Thursday, 20 December 2007
This congres in organised in collaboration with 6th Conference of the Asian Federation of Information Technology in Agriculture (AFITA) and the 6th World Congress on Computers in Agriculture (WCCA). In 2009 IAALD will organise the IAALD-Africa congress in Accra.
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Monday, 17 December 2007
A FARA taskforce team was set up to review the FARA Mid Term Operational Plan (10-14/12/2007). This five-year Medium Term and Operational Plan for 2008 – 2012 sets out in more detail how the Forum, with the intervention of FARA’s Secretariat, will move towards achievement of the objectives of the Strategic Plan.
It responds to the many changes that have occurred in African agriculture and takes advantage of FARA’s growing capacity to set out an ambitious but pragmatic agenda for the next five years.
Jesse McCorry explains that change management is a process to help organisations to systematically adapt to structural and/or environmental changes and the way they will carry out their business. It requires a very close attention of senior management leadership and above all the bulk of the staff to understand what change management is supposed to address. Change mamagement is an effort to respond better to what an organisation's clientele wants.Jesse McCorry gives an answer to "Does FARA needs a change" and "Is FARA a dynamic organisation"?
But at the end of this 2007 year FARA staff rejoiced over the approval of two project proposals of which formulation & negotiation has been going on for several months and required the full energy and attention of the whole FARA office: SSA-CP and SCARDA.
STRENGTHENING CAPACITY FOR AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (SCARDA)
The purpose of the SCARDA programme “to strengthen the institutional and human capacity of African agricultural research and development systems to identify, generate and deliver research outputs that meet the needs of poor people”.
SCARDA will achieve this purpose by working with key research and development institutions in sub-Saharan Africa to help them fulfil their mandates more effectively. These institutions, most of which have been identified in the scoping studies, will be selected through established SRO procedures.
The initial 30-month Implementation Phase of SCARDA will be funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). Funding will be provided to FARA who will be accountable to DFID for management of resources in accordance with the DFID granting agreement. FARA will have responsibility for coordinating project implementation. In order to meet this responsibility, FARA will appoint a permanent programme coordinator and a programme officer for the duration of the project and provide her/him with the necessary resources to fulfil this role.
The primary activities of SCARDA will be:
- Short courses; post-training support, including individual mentoring; reflective learning; attachments and exposure visits.
- Technical areas will be addressed through MSc degrees, short courses, fellowships and a mentoring programme.
- ‘Tracer’ studies to identify key skills gaps in graduates from agricultural Faculties who are employed in a range of public and private organizations.
- Learning platforms will be established to document and share experiences and good practice and these will be coordinated through a Learning Alliance approach
SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA CHALLENGE PROGRAMME (SSA CP)The SSA CP is a research programme focussed on delivering international public goods on best practices for multi-stakeholder engagement in the generation and wide-scale adoption of agricultural innovations and on evaluating whether IAR4D works and is more cost/benefit effective relative to conventional approaches. After satisfactorily answering the above research questions, the SSA CP will metamorphose into a clearing house for promoting the adoption of IAR4D by serving as a platform for sharing information and knowledge on agricultural innovation and multi-stakeholder (partnership) engagement in ARD.
FARA has successfully completed the inception phase for this Programme and with the stakeholders, has produced a Medium Term Plan for implemetation covering the period of 2007- 2010. The Science Council of the CGIAR in their meeting in August of 2007 has expressed some concerns on the MTP concerning the methodology describing the proof of concept for the IAR4D concept. This led to futher consultations and a review of the research methodology to ensure a rigorous proof of concept for IAR4D.
At the last AGM meeting in China, the SSA CP was discussed on 07/12/2007 and the CGIAR asked the Programme to continue with the new research methodology which has now cleared all the residual concerns of the Science Council of the CGIAR regarding the proof of concept.
Not only that, some African countries in the CGIAR notably South Africa and Egypt expressed their satisfaction with the SSA CP and their desire to support it and support FARA financially.
