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Integrating socio-economic considerations into biosafety decisions: the role of public participation

This report from the World Resources Institute (Washington, DC, USA) examines ways to effectively integrate socio-economic considerations into decision-making and policy frameworks for managing agricultural biotechnology. The report draws on case-study material from Indonesia and the Philippines as well as a range of other sources.

The authors argue that a two-step process is necessary to effectively integrate socio-economic concerns into decision-making processes: effective research in order to clarify the potential socio-economic impacts, followed by practical steps to incorporate these concerns into policy and regulatory processes. They examine a range of research methods that can help to achieve these ends.

The report focuses on the central role of public participation to help identify the socio-economic implications that matter to people. The authors use examples from their research to illustrate the use of various mechanisms to promote and facilitate public involvement. The report ends with a series of specific recommendations for different stakeholder groups, including civil society groups, scientists, the biotechnology industry and governments.

This thorough report introduces and summarises the key issues in a concise and accessible manner. Policy makers, research scientists and non-governmental organisations will find it especially valuable.

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