Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición (Foro FSN)

Perfil de los miembros

I am currently in charge of deepening Bayer’s work with major United Nations agencies relevant to Crop Science (e.g. FAO, WHO, UNEP) and identify transformational partnerships to advance global multi-stakeholders’ action on sustainable food systems, as well as helping to advance UN Sustainable Development Goals as a company. I am representing Bayer in policy proceedings and in the dialogue around sustainable agriculture with the UN. Before joining Bayer, I worked as a food system expert at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, and as a Research Fellow at the University of Pretoria, University of Milano-Bicocca, and New York University. I have a degree in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Urban Studies.

Este miembro contribuyó a:

    • Dear FAO Office of the Chief Scientist,

      On behalf of Bayer, I would like to highlight some successful initiatives that have strengthened science-policy interfaces for agrifood systems by effectively connecting policymakers, academia, and the private sector to address critical environmental and agricultural challenges, promoting the nexus between scientific research and policy development to ensure the safety and sustainability of our food supply and environment.

      • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)
      • International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR)
      • Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science in Agriculture (CERSA) at North Carolina State University
      • Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN)
      • International Cooperation on Pesticide Poisoning Prevention and Education (ICPPE)
      • Biotechnology Regulatory Immersion Course (BRIC)
      • OECD Expert Group of Biopesticides
      • The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) - Assessment on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production

       

      Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) 

      After the mid-1940’s, a surge of academic and industrial research was concentrated on developing pesticides to improve agricultural production and feed a growing population. However, in the 1950s, large-scale use of certain pesticides resulted in unacceptable effects to wildlife. By the 1960s, citizen groups demanded advancing pesticide testing and assessment as well as stricter government regulations to help prevent effects of pesticides to wildlife. As an outcome of these issues and efforts, the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) was founded as a global, multi-partite, non-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing environmental science and environmental management. SETAC’s history is a story of the creation of science and policy forum that has been tailored to enable transparent, inclusive, effective, organized, and interdisciplinary dialogue among biologists, chemists, and wildlife toxicologists. SETAC’s legitimacy and success is its commitment to balanced scientific and policy interests of government, academia, and business. The society's by-laws mandate equal representation across these sectors for all activities.

      SETAC’s multi-partite representation has worked collaboratively with many international organizations (e.g., UNEP, WHO, OECD) to advance the science and policy to assess pesticide safety, along with many other environmental issues. A prominent example of SETAC’s successful collaborations with UNEP was helping to provide guidance on the scientific basis for evaluating Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) under the Stockholm Convention. These collaborative efforts guided the development of science and policies that led to the phase out of many persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic pesticides. In addition, SETAC has had active and successful engagement with the Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management (SAICM) on several pesticide management capacity building projects. 

      Another area where SETAC has impacted science and policy are the outputs from SETAC “Pellston” workshops. These workshops bring together experts to find solutions for important environmental issues and frequently focus on wildlife testing and assessment for pesticides that informs regulatory policies and decision making. An workshop to highlight was one that brought together 48 experts from government, industry, and academic and non-governmental organizations representing a range of expertise including toxicologists, biologists, beekeepers, and risk managers from North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Participants developed methods to measure exposure, identified methods to measure effects of pesticides to bees and other insect pollinators, and developed a risk assessment process for pollinators. This workshop led to the framework developed and adopted in North America for assessing pollinator safety in agroecosystems, is now being adopted by many countries outside of North America and is a model for scientific societies to follow. 

       

      International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR)

      The International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR) aims to promote scientifically sound research that supports biosafety assessment by improving communication among scientists who study plants, animals, and microbes with new characteristics due to altered DNA and produced using modern biotechnology. Its membership is international in scope and includes researchers from academia, government bodies, and technology developers, as well as risk assessors and regulators. Some are promoters of genetically modified organisms (GMOs); others are more neutral on this topic or even skeptical. However, they all share a demand for solid scientific data with which to conduct deliberations.  Specific activities designed to achieve these aims are:

      • Organizing an international symposium focused on the biosafety of GMOs.  Starting in 1990, the "International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms" (ISBGMO) was the first initiative to alleviate the communication problem within the GMO biosafety research community.
      • Sponsoring scientific publications, including original work, that describe advances in the field of biosafety research.
      • Supporting a multidisciplinary approach to ensuring the safety of GMO products through a scientifically sound risk assessment that supports regulatory decision-making. ISBR aims to contribute to the specification of relevant issues such as the documentation of baselines and formulating scientific questions relevant to regulatory decision-making.