The Semi-arid Africa Agriculture Research and Development (SAFGRAD) of the African Union (AU) is the institutional focal point for coordinating the Network on the Promotion of Sustainable Agricultural Farming Systems in Africa in the context of the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) in Africa.
AU/SAFGRAD is a specialized office, under the Rural Economy and Agriculture (REA) Department of the African Union Commission. AU/SAFGRAD’s mandate is to enhance coordination and cooperation in agricultural research, technology transfer and commercialisation as well as the management of natural resources in order to improve food security through promotion of sustainable agriculture and efficient water management in rural and peri-urban areas of semi-arid zones in Africa. SAFGRAD has accumulated a strong continent wide background in:
- developing and disseminating improved crop varieties and their adoption by farmers;
- supporting the establishment of sub-regional networks on food crop production, processing and marketing involving hundred of researchers from various countries to tackle common constraints;
- building capacities through short and long term training, and workshops; and
- improving knowledge on semi-arid agriculture through technical information sharing and networking.
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
The workshop was organised around three inter-related themes:
1. Agricultural innovation systems – putting farmers first?
2. Organising agricultural research and development for the 21st century
3. Methodological innovation, personal and organisational change
Expected Outputs and Outcomes: Towards a ‘Pro-Poor Innovation Alliance’.
The full workshop outputs, including presentations, papers and proceedings, will be posted on a dedicated web page for the event. In addition, a book will follow in 2008, offering (highly edited) highlights of papers and plenary discussions.
In bringing together a diverse range of participants the aim of this ‘Farmer First Revisited’ event will not only be to spark critical reflection and debate, but also to build a community of practice around the challenges of pro-poor science and technology for agricultural research and development.
Such a network – which we have provisionally labelled the ‘Pro-Poor Innovation Alliance’ – can potentially develop as an important player in emerging global initiatives in the field of agricultural research and development, whether in the context of the follow up to the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), the implementation of the science and technology strategies of the African Union’s NEPAD CAADP agenda or the Gates/Rockefeller Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
GK3 brought together over 1,600 visionaries, international leaders, practitioners and policy-makers to engage on the theme: Emerging People, Emerging Markets, Emerging Technologies.
The GK3 Core Programme comprised over 40 expert panels with interactive debates about the latest trends, innovations and future perspectives. Policy makers, leaders, innovators, visionaries, knowledge management specialists, broadcasters, practitioners and futurists discussed hot topics around the interplay of emerging people, markets and technologies. Of particular interest were the sessions on:
'e-Agriculture - Continuing Dialogue to Action' will consider the unique factors related to enhancing sustainable agricultural development and food security by improving the use of information, communication, and associated technologies in the e-Agriculture sector.
Pannellist Aida Opoku-Mensah, Director, ICT and Science & Technology Division (ISTD), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
This session addressed the following key questions:
- What is the policy dimension of e-Agriculture today, and how might this change in the future?
- Where are the limitations in the use of ICT in rural development?
- What are the biggest constraints to the expansion of e-Agriculture?
- How can organisations join forces in an economically smart way to increase working capacities and efficiency?
This session addressed the following key questions:
What are the key features of the knowledge and information Society in Africa?
Can knowledge and information transform African societies? If so how?
What will make the difference? People or Policies?
How can people be empowered in the Information and Knowledge societies?
Moderator Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
GK3 Sessions on Emerging Financing Mechanisms
'Financing Change in ICT4D: Innovative and Emerging Social Investors and Donors' gathered key representatives from traditional donor agencies and corporations to highlight emerging forms of ICT4D funding. They include UNESCO's Abdul Waheed Khan, the Inter-American Development Bank's Danilo Piaggesi, IDRC's Rohinton Medhora and Microsoft's Frank McCosker.
'Electronic Banking with the Poor: Emerging Technologies for Financial Inclusion' showed how innovative electronic banking utilising mobile phone, ATMs, micro-credit cards and other new technologies are achieving financial inclusion for people who are otherwise excluded from participating in the digital economy.
See programme for all the presentations.
