Displaying 1-14 of 14 key documents
Source: OECD-FAO | June 2012
This is the eighteenth edition of the Agricultural Outlook, which outlines projected market trends (from 2012 to 2021) for major agricultural commodities and biofuels, and presents recent developments and uncertainties associated with those markets. It focuses on the challenges of meeting the rising demand for food alongside input costs, resource constraints, environmental pressures and the impacts of climate change.
The report finds that world prices for many agricultural crops are expected to remain high over the long-term, in spite of a short-term decline. It highlights progress in improving the sustainability of agricultural practices, and calls for the private sector to take a leading role in creating the right environment.
The report concludes by arguing for better agronomic practices and commercial, technical and regulatory environments, and strengthening agricultural innovation systems, as essential policy challenges. It calls for developing countries to invest in agricultural infrastructure in rural areas and in human capital, and to put in place policies for reducing food loss and waste.
Source: The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) | June 2012
This report presents a new index, which could become an alternative to gross domestic product (GDP) and the Human Development Index as a means of assessing a country's economic development. The Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI) measures nations' wealth by taking into account natural resources and ecological conditions, and a long-term view on wellbeing and sustainability.
The IWI was applied to 20 countries — representing over half the world's population and three quarters of global GDP — revealing changes in inclusive wealth between 1990 and 2008. The report found that an accurate representation of development depends on accounting for factors such as population change, the effect of global variables, and the price of natural or social capital. It recommends that governments integrate the IWI into planning, development and economic policies; protect their natural capital; and establish research initiatives to help evaluate natural capital components.
The report will be published every two years, offering policymakers practical frameworks and encouraging more holistic approaches to economic development assessments.
This paper gives an overview of the history of science technology and innovation (STI) institutions and policies in the Latin American region, and the challenge of using STI to meet development needs.
The paper gives examples of public, private and civil society initiatives illustrating regional efforts to develop a 3D innovation agenda — one that concentrates on direction, distribution and diversity of innovations. It outlines areas for action to advance STI in Latin America, which include agenda setting, funding, capacity building, organising and monitoring, evaluation and accountability. Limitations and failings of STI are considered, and recommendations of further research are offered; they include persistent social and economic inequalities, institutional and political resistance to change, and the role of power relations in determining directions of STI policy in the future.
Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) | January, 2009
This report — summarising a UNESCO innovation for development workshop — examines the role of innovation in development, and the contribution of knowledge, research and development to innovation. It focuses on knowledge in science, engineering and technology.
The report outlines analytical and theoretical frameworks as well as current innovation efforts and innovation policy. Major issues discussed at the workshop are highlighted in an action agenda, which suggests the need for more research and statistical indicators, dissemination of projects, human and institutional capacity building, better policy design and the need to increase awareness of innovation.
A separate report, which is included in the document, consolidates several themes that emerged from the talks, including the need to improve policy coherence, the difficulties of comparing innovation across countries or different points in time, the importance of capacity building, and the role of technology transfer in generating new knowledge. It also identifies challenges facing policymakers, the research community and international donors in achieving these goals. The report includes keynote speeches and links to Powerpoint presentations given at the conference.
This report reviews the achievements made by the 'Promotion of Grassroots Innovation in Asia-Pacific Countries' project, which aims to build capacity for member countries to source, document and disseminate grassroots innovation and traditional knowledge as a means of economic and social development.
The first section documents the theory and practice of grassroots innovation using case-studies of existing organisations, such as the Honey Bee Network. It illustrates the diversity of approaches used to engage with this type of innovation, as well as the ethical aspects of informed consent before obtaining knowledge from local populations. The second part describes advances made during national and regional workshops on the subjects of capacity-building, promoting grassroots innovation and creating partnerships.
Source: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
This report, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, examines the role of renewable energy sources and technologies in the mitigation of climate change and provides policy relevant information. The authors evaluate the scientific literature on six renewable energy sources — bioenergy, direct solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean energy and wind energy — and their current deployment. The report describes how each of these power sources can be integrated into future energy systems, and outlines future research needs in the context of sustainable development. It puts forward strategies to overcome environmental and social consequences associated with the deployment of such technologies, and compares the cost of energy from renewable sources to non-renewable sources.
Source: UNESCO | 2007
This technical report provides policymakers with a framework for action to address the underlying causes for the science and technology (S&T) gender gap, and aims to promote discussion about gender in the scientific and academic communities.
The report provides an overview of S&T for development and discusses how gender can be incorporated into S&T education, research and policy. It incorporates empirical data and research contributed by institutions involved in science, technology and gender studies and policy around the world. It highlights the need to increase women's participation in S&T research, foster awareness about science, technology and gender among the general public, and collect more data for research.
