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Programme Entity Title Type Lead Division
251A1 Integrated Use of Information for Sustainable Development Technical Project SDR


Rationale

  • Development problem to be addressed: insufficient access to reliable environmental and natural resource data, gender and population data, and information management tools limits the ability of national planners, decision makers and scientists to assess environmental conditions and anticipate significant emerging trends at the local, national and regional levels. Many developing countries lack capacity to use environmental information management systems and related decision support tools. This has a negative impact on national policies and consequently on agriculture sector development.
  • Proposed contribution to problem resolution: improved quality of, and access to information (e.g. on gender, demography, ecosystem change, land quality issues, water availability, biodiversity, climate change) facilitates assessment, analysis, and decision making in the agricultural and rural sectors, and consequently supports a dynamic agricultural and rural development process.
  • Intended end beneficiaries: farmers and general public will benefit from more effective policies, if based on better information.

Objective

  • Wide adoption by countries of more appropriate environmental, social and economic information tools, data and knowledge, to support sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) through improved national policy making and more active participation in international environmental agreements and global/regional observing systems.

Indicators

  • Examples of improved national policies, as well as enhanced participation in international environmental agreements based on, or due to FAO's data and information.

2004-05 Implementation Progress - Achievements, Success Stories and Lessons Learnt

  • SDRN achievements related to the use of environmental data, tools and methods to improve environmental and natural resources decision-making included analyses of the chronic impacts of weather for the Global Information Early Warning System (GIEWS), publications on frost protection, methodological work and agricultural-environmental hotspots, and an assessment of rainfall variability and drought since 1960. Significant efforts were made to provide ground- and satellite-based cartographic material in response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004 and it was proposed to strengthen FAO's geospatial infrastructure for emergency response by making relevant information accessible more quickly. SDRN chaired two task groups of the UN Geographic Information Working Group and continued to host the interagency Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS), which improved the quality, coverage and accessibility of terrestrial data in land cover, freshwater resources, biodiversity, climate change and pollution. GTOS supported international conventions (CBD, CCD, FCCC) in identifying their monitoring and observation priorities. The Terrestrial Ecosystem Monitoring Sites (TEMS) information system added modules on biodiversity, mountain and coastal ecosystems. TEMS was integrated with the Global Observing Systems Information Center to include terrestrial, ocean and atmospheric observation data at a single site. Bioenergy was addressed by FAO Members at sessions of COAG, COFO and the Council. The 28th FAO Conference endorsed the expansion of bioenergy activities and establishment of an IDWG on Bioenergy. This was implemented through the International Bioenergy Platform in collaboration with UN, university and country partners as a mechanism to facilitate national actions. SDRN served as vice-chair of UN-Energy, a system-wide coordinating mechanism and contributed to several publications. The Global Land Cover Network improved access to land cover data required by local, national and international initiatives for sustainable natural resources management, environmental protection, food security and humanitarian programmes. The Integrated Global Observing Strategy and the Global Earth Observing System were supported in developing the land theme on priority terrestrial observations and preparing the module on agriculture for members of the Group on Earth Observations. The interagency Global Poverty Mapping project prepared poverty databases and maps that enhanced understanding of the links between biophysical resources and social and economic factors in poor areas. The interdepartmental Southeast Asia Poverty Mapping project integrated environmental and socio-economic analyses, including a gender component and wood-energy supply/demand analysis. A concept paper on integrated natural resources management to enhance food security and reduce vulnerability was prepared and workshops and pilot activities initiated in Ethiopia and Lesotho.


Major Output Biennial Output Title Type Contributing Divisions (Lead Division in bold) Status
001   Assistance in using information from in situ and satellite-based environmental observing systems.
  401 Development of global databases on ecosystem monitoring Information (products, systems, databases) RAP Completed
  402 Studies and technical reports on the integrated use of data in international environmental conventions such as biodiversity, climate change and desertification International undertakings, agreements/conventions and standards   Completed
  403 Formulation and implementation of bio-energy projects through the Clean Development Mechanism and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Direct advice to Members; field programme support RLC Completed
  404 Support to networks on rural bio-energy systems and environmental monitoring to facilitate data and information exchange Direct advice to Members; field programme support RAP RLC SDR Completed
002   Improved gender and demographic factors in agricultural statistics.
  401 Guidelines, training materials with methods and tools, to integrate gender and demographic factors into statistical data collection and analysis Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration) RAF REU RLC SDR SDW Completed
003   Decision support tools and sustainability indicators for national and regional environmental management.
  401 Decision support tools for integrated management of data and information for food security and environmental conventions Information (products, systems, databases) RAF RAP Completed
  402 Methods and procedures related to integrated use of data and information in areas such as terrestrial carbon observations and indicators of environmental change at the national, regional and global levels Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration)   Completed
  403 Impact assessment for development projects and natural disasters and climate monitoring data for use in connection with crop and climate change issues Direct advice to Members; field programme support RAF REU SDR Completed
004   Database on land tenure.
  401 Methods and procedures for collection of land tenure database Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration) REU RLC SDR Completed
005   Website dedicated to information and knowledge development, dissemination and exchange.



Programme Entity Title Type Lead Division
251A2 Youth in Agriculture, Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods Technical Project SDR


Rationale

  • Development problem to be addressed: although youth make up a large percentage of rural populations in most developing countries, their potential to make significant contributions to food security and sustainable development is often overlooked by government policy makers and international development strategists.
  • Proposed contribution to problem resolution: policies to involve youth in the development process and strengthening of youth associations and institutional capacity to support them, will lead to better integration of young women and men in the rural development process and in the fight for food security.
  • Intended end beneficiaries: the end beneficiaries are girls and boys as well as young women and men who, through effective rural youth development programmes, will gain the necessary knowledge, skills and experiences towards an economically-rewarding life for themselves, their families and in rural communities.

Objective

  • Increased awareness of the importance of youth among national decision makers, relevant government ministry personnel and development strategists; assist with policies for better integration of youth in the rural development process; youth organizations have a clearer, shared vision and use it to improve education and training in food security and rural development.

Indicators

  • Number of countries with new rural youth development projects, explicitly leveraging FAO's contribution through this entity.

2004-05 Implementation Progress - Achievements, Success Stories and Lessons Learnt

  • The programme was cancelled and the Senior Officer post abolished. Available funds were transferred to the Education for Rural People initiative, which also addresses, among its constituency, youth learning needs.


Major Output Biennial Output Title Type Contributing Divisions (Lead Division in bold) Status
001   Global, regional and national strategies to promote and support rural youth development programmes for food security and sustainable livelihoods.
  401 Policy and advocacy materials for rural youth development programmes Direct advice to Members; field programme support RAF RAP RLC RNE SDR Cancelled
002   Building human capacity of youth professionals through staff development, training and knowledge and information support.
  401 Rural youth database Information (products, systems, databases) SDR Cancelled
  402 Rural youth website Information (products, systems, databases) RAF RAP RLC RNE SAFR SDR SLAC Cancelled
  403 Training materials and guidelines on rural youth Training (including training courses and materials) RAF RAP RLC RNE SDR SLAC Completed
003   Improved content, design and delivery of gender-sensitive rural youth development programmes through education, extension and communication for development.
  401 Technical reports on outstanding rural youth development programmes Information (products, systems, databases) RAP SAFR SDR Cancelled
  402 Guidelines and materials on innovative ways of delivering education and training to rural youth, including rural radio and ICTs Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration) RAF SDR SLAC Cancelled



Programme Entity Title Type Lead Division
251A3 Partnerships for Improving Application of Biotechnology in Agriculture Technical Project SDR


Rationale

  • Development problem to be addressed: biotechnology is still out of reach for most developing countries. They lack information about the latest scientific developments and their political, environmental and socio-economic implications. They often lack adequate regulatory policies and frameworks for biotechnology application. Developing countries need to be brought to an equal level with developed countries in this respect.
  • Proposed contribution to problem resolution: adequate regulatory frameworks and appropriate information will assist developing countries in harvesting the benefits of biotechnology in agriculture, and help them be on an equal footing with developed countries.
  • Intended end beneficiaries: producers and consumers of food and agricultural products, due to application of biotechnology to producing more food at lower costs and with lower environmental impact; increased revenues of rural families and lower market prices for food; proper controls on the use of the new products will safeguard both farmers and consumers.

Objective

  • Biosafety regulations for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are applied in national regulatory frameworks, possibly harmonised regionally, and biosafety regulatory bodies established, strengthened and trained in the risk assessment of transgenics; a wider and more accessible knowledge base on policy issues related to biotechnology; an effective inventory of biotechnology informs policy makers and is used to identify gaps, needs and opportunities for research.

Indicators

  • List of countries with improved national policy frameworks and institutions, as well as functioning regulatory bodies for biotechnology, developed utilising FAO information.
  • Inventory of biotechnologies in use or in the pipeline in developing countries.

2004-05 Implementation Progress - Achievements, Success Stories and Lessons Learnt

  • Implementation of the programme entity was successfully completed. Support was provided to 24 countries in strengthening their national capacities in the development of biotechnology policy and biosafety management. Assistance included biotechnology policy formulation, regulation development and implementation, human capacity enhancement and upgrading of laboratory capacities. Particular emphasis was given to the training of biosafety regulatory bodies in risk assessments of transgenics through the development of training materials and delivery of theoretical and practical courses. The activities highlighted that the general public wishes to be involved in biotechnology-related decision-making, but the level of information available is too low, in terms of both quality and quantity, to ensure appropriate public participation. Regional and subregional harmonization was promoted through the implementation of a Trust Fund project in Asia and organization of consultations and workshops in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Regional collaboration is generally considered an obligatory means of enhancing national capacities and reducing the costs of biotechnology regulation, but fear of possible infringements of national sovereignty renders it both difficult and slow. A wider knowledge base on biotechnology-related policy issues was made broadly accessible. A number of tools and databases were developed: (i) FAO-BioDeC, a searchable database on biotechnology-related policies, regulations, institutions, activities, products and techniques in use or in the pipeline in developing and transition countries. The information included in FAO-BioDeC, totalling 2 894 entries and covering the crop, animal and forestry sectors, was analysed to identify strengths, gaps and opportunities and the related study was published. (ii) The "Glossary of Biotechnology for Food and Agriculture", with 3 196 terms and definitions, was made available in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Vietnamese. A Russian translation is being prepared; (iii) The FAO Electronic Forum on Biotechnology provided a global membership of 3 000 people with a neutral platform for the exchange of views and experiences, including hosting three moderated e-mail conferences; (iv) Support was provided to the maintenance of the FAO Web site on biotechnology and the e-newsletter "FAO-BiotechNews", posted in English, French, Spanish and Russian and received by 4 000 subscribers. As highlighted by the recent auto-evaluation of the Biotechnology PAIA, the biotechnology-related information made accessible on the FAO Web site is recognized by users as useful, credible, science-based and easily understood and has made a substantial impact on public awareness and on policy-making in developing countries.