Friday, 7 December 2007
European and African leaders will seek to forge a fresh partnership to tackle issues like trade, immigration and peacekeeping this week when they hold their first summit in seven years. Pressed by China's growing investment and influence in Africa, EU leaders hope to reinforce ties with the world's poorest continent by improving cooperation on several fronts and moving away from dependence-inducing aid. EU president Portugal says the EU-Africa summit is long overdue -- the last was held in Cairo in 2000. Rapid growth in many parts of Africa holds out the hope that the continent is now on a sustainable development path. That should encourage Europe to view Africa as an investment opportunity and not just a recipient of aid.
The Dec. 8-9 2007 summit will focus on five main issues: governance and human rights, peace and security, migration, energy and climate change, and trade.
Portugal, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, wants the Europe-Africa summit to herald a period of closer cooperation between the 27-nation EU and the 53-member African Union and counter the influence of China, which has invested billions of euros (dollars) in developing African countries in recent years.
- 52 Member States of the African Union;
- Kingdom of Morocco;
- African Commission;
- 27 Member States of the European Union;
- European Commission;
- General-Secretariat of the Council of the EU
EU-Africa Summit website
MedMotion (mainly fetal and new born information)
Interactive Biochemistry by Rodney F. Boyer
Immune & Other Cellular Animations (advanced) Cambridge University Press
Chemistry Animations Iowa State University
Biology 7th Ed. Animations McGraw-Hill
Anatomy & Physiology Wiley Publishers complied by Carl Shuster
Essential Study Partner for Biology McGraw Hill
Powers of Ten Molecular Expressions - Florida State University
BioCourse.com McGraw Hill
Science - Human Body BBCi
Interactive Health Tutorials MEDLINEplus
Life the Science of Biology W.H. Freeman
Chemistry Animations Louisiana State University
Life the Science of Biology W. H. Freeman & Co.
Anatomy & Physiology Animations Marieb
Biology Animations Carnegie Mellon
Teachers' Instructional Graphics Educational Resource NCSSM
Microbiologie Animations by Laurent Martorell Académie de Créteil
Phagocytosis and Bacterial Pathogens Thomas M. Terry at Univ. of Conn.
TB Infection Timeline Rockefeller University
Immunology W H Freeman
Microbiology & Cellular Animations Kuby
Antibiotics Attack by HHMI
How Anthrax Infects BBC
Bacterial Growth Timothy Paustian
Salmonella plusE.coli infection mechanism by HHMI
Bacterial conjugation by HHMI
Coccidiosis Karin Christensen - Scientific, Medical and Veterinary Illustration
Bacteria movement University of Leicester
Plasmid Cloning Sumanas Inc.
Anthrax Sumanas Inc.
Malaria, Peptic Ulcer, Anthrac and Antibiotic Resistance Sumanas Inc.
Helicobacter pylori and Gastric Pathology John Hopkins
Life Cycles of Malaria, Onchocerciasis,Leishmaniasis,Lymphatic filariasis,Schistosomiasis Liquid Jigsaw
Life Cycle of Malaria McGraw-Hill
Emerging Infectious Diseases Annenberg/CPB
Viral Infection by HHMI
Viral Subunit Reassortment by HHMI
Micro Video Library University of Leicester
Herpes Virus Replication animation by Karin Christensen
LabWork University of Leicester
Herpes Infection Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine
Virology Flash Animations University of South Carolina School of Medicine
Various Immune Animations University of Alberta
Life Cycle of Hepatitis C John Hopkins
Life Cycle of Hepatitis B John Hopkins
ELISA Activity University of Arizona
Making Viruses PBS
Basic Virology Blackwell Publishing
Identify the Disease Koshland Science Museum
Molecular Medicine in Action Indiana University
Plant Life Cycles
The Fungi Kingdom: Common Characteristics of Fungi Wisconsin Online
The Plant Kingdom: An Introduction Wisconsin Online
Fruit: Triumph of the Angiosperms Wisconsin Online
Chytridiomycetes Wisconsin Online
The Basidiomycetes of the Fungi Kingdom Wisconsin Online
The Ascomycetes Wisconsin Online
The Zygomycetes Wisconsin Online
Various Botany Animations University of Alberta
Transgenic Plants University of Nebraska
Sucrose Transport by Terry Brown
Regulation of Guard Cells by Terry Brown
Life Cycle of a Moss Sumanas Inc.
