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Topic: Technology

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Using online platforms to increase access to open data and share best practices of monitoring women’s land rights

Given the rapid expansion of the internet and the increasing number of users, including in the global South, the full potential of online platforms for promoting inclusive consultation of issues of high global interest is certainly not yet realised. An online discussion is being organised to share views and perspectives on how online platforms could be used more creatively and effectively to share experiences on a key area where information and lessons learned through various interventions from around the world are generally dispersed, that is the area of monitoring women’s land rights.
The objective of the online discussion is therefore twofold: (a) engage a collective reflection on ways of optimising the use of online platforms in efforts to promote equitable and sustainable natural governance and social justice; and, (b) to share experiences on approaches to monitoring women’s land rights.

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The state of broadband 2012: Achieving digital inclusion for all

High-speed affordable broadband connectivity to the Internet is essential to modern society, offering widely recognized economic and social benefits. The Broadband Commission for Digital Development promotes the adoption of broadband-friendly practices and policies for all, so everyone can take advantage of the benefits offered by broadband.
With this Report, the Broadband Commission expands awareness and understanding of the importance of broadband networks, services, and applications for generating economic growth and achieving social progress.
It has been written collaboratively, drawing on insightful and thought-provoking contributions from our leading array of Commissioners and their organizations, foremost in their fields.

30.11.2012

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Increasing Cropping System Diversity Balances Productivity, Profitability and Environmental Health

One of the key challenges of the 21st century is developing ways of producing sufficient amounts of food while protecting both environmental quality and the economic well-being of rural communities. Over the last half century, conventional approaches to crop production have relied heavily on manufactured fertilizers and pesticides to increase yields, but they have also degraded water quality and posed threats to human health and wildlife. Consequently, attention is now being directed toward the development of crop production systems with improved resource use efficiencies and more benign effects on the environment. Less attention has been paid to developing better methods of pest management, especially for weeds. Here we explore the potential benefits of diversifying cropping systems as a means of controlling weed population dynamics while simultaneously enhancing other desirable agroecosystem processes. We focus on crop rotation, an approach to cropping system diversification whereby different species are placed in the same field at different times.

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ASTI global assessment of agricultural R&D spending

Overall, global agricultural R&D spending in the public and private sectors steadily increased between 2000 and 2008. As further proof of positive development, most of this growth was driven by developing countries, since growth in high-income countries stalled. But, spending growth in developing countries was largely driven by positive trends in a number of larger, more advanced middle-income countries—such as China and India—masking negative trends in numerous smaller, poorer, and more technologically challenged countries. Countries in this last group are often highly vulnerable to severe volatility in funding, and hence in spending, which impedes the continuity and ultimately the viability of their research programs. Many R&D agencies in this group lack the necessary human, operating, and infrastructural resources to successfully develop, adapt, and disseminate science and technology innovations.