.

The office has three main tasks:
•   to disseminate responsible research and promote and foster the adoption and respect of ethical principles in the organization's daily operations;
•   to be the prime contact for requests for information and advice on ethics and research integrity;
•   to oversee investigations into suspected breaches of the principles set out in the code of ethics and relevant warnings.
It also contributes to national and international debate on the promotion of research integrity.

Find out more:


A joint Committee on Ethics for four research organizations

The INRAE-CIRAD-IFREMER-IRD Committee on Ethics in Agricultural Research covers ethical questions raised by research activities, in France and overseas, in the fields of food, agriculture, the sea, the environment and sustainable development, particularly those that concern the relationships between science and society. It has a remit to discuss, advise, raise awareness and if necessary raise the alarm.


The Ethics Committee is founded on six principles

  • It sees the recognition of human dignity as a fundamental value. In its recommendations, it strives to allow for their practical application, in line with the rights set out in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • More generally, the committee sees the values set out in the various declarations and conventions drafted in recent decades by the United Nations and specific organizations, notably UNESCO, as an integral part of its frame of reference. This includes the protection and promotion of cultural expressions, and biodiversity. Implementing the above requires international normative agreements.
  • We must not degrade the living environment for future generations or irreparably mortgage the future, notably by exhausting natural resources or upsetting natural equilibria. Such principles of sustainable development require the committee to work for the long and very long term, not only for the short term. However, the notion of full reversibility appears to be both utopian and impracticable.
  • The world forms a system. Any action upon one element has effects on others: analyses must therefore explore the side- or knock-on effects of actions and the dynamics and strategies it may prompt or foster. Problems must therefore be addressed first and foremost on a global level, albeit while ensuring compatibility between the global and local levels and taking account of the situation on the ground.
  • Robustness and adaptability are virtues when it comes to systems. As such, even in open societies, a degree of self-sufficiency is desirable in production systems, on a national and regional level.
  • Progress requires a society open to technical and social innovations, although it is crucial to analyse and foresee the impact of those innovations on lifestyles and their contribution to human development, and to ensure that the benefits they may generate are shared fairly. 

Find out more: see the decree creating the Ethics Committee

List of published statements