Plants in Motion
Sugar Transport in Plants Peerason Canada
What Tree is it? Ohio Public Library Information Network
Cambium Growth Photosynthesis Forest Biology Virginia Tech
Plant Animations to Download Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
How Ozone is Made Air Info Now
Greenhouse Effect University of California.
One World Journeys Expeditions
Various Ecology Animations University of Alberta
How to Remove a Bee Stinger
Fetal Pig Anatomy zeroBio
Frog Dissection Video zeroBio
Life Cycles of Plants and Animals Wisconsin Online
Pond Life Videos Florida State University
Various Animal Animations University of Alberta
On the Trail of the BowerbirdPBS - NOVA
Interactive Grasshopper Anatomy Iowa State University
Alien Empire (Insects) Nature
Asconoid Sponge Nebraska Wesleyan University
Dictyostelium by Harvey Project
Sea Urchin Embryology Stanford University
The Functioning Animal Thames Valley School District
Bird's Lungs San Diego State University
Earthworm Eating Michele Matossian
Behaviors Sumanas Inc.
Solar Compass Sumanas Inc.
Life Cycle of a Frog
Resources for Earth Science and Geography Central Michigan University
Britians Rocky Past - Geological Time Line
Plate Tectonics from PBS
Planet Quest - Interactive Gallery NASA
US Geology Sumanas Inc.
Gallery of Flash Animations University of Leeds
Animation List W.W. Norton and Company
Animations, Physical Geology Focus Florida Tech
Plate tectonics C. R. Scotese Publications
West Virginia University
Severe and Hazardous WeatherUniversity of Illinois
GLAST - Gamma-ray Large Area Space Microscope
Demos and Animations for Teaching Astronomy University of Illinois
Moon Phases, etc. Sumanas Inc.
Retrograde Motion La Salle University
The Universe Freeman and Co.
ESA Space Science
BBC Space Interactives
Lectures with Animations by H. Tahsiri, California State University, Long Beach
Astronomy Animations Dr Cecilia Barnbaum, Valdosta State University
Astronomy Education Animation Page Aerospace Educational Development Program
Lunar and Planetary Time-lapse Animation A.Cidadão
Astronomy Learning Center McGraw-Hill
Animations for Astronomy 101 Eric Sandquist, San Diego State University
Animations for Physics and Astronomy by Dr. Michael R. Gallis, Penn State Schuylkill
WMAP Related Media Resources
Einstein Light School of Physics UNSW
The Physical Universe Northeastern University
Galileo's Battle of the Heavens PBS - NOVA
Interactive Physics and Math with Java Sergey A. Kiselev
Flash Animations for Physics by David M. Harrison, Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Toronto
The Physics Classroom
Flash Modules on Energy and Electricity Pennsylvania State University
Multimedia Physics Studios Tom Henderson of Glenbrook South High School
Interactive Plasma Physics Education Experience! Princeton
Physics Animations/Simulations Doug Craigen's Physics Pages
Applet Thumbnails from Einstein's Legacy Physics 2000
Why the Towers Fell - Try Hot Science PBS - NOVA
Explore Science - Multimedia Activities
Fear of Physics
Virtual Physics University of Hawaii
Color/Spectrum AppletzRochester Institute of Technology
Electromagnetic Wave Absorption and Emission
Computer Animations of Physical Processes
Ohm Zone Article 19 Group Inc
Physical Chemistry Animations Tom Greenbowe at Iowa State University
Science of Sound and Light Learning and Teaching Scotland
Animated Engines Matt Keveney
IEEE - Virtual Museum Exhibits
How the First Atomic Bomb Worked
Michael Faraday's Induction Ring
How Magnets Make a DC Motor Work
The Inside Story of a Vacuum Tube
How do Semicondutors Work?