      As an example, its most recent symposium in 2023 resulted in a publication on the topic of data transportability and saw representatives from regulatory agencies and companies attend from all over the world. Regulators who attend have also returned home with an updated knowledge of key scientific principles and have looked to organise local workshops to progress regulatory policy on key topics such as genome editing and stack regulation.

       

      Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science in Agriculture (CERSA) at North Carolina State University

      Regulatory Science is a field critical to the responsible advancement of agricultural-use technologies from concept, through research and development, to commercialization, and throughout the product life cycle. CERSA was created in 2018 to address the lack of university programs in specifically related to regulatory science in agriculture (https://cersa.cals.ncsu.edu/). The three pillars of CERSA are Education, Research, and Engagement. Engagement and collaboration with other universities and with relevant US federal agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are an important focus, but the Center also engages international regulatory and research organizations, along with key U.S. stakeholders in industry and the non-profit sector. Since its inception, CERSA has hosted multi-stakeholder workshops to foster collaboration. Some workshop topics include “Incorporating Higher-Tier Data in Ecological Risk Assessments and Risk Management of Pesticides”; “Incorporating the Benefits of Vegetative Filter Strips into Risk Assessment and Risk Management of Pesticides”, “Regulatory Policy for Genome-Edited Microbial Products for Agricultural Use”, and “Precision Application of Pesticides”. These workshop support the formation of working groups to continue engagement and progress on key topics. CERSA has also collaborated with USDA Foreign Agriculture Service on training and capacity building around risk assessment and maximum residue limits (MRLs) in developing countries. 

      CERSA serves as the focal point of a multi-disciplinary study track for undergraduates to receive a minor in Regulatory Science. Students in majors such as Agronomy, Environmental Assessment, Political Science, or Fisheries and Wildlife participate in courses from each respective discipline to gain insight into the many fields involved in the risk assessment of agricultural technologies. Additionally, the Center offers a resident scholars program for graduate students in related degree programs. Continuing education is an additional benefit of the Center, offering government and industry professionals the opportunity to become knowledgeable with new developments in Regulatory Science such as emerging issues, policies, and new risk assessment tools. Paid internship programs are also available for students interested in gaining real-world experience in regulatory science. 

       

      Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN)

      The Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) is a unique partnership between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the University of Maryland. Established in 1996, JIFSAN's mission is to improve the safety of the food supply through research, education, and outreach. The institute focuses on addressing food safety issues both domestically and internationally, working to develop innovative solutions and provide training and resources to food safety professionals.

      JIFSAN's research efforts are aimed at understanding and addressing emerging food safety challenges, such as the impact of globalization on food supply chains, the rise of foodborne illnesses, and the development of new technologies for food safety monitoring and control. By collaborating with scientists, industry experts, and regulatory agencies, JIFSAN is at the forefront of food safety research and innovation.

      In addition to research, JIFSAN is committed to providing education and training programs to food safety professionals. Through workshops, seminars, and online resources, the institute equips individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure the safety of the food supply. JIFSAN also offers international training programs, partnering with organizations and governments around the world to improve food safety practices globally.

      JIFSAN's outreach efforts extend beyond the research and education community, aiming to engage with industry stakeholders, policymakers, and the public. By fostering collaboration and communication, JIFSAN works to promote a comprehensive and holistic approach to food safety, addressing the needs of all parties involved in the food supply chain.

      Overall, the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition plays a vital role in advancing food safety through its multidisciplinary approach to research, education, and outreach. By leveraging the expertise of its partners and stakeholders, JIFSAN continues to make significant contributions to the field of food safety, ultimately benefiting consumers and the food industry worldwide.

       

      International Cooperation on Pesticide Poisoning Prevention and Education (ICPPE)

      In low-regulated regions, pesticide application safety remains a pivotal concern. Traditional methods used for operator risk assessment often derive from European or U.S. standards, which may not align with agronomic conditions in these areas. Recognizing this gap, the ICPPE project emerged as a collaborative endeavor, uniting global regulators (Europe, USA, Africa, Latin America), industry experts within CropLife International, and academic professionals (University of Maryland Eastern Shore).

