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International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)

Ebi, Kristie

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362817.05053.c3
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts: Symposia Presentations

Technical Support Unit, Working Group II, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Alexandria, VA 22304, United States.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the organizations of Epidemiology. Affliate Societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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The IAASTD was an intergovernmental process that focused on the role of agricultural knowledge, science and technology (AKST) in reducing hunger and poverty, improving rural livelihoods and human health, and facilitating environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development. The assessment was published in early 2009.

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The IAASTD included a global and five sub-global assessments of the generation, access, dissemination and use of public and private sector AKST, using local, traditional and formal knowledge; existing and emerging technologies, practices, policies and institutions; information needed by decision makers in different civil society, private and public organizations on options for improving policies, practices, institutional and organizational arrangements; and options for future public and private investments in AKST. It brought together a range of stakeholders to share their experiences, views, understanding and vision for the future.

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Key findings include that AKST has contributed to substantial increases in agricultural production; people benefited unevenly from these yield increases across regions; emphasis on increasing yields and productivity has in some cases had negative consequences on environmental sustainability; global demographic changes and changing patterns of income distribution over the next 50 years are projected to lead to different patterns of food consumption and increased demand for food; a systematic redirection of AKST towards agroecological strategies is needed to address environmental issues; the generation and delivery of AKST needs to be redirected to address a range of persistent socioeconomic inequities; more determined involvement of women's knowledge, skills and experience is required to advance progress towards sustainability and development goals; many of the challenges facing agriculture over the next 50 years will require more integrated applications of existing science and technology; and some challenges may be resolved only by development and application of new and emerging AKST.

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© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.