Major Output Biennial Output Title Type Contributing Divisions (Lead Division in bold) Status
001   National and regional regulations and regulatory frameworks developed for biosafety of GMOs.
  401 Training materials on biosafety and training of national staff working in regulatory bodies in charge of risk assessment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) Training (including training courses and materials) SDR Completed
  402 Advice to countries on the establishment of national regulatory frameworks based on prior assessment of national needs and harmonization of biosafety regulations at the regional level Direct advice to Members; field programme support RAF RAP REU RNE SDR Completed
002   Information collected and disseminated for policy formulation and assessment of selected biotechnologies.
  401 Electronic conferences on biotechnology policy issues Information (products, systems, databases) SDR Completed
  402 Database of biotechnology in use or in the pipeline in developing countries (FAO BioDeC) and Studies on research gaps, needs and opportunities for developing countries in biotechnology Information (products, systems, databases) SDR Completed
  403 Identification of appropriate initiatives to enhance applications of biotechnology in developing countries Studies and analyses RAF SDR Completed



Programme Entity Title Type Lead Division
251A4 Integrated Development and Dissemination of Agricultural Knowledge and Technology for Food Security and Sustainable Development Technical Project SDR


Rationale

  • Development problem to be addressed: the weakness of national agricultural research, extension, education and communication services and the generally limited access of clients to these services in most developing countries hinder the wide adoption of improved approaches and technologies, slowing agricultural and rural development.
  • Proposed contribution to problem resolution: support to appropriate policies and strategies will enable member countries to better integrate and develop agricultural research, extension, education and communication services, leading to better information for farmers, increased production, higher incomes, more food, and ultimately the reduction of poverty and food insecurity.
  • Intended end beneficiaries: the end beneficiaries will be rural families, as they receive integrated agricultural and rural knowledge and information which would, not only address improved technologies, but also emphasise human aspects.

Objective

  • More appropriate national policies and strategies aimed at strengthening and integrating agricultural research, extension, education and communication services through improved organisation, staff performance, communication, priority setting and sustainable funding.

Indicators

  • Number of national rural and agricultural development plans, with integration of two or more components of research, extension, education, and communication.
  • Number of countries making verifiable and specific improvements in the policy, organisation and staff performance aspects of national systems for agricultural extension, education and communication for development.

2004-05 Implementation Progress - Achievements, Success Stories and Lessons Learnt

  • Implementation of the programme entity was completed successfully. It was linked to the provision of technical assistance to 20 countries to improve their national research and extension systems. Support to effective and sustainable national agricultural research systems (NARS) was offered through institutional strengthening and capacity building, policy formulation and strategic planning, research prioritization and coordination of NARS. Several databases with relevance to NARS were developed: i) a database of Technology for Agriculture (TECA) that aims to provide access and facilitate adoption of proven technologies in agriculture, forestry and fisheries; ii) an Agricultural Funding Guide providing links to funding sources for research projects, scholarships and training courses; and iii) a global Directory of Agricultural Research Institutions that aims to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences among agricultural research institutions. Two events were organized to contribute to support African research and technology needs: The Green Revolution in Africa and Dakar Agricole. Support to reforms in national extension systems were emphasized, especially in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and the Near East. Assistance included policy advice, institutional reviews, and development of methodologies and strategies for broadening the technical mandate of extension to promote sustainable development and for grassroots extension programme planning aimed at demand-driven, participatory and gender-sensitive extension involving public and private institutions. An Extension Summit was held in the Pacific region. Databases, guidelines, extension and training materials and publications were also produced. The successful capacity building, advocacy and information-sharing work of the Education for Rural People Partnership led to more appropriate national policies and strategies aimed at fostering access to quality education for rural people being adopted by member countries. Lessons learned included: i) there is an increased demand for technical assistance to improve the efficiency of national research and extension systems; ii) decentralization leads to marginalization of extension services; iii) the technical mandate of extension needs to be broadened for sustainable rural and agricultural development; and iv) privatization of extension is not feasible without a viable group of private service providers and strong farmers' associations. Considerable progress was made in determining the status of the Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems (AKIS) for rural development in ten countries. Based on the findings of the studies, national workshops were held in Egypt, Lithuania, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda, where national action plans were prepared for improving coordination among AKIS actors. A normative publication was also prepared, based on the country studies.