      Kickstarted in 2001, the ICPPE initiative has already achieved significant milestones. Central to these is the successful alignment on a shared goal and the establishment of a trust-driven environment among all stakeholders. The project team collated extensive data, and currently transitioning towards model development. The ICPPE initiative builds on five pillars and a common goal: Improving operator safety globally by lowering the hurdles for regulators to transition to risk-based decisions!

      The project’s robust structure includes a foundational Steering Committee, backed by observers from the FAO and WHO. 

      Four working groups drive the project:

      • Working Group 1: This group focuses on compiling global data for handset application user exposure, and is crucially working towards a model to best estimate operator exposure. Chairperson from German BfR.
      • Working Group 2: Addresses dermal absorption, a significant source of pesticide exposure. The group aims to determine default values for dermal absorption to refine risk assessments. Chairperson from Syngenta.
      • Working Group 3: Tackles Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), striving to identify realistic and effective PPE suitable for conditions in low- and middle-income countries. Chairperson from University Maryland.
      • Working Group 4: Using outcomes from the first three groups, this group is crafting a user-friendly assessment tool, emphasizing an intuitive interface and straightforward PPE recommendations. Chairperson from Bayer.

      In each of the four working groups, the ICPPE project anticipates a balanced contribution from industry professionals, global regulators, and individuals from academia or independent organizations. The steering committee offers general guidance and is accountable for strategic decisions. Here too, representatives from industry (CLI, Bayer), regulatory bodies (BfR, BVL) and academia/third-party entities (UMES, FAO as observer) are equally represented.

      Transparency remains at the heart of the ICPPE initiative. Decisions are consensus-based, and there's a strong commitment to keeping the entire process open. The eventual aim is to incorporate this assessment tool into the FAO pesticide registration toolkit, promoting a risk-based approach globally.

       

      Biotechnology Regulatory Immersion Course (BRIC)

      The Biotechnology Regulatory Immersion Course (BRIC) has been hosted by the University of Missouri and co-organized with the University of Ghent from 2009 through 2022. Given the ongoing need for public and government scientists, especially in less developed countries, that are well trained in the technical and societal issues associated with the evaluation of genetically modified (GM) crops, the program served a valuable capacity building function.  

      The course consisted of a two-week in-person training program on global issues and impacts related to GM crop adoption and the associated international regulatory frameworks. The course had two blocks: The first week offered an introduction to biotechnology, to relevant national and international regulations, training in complying with biosafety regulations and impact assessment of regulations, as well as socioeconomic impacts of various biosafety regulations.  The importance of science communication as part of the regulatory process was also a key theme.  The second week included tours of biotech laboratories, field trials, farmers’ fields, and various segments of the grain supply chain. Instructors for the course were experienced scientific and legal experts coming from a wide range of institutions including government agencies, public and private sector product developers, academia and non-profit organizations.  

      Participants from more than 40 countries have attended the course and included regulators, policy makers and stakeholders from the private and public sectors that were invited to the course to provide a diversity of perspectives, and ample opportunities to challenge instructors and ask wide-ranging questions.  The program was constructed to encourage dialogue and an exchange of experiences to foster trust building and community amongst the annual cohorts of program participants resulting in long-lasting connections. These connections and shared learning enabled course attendees to return to their home countries to help develop, implement and improve science-based biosafety regulatory systems that can facilitate the safe deployment of new biotechnology products. 

       

      OECD Expert Group of Biopesticides 

      The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization that works to build better policies for better lives. Its goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all. 

      Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, OECD works on establishing evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. From improving economic performance and creating jobs to fostering strong education and fighting international tax evasion, it provides a unique forum and knowledge hub for data and analysis, exchange of experiences, best-practice sharing, and advice on public policies and international standard-setting.

      Specifically, the Working Party of Pesticides, in which the Expert Group of Biopesticides is a subgroup, was created in 1992 to help OECD governments share the work of pesticide registration and re-registration, harmonize the data and methods used to test and assess pesticide risk and to help OECD governments reduce the risks associated with pesticide use. 

      […] The Innovating Microbial Testing Guideline Conference, sponsored by the OECD Expert Group of Biopesticides brought together OECD Member countries, Academia, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Industry to discuss innovations needed for hazard testing of Biopesticides, specifically hazards concerning microbial pesticides as the current testing guidelines were developed for chemical pesticides. The outcome of the conference is to move towards efficient and tailored regulatory process for microbial pesticide products by increasing reliability of hazard data that supports microbial pesticide registration dossiers and subsequently the review of these dossiers by regulators. A recent success of the conference was the acceptance of a project proposal by the OECD Working Party of the National Coordinators for the testing guideline program that would adapt US EPA OPPTS mammalian toxicity and infectivity/pathogenicity guidelines to an OECD Test Guideline.

       

      The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)  - Assessment on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production

      The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is an independent, intergovernmental organization to strengthen the interface between science and policy on topics related to biodiversity and ecosystem services. It has a focus on sustainable development, conservation, and sustainable use of nature resources, and shares independent, reliable, and credible information with policy and decision makers. In these terms, IPBES provides governments, UN institutions, international nature conservation convention, and other decision makers with consolidated scientific information on topics related to biodiversity and ecosystem services. IPBES has been established in 2012 and currently has 136 member states. 

      Activities of IPBES include the following focal areas:

      • Capacity building, prioritization of capacity needs, and the demand of data and knowledge with member states, experts, and other stakeholders
      • Provision of policy support and identification of suitable approaches, tools, and methodologies to support definition and implementation of policy measures, and facilitation of the development and the application of these approaches
      • Identification and prioritization of relevant scientific information for political decision-makers, and support of scientific knowledge gain 
      • Comprehensive, systematic assessments on key topics and methodologies on global and regional level
      • Stakeholder outreach and communication

      In 2016, the IPBES Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production was published. It is a fundamental, comprehensive, detailed evaluation of pollination as an ecosystem services, its importance for food production, status and trends of native and managed pollinators and plant-pollinator networks, the drivers of change to these systems and their impact, and possible policy responses to existing and emerging threats. The assessment was conducted over circa two years by a team of experts from all regions, comprising two Chairs, 19 Coordinating Lead Authors, 41 Lead Authors, 35 Contributing Authors, and 14 Review Editors. Much emphasis was put on the balanced composition of the authors’ team. Two of the Lead Authors were scientists from crop protection industry, in order to make sure that agronomic environmental safety perspective is covered. The authors analyzed a huge body of data, information, and knowledge, including circa 3,000 scientific publication. The Assessment Report has become the leading scientific standard reference on the topic of pollination and pollinators.

    • The following comments are provided by the Bayer Crop Science Regulatory Scientific Affairs (RSA) team. RSA is made of nearly 50 scientists with combined expertise in environmental science, chemistry, biology, biotechnology, microbiology, cell biology, microbial genomics, biodiversity, water quality, microplastics, soil carbon, entomology, pollinators, animal science, epidemiology, medical toxicology, public health, nutrition, digital agriculture, social and behavioural science. The RSA team is spread across the globe, in North and Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

      RSA promotes food, feed, and environmental safety and sustainability, both, inside and outside the company. Internally, it guides the company’s R&D process based on external scientific, policy, and regulatory developments; it contributes to the development and implementation of Bayer’s biodiversity and habitat strategy; and it promotes employees’ education and awareness through newsletters, online portals, and trainings.

      Externally, RSA drives the company’s transparency initiatives. It engages in dialogues and partnerships with policymakers, regulators, universities, medical and scientific societies to develop, disseminate, and promote sound science through joint research, academic publications, conferences, workshops, education programs, capacity building, and a regulatory visitors program. The team prepares and provides science-based background information to support policy and regulatory processes enabling the delivery of current and future products that bring value to farmers, the environment, and society. The team constantly address academic and regulatory concerns and publications, ensuring timely communications and appropriate documentation.

