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Launched in 2003, AGORA provides free or subsidised journal access to not-for-profit institutions in eligible countries. Once details are finalised, all institutions in countries with a GNP per capita under US$1,000 will be given access to participating literature. The journal collection focuses on agriculture and related sciences, and includes titles from major publishing houses. AGORA is an FAO initiative. Click here for more details about registering.
An international non-governmental organisation run from Canada (formerly known as RAFI — the Rural Advancement Foundation International). Dedicated to the 'socially responsible development of technologies useful to rural societies', the ETC group has taken the lead on various campaigns on the impact of intellectual property on agriculture and world food security. The website includes ETC 'comment' articles which are generally opposed to GM technology.
AfricanCrops.Net — funded by the Rockefeller Foundations Biotechnology, Breeding and Seed Systems Programme and the Partnership to Fight Striga of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation — publishes a monthly newsletter with information on upcoming conferences, training programmes and funding opportunities. It also hosts a discussion forum where visitors can share experiences of issues such as crop improvement and molecular marker applications.
The website links to a wide range of documents and points to resources dedicated to specific African crops such as cassava, cowpea and sorghum. It also hosts an extensive collection of links to online databases, glossaries, bibliographies, search engines, genetic maps and statistics relating to African-focused biotechnology and plant breeding research.
Founded in 1995, BIOTHAI raises awareness of the links between biodiversity and local livelihoods among policymakers and the general public. BIOTHAI is now a member of the Thai National Biosafety Committee and Plant Varieties Protection Board and advises the government on national biodiversity policy. The organisation campaigns on issues surrounding biotechnology and genetically modified organisms in South-East Asia. Its website links to related news, articles, reports and public statements, from a variety of online sources.
The BioSafe Train project is an international collaboration of scientists aiming to build capacity for dealing with the challenges associated with implementing genetically modified (GM) crops in East Africa.
It publishes information on students' research projects that cover topics such as the environmental impacts of GM maize in Kenya, biodiversity in cotton fields in Uganda and the ecological risks posed by transgenic rice in Tanzania.
BioSafe Train also publishes a regular newsletter, issues press releases, links to partner institutions and related organisations, and highlights meetings and events.
FAO-BioDeC is a database of agricultural biotechnologies being researched, developed or applied in developing countries. It does not provide quantitative information on research being carried out in international centres located in developing countries, or on the level of funding any individual technology receives. But it does give an overview of the stages of adoption of agricultural technologies in different regions that can be used to identify gaps in research or areas for potential collaboration.
Over 50 correspondents from 54 countries contribute to the database, with articles about individual countries' policy frameworks, research institutes and biosafety regulations.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) website is very extensive and well-maintained, with a wealth of background information, as well as regularly updated news items which focus on FAO's work and the work of its partners. It also runs a series of electronic conferences
that aim to allow a wide range of parties, including governmental and non-governmental organisations, policy makers and the general public, to discuss and exchange views and experiences about specific issues concerning biotechnology in food and agriculture for developing countries.
BioWatch South Africa is a nongovernmental organisation based in Cape Town founded in 1997 to 'publicise, monitor and research issues of genetic engineering and promote biological diversity and sustainable livelihoods'. It publishes a monthly newsletter, occasional policy briefings and information booklets on genetically modified crops. A library of images, free to reproduce for educational purposes, is also available.
The CGRFA is a permanent forum of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, where governments discuss and negotiate matters relevant to genetic resources for food and agriculture. Originally established in 1983, the forum aims to ensure the conservation and sustainable utilisation of genetic resources for food and agriculture, as well the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use.
The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research is an association of public and private members supporting a system of 16 Future Harvest centres that work in more than 100 countries to mobilise cutting-edge science to reduce hunger and poverty, improve human nutrition and health, and protect the environment. As well as taking a keen interest in agricultural biotechnology, much of CGIAR's research has direct relevance to biodiversity. CGIAR also coordinates a global network of genebanks that aims to keep the bulk of the world's plant genetic resources in the public domain.
FoodFirst opposes the use of genetic engineering in agriculture and food. It publishes briefings, position papers and opinion articles on genetically modified crop technology in relation to sustainable agriculture, hunger and poverty. Its website includes audio and video interviews with FoodFirst staff as well as photo galleries illustrating, among other topics, agriculture in developing countries.
FOEI disputes that genetically modified crops are safe and argues that genetic engineering is unsustainable. It claims to be the 'largest grassroots environmental network' in the world, with 1.5 million members. Its website on genetically modified organisms contains campaign materials and meeting reports on biosafety, hunger and food aid, contamination and corporate control. Group activity notices and a set of frequently asked questions are also provided.
GE Food Alert is an information resource for people opposed to the use of genetically engineered crops in food without labelling or independent testing. The website, maintained by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis, includes news, information and resources on genetically modified crops, food safety and security and intellectual property rights.
Gene Campaign is a nongovernmental organisation based in Delhi. Established in 1993 by Dr. Suman Sahai, it organises public debates on genetically modified crops and their relevance to Indian small farmers. It also publishes articles and booklets on genetically modified technology, biopiracy, indigenous knowledge and intellectual property rights.
The Genetic Engineering Network is a UK-based network of people opposed to the imposition of GM technology. GEN aims to support, link and publicise all those campaigning against genetic engineering, including local campaign and action groups NGOs, direct activists, and individuals.
GeneWatch UK is an independent organisation concerned with the ethics and risks of genetic engineering. The organisation has a generally negative view of GM crops and questions how, why and whether the use of genetic technologies should proceed.
Greenpeace is one of the world's leading campaigning organisations for the environment. It strongly opposes genetic engineering and advocates a precautionary approach. The website includes regular updates on anti-GM campaigns worldwide.
The Guardian Environment website publishes news and commentary on environmental issues such as climate change, energy, ethical living, food and recycling.
It also provides blogs, job listings and multimedia, including audio and video podcasts. Users can comment and are encouraged to join discussions.
The website also aggregates relevant news from members of the Guardian Environment Network, which brings together the world's best environment websites including SciDev.Net, China Dialogue, Real Science and the World Resources Institute.
The IAC was created in 2000 by the world's science academies to support informed decision making through sound scientific advice on issues ranging from genetically modified organisms to climate change. At the request of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the IAC organises UN ambassador symposia
to call attention to various issues and their potential impact on policy making.
ICGEB is dedicated to advanced research and training in molecular biology and biotechnology, with special regard to the needs of the developing world. It strengthens the research capability of its members through training and funding programmes, as well as advisory services. Specific research programmes are located in Trieste, Italy and New Delhi, India, addressing both basic and applied research problems, with particular attention to those pertinent to the developing world.