How Does a Transittor Work?
How the Picture Tube Works
How a Laser Works
Cell Phone Tracking
Sound on Film
Thursday, 6 December 2007
A study for the World Bank Designing Regimes to Support Plant Breeding in Developing Countries (2006) presented by co-author Niels Louwaars at the AGM CGIAR revealed a diversity of responses by managers of public research to the emergence of Intelectual Property Rights (IPRs). They are hailed in their capacity to increase recognition, to facilitate public private partnerships (PPPs) and to generate revenue for the institute and the scientists. Few institutions have analysed the costbenefit ratio of IPRs in terms of monetary income. The general feeling is that very few institutions make a significant profit from patents; the expectations from breeder’s rights are higher, particularly in NARS in developing countries. However, there is a risk that such NARS will change their focus when they become dependent on such revenue: away from poor farmers and away from crops where a private seed sector cannot easily develop (eg. most legumes and root crops).
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
FARA participated at A ReSAKSS / Africa Union / NEPAD Workshop on Developing M&E Framework for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), December 3rd and 4th, 2007 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- To review and discuss the development of an M&E framework for monitoring and evaluation of the CAADP
- To decide on a course of action for developing the framework, benchmarks and indicators over the next four months (what, how, who, and when)
- To recommend a course of action for implementing the framework (including roles and responsibilities, scope, timeframe, and reporting) and finalize the framework for review at the next CAADP PP Meeting in March 2008
Participants at the ReSAKSS meeting
Presenter: Ida Sithole-Niang (University of Zimbabwe)
Discussants: Hartmann (IITA), Monty Jones (FARA)
- Scientific achievements in Agricultural research in SSA clearly result from multi-institutional cooperation between international and national scientific and technological communities
- Recent breakthroughs exemplify this: NERICAs (New Rice for Africa), biological control of cassava mealybug; quality protein maize; “Strigaway”; push & pull; chemical ecology
CGIAR has contributed immensely to the development of African agriculture research but the partnership still has to be improved/ strengthened.
- More emphasis needs to be put on alignment to NARS/SROs priorities and equitable sharing of resources.
- Potential “snow balling effect” towards farmers fields is yet to be exploited
- There is need to adopt comprehensive innovation systems
- Science works in (and for) SSA, but science should be complemented by better agricultural policies, markets, soil fertility interventions, land tenure, and access to credit by small farmers.
- Capacity building was implicit in all success stories, and NARS are explicitly calling for the CGIAR to remain active in this essential domain; it is key for sustainability.
- Solid national government investment in agricultural research is a prerequisite for equal partnerships.
The Nairobi-based African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) program is being funded with a four-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant represents the Foundation’s belief in the importance of engaging women at every level in agricultural development. Today, women farmers produce 60 to 80 percent of crops critical to feeding the people of Africa. Yet women comprise less than 20 percent of agricultural researchers. Specifically, the program seeks to achieve a:
- 25 percent increase in African women with BSc degrees participating as members of research teams in at least 20 agricultural institutions in sub-Saharan Africa;
- 50 percent increase in African women with masters degrees managing research teams and producing improved farm technologies at these institutions;
- 50 percent increase in African women PhDs serving in influential leadership roles and as role models and mentors to younger women;
- Significant increase in the number of African girls and young women inspired to pursue careers in agricultural research and development; and
- Significant increase in the number of men and women aware of the importance of women’s voices and contributions to agriculture in Africa.
Bussiness Daily: Women scientists to benefit from $13 million grant
EurekAlert: Gates Foundation funds new effort
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
“Food prices have been steadily decreasing since the Green Revolution, but the days of falling food prices may be over,” said Joachim von Braun, lead author of the report and director general of IFPRI. “Surging demand for feed, food, and fuel have recently led to drastic price increases, which are not likely to fall in the foreseeable future, due to low stocks and slow-growing supplies of agricultural outputs. Climate change will also have a negative impact on food production, compounding the challenge of meeting global food demand, and potentially exacerbating hunger and malnutrition among the world’s poorest people.” “Economic growth has helped to reduce hunger, particularly when it is equitable,” added von Braun. “But unfortunately, growth does not always reach the poorest people.” "The last time the world experienced such food price increases was in 1973 to 1974 ... but today the situation is completely different. For one, the climate risk and climate change situation has increased, the climate vulnerability has increased," von Braun told reporters in Beijing.
The forces pushing up food prices
1 Rising consumption: The appetite of fast-growing nations, such as China, is rising as economic booms cause a surge in demand for meat and dairy products
2 Competition from biofuels: The cars of the rich are now rivalling the bellies of the poor for corn, cane and edible oils
3 Climate change: Global warming is putting pressure on water needed to irrigate crops
Radio interview with von Braun: AM-ABC
Agence de Presse Africaine: Rising food prices threatens Africa
Eurekalert: New report examines the impact of growth, climate change and biofuels
Associated Press: World Food Prices to Rise
Reuters: World faces food shortages, price rises
CNN: World food prices to jump
The Guardian: Riots and hunger feared as demand for grain sends food costs soaring
Full references for following papers were not available at time of publication.
- "Crop and Pasture response to climate change" Francesco Tubiello, Goddard Institute of Space Studies, USA
- "Global food security under climate change" Josef Schmidhuber, Food and Agriculture Organisation, Italy
- "Adapting agriculture to climate change" S Mark Howden, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia
the daily exchange rate off the internet too.
Dar es Salaam is a 1500-kilometre trip over bad roads so Joseph encourages farmers to market their produce across the border in Uganda. He fi nds outlets by surfi ng the web. His latest pet project is the promotion of soya beans. Programmes explain how to farm and process soya and detail its wide range of uses. He envisages soya as a profi table export crop. China, he says, is ready to buy 600 tonnes and upwards. He has already located a willing buyer there from a
Chinese website. FADECO FM would not have been possible without RAIN’s intervention.
Taking stock of RAIN: 2003–2007, p.9-13: RAIN - Regional Agricultural Information Network
FADECO Community Radio FRC 100.8 FM now on air
Brochure for Postgraduate Programme in Agricultural Information and Communication Management(AICM)
Monday, 3 December 2007
It seems like the Afro-optimist's vision is partly becoming a reality. China's presence in Africa is growing rapidly. As is well known, the People's Republic is involved in massive infrastructure projects, in the construction sector, in the oil and minerals industry. But what few people know is that more and more poor Chinese farmers are migrating to the continent too, in search for agricultural opportunities.
An excellent – if long – article about international development, foreign aid, construction contracts, and "China's African adventure" was published 19/11/2007 in the New York Times.
The Global Rust Initiative (GRI) is a measured yet aggressive response to the emergence and spread of stem rust race Ug99 in East Africa. First formally noted in 1999, this race appeared to be a significant threat to global wheat production. Recurring epidemics in Kenya and then Ethiopia brought forth strong advocacy for world action from Nobel Laureate NE Borlaug.
CIMMYT heeded this call and together with Dr. Borlaug, declared in January of 2005 its intent to form a Global Rust Initiative to prevent a pandemic.With resources and advice from Dr. NE Borlaug and the Rockefeller Foundation, CIMMYT commissioned a blue ribbon panel of world experts to assess the nature of the threat and if warranted, prescribe remedies. It should be noted that the panel included scientists from both CIMMYT and ICARDA- not simply for institutional reasons, but because they are in the top tier of international rust scientists.
Called Ug99, the new stem rust is such a large threat to wheat around the world that scientists dare not transport the spores themselves to other test locations. Instead as part of the CIMMYT-ICARDA Global Rust Initiative, which also includes national partners like KARI and the Ethiopian Institute of Agriculture Research (EIAR), the world’s wheat comes to East Africa. Similar work is being conducted at several sites in Ethiopia by EIAR. “We are committed to work with international partners to fight the looming threat of stem rust,” says Dr. Bedada Girma, leader of EIAR's Stem Rust Task Force.