      Since 2017, Bayer has been disclosing safety-relevant study summaries and granting non-commercial access to full study reports for our marketed crop protection products and genetically modified (GM) crops. https://www.cropscience.bayer.com/transparency-crop-science

      Companies in the private sector are generally well-informed about the development or revision of policies that are relevant to their business. However, they face barriers that hinder their ability to access and contribute to such processes with scientific inputs, mainly due to perceived conflicts of interest, lack of transparent mechanisms, and communication issues. Such barriers can lead to governmental policies that are not informed by the best available scientific evidence, or that fail to address important issues.

      1. Perceived conflicts of interest – Often, policymakers tend to be reluctant to engage with and accept inputs from private companies' scientists. This is all in all due to their concerns about the impartiality and accountability of private sector’s scientists.

      Since private companies have a vested economic interest in the outcomes of policies that relate to their business, the intellectual independence and scientific impartiality of private company’s scientists are often deemed undermined by a “conflict of interest”, and their scientific research (even when published in peer-review journals) is preventively disregarded by many as biased and incomplete, designed to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of a product, rather than to fully investigate any potential risks or downsides.

      Such general suspicion is based on the unsubstantiated idea that private interest (e.g. profit) is inherently incompatible with and antithetical to public interest (e.g. human health and environmental sustainability). Such idea applies particularly to companies that develop agricultural technologies (e.g. agrochemicals, fertilizers) that, despite their extreme utility, can have negative impacts on people’s health or the environmental, if not properly managed.

      This rationale does not consider that companies that sell agricultural inputs have not only a heightened responsibility and a unique potential, but also a rational business interest in championing sustainable agriculture: indeed, if farmers thrive, the whole value chain thrives, up- and down-stream; and for farmers to thrive, they must: (a) be healthy and rely on healthy soil, pristine water, functional biodiversity, predictable weather, hence their need to mindfully select and manage safe inputs and preserve their natural assets; (b) have access to markets, hence their need to deliver food that meets the local and international safety standards (e.g. Maximum Residue Limits – MRLs) required for food to be traded and sold to consumers.

      For these reasons, to ensure their own business success, input companies are well aware that they need to deliver solutions that are, at the same time, highly performing (e.g. high-yielding, resistant to abiotic and biotic stresses) and safe for farmers, consumers, and the environment. Private companies’ scientists are motivated to make this happen, by developing better and better solutions, and in turn compensated for their efforts.

      Science is evolving, and technologies with it. But it takes time and resources. In order to develop and register continuously more sustainable alternative technologies and always provide the most effective and appropriate solutions to protect people and the environment, a sufficient transition period is critical for the agricultural input industry. It takes 11 years on average between the discovery, development, research tests and the final registration and marketing of a new active substance (16 years for GM crops). For every active substance that is registered for use, there are about 160,000 potential candidates in private companies’ pipelines that do not make it past the research stage. This huge endeavor needs large investments (it takes nearly €250 million to deliver a single new active substance), which are only possible if input companies keep thriving by making farmers and others in the food value chain thrive.

      For the safety assessments of active substances, Bayer applies criteria that reflect the standards of reference authorities who represent different agronomic realities and whose programs for regulating pesticides are generally well developed (e.g. in the US, Canada, Brazil, the EU, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and China). In 2012, Bayer stopped selling any World Health Organization (WHO) acute tox class 1 pesticides (formulated products), regardless of regulatory approval status. Additionally, since 2016, the company has committed to only selling products with active ingredients that have a registration for use in at least one OECD country or, for new active ingredients, have a complete OECD safety data package. The company continues to build on international standards as laid out in the FAO/WHO International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management and support the work of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to improve and harmonize testing and risk assessment methodologies as well as pesticide registration processes across countries and regions.

      Before they are put on the market, Bayer’s genetically modified (GM) crops undergo more food and environmental safety testing and oversight than any other agricultural product – including conventional (or non-GM) crops. The guidelines for establishing safety of GM crops that are followed by Bayer (and all other GM crop developers in the public and private sectors) and recognized by regulatory authorities globally were developed over many years by international scientific bodies like the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission and the Organization for Economic Development (OECD). Only after Bayer has met internal safety testing requirements is the GM crop submitted to global regulatory authorities for their review to demonstrate that they are safe to eat, safe to grow, and safe for the environment.

