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Agriculture & Development


About this Digest on Agriculture & Development

  1. Source for this Digest
  2. Current Status
  3. Digest Publication History

1. Source for this Digest

If we do persist with business as usual, the world’s people cannot be fed over the next half-century. It will mean more environmental degradation, and the gap between the haves and have-nots will further widen. We have an opportunity now to marshal our intellectual resources to avoid that sort of future. Otherwise we face a world no one would want to inhabit.
Professor Robert Watson, Director of the IAASTD Secretariat
On a global scale, we have been producing sufficient food for an ever growing population. But this has been done at a cost that has left deep physical, biological and social scars, that now need the full attention of the scientific, moral and political authorities. This assessment highlights the presents reality and identifies options for action in a candid and sober manner.
Dr. Hans R Herren, World Food Prize Laureate, Co-Chair of the IAASTD
We cannot continue to work independently in our silos. We have an array of agricultural knowledge, science & technology tools that can solve the pressing food security challenges that we face.
Professor Judi Wakhungu, Co-Chair of the IAASTD

The texts quoted in level 2 are directly sourced from the " Executive Summary of the Synthesis Report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development" (IAASTD) which was adopted at the Johannesburg plenary session of 7-12 April 2008.

The IAASTD addresses how to make better use of agricultural science, knowledge and technology to reduce hunger and poverty, improve rural livelihoods, and foster equitable and sustainable development.

Released on 15 April 2008, it represents a three-year effort by about 400 experts around the world working under the auspices of governments and representatives of civil society including nongovernmental organizations, producer and consumer groups and international organizations.

The executive summary of the IAASTD synthesis report was fully approved by the governments of 57 countries and welcomed with some reservations by the governments of 3 countries (Australia, Canada & USA). Countries are listed in the introductory statement and specific reservations in the Annex of the executive summary.

The assessment was sponsored by the United Nations, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), an independent financial organization that provides grants to developing countries. Five U.N. agencies were involved: the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP), the U.N. Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Additional individuals, organizations and governments participated in a peer review process.

The Level 1 is a faithful summary of the IAASTD Synthesis Report. It was produced by the GreenFacts under contract with COM+ Alliance.

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2. Current Status

Approved by the GreenFacts Scientific Board

3. Digest Publication History

The GreenFacts publication process is designed to ensure as high a degree of objectivity as possible.

First draft

The first draft of this digest was produced by the GreenFacts Editorial Team in January 2008.

Preliminary and Peer review

The final draft of this digest was produced in February 2008 by GreenFacts after peer review by scientists involved in the drafting of the IAASTD report. The peer-review was coordinated by Dr Beverly McIntire (World Bank) and Professor Rik Leemans (Wageningen University) (see our  peer review form).

Peer-reviewers were:

  • Roger Leakey (John Cook University, Australia)
  • Stephen Biggs (University of East Anglia, UK)
  • Janice Jiggins (Wageningen University, Netherlands)

Final publication was authorized by the President of the GreenFacts Scientific Board in April 2008, and the digest published on 15 April 2008.

Press Release

15 April 2008

Agriculture & Development: New pressing challenges identified by international assessment

Updates or subsequent post-publication revisions

No update or revision at present.

GreenFacts Copyright Policy

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