Major Output Biennial Output Title Type Contributing Divisions (Lead Division in bold) Status
001   Support to the policy, methodology and staff performance aspects of national systems of extension, education and communication.
  401 Training materials and workshops on extension, education and communication for development Training (including training courses and materials) RAF RAP REU RLC RNE SAFR SDR SLAC Completed
  402 Methodologies for the formulation of national plans and strategies related to extension, education and communication for development Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration) RAF RAP RNE SDR Completed
  403 Normative publications in extension, education and communication for development Information (products, systems, databases) RAP RLC SDR Completed
  404 Policy guidelines and materials on extension, education and communication for development Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration) RAP REU RLC RNE SDR Completed
002   Capacity building for national and regional agricultural research systems relating to priority setting, ensuring sustainable funding and technology assessment and transfer.
  401 Assistance for improved access to information and knowledge about technologies for food security programmes Information (products, systems, databases) RAF SDR Completed
  402 Support to enhanced capacities for research planning and priority setting, technology assessment and transfer Direct advice to Members; field programme support SDR Completed
  403 Improved databases and strengthened regional networks Information (products, systems, databases) SDR Completed
003   Support to research, extension, education, and communication (REEC) interfaces and national agricultural knowledge and information systems (AKIS).
  401 Action plans for the adoption of AKIS workshop recommendations Studies and analyses RAF RAP REU RLC RNE SDR Completed
  402 Publication on "Bringing Closer Partners in AKIS" Studies and analyses SDR Completed
  404 Projects, seminars, workshops for strengthening AKIS Studies and analyses RAF RAP REU RLC RNE SDR Modified



Programme Entity Title Type Lead Division
251A5 Secretariat of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) Technical Project SDR


Rationale

  • Development problem to be addressed: weakness of national agricultural research institutions as a relay in passing the results of research in CGIAR institutions down to the field level, and as lead institutions in setting priorities, result in slow dissemination and inappropriateness of new agricultural technologies, slowing down agricultural and rural development.
  • Proposed contribution to problem resolution: the GFAR mechanism helps agricultural research stakeholders to better prioritise and utilise resources at national level, and to have a voice on this prioritisation at regional and global levels, thereby contributing to more sustainable agricultural and rural development.
  • Intended end beneficiaries: the end beneficiaries are farmers in developing countries, i.e. from better access to improved agricultural technologies coming out of international agricultural research.

Objective

  • Strengthening of GFAR, through provision of institutional support to all GFAR stakeholders, in particular the developing countries National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) and their regional and sub-regional fora, in order for them to actively participate in the emergence of a Global Agricultural Research System.

Indicators

  • Evidence of active collaboration of stakeholders, such as global partnership programmes and information and communication sharing, at regional and global levels.

2004-05 Implementation Progress - Achievements, Success Stories and Lessons Learnt

  • Significant progress was made towards completion of the programme entity. Active collaboration of stakeholders was achieved through the use of two collaborative research instruments (Competitive Funding Scheme and Global Partnership Programmes) as well as the development of information communication management capabilities The Competitive Grant Scheme (CGS) allowed the implementation of 12 collaborative research programmes involving researchers, NGOs and farmers' organizations from various developing countries and counterparts from the North. The projects covered various areas of agricultural research and touched on technology development (integrated pest management in horticulture) policy issues (intellectual property rights of indigenous resources) and institutional aspects (farmer access to innovation resources and establishment of a framework for producer group consultation). Participants formed networks among various institutions and stakeholders from the following countries: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, France, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, the Netherlands, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Viet Nam. Global Partnership Programmes (GPPs) bring together different stakeholders to work on common development problems. A second phase of an ongoing GPP-Promoting Local Innovation (PROLINNOVA) was implemented. The project brought together NGOs, research institutions and government departments from various countries to address local-level community issues related to natural resource management. Participating countries during this second phase were: Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nepal, the Niger, South Africa, the Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda. Preparatory activities through a comprehensive bottom-up approach for the development of two other GPPs (Global Post-Harvest Initiative - Linking Farmers to Markets, Non-Timber Forest Products), were completed, and funding was being sought for implementation in the following year. In the area of information communication management capacities, two activities were implemented with the aim of ensuring access to knowledge and information sharing at regional and global levels,. First, the Electronic Global Forum on Agricultural Research (EGFAR) was re-engineered, and now has an electronic document repository that will improve access thereby enabling experts to share and exchange documents. Second, the process of establishing or strengthening Regional Agricultural Information Systems (RAIS) in various regions is progressing satisfactorily through the implementation of the Information Communication Management for Agricultural Research for Development (ICM4ARD) project. Significant achievements included: training of ICM experts in the Asia Pacific Region; establishment of task forces in all participating regions to monitor capacity building activities and content management of the RAIS.


Major Output Biennial Output Title Type Contributing Divisions (Lead Division in bold) Status
001   Strengthening NARS and their regional and sub-regional fora.
  401 Institutional support to all GFAR stakeholders (NARS, regional/sub-regional fora, civil society organizations) Coordination and information exchange SDR Completed
002   Support to cost-effective, innovative research partnerships among stakeholders of agricultural research and sustainable development.
  401 Development of regional and sub-regional research agenda based on identified priorities, through related fora and facilitation of global research partnership programmes Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration) SDR Completed
003   Facilitation of the flow of information and knowledge among stakeholders.
  401 Operationalization of the Regional Agricultural Information Systems(RAIS) as building blocks of the Electronic Global Forum on Agricultural Research (EGFAR) Information (products, systems, databases) SDR Completed



Programme Entity Title Type Lead Division
251A6 Support to Environmental Agreements and Promotion of Integrated Environmental Planning and Management Technical Project SDR


Rationale

  • Development problem to be addressed: natural resources and the environment are degrading rapidly in many developing countries, increasing rural poverty and food insecurity. Many countries lack capacity for the implementation of Agenda 21 and post UNCED environmental agreements, and need to ensure better coordination and harmonisation of inputs and actions concerning various conventions for preservation, rehabilitation and development of natural resources (soil, water, vegetation, biodiversity).
  • Proposed contribution to problem resolution: through support to implementation of international conventions, capacity building and policy advice, FAO can assist national decision makers with integrated policies and programmes related to the sustainable management of their natural resources. This will lead to conservation and renewal of these resources through more sustainable use and management, and thus increased agriculture production or productivity, particularly for populations living under conditions of environmental stress.
  • Intended end beneficiaries: communities exploiting natural resources in the rural areas, in particular in ecosystems under stress due to population pressure and recurrent climatic events, but also the rural population in general, will benefit from more sustainable use and management of natural resources.