      The contribution that private companies’ scientists can provide to policy making processes is not limited to “hard science”. Socio-economic and behavioral studies are carried out by companies to understand farmers’ motivations for (not) applying safe and sustainable products and practices (e.g. uptake of personal protective equipment by smallholder farmers in low-income countries). These studies drive companies’ trainings and stewardship services and can help shape more effective policies.

      So, yes, private companies do have their own interests (just like any other stakeholder who engages in policy processes), and such interests are not in “conflict” but rather fully supportive of more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agrifood systems.

      “Implementation science” is the scientific study of methods to promote the uptake of research findings and evidence-based practices into regular use by practitioners and policymakers. Industry can provide private scientists, academics, and policymakers neutral tools and methods to build and unbiased collaboration.

      2. Lack of transparent mechanisms - Private sector’s scientists are proactive in seeking out opportunities to provide inputs to policymakers by building relationships (mostly through industry associations) and attending policy-related events and conferences. However, more formal channels/mechanisms enabling private scientists to provide inputs to policymakers are not always there (e.g. in some countries, private companies’ scientists are not allowed on scientific panels of policy and regulatory bodies, even after they have left the company), and it is not always clear which information, data, evidence is requested, and in what format; and the degree to which inputs can or will be incorporated in the policies.

      We highlight the need to mainstream in all policy processes at international, regional, and national level formal channels/mechanisms enabling private companies to clearly know what scientific inputs are needed, when, how they must be submitted, and to who. Such mechanism would enable private entities, as well as those in the public sector, to most efficiently and effectively invest resources to generate and share the most relevant inputs. Such mechanisms should be open to continuous submissions of updated scientific knowledge as it becomes available. This would enable policymakers to (re)shape their decisions in more timely and effective ways.

      3. Communication issues - When developing and designing policies and regulatory systems, an understanding of both the theoretical scientific principles and practical and application-related aspects in agriculture is essential. Yet, even when regulators and policymakers are PhD scientists (more frequently the former ones, less the latter ones) and have deep theoretical knowledge within a certain scientific area, they may not be aware or have a deep practical understanding of the latest related technologies that industry (applied) scientists are more likely to be familiar with. When policymakers have a low level of scientific expertise, the specialist technical jargon of scientists may be difficult for them to translate into relevant policies and guidelines.

      Publishing in peer-review journals jointly with academics and scientists from public institutions is a common practice and a good way for private sector scientists to contribute to policy topics, but it may not always be the most effective way to reach policymakers. Rather, to fill this gap in communication between scientists and policymakers – which is likely expanding as the pace of scientific discovery and technological development is accelerating thanks to digital tools – there is the need for more science communicators trained to translate science and innovation to audiences with different degrees of scientific proficiency. More education programs at university level to train science communicators should be funded.

       

      In full alignment with the core principles of the first-ever FAO Science and Innovation Strategy, our company puts science and evidence-based knowledge at the basis of all its decisions, and we emphasise the need for science and innovation to be rights-based and people-centered, gender-equal, evidence-based, needs-driven, sustainability-aligned, risk-informed, and ethics-based.

      We recognize the importance of the FAO Strategy to guide the development of more inclusive science-policy interfaces, in support of science-based policy making for greater policy coherence, shared ownership and collective action.

      We praise the Strategy’s promotion of partnerships with the private sector to enhance FAO’s access to relevant knowledge networks and support knowledge dissemination, harness private sector-led innovations to achieve improved production, nutrition, environmental sustainability, and human welfare, and promote incentive mechanisms to make appropriate new technologies accessible in low- and middle-income countries.

      From our side, we are willing to work with FAO to support its technical work and normative guidance by providing the most credible, relevant and legitimate evidence, knowing that it will be assessed in a rigorous, transparent, and neutral manner.

    • The text captures the main challenges, includes the core principles, and covers the key policy areas.

      Further discussion on the following sentence in Part 3.6, paragraph 102 is proposed: “Agriculture is one of the most hazardous occupations given exposure to agrochemicals,…"

      Unless there are studies that substantiate it, a major review of the following sentence in Part 3.5, paragraph 91 is suggested “…as women are custodians of knowledge of the local seeds and plants that are vital for food and agriculture - and related issues, women having unique knowledge and skills to help respond to climate change effectively and sustainably."