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has worked with the National Wheat and Barley Improvement Committees to collect and send U.S. wheat and barley breeding lines to east Africa for screening against Ug99 in collaboration with CIMMYT and the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). Data from the Kenyan field-screening nursery will give U.S. wheat and barley breeders a headstart on developing new varieties with resistance to Ug99.
ARS plant pathologist Yue Jin evaluates wheat seedlings infected with stem rust.
Interest in the effort is growing, helped in part by the results to date shown by Yue Jin and colleagues at ARS, CIMMYT, ICARDA, KARI, the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, the University of Minnesota, and many other institutions.
Read more about this research in the November/December 2007 issue of the Agricultural Research magazine.
Chinese scientists responsible for developing innovative wheat varieties were recognized on 03/12/2007 with the International Award for "Outstanding Agricultural Technology". One of the varieties, known as Jimai 20, is the only Chinese wheat cultivar—and one of the few in the world—to show high resistance to a new and virulent strain of destructive wheat stem rust that originated in East Africa and has now spread to the Arabian peninsula. International wheat experts have been alarmed that most of the world’s wheat varieties appear susceptible to the disease, which can reduce harvests by as much 70 percent. See: China's new high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat boosting as world prices soar.
More than 10,000 delegates from over 180 countries, including 130 environment ministers, attend the meeting from Dec. 3 to 14, which focuses on measures to be implemented on global greenhouse gas emissions reduction after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
The conference is tasked with drawing up a "roadmap" for negotiations on a new international agreement before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
Kivutha Kibwana (C), president of the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife of Kenya, during the opening ceremony of the 13th UNFCCC in Bali Island, Indonesia, Dec. 3, 2007. The UNFCCC lasts from Dec. 3 to 14.
- Boko, M., I. Niang, A. Nyong, C. Vogel, A. Githeko, M. Medany, B.Osman-Elasha, R. Tabo and P. Yanda, 2007: Africa. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M.L. Parry, O.F.
- Development Policy Forum Development Policy Forum Launch Debate "Should climate change alter development policy thinking?" Tuesday, December 04, 2007
- New environmental research website at CORDIS, dedicated to promoting and highlighting EU-funded research related to the FP7 Cooperation theme "Environment (including climate change)".
- Scientists unravel plants' natural defenses A team of researchers, led by the University of Sheffield and Queen Mary, University of London, has discovered how plants protect their leaves from damage by sunlight when they are faced with extreme climates. The new findings, which have been published in Nature, could have implications both for adapting plants to the threat of global warming and for helping man better harness solar energy.
Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
The purpose of the African Forum at CGIAR AGM 2007 was to increase the understanding and to get feedback from different stakeholders on how CAADP and FAAP are guiding initiatives towards common goals and objectives. The objective was to provide an open space where major actors in African AR&D can interact with CGIAR – AGM participants. There was a special interest in learning from potential Asian partners about how they could respond to the call of FAAP and CAADP for strengthened South-South exchanges. It was an important opportunity for the three development-oriented Pillars of CAADP to exchange views with the agricultural research (Pillar IV) community on the new knowledge and technologies that they need for achieving greater impact.
The topics have been formulated as questions that guided speakers to contribute towards a common outcome, i.e., of learning how each and everyone’s actions contribute to CAADP objectives following the FAAP principles.
- What are we trying to achieve in Africa?
- How is the CGIAR responding to CAADP and FAAP?
- How are we tapping the diverse resources available to Africa?
- How are the RECs involved?
- Why do we need the sub-regional organizations?
- How are the national systems affected by the SROs and FARA?
- Why should the civil society organizations be concerned with CAADP?
- Is there a role for development partners besides providing the funds?
- Why should international research organizations or institutes and regional fora be engaged with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa?
- How do we integrate and derive lessons learnt from these diverse initiatives?