government delegates / co-chairs Hans Herren and Judy Wakungu, UNEP Director Achim Steiner, IAASTD Director Bob Watson / dancing after adoption / official IAASTD logo. More pics

Agriculture at a Crossroads

Internal NGO website on the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, IAASTD

How can we reduce hunger and poverty, improve rural livelihoods, and facilitate equitable, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development through the generation, access to, and use of agricultural knowledge, science and technology?

Download the Global Report, Synthesis report and the five sub-regional reports from the official website

Neu: Webseite mit allen Hintergründen, dem vollständigen Text des Weltargrarberichts, Grafiken, Beteiligungsmöglichkeiten und vielem mehr unter

Alte Seite mit deutschen Texten zum Weltagrarbericht

New: The full text of all reports in html - easy to search by page

November 2009: Grenpeace presents new report on the eve of FAO's Food Summit
Agriculture at a Crossroads: Food for Survival is the title of a 62 page summary of the main findings of the IAASTD, complemented with conclusions and demands drawn from the report by Greenpeace International.

September 2009: Deutsche Bank shares IAASTD conclusions
A strategic forecast paper of "Deutsche Bank Research", Germany's leading Bank's think tank, comprising main findings of recent agricultural assessments and market reserach, has come to conclusions similar to the IAASTDs main findings. The paper, entitled The global food equation: Food security in an environment of increasing scarcity recommends heavy investment in smallholder farmers and rural infrastructure as well as public R&D in this field, an ecological adaptation of agriculture and major institutional change.

September 2009: Open Letter of 90 CSO representatives to the FAO
In an open letter to the FAO CSO representatives from around the world expressed concern that the World Food Organisation's high level expert meeting "how to feed the world 2050" on October 12-13 2009 did not draw from the major groundwork conducted by the IAASTD and was about to ignore the Assessment's key findings. In a response, Hafez Ghanem, FAO Assistant Director-General assured the CSOs that the IAASTD was indeed taken into account, would be presented at the meeting and was now linked to it's key background documents.

September 2009: Global Conferences on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARDs)
The "Global Forum on Agricultural Research" GFAR is conducting an electronic and regional face-to-face consultation process which is to culmanate in a Global Conferences on Agricultural Research for Development in March 2010 in Montpellier in France and invites all interested stakeholders to participate.

August 2009: Worldbank Review and response by IAASTD director Bob Watson
The Worldbank, not overly happy with the results of the IAASTD, had commissioned an independent evaluation of the process, co-ordinated by Howard Elliot, which is now available online
IAASTD director Robert T. Watson in a letter to the Bureau and funders outlines areas of fundamental disagreement

April 2008: Final IAASTD plenary in Johannesburg calls for new agricultural revolution
Representatives of 61 governments, the Worldbank and all UN Agencies, as well as about 50 NGOs were meeting 6 to 12 April 2008 in Johannesburg for the final intergovernmental plenary of the IAASTD to find consensus on the international and 5 subregional assessments. On Friday 11th 58 governments concluded their line by line approval of the Summaries for Decisionmakers and of a Synthesis Report and accepted the underlying 2000 pages of scientific evidence in the assessment reports.
.printed versions of the reports are available at
The international and the regional Summaries for Decisionmakers in 6 UN languages, press releases and a media advisory can be downloaded from the official website of the IAASTD
The best overview is probably the International Synthesis Report

Full reports as adopted

Summaries of the Report in English,
French, Spanish and Dutch

presentation by Robert T. Watson at UNEP in Washington D.C. March 3 2009

Guidance in a Time of Crisis: IAASTD and the Human Right to Food

Message from the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier de Schutter
UN CSD, New York, February 25th, 2009

Issue Briefings
The IAASTD has produced a series of Issue briefings, which you can download here:
6 page summary leaflet   Food Security in a Volatile World Multifunctional Agriculture  Trade and markets  Human Health and Nutrition Food Safety, Plant and Animal Health  The Role of Institutions  Bioenergy and Biofuels

News Digest
Selected articles in media and presentations

NGO papers
Joint press statement of participating NGOs: A new era of agriculture begins today
Pesticide Action Network media advisory, website, background material

Pesticide Action Network Agroecology and Sustainable Development, Findings from the UN-led International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, 4 p. Briefing, May 2009
Greenpeace recommendations to G8 ag ministers meeting April 2009: Agriculture at a crossroads
Third World Network: Rethinking Agriculture, a summary, March 2009
UK Food group, Agriculture at a Crossroads: Implementing the findings of the international agriculture assessment - IAASTD, 30 October 2008
A New paradigm for agriculture? At the"Planet Diversity" Congress on the future of food and agriculture a workshop on the results of the IAASTