ON VIDEO: FARMER FIRST REVISITED

At the Farmer First Revisited workshop last week we made videos of some participants talking about thier involvement in farmer participation in agricultural research. Watch Robert Chambers, Paul Van Mele, Lucy Mwangi, David Howlett, Yunita Winarto and others speaking to Susanna Thorp of WRENmedia, publisher of the New Agriculturalist, with video by Gary Edwards.

FARMER FIRST REVISITED KICKS OFF

After much organisation, anticipation and plenty of expresso coffee, 80 delegates from around the world have finally arrived at the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton, UK, for three days of reflection and debate about farmer participation in agricultural research. A live blog is up and running from the event, so check it out for…

FOOD VS FUEL: CHINA’S BIOENERGY CHALLENGE

By ADRIAN ELY, STEPS Centre member A recent spotlight on biofuels on the SciDev.net website gives a detailed overview of research issues, including risks and benefits for developing countries and an article by Siwa Msangi of IFPRI on potential food security impacts from the biofuels “revolution”. Msangi’s article points to the need for international policies…

PUTTING FARMERS FIRST

In 1987 a meeting of 50 social and natural scientists proved a defining moment in the development of farmer participation in agricultural research. Now the Future Agricultures Consortium in association the STEPS Centre and IDS is hosting an international workshop, Farmer First Revisited, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the event. The FFR website…

WILL BALI DELIVER ON CLIMATE CHANGE?

About 190 nations have gathered in Bali today to try and thrash out a new global pact to fight climate change by 2009. Droughts, heatwaves and rising sea levels will inevitably hit the poor hardest and political will to tackle the issue has never been higher.. The Kyoto Protocol covers emission reduction commitments for developed…

STEPS SEMINAR: BILL ADAMS ON THE POLITICAL ECOLOGY OF CONSERVATION

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member Listen to the podcast of Bill Adams’ STEPS Seminar Read Bill Adams’ presentation The author of many seminal works on green development, Bill Adams of the University of Cambridge, visits us at the STEPS Centre today. Photo: Bill Adams delivers his STEPS Seminar “Conservation is never anything but social…

DEATH BY WATER

The Guardian’s economics editor Larry Elliott turns his attention to sanitation today, in particular, the situation in Bangladesh. “The vacuum [of action on sanitation] needs to be filled – by western governments and by aid organisations – and not just for Bangladesh but for all the even poorer countries in sub-Saharan Africa where sanitation is…

INNOVATION IN INDIA

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member India may have strengths like democracy, diversity, demography, interdependence and role models, but it can’t become a global research giant unless it harnesses the strengths, according to Rajeev Gowda, STEPS Centre partner who organised the first event for our risk, uncertainty and technology project – co-funded by UKIERI in…

BIOFUELLED PATHWAYS TO SUSTAINABILITY?

By ADRIAN SMITH, STEPS Centre member Last week, Achim Steiner, head of UNEP, and one of the sponsors of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, joined an increasingly audible group of voices arguing for a system of sustainability standards for biofuels. Without such a system, operating robustly at the international level, Achim feared a backlash…

ACCOMODATING DISSENT

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member   Providing cures for health problems isn’t enough, if people’s personal or cultural beliefs clash with the scientific approach. STEPS Centre director Melissa Leach argues in this week’s Nature magazine that policy-makers must recognize and engage with these objections. Melissa also talks about her research into vaccination on the…