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International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development

In 2002, the World Bank and FAO initiated a global consultative process to determine whether an international assessment of agricultural knowledge, science and technology was needed. These initial consultations resulted in the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), an inter-governmental process with a multi-stakeholder Bureau co-sponsored by FAO, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO). The Bureau comprised 30 government and 30 civil society representatives (NGOs, producer and consumer groups, private sector entities and international organizations).

The IAASTD brought together around 400 scientists from around the globe to produce
a global assessment and five sub-global assessments reports (for Central and West Asia and North Africa [CWANA], East and South Asia and the Pacific [ESAP], Latin America and the Caribbean [LAC], North America and Europe [NAE] and sub-Saharan Africa [SSA]). At its final plenary session, held on 7-12 April 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the IAASTD reports were launched and governments approved (a small number not fully) the Global Summary for Decision Makers (based on the global
assessment); the five sub-Global Summaries for Decision Makers (one each for the sub-global assessments); and the Executive Summary of the Synthesis Report.

The Synthesis Report integrates the key findings from the global and sub-global assessments, and focuses on eight topics: bioenergy; biotechnology; climate change; human health; natural resource management; traditional knowledge and community based innovation; trade and markets; and women in agriculture. See http://www.agassessment.org/ or contact bmcintyre@worldbank.org for more information.
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