Displaying 1-12 of 12 key documents
Source: Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change (CSACC) | March 2012
This report lays out a set of policy recommendations for the sustainable intensification of agriculture and reduction of food waste to create a resilient global food system. Based on a review of scientific evidence, it pinpoints seven actions that policymakers — including those attending the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) — should adopt to foster sustainable agriculture and efficient food supply chains.
Recommendations include integrating food security and sustainable agriculture into global and national policies;
intensifying agricultural production while reducing negative environmental impacts; and creating comprehensive, shared, integrated information systems.
This policy roadmap will require the reshaping of food production, distribution and consumption patterns, and empowering vulnerable populations to build a sustainable global food system.
Source: Health Research Policy and Systems
This paper discusses how researchers promote the use of research in policy by examining the practices of 'boundary organisations' that cross the boundary between science and politics to facilitate evidence-based policies and programmes. It identifies key lessons for organisations looking to engage policymakers and decision-makers.
The study focuses on the Regional Network on AIDS, Livelihoods and Food Security (RENEWAL), a regional 'network of networks' active in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia which engages government officials on programmes that could inform policies on food, nutrition and HIV/AIDS. It describes the challenges and successes of efforts to promote research in these areas; challenges include adherence to scientific principles while maintaining close relationships with political authority, and ensuring accountability to the communities within which the research is conducted.
The paper offers recommendations to strengthen efforts to get research into policy, and concludes that the concept of a boundary organisation can help researchers engage people and processes that have decision-making power.
Source: Africa Progress Panel
This policy brief, prepared by the Africa Progress Panel, African Development Bank and UN, outlines the implications of climate change for Africa, emphasising the need for a strong and cohesive negotiating position at the December 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen.
The authors argue that African governments must define practical steps for the international community to address the climate crisis. Three areas require urgent action: clear emissions targets and an adaptation fund; energy-saving technologies through additional financing and technology transfer; and improving long-term frameworks such as the Clean Development Mechanism and reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
To achieve this, argue the authors, African heads of state and ministers of finance, planning and environment must collaborate on a practical strategy position to generate maximum buy-in from the rest of the world. This must be achieved in time for high-level meetings in the second half of 2009.
Source: Panos | 2005
This report analyses key issues surrounding decision-making on GM crops in developing countries. The document was written by Ehsan Masood and others as part of Panos’ Communicating Research through the Media Programme, Relay.
Using case studies from Brazil, India, Kenya, Thailand and Zambia, the report explores how policies and regulations are developed, and who is involved in decision-making processes around GM technology. The authors look at the role played by scientists, international bodies, industry and farmers’ groups and the degree of public participation in decision-making, noting that scientific expertise is most influential throughout the process.
The document also examines the degree to which the media succeeds in performing its key role as facilitator of informed debate. In presenting evidence from their survey of media coverage of GM issues in the countries studied, the authors find a general lack of analytical reporting, with many journalists simply relaying government announcements. Farmers’ viewpoints are generally under represented.
This useful and informative report provides real-world examples of decision-making processes on GM in a variety of developing countries. It will be valuable to anyone interested in such processes or in how well the media supports them.
Source: FAO e-forum on Biotechnology in Food and Agriculture | 2005
This document summarises the 12th email conference of the FAO’s e-forum on biotechnology, which took place during January and February 2005. The topic was public participation, and particularly the involvement of people in rural areas. Some 70 international participants contributed to the discussion, and the points they raised are summarised here.
These include the appropriate degree and nature of involvement by rural people in policy-making on issues to do with genetically modified organisms (GMOs); the type of information such groups would need in order to participate effectively; the quality of such information and the problems caused by ‘misinformation’ about GMOs; and the appropriate channels and mechanisms for engaging with rural groups, along with the costs involved.
As with all the FAO e-forum conferences, this discussion provides a valuable insight into the range of opinions, experience and expertise involved in the process of public participation, seen from both an international an local perspective. The document therefore provides a valuable introduction to the areas of consensus and disagreement, which policy-makers, journalists, educators and others will all find useful.
Source: Reed Elsevier | March 2004
This is the written evidence given by Britain's largest science and technology publisher to a UK parliamentary inquiry on scientific publications.
In the statement, Reed Elsevier defends the traditional 'user-pays' model of scientific publishing.
It argues that by introducing an 'author-pays' model, open access "risks undermining public trust in the integrity and quality of scientific publications that has been established over hundreds of years". Furthermore, the financial viability of open-access models of scientific publishing has yet to be proven, it says.
Source: Nature Publishing Group | March 2004
This is an extract of a letter from Richard Charkin, chief executive of Macmillan publishers, which was submitted as written evidence to a UK parliamentary inquiry on scientific publications.
In the letter, Charkin argues that the 'author-pays' model used by open-access journals "potentially undermines the integrity of the world's highest quality journals, with unwelcome consequences for the scientific community, and for the wider public".
The publisher estimates that it costs £10,000-30,000 to publish a research paper in Nature. "Such an amount would be hardly affordable to most research scientists, and so journals such as Nature would be forced to reduce editorial criteria, and publish more, lower quality papers, and/or favour wealthy authors that were in a position to afford such a fee," the statement says.
This is a statement of principle that was drafted at a meeting in April 2003 at the headquarters of the US-based Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The statement spells out significant concrete steps that all relevant parties — including scientific research organisations, scientists, publishers and librarians — can take to promote the rapid and efficient transition to open-access publishing.
Signed by more than 20 senior figures, the document includes statements from working groups on institutions and funding agencies, libraries and publishers, and scientists and scientific societies.
This declaration was signed by key players in the open-access movement at a meeting organised by the Open Society Institute in Budapest in February 2002.
It calls for barriers to open-access publishing to be removed, with the aim that research articles from all academic fields be made freely available on the Internet.
Other individuals and organisations are now invited to sign the declaration to pledge their support and help ensure a transition to open-access publishing. More than 3,000 individuals and 200 organisations have added their name to the initiative.
Source: CERN, UNESCO and ICSU (in cooperation with TWAS and ICTP) | May 2003
This document - compiled on behalf of the international scientific community - suggests amendments to the Draft Declaration of Principles and Draft Plan of Action Plan for the World Summit on the Information Society, the first stage of which was held in Geneva, Switzerland in December 2003.
The document underlines the central role of science in the information society, and says that information and communications technologies "provide an historic opportunity to reduce the scientific divide: they improve and increase the transfer of scientific knowledge between developed and developing countries".
It specifically urges the Summit to "promote electronic publishing, affordable pricing schemes and appropriate open source initiatives to make scientific information affordable and accessible on an equitable basis in all countries".
Source: Public Library of Science | October 2003
PLoS Biology has been launched to demonstrate that high-quality journals can flourish without charging for access, say the founders of the initiative, Patrick Brown, Michael Eisen and Harold Varmus. The aim is to cause a revolution in science publishing.
The statement also explores the financial 'producer pays' model adopted by PLoS, and refers to examples of the recent surge of awareness and support for open-access publication, both within the scientific community and in the public at large.
This declaration was made at a meeting on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities held in Berlin, Germany in October 2003. It aims to promote the Internet as a "functional instrument for a global scientific knowledge base", and says that "content and software tools must be openly accessible and compatible".
It has been signed by more than 20 international research and cultural heritage organisations, including seven large German research organisations.
The signatories encourage their researchers and grant recipients to publish their work according to the principles of the open-access paradigm, and encourage the "holders of cultural heritage" to support open access by providing their resources on the Internet.
[The declaration is available in English, French and German.]