Knowledge for Development

Feature articles

Bio-cultural community protocols – A community approach to ensuring the integrity of environmental law and policy

This book illustrates the application of bio-cultural community protocols to a range of environmental legal frameworks. Part I focuses on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and access and benefit-sharing. Part II looks at other frameworks to which bio-cultural protocols can be applied by indigenous and local communities, including REDD, the CBD programme of work on protected areas and payment for ecosystem services schemes. Part III looks more broadly at the meaning of bio-cultural protocols for environmental law. According to the authors, the development of bio-cultural protocols is one way in which communities can increase their capacity to drive the local implementation of international and national environmental laws. Such a protocol is developed after a community undertakes a consultative process to outline their core ecological, cultural and spiritual values and customary laws relating to their TK and resources, based on which they provide clear terms and conditions to regulate access to their knowledge and resources.Authors: K. Bavikatte & H. Jonas (eds.), UNEP, Natural Justice, October 2009


Imagining a traditional knowledge commons: a community approach to sharing traditional knowledge for non-commercial research

The authors of this article examine the concept of TK Commons. Noting that the TK Commons does not preclude the rights of communities to enter into commercial ABS agreements for the use of their TK, they argue that it offers a further possibility for indigenous and local communities to move beyond the dominant “sale of TK leads to conservation” interpretations of CBD Article 8(j), and share their traditional knowledge whilst being able to equally define and control its use. TK Commons, they conclude, ultimately seeks to view the knowledge of indigenous and local communities as a total social phenomenon that moves beyond understanding TK as a purely tradable commodity to promoting its cultural and spiritual dimensions.Authors: E. Abrel et. al., International Development Law Organization, Natural Justice, October 2009


What has been gained from participatory approaches in ARD? Quels sont les acquis de la recherche participative?

After years of promoting participatory approaches for agricultural and rural development (PARD); has there been any observable improvement in scientific output - numbers of publications, scientific quality and relevance in the south? Have there been improvements in agricultural performance, environmental sustainability, economic development or sustainable livelihoods that the scientific community and their northern partners can boast about?Are national governments satisfied with the research outputs? Are they making more funds available for agricultural research, training and development? Are there lessons from Brazil, Malaysia, China or other developing countries for ensuring the future of science and innovation for agricultural and rural development?If yes, then let's share these success stories on PARD and show how they can be replicated, out- or up-scaled to help countries in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) reform their agricultural research and innovation systems.If not, is it time for reflection on PARD and focus efforts on mobilizing resources to build the scientific capability in developing countries for research that will yield economic returns and development outcomes?Let's discuss the benefits and limitations of, and the alternatives to, PARD. Share your thoughts, experiences and references to support your point of view. Using our new blogging platform, CTA will summarize your contributions to this debate in a critical assessment paper for circulation among the 'S&T for development' community around the world.÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷Après des années de promotion de la recherche participative pour le développement agricole et rural (DAR) dans le Sud, peut-on dire qu'il y a eu des progrès visibles dans la production scientifique – nombre de publications, qualité et pertinence scientifiques – ou dans les performances agricoles, la durabilité de l'environnement, le développement économique ou les moyens d'existence durables, dont la communauté scientifique des pays en développement ou les gouvernements de ces pays et leurs partenaires du Nord peuvent se vanter ?Y a-t-il des gouvernements nationaux qui sont satisfaits des résultats en matière de contribution de l'agriculture au PIB, aux revenus des exportations, à la réduction de la pauvreté et à l'emploi, et augmentent-ils en conséquence leurs investissements en faveur de la recherche, de la formation et du développement agricoles ? Y a-t-il des leçons à retenir du Brésil, de la Malaisie, de la Chine et d'autres pays en développement pour faire en sorte qu'il existe des capacités et des aptitudes scientifiques suffisantes pour assurer l'avenir du DAR dans les pays du Sud ?Dans l'affirmative, partageons ces histoires de réussite et montrons comment elles ont pu être reproduites, élargies, amplifiées, ou comment elles peuvent l'être pour aider les pays en développement à réformer leurs systèmes de recherche et d'innovation agricoles.Dans la négative, est-il temps de réfléchir à l'utilité de la kyrielle d'approches participatives et d'envisager de s'attacher davantage au renforcement des capacités des scientifiques des pays en développement à mener de meilleures recherches, à acquérir davantage de connaissances productrices de résultats ?Par ailleurs, le choix de l'une de ces approches exige-t-il un rejet de l'autre ? Débattons des avantages et des limites de la recherche participative, et des autres possibilités, pour le DAR. Partagez vos expériences, vos pensées et vos références pour étayer votre point de vue. Au moyen de sa nouvelle plateforme de blogue, le CTA établira un sommaire de vos contributions à ce débat pour produire un document d'évaluation critique qui sera diffusé auprès de la communauté de la « S&T pour le développement » de par le monde.


Bio-economy and green growth: Integrating farmers’ knowledge for a public goods-oriented approach

The bio-economy and green growth have been on the international policy agenda for several years. Two main views prevail concerning the ‘bio-economy’ – an industrial perspective, and the other a public goods perspective – each promoting different futures for agricultural systems and farmers’ roles; some address both perspectives.


Enhancing private sector engagement in agricultural research and development in eastern Africa

A survey of private sector firms in eastern Africa revealed that 65% of them did not allocate any budgets for research. Over 50% of the firms indicated that they responded to calls for collaborative research whenever they were advertised. Of the firms interviewed, 97% indicated that they knew research institutions that could address some of their business challenges. The three priority suggestions by private firms on how to improve uptake and commercialization of improved technologies were: involvement of end users in the research process; establishment of frameworks for regular interactions between researchers and industry players; and awareness creation and training for end users.


Delivery of Agricultural Extension Services to Farmers in Developing Countries

The failure of the various extension delivery approaches in developing countries to effectively engineer significant and sustainable agricultural growth has become a major concern to all stakeholders, including the donor community. The concerns have been fueled lately by the wave of pluralism, market liberalization and globalization sweeping across the world and giving rise to initiatives that will enhance efficiency and effectiveness of not only the sub-components of extension delivery but the entire system of technology generation, dissemination and use. With a rapidly expanding population, environmental degradation, political instability, economic failure and the declining budget, re-thinking the way agricultural technology is delivered to farmers has become necessary. This re-thinking has brought to the fore some issues that need consideration by developing countries as they change the ways agricultural technology is taken to farmers. Two approaches and seven strategies are discussed below.


Participatory approaches in agricultural research and development

An intrinsic characteristic of farmers is that they innovate to sustain, expand and improve their production systems. Agricultural innovation then, is a product of social negotiation among stakeholders. The spreading of this innovation is only possible through effective social organisation and communication at community level (Hagmann et al., 1999, Padre et al., 2003, Defoer et al., 2002). Fundingfor agricultural innovation fluctuated over the past decades when the attention of policy makers and international donors, during the nineties, shifted to supporting Sector Wide Programmes, (SWAPs) and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP), which emphasised social sectors and programmes in response to the negative impact of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs).