[For further information on the Electronic Forum on Biotechnology in Food and Agriculture see the Forum website.
Note, participants are assumed to be speaking on their own behalf, unless they state otherwise.]

-----Original Message-----
From: Biotech-Mod4
Sent: 09 July 2009 15:02
To: 'biotech-room4@mailserv.fao.org'
Subject: End of FAO e-conference on 'learning from the past'

Dear Colleagues,

The last message, (number 121, from John Caesar), has now been posted so Conference 16 of the FAO Biotechnology Forum, entitled "Learning from the past: Successes and failures with agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries over the last 20 years", is now officially closed.

In my (humble) opinion it was a really excellent conference, made rich by the participants' descriptions and analyses of the experiences of the use of agricultural biotechnologies in their own countries worldwide, and I would like to thank all of you who contributed to make it such a success and such an interesting conference.

FAO established this Biotechnology Forum in 2000 with the aim of providing quality balanced information on agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries and to make a neutral platform available for people to exchange views and experiences on this subject. We hope that this conference has lived up to these aims and that you found it informative, interesting and of value. The Background Document to the conference is available on the web (at http://www.fao.org/biotech/c16doc.htm and http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/abdc/documents/forumbd.pdf) and all the messages posted will remain on the Forum website for people to read in the future, at http://www.fao.org/biotech/logs/c16logs.htm. I will put the remaining messages on the web, in addition to putting all the 121 messages into a single webpage, and will send you a message providing the weblink in the next couple of days.

We strongly encourage you, as Forum Members, to widely disseminate information from this conference. As is standard practice with conferences in this Forum, we will prepare a Summary Document in the future to provide a summary of the main issues discussed during the conference, based on the messages posted and circulate it widely. The Summary Document will be made available prior to the FAO international technical conference on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (ABDC-09), that takes place in Guadalajara, Mexico on 2-5 November 2009 (http://www.fao.org/biotech/abdc/).

For your interest, we can provide some figures about participation in the conference. It ran for one month, from 8 June to 8 July. There were 834 subscribers, who received each of the e-mail messages. Of the 834 people, 83 (i.e. 10%) submitted at least one message. Of the 121 messages that were posted, 33 (27%) came from people living in Asia, mostly from India; 32 (26%) from Africa; 24 (20%) from Latin America and the Caribbean; 16 (13%) from North America; 10 (8%) from Europe; and 6 (5%) from Oceania. The messages came from people living in 36 different countries, the greatest number coming from India (27 messages), Nigeria (12), Argentina (11), United States (9) and Cameroon (5). A total of 90 messages (i.e. 74%) were posted by participants living in developing countries.

Forty eight messages (40%) came from people working in universities; 34 messages (28%) from people working in research centres (28 in national institutes and 6 in CGIAR centres); 12 messages (10%) from people in the private sector; 10 (8%) from participants from non-governmental organisations; 8 (7%) from people working as independent consultants; 6 (5%) from people in Governments; 2 from the UN and 1 from a development agency.

Finally, and most importantly, I wish again to personally thank all of you who participated actively in this conference, giving your time and effort in order to share your thoughts, views and experiences with the conference.

With best wishes


John Ruane, PhD
Agricultural Officer (Biotechnology)
FAO Working Group on Biotechnology
Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)
Room C-685,
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla,
00100 Rome,
FAO Biotechnology Website: http://www.fao.org/biotech/index.asp (in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish)
FAO website http://www.fao.org

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