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International Symposium on “The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition”

15/02/2016 - 17/02/2016
FAO Headquarters

The FAO international symposium on “The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition” will take place at FAO Headquarters, Rome on 15-17 February 2016. The international symposium will explore how the application of science and technology, particularly agricultural biotechnologies, can benefit smallholders in developing sustainable food systems and improving nutrition in the context of climate change. For further information, visit the symposium website.

1. How to express your interest to attend

1. How to express your interest to attend

If you are a representative of a civil society organization; private sector entity (including philanthropic foundations); academic/research institution; or a cooperative/producer organization, please follow these instructions to express an interest in attending the international symposium:

  1. Please click on register to create an account.
  2. Make sure you remember both username and password chosen.
  3. An email will be sent to the email address related to your account. Click on the link contained on this email to confirm your account.
  4. This link will take you to a screen where you will have to enter your username and password to confirm your account.
  5. Confirming the account will automatically lead you to the individual form in order to submit your individual expression of interest. Valid ID picture and passport copies are requested (please read below the requirements).
  6. If you have problems or cannot submit the individual expression of interest, you can always come back to this page, and sign in with your username and password to submit the individual expression of interest.
  7.  Final confirmation for participation will be sent in the dates hereunder indicated.

Photo ID requirements

  • Plain white background.
  • Full face frontal view with open eyes.
  • No shadows on the face or in the background.
  • Recent. Maximum 6 months old.
  • Size: 24 mm (width) x 32 mm (height) or 195 pixels (width) x 255 pixels (height).
  • Accepted formats: gif, jpg, jpeg
  • Weight: Maximum 100kb

Passport copy requirements

  • Accepted formats: pdf, gif, jpg, jpeg.
  • Weight: Maximum 100kb

Please note that:

  • The deadline for expression of interest has been extended until 23.59 Rome time on 31 December 2015.
  • Emails to inform applicants whether their expression of interest (to attend the symposium) has been approved or not will be sent to them between 16 and 18 December 2015.
  • FAO does not fund participation at the international symposium.
  • The total number of places for non-state participants is limited.
  • Only one representative per organization will be considered, except for academic/research institutions which have the possibility to add one student to represent their institution (see below).

2. Criteria for participation

2. Criteria for participation

The scope and focus of the symposium include that it:

  • Explores the application of biotechnologies for the benefit of smallholders in developing sustainable food systems and improving nutrition in the context of climate change.
  • Takes a multisectoral approach, covering the crop, livestock, forestry and fishery sectors.
  • Focuses on agricultural biotechnologies, a term which encompasses the wide spectrum of available biotechnologies, including microbial food fermentation, tissue culture in plants, reproductive technologies in livestock, use of molecular markers, genetic modification and other technologies.

Common criteria for participation of representatives of the different groups of non-state actors should be that their work and/or mandate is relevant to the scope and focus of the symposium and that they are able to cover their travel and lodging costs and take care of related arrangements.

Specific criteria for the different groups of non-state actors include

Private Sector

  • Type of actor (to ensure that private sector associations/multinational/national companies are represented).
  • Geographic representation (to ensure that all regions are represented).
  • Type of business (to ensure that the crop, livestock, fishery and forestry sectors are represented).
  • Track record (preference will be given to actors that have participated in the ABDC-10 conference and that are actively engaged in other science and technology activities/international fora).

Civil Society

  • Relevance to FAO’s mandate and to the scope/focus of the symposium: The civil society organization’s (CSO) mandate or work should include science and technology, including agricultural biotechnologies, related to food security and nutrition and is committed to FAO’s mandate to reduce poverty and eliminate food insecurity worldwide.
  • Representativeness: The CSO is representative of one or more specific sectors of the population who share common interests, with particular reference to the most vulnerable and isolated groups.
  • Independence: The work of the CSO is autonomous and not subject to external influence. Its sources of funding are transparent and free from any stringent condition that could weaken its action and undermine its legitimacy as an independent actor of change.
  • Transparency: The CSO demonstrates a consistent pattern of making decisions and implementing actions in accordance with internal rules, norms and regulations that are known and understood by all concerned. Adequate information about decisions and actions is freely and constantly provided in accessible ways and in forms that are easily understood by all concerned.
  • A balanced representation in terms of geography, gender, age and constituencies represented, in accordance with the “Guidelines for ensuring balanced representation of civil society in FAO meetings and processes” will be sought.
  • In general terms, priority will be given to people representing small-scale food producers (including farmers, fishers, artisans, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, landless, rural workers, with special attention to women and youth)

Academia and research institutions (non-students)

  • Type of actor (ensure that different organizations and research centers are represented).
  • Geographic representation
  • Type of institution (covering the crop, livestock, fishery and/or forestry sectors).
  • Has recognized expertise in agriculture and agricultural biotechnologies, specifically related to climate change, sustainable food systems and nutrition or institutional aspects.
  • Be an accredited institution of higher learning and research. Enjoy academic freedom, institutional autonomy and has transparency in its governance and funding.

Academia and research institutions (MSc/PhD students)

In addition to representatives of research/academic institutions, an equal number of places will be allocated to MSc/PhD students. Criteria for selecting these students will include

  • Relevance of their research work to the scope/focus of the symposium;
  • Geographical and gender balance;
  • Research should be carried out in an accredited institution of higher learning and research;
  • Sector of research (crop, livestock, forestry and/or fishery sectors);
  • Experience or willingness to ‘report’ from a symposium like this using social media

Cooperatives and producer organizations 

  • Representation (affiliation to one of the FAO major partners).
  • Geographical and gender balance.
  • Sector (crop, livestock, forestry and/or fishery sectors).
  • Mandate/work includes science and technology, including agricultural biotechnologies.


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