Objective

  • Focusing on cross sectoral priority issues (e.g., biodiversity, climate change, desertification, organic farming, energy, ecosystem management), decision makers at national and sub-national levels will formulate or improve policies which relate to management of natural resources; national capacity for implementation of related programmes to be strengthened.

Indicators

  • Number of countries putting in place new national policies that integrate environmental issues in agriculture, due to FAO's support and capacity building efforts.
  • Number of countries implementing new national programmes that integrate environmental issues in agriculture, due to FAO support and capacity-building efforts.

2004-05 Implementation Progress - Achievements, Success Stories and Lessons Learnt

  • SDRN provided secretariat support to interdepartmental mechanisms related to multilateral environmental agreements (CBD, CCD, FCCC), the Commission on Sustainable Development and small island developing states. This support helped to mainstream biodiversity, climate change, and ecosystem management in FAO technical units and with external partners. Achievements related to PAIA-CLIM included: participation of the Deputy Director-General at COP-10 (Buenos Aires, November 2004) and organization of side-events on agro-environmental hotspots and on the "Impact of climate change on food security"; preparation of a joint FAO-UNDP-NCAR publication on "Climate and HIV/AIDS: a hotspot analysis for early warning rapid response systems" and a joint SDRN-ESAE paper on "Bioenergy projects for climate change mitigation: Baselines, monitoring and eligibility". Concerning PAIA-DSRT, SDRN participated in COP-7 (Nairobi, May 2005), where it organized side events, and in CRIC-3 (Bonn, May 2005), and coordinated the preparation of Web sites and databases on desertification. The Division also participated in ten UNCCD international and regional meetings and interagency committees (Global Mechanism, GEF Task Force) and coordinated agreements with the UNCCD secretariat, IFAD and the Ministry of Environment and Territory of Italy. Concerning PAIA-BIOD, a side event at the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was organized in November 2004, resulting in a mandate to develop a multiyear programme of work on agrobiodiversity for its next session, covering crops and animals as well as fish, trees and microbial diversity. PAIA-BIOD provided technical inputs to World Food Day 2004 related to the role of agrobiodiversity for food security and sustainable development. Concerning PAIA-ORGA, a methodological study, "Evaluation of the impact of organic agriculture on the economies of developing countries" was completed. An Organic-Aims database with 77 country profiles and a questionnaire were developed and the FAO/IFOAM/ISF First World Conference on Organic Seed (Rome, July 2004) was organized. A meeting of the FAO/IFOAM/UNCTAD International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalency on Organic Agriculture (Rome, November 2005) was organized, leading to revision of EC regulations on organic agriculture to render them more sensitive to developing countries. Concerning PAIA-MTNS, SDRN contributed to the International Mountain Day: posters and fact sheets were produced and an awareness-raising event was organized with the support of the Italian government. The Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) improved the quality and coverage of terrestrial data related to land cover and freshwater resources, biodiversity and climate change. The UNFCCC Conference of Parties endorsed the GTOS recommended variables for terrestrial climate observations.


Major Output Biennial Output Title Type Contributing Divisions (Lead Division in bold) Status
001   Secretariat of FAO's inter-departmental activities on the three international conventions to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) and the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  401 Coordination of FAO inputs to international environmental convention mechanisms, including advisory bodies, conferences of the parties and secretariats, and WSSD follow-up Coordination and information exchange SDR Completed
002   Coordination of cross-sectoral activities linked to organic agriculture, energy, integrated ecosystem management and follow-up of Agenda 21.
  401 Technical support to data and information systems related to major Conventions (e.g. CBD, CCD) Direct advice to Members; field programme support   Completed
003   Policy guidelines on priority environmental issues.
  401 Technical reports and policy documents related to biodiversity, climate change, desertification, rural bio-energy, organic agriculture, adequacy of environmental observing systems, methodologies and guidelines on ecosystem management approaches Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration)   Completed
004   Capacity building and advisory services to countries on high-priority environmental issues.
  401 Technical guidelines and materials for enhanced participation of countries in international environmental agreements Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration) SDR Completed



Programme Entity Title Type Lead Division
251P1 Environmental Geo-Information Infrastructure and Services Continuing Programme Activity SDR


Rationale

  • Development problem to be addressed: There is substantial requirement for accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive and geo-referenced information, especially for monitoring, management and conservation of renewable natural resources and the environment. Weakness of national spatial data and information infrastructures prevents most developing countries from filling this gap. This slows or limits effective rural development.
  • Proposed contribution to problem resolution: the ability of FAO, the international community and national governments to make scientifically-based decisions on resource conservation and rural development, and to undertake timely preventive and mitigative actions against natural disasters (drought, floods, pests) is highly dependent on access to dynamic spatial information on the environment and natural resource base. Decisions and policies based on accurate information of this kind are much more likely to obtain the desired impact.
  • Intended end beneficiaries: End beneficiaries are primarily the disadvantaged farmers and rural populations living in environmentally threatened areas. They will benefit from better policies and planning for environmentally sustainable development as a result of better information.

