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FAO activities in Science and Technology for Development

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  1. Commission on Science and Technology for Development 8th Session, 23 – 27 May 2005 FAO activities in Science and Technology for Development Andrea Sonnino FAO – Research and Technology Development Service - Interdepartmental Working Group on Biotechnology

  2. FAO activities in Science and Technology for Development • The mandate • The current activities (focus on biotechnology)

  3. FAO’s Role in Research and Technology for Development CONSTITUTION (1945) Article I:Functions of the Organization “2. The Organization shall promote and, where appropriate, shall recommend national and international action with respect to: scientific, technological, social and economic research relating to nutrition, food and agriculture”… “3. It shall also be the function of the Organization: a) to furnish such technical assistance as governments may request”…..

  4. 15th COAG (1999) main recommendations in regard to Biotechnology • to develop a strategic approach to biotechnology • to undertake activities in information exchange, capacity-building and policy advice • to develop partnerships with the IARCs and NARS • to help countries draft Biosafety legislation and set up regulatory bodies • to help harmonise Biosafety regulations

  5. Declaration of the World Food Summit: five years laterINTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE AGAINST HUNGER 25. We call on the FAO, in conjunction with the CGIAR and other international research institutes, to advance agricultural research and research into new technologies, including biotechnology. The introduction of tried and tested new technologies including biotechnology should be accomplished in a safe manner and adapted to local conditions to help improve agricultural productivity in developing countries. We are committed to study, share and facilitate the responsible use of biotechnology in addressing development needs.

  6. COAG (17th Session in 2003) main recommendations in regard to Biotechnology The Committee: • highlighted the need for capacity building: (…) in cross-cutting areas such as biotechnology (…) (para. 13); • requested that FAO give science-based advice and guidance on biotechnology (para. 19).

  7. FAO activities in Science and Technology for Development • The mandate • The current activities (focus on biotechnology)

  8. Focus of FAO’s activities • Provide a neutral forum to develop international instruments of governance • Ensure access to neutral and balanced information • Provide policy advice • Provide technical assistance

  9. Developing international instruments of governance • Global Plan of Action • International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources Code of Conduct on Biotechnology

  10. Developing international instruments of governance (ctd.) • Codex Alimentarius • International Plant Protection Convention (ISPM 11) • Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishery

  11. Information dissemination • Website on Biotechnology in 5 languages • e-mail newsletter in English, French and Spanish • 47 Updates (every 3 weeks) • 110+ countries reached • 3,400 subscribers

  12. E-Forum on biotechnology • 2,700 Forum Members • 12 moderated e-mail conferences since March 2000 • More than 1,000 e-mail messages posted • ~50% from developing countries • Results of first 6 conferences published

  13. A data base on the status of development, adoption and application of biotechnologies in developing countries • Crops: 2079 entries(73 countries) • Forestry: 737 entries • Livestock: 119 entries • Country profiles • 53 National correspondents

  14. Agriculture Biotechnology: meeting the needs of poor? Information to support decision-making in biotechnology • SOFA 2003-04 “Agricultural Biotechnology: Meeting the Needs of the Poor?” • ABPC “Agricultural Biotechnology Policy Compendium”

  15. Capacity building in Biosafety

  16. National biotech policy development (Bangladesh, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Swaziland) Building regional collaboration Regional Networks REDBIO AsianBioNet APCoAB Asia Pacific Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology Strengthening Local Capacities

  17. Harmonisation of Biosafety regulations at the regional level • Regional surveys of needs and priorities • Sub-regional workshops in the Caucasus and Moldova, Near East, the Caribbean • Asian Bio-Net • Formulation of Sub-regional projects for E. Europe, the Caribbean and L. America

  18. Thank you for your attention