Side Events

An international call for side events (see below) was opened by FAO in November 2015 with a deadline of December 31st 2015. All proposals were carefully considered and five side events were chosen based on the pre-defined selection criteria. Side events are arranged by external stakeholders and FAO is not responsible for organization of these side events. This call for side events is now closed.

Selected Proposals

Title:                                  African Biofortified Sorghum Project
Organizer:                         Global Harvest Initiative
Co-Organizer(s):                Africa Harvest and DuPont Pioneer

Iran Room (105 seats), 12:45-13:45, 15 February 2016

Title:                                 Helping farmers grow: Climate change, food security and the technology nexus 
Organizer:                        CropLife
Co-Organizer(s):               Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, Texas A&M University and International Food Policy Research Institute

Sheik Zayed Centre (170 seats), 12:45-13:45, 15 February 2016

Title:                                 The voice of farmers: Biotechnology in the field
Organizer:                        Canadian Canola Growers Association
Co-organizer:                   Asociacíon Argentina de Consorcios Regionales de Experimentación Agricola (AACREA)

Iran Room, (105 seats), 13:15-14:15, 16 February 2016

Title:                                 New breeding technologies for smallholders’ challenges
Organizer:                        Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands

Sheik Zayed Centre (170 seats), 13:15-14:15, 16 February 2016

Title:                                  Practical approaches to regulation and oversight of agricultural biotechnology: Experiences from developed and developing countries
Organizer:                         Government of Canada
Co-Organizer(s):                Government of the United States of America

Iran Room (105 seats), 17:45-18:45, 16 February 2016

Call for side events

In order to provide more time for participants to discuss topics and themes that are important but which are not fully covered in the plenary and parallel sessions of the symposium, FAO invites proposals for organizing side events during the symposium to share additional information, exchange views on relevant topics and discuss options for improving food systems and nutrition. Governments, UN bodies and specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations or non-state actors1 that are represented at the symposium are all eligible to propose a side event.

Proposals for side events should address one or more of three main themes of the symposium, i.e. 1) Climate change; 2) Sustainable food systems and nutrition; and 3) People, policies, institutions and communities. Furthermore, the side events should focus on applications of biotechnologies in crops, livestock, forestry or fisheries/aquaculture. Discussions on applications of biotechnologies in food processing and for food safety are also welcome. Side events will take place in English. Proposals for side events should be submitted to FAO with the deadline of 23.59 Rome time on 31 December 2015.

Timing and location of the side events

 There are a total of 5 one-hour time slots available for the side events. The timing and meeting room allocation are as follows:

Side Event 1: Iran Room (105 seats), 12:45-13:45, 15 February 2016

Side Event 2: Sheik Zayed Centre (170 seats), 12:45-13:45, 15 February 2016

Side Event 3: Iran Room, 13:15-14:15 (105 seats), 16 February 2016

Side Event 4: Sheik Zayed Centre (170 seats), 13:15-14:15, 16 February 2016

Side Event 5: Iraq Room (120 seats), 17:45-18:45, 16 February 2016

Organisers of lunchtime side events will be encouraged to pay for a light lunch for participants, arranged by FAO catering services.

The possibility of webstreaming for some or all of the side events will be explored by FAO.  

Selection of the side events

If FAO receives more than 5 proposals before the deadline, the following considerations will be applied to select the 5 side events:

  • Relevance to the main themes of the symposium: The side events should not repeat the discussions by the thematic sessions but complement them and/or analyze various topics from different perspectives.
  • Relevance to the different sectors (looking at application of biotechnologies in crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries/aquaculture or food processing/food safety)
  • Multi-stakeholder approach: Private sector, civil society, academia/research institutes, cooperatives/producer organizations, governments and international organizations are encouraged to collaborate in organizing the side events.
  • Geographical balance, when relevant (e.g. project-based work or lessons learned)

 The selection results will be notified to all who submitted the proposals by 11 January 2016. FAO will not be responsible for the organization of the side events.

Side event proposal submission form

In addition to the title, applicants should provide a tentative programme of their side events and other relevant information, as indicated in the form. Applicants are free to propose the format (e.g. presentations, panel discussions). There should be a maximum of four speakers in the programme of each side event (symposium participants or external collaborators).  Proposals should allow time for discussion with the audience (minimum 10 minutes). To submit a proposal for a side event, please fill out the following information and send it to [email protected] before 31 December.

Name of the main organizer


Name(s) of any co-organizer(s)


Name of the focal person


E-mail of the focal person


Proposed title of the side event


Proposed programme of the side event (see the example below 2)


Justification for the relevance of the side event to the symposium


Describe how this side event will add value to the symposium without duplicating the discussions to be held at the symposium


Is your proposed event taking a multi-stakeholder approach? (Put Yes or No, and explain the approach)


Put “Yes” to confirm that a concise report (max 500 words) of the side event will be produced by the organizers. This may be included in the eventual symposium proceedings


To submit your proposal or for any further information regarding the side events, please contact Mr. Jarkko Koskela or Ms. Masami Takeuchi at [email protected]  See for more details on the symposium


1 Non-state actors include civil society organizations; private sector entities (including philanthropic foundations); academia and research institutions; and cooperatives and producer organizations

2 Example description for the proposed programme:

  1. Introduction and welcome by the focal point (10 min)
  2. Presentation on xxx by Ms. aaa (15 min)
  3. Presentation on yyy by Mr. bbb (15 min)
  4. Discussion with the audience (15 min)
  5. Wrap-up remarks by the focal point (5 min)