Objective

  • To assist governments as well as international organizations and donor agencies in making timely and effective scientifically-based decisions and formulating policies in relation to the development of food production, natural resources management and the migratory pests situation, through accurate and timely geo-referenced information.

Indicators

  • National or international policies and programmes in the areas of sustainable food production, poverty alleviation, early warning or environmental management that make explicit reference to FAO's data and models.

2004-05 Implementation Progress - Achievements, Success Stories and Lessons Learnt

  • A comprehensive auto-evaluation of PE251P1 in January 2005 concluded that it had generated widespread uptake and support among FAO technical units working with geospatial data for agriculture, forestry, and fisheries applications as well as elsewhere in the UN system, notably DPKO, OCHA and UNHCR. The acquisition of substantial extrabudgetary funding enhanced the extent, quality and impact of the outputs. Geospatial data acquisition and management have become central to the Organization and its partners, as well as national agencies. Many normative, project and external partners depend upon geospatial infrastructure and services established by the programme entity, including climate impact analyses for the Global Information and Early Warning System. Environmental tools and databases such as AgroMet Shell, Artemis, GeoNetwork, GLCN, LCCS, MEDI, New LocClim, TEMS, VEDA, and WinDisp were widely used for assessing, monitoring and analysing land and water resources, global environmental change, natural resources management and climate change. The systems were upgraded in terms of user features and programming, and work on integration was begun to develop a toolbox built around a common technological platform. SDRN's GeoNetwork, a catalogue for accessing geospatial data was widely adopted among other UN agencies, the 15-member CGIAR system and in selected countries. GeoNetwork is an open-source project that uses ISO standards for classifying geospatial information allowing users to share their data. Version 2 was released in 2005. SDRN co-chaired (with WFP) the UN Geographic Information Working Group (UNGIWG) and led the development of a UN Spatial Data Infrastructure (UNSDI) platform to facilitate collaboration on the establishment of core databases, interoperable mapping and data management systems, and capacity building among partners. The UNSDI proposal was endorsed at the sixth meeting of UNGIWG (Addis Ababa, October 2005), organized by SDRN with WFP, and implementation is underway. SDRN also participated in the UN Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas (New York, June 2005) and the ESRI user conference (San Diego, July 2005). The project "Improving methods for poverty and food insecurity mapping and its use at country level" (GCP/INT/761/NOR), executed by FAO in partnership with UNEP/GRID-Arendal and seven CGIAR centres, was completed. Project outputs included 14 publications, one CD-ROM and one DVD containing 80 global maps. The project "Southeast Asia poverty mapping" (FNOP/INT/005/NOR) was started and has begun to produce outputs integrating environmental analysis with social and economic data in seven countries. It will be completed in June 2006.


Major Output Biennial Output Title Type Contributing Divisions (Lead Division in bold) Status
001   Support to environmental data acquisition and management.
  401 Electronic facilities for improved access to FAO spatially-referenced data and information Information (products, systems, databases) RAP SDR Completed
  402 Environmental data acquisition and management in support of early warning systems Information (products, systems, databases) SDR Completed
002   Tools and methodological frameworks for integrated analysis of geo-information.
  402 Norms and guidelines for management and access to spatial data (e.g. UNGIWG) Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration)   Completed
003   Monitoring of, and periodic reporting on natural resources conditions and trends.
  401 Cartographic and mapping services and tools to other technical units, including land and water development, pest and disease forecasting, and environmental databases for food security (e.g. FIVIMS) Information (products, systems, databases) RAP SDR Modified



Programme Entity Title Type Lead Division
251P3 Information and Communication Technologies in Support of Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Systems Continuing Programme Activity SDR


Rationale

  • Development problem to be addressed: farmers and other producers, as well as consumers, require access to timely and appropriate knowledge and information to make informed decisions. Existing information delivery systems for agricultural research, extension and education are often weak, unresponsive to users' needs, not gender-sensitive, and lacking effective mechanisms for interaction.
  • Proposed contribution to problem resolution: capacity building of agricultural research, extension and education staff in the use of appropriate and adapted information and communication technologies (ICTs) and in participatory communication will enhance their ability to meet the priority information and knowledge needs of male and female farmers. This effort should be also gender-sensitive.
  • Intended end beneficiaries: the end beneficiaries will be male and female farmers, producers and consumers, i.e. from increased and more equitable access to diversified sources of timely information and knowledge that reflects their needs and priorities. In addition, they should gain access to new channels of communication that may enable them to influence development decisions.

Objective

  • To harness the potential of new information and communication technologies to assist countries in addressing major obstacles in agricultural and rural development.

Indicators

  • Examples of countries demonstrating improvements in national research, extension and education systems and information exchange due to their adoption of ICTs.