The full report is available in English but Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and Russian versions are being prepared. An executive summary is available in English, French, Arabic and Chinese. It is the first of several planned thematic reports to be produced by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Source: National Advisory Council for Innovation, South Africa (2009) | 2009
This report presents gender-differentiated statistical data on higher education student enrolments and graduations, human resources for science and technology (S&T), publication output, funding allocation, and scientific ratings given to individual researchers by the National Research Foundation (NRF).
The study finds that South African women's participation in science education has increased, and gender parity in funding for higher education and research has improved, even in the fields of engineering and applied technologies. But women are still a minority, particularly at higher postgraduate levels, and remain behind their male counterparts in access to S&T employment, scientific publications, and NRF ratings. The report recommends action such as promoting research on 'gender responsiveness' and tackling the unequal distribution of public resources.
Source: UNESCO Office Jakarta and Regional Bureau for Science in Asia and the Pacific (2004) | 2004
This study evaluates the extent to which gender perspectives have been integrated into science and technology policy in six Asian countries: China, India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam. It aims to assess the existing level of support for the integration of gender perspectives into national and regional policy, and to identify steps that could be taken in that direction.
The paper outlines each country's situation on science, technology and gender (STG) using statistical data and information about existing laws and policies related to gender, government programmes, key institutions and current STG problems.
A comparison of the findings suggests differences in the legal and policy frameworks that countries use to ensure gender equality in science and technology (S&T). The study recommends addressing regional concerns by prioritising the collection of S&T data by gender, for example, and ensuring that the scientific community is committed to gender equality.
Source: Meridian Institute | January 2005
This report, published by the Meridian Institute describes the growing interest of developing countries including Brazil, China, India and South Africa, in nanotechnology. The ways nanotechnology applications could solve health, sanitation, and pollution problems and provide faster, cheaper information and communication technology are outlined. The challenges of using and developing nanotechnology for and in developing nations including the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders are also discussed.
The Meridian Institute says nanotechnology can play a role in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. As a result, rich nations should dedicate a reasonable portion of their overseas development assistance to nanotechnology.
(To access the report, users must create a free login name and password.)
Source: Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) | 2005
This report examines how renewable energy can help developing countries boost economic development and alleviate poverty. It highlights the benefits of using renewable energy technologies — from increasing access to electricity to creating jobs — and outlines the hurdles to scaling up production, including the lack of subsidies and government support. The report suggests several actions for policymakers, including creating supportive policies, promoting private investment, nurturing micro-enterprise, and building projects around local needs.
Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) | September 2009
This paper, published by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, reviews proposals on using intellectual property to improve access to climate change technologies and the extent to which these may help developing countries.
The author, US lawyer Cynthia Cannady, criticises the practicality of implementing compulsory licenses, patent pools or databases, and voluntary licensing for developing countries.
Instead, she suggests a two-pronged strategy that supports research in developing countries and promotes mutually beneficial technological collaboration between developed and developing countries.
Cannady recommends implementing this strategy by managing developing countries' intellectual capital, supporting local climate change research and development, improving education and awareness, commercialising climate change technology and engaging in periodic assessment.
Source: Royal Society | October 2009
Food security is a major challenge in global health. Agriculture will need a significant boost if we are to feed the expected global population of nine billion people in 2050. This detailed report outlines the case for 'sustainable intensification'.
Climate change is already putting pressure on existing agricultural systems and will likely continue to alter rainfall patterns, temperatures and soil quality. But climate change isn't the only culprit — agricultural output has also fallen through growing pesticide resistance and low crop diversity.
The report argues that crop management must take these biological factors into account. But to be sustainable it must also support poor farmers and rural populations. This will require technological approaches underpinned by robust science, says the report.
The authors provide a detailed overview of how climate change will affect food production and the latest genetic techniques available to boost output. No single approach is going to work, and splitting agriculture into different camps — genetically modified or not, for example — will have no traction. The key is to consider the problem holistically and see how different approaches could be combined for the best results.
The report calls for agricultural sciences to be placed at the forefront of innovation, and supports its position in university courses, arguing that if agriculture is to see a revolution, it will need talented scientists.
Source: UNESCO | 1998
This report, prepared for the UNESCO Cairo Office, presents data and information on higher education systems in 21 Arab states over a five-year period (1992–1996). It is an update of a previous study published in 1995
Data presented includes the number of institutions, enrolment, structure and financing of higher education systems in these countries. The study also covers the growing participation of private and non-profit sectors in higher education delivery. It highlights a number of challenges faced by the higher education systems in the Arab world, including the growing role of private sector, issues in quality, demand for more diversified university programmes, and the growing importance and participation of universities in R&D systems.