2004-05 Implementation Progress - Achievements, Success Stories and Lessons Learnt

  • The programme entity (PE) created four functioning networks: the Virtual Extension and Research Communication Network, (VERCON - Egypt); the food security and FAO rural radio Web site and broadcasters' network; Simbani - Africa; and rural women's access to education and training (Dimitra - Africa). It also produced conceptual and training materials for ICT applications, content development, distance learning and information dissemination, as well as impact assessments to provide a knowledge base on the application of ICTs for agricultural knowledge and information systems. Support was provided to 15 countries through 17 TCP and externally funded projects on the application of ICTs for strengthening linkages among agricultural service institutions and their clients. Capacity building was provided through 27 training events on strengthening research-extension linkages and on rural radio. Best practices for information and communication for development incorporating a gender approach were developed. A side event on "Gender and agricultural information management" was organized during COAIM 2002, leading to the adoption by three countries of an information systems prototype and by 15 members of needs assessments approaches incorporating gender dimensions. The PE harnessed ICTs to create "communities of practice" in agriculture and rural development using approaches such as VERCON and its spin-off "Farmer Information Network for Agricultural and Rural Development", Farm Radio Networks and Rural Communication Networks. VERCON provided an important tool for strengthening institutional research-extension linkages. In partnership with the Simbani Network, operated by the Association of World Community Radio Broadcasters, decision-makers in southern and eastern Africa are being sensitized to rural radio and the production of adapted content for rural radio broadcasts. Dimitra - Africa has facilitated access to information and communication by rural populations, especially women, through a network of ten focal partners, around 1 500 local organizations and community radios in 49 countries. The PE auto-evaluation concluded that it had exceeded its objective. The participatory multistakeholder needs assessment and planning approach of VERCON helped bridge the gap between extension, research institutions and clients. Simbani, though assessed positively by users, is still too new for a more accurate assessment. The auto-evaluation also found that the isolated major output on gender may encourage a "silo mentality" and that gender equity is not mainstreamed and sometimes absent in VERCON-related initiatives. It recommended that the PE focus on assisting organizations and institutions that are seeking ways to bridge gaps in research-extension-education systems and that gender mainstreaming should become a focus for the entire PE.


Major Output Biennial Output Title Type Contributing Divisions (Lead Division in bold) Status
001   Application of ICTs to the establishment of innovative linkage mechanisms and networks for national agricultural research, extension and education systems.
  401 Resource material to support Radio and ICTs development Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration) RAF RAP REU RLC RNE SDR Completed
  402 Materials and guidelines on ICT innovative concepts and applications Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration) RAF RAP REU RLC RNE SDR SLAC Completed
002   Conceptual frameworks, methodologies and training materials for ICT applications and content development, distance-learning and information dissemination, and impact assessment.
  401 Training materials and workshops on ICT applications Training (including training courses and materials) RAF REU RLC RNE SDR Completed
  402 Methodologies and guidelines in support of ICT applications Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration) RAF RAP RLC RNE SAFR SDR SLAC Completed
003   Support to ICTs for accelerated advancement of rural women and rural girls.
  401 Application of ICTs for improving rural women's access to education and training, for improving information exchange, and to increase awareness of their rights Training (including training courses and materials) RAP RLC SDR SDW Completed



Programme Entity Title Type Lead Division
251P4 Secretariat of the CGIAR Science Council Continuing Programme Activity SDR


Rationale

  • Development problem to be addressed: research is essential to ensuring increased, sustainable food and agricultural production in all regions. Results of research need to be transferred in an effective manner to farming communities. A key player in this global effort is the CGIAR - a major network of internationally-funded scientific research facilities, whose Technical Advisory Committee - jointly funded - is hosted by FAO.
  • Proposed contribution to problem resolution: the TAC - soon to be replaced by a Science Council - contributes to ensuring relevance and quality of science in the CGIAR and advises the latter on strategic scientific issues relevant to the Group's goal and mission. In view of current transitional arrangements, the title of the entity has been left unchanged.
  • Intended end beneficiaries: farmers, producers and consumers in developing countries who will benefit from the results of high-quality research and appropriate scientific solutions to many rural development problems.

Objective

  • Improved quality and delivery of the CGIAR system institutions; testing and evaluation in country of technologies and approaches promoted by CGIAR institutions; and ultimately integration of the most promising technologies and approaches into national extension curricula.

Indicators

  • Examples of CGIAR-promoted technologies and approaches taken up and successfully tested by NARS and other national stakeholders.

2004-05 Implementation Progress - Achievements, Success Stories and Lessons Learnt

  • The new Science Council (SC) was created in 2004 following the transition from the Technical Advisory Committee to the interim Science Council and finally to the SC. The SC Secretariat provided support to the SC in providing sound scientific advice to the CGIAR through a number of channels. External reviews of centres and system-wide programmes and stripe reviews of themes that cut across centre mandates have been the principal means through which the SC has carried out its responsibility to assure the quality and relevance of the centres' science. The Secretariat facilitated the implementation and planning of SC-commissioned reviews and other activities related to ensuring science quality and relevance in the CGIAR, such as External Programme and Management Reviews of four centres (ICRISAT, IRRI, CIMMYT, IFPRI). In the area of strategic planning and priority-setting, the SC Secretariat provided support to the SC in planning, organizing and implementing a major priority and strategies exercise for the CGIAR and in a range of thematic studies (e.g. on ethics, fish and animal genetic resources, genomics, intellectual property rights, biosafety). The SC Secretariat supported the SC in assessing the medium-term plans of the 15 centres and four Challenge Programmes. Support related to SC's impact work included studies on Natural Resource Management research impact, Donor Demands and Uses for Evidence of Research Impact, Benefit-Cost Meta-Analysis of Investment in the International Agricultural Research Centres of the CGIAR, Training, and the Africa Impact Study (Phase I). In terms of fulfilling its newest function of mobilizing global science, the SC initiated and completed several key activities: a survey of CGIAR centres' ongoing scientific collaboration; the preparation of a new Council-led publication "Science for Agricultural Development 2005", launched at the CGIAR Annual General Meeting in 2005 (AGM05); and the organization of a one-day event at AGM05/Science Forum 2005. In addition, the Secretariat has successfully planned, backstopped and facilitated regular and ad hoc SC meetings throughout the biennium and assisted in the preparation of papers, reports and materials for other CGIAR-related meetings, including the annual general meetings. Secretariat staff have also attend and presented papers at various seminars and workshops.


Major Output Biennial Output Title Type Contributing Divisions (Lead Division in bold) Status
001   Advice on CGIAR science policy, priorities and strategy, and resource allocation.
002   Assessments of relevance and quality of science in the CGIAR through external and peer reviews.
003   Ex-post impact assessment of CGIAR activities.
004   Organisation and implementation of TAC meetings.
  401 Organization of 4 - 6 Science Council and its Standing Panel meetings and records of proceedings Information (products, systems, databases) SDR Completed
005   Dissemination of information and documentation to TAC and CGIAR members and stakeholders of TAC decisions, reports, strategic studies and reviews.
  401 Reports of strategic studies Studies and analyses SDR Completed
  402 External evaluation reports of Centres, Research Agenda, Systemwide and Challenge Programmes Direct advice to Members; field programme support SDR Completed
  403 Reports of Impact Assessment Methodologies and guidelines (including pilot testing and demonstration) SDR Completed
  404 Science Council Chair's Annual Reports Coordination and information exchange SDR Completed



Programme Entity Title Type Lead Division
251S1 Technical Support Services to Member Nations, the Field Programme, and Other Related Activities Technical Service Agreement SDR


Indicators

  • Number of countries implementing technical assistance, projects and advice
  • Number of collaborations with international bodies

2004-05 Implementation Progress - Achievements, Success Stories and Lessons Learnt

  • SDRN coordinated collaboration with UNEP on environmental matters and FAO participation in the 12th and 13th sessions of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, with a focus on water resources. Assistance was provided to countries in developing crop monitoring and forecasting tools for food security (Afghanistan, Cote d'Ivoire, Iraq, Lao People's Democratic Republic and Turkey) and for crop insurance (Malawi). In collaboration with WMO, an international expert meeting was organized (the Philippines) on the dissemination of weather advice to farmers. An agricultural atlas of Myanmar was completed, with agricultural layers from 2001-02 statistics collected at the subnational level. Environmental/poverty information atlases were also prepared for Burundi, Cape Verde, Liberia and Madagascar in collaboration with FIVIMS. Range and land resource atlases were prepared for the Dhofar region, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Oman. Support was provided to enhance national agricultural research capacities in the areas of institutional strengthening, IT-based institutional linkages, biotechnology and relevant biosafety regulations, training and policy advice. The recipient regions included Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Kenya, Swaziland, and the Southern African Development Community), Asia (Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam), Latin America (Bolivia, Costa Rica, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay), the Near East (Egypt), and Central and Eastern Europe (Belarus, Croatia, Serbia [Kosovo]). A total of 12 projects related to improvement of research systems were implemented. Assistance in strengthening and reforming national agricultural extension systems was provided to Barbados, Bulgaria, Cuba, Dominica, Egypt, El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen. The areas of technical emphasis included policy advice for institutional reform; strengthening of farmers' associations; extension support to mitigating the spread of HIV infection; interrelationships among population, environment and food production; extension and training materials; methodologies for demand-driven, participatory, gender-sensitive, bottom-up, pluralistic extension; and the broader technical mandate of extension. Linkages among research and extension and other actors in Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems (AKIS) were enhanced. Projects on VERCON (Virtual Extension Research Communication Network) were implemented in Bhutan, Egypt, Guatemala, Honduras, Lithuania, Nicaragua, Uganda and Ukraine. National workshops on AKIS were held in Egypt, Lithuania, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda.


Major Output Biennial Output Title Type Contributing Divisions (Lead Division in bold) Status
001   Assistance in strengthening agricultural research and technology development capabilities leading to improved sustainable production systems and promoting regional and international cooperation
  401 Ongoing assistance to countries in strengthening agricultural research and technology development capabilities Direct advice to Members; field programme support RAF REU RNE SDR Completed
002   Programme development, advice and collaboration in extension, education, communication and rural youth
  401 Ongoing assistance to countries in programme development, advice and collaboration in extension, education, communication and rural youth Direct advice to Members; field programme support RAF RAP RLC RNE SAFR SDR Completed
003   Technical assistance to member countries for environmentally-sound agricultural development.
  401 Technical assistance to member countries for environmentally-sound agricultural development Coordination and information exchange SDR Completed
004   Co-ordinated support to the international bodies and undertakings on follow up of Agenda 21, WSSD and relevant cross cutting issues .
  401 Support to the implementation of Agenda 21 and follow up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) Coordination and information exchange SDD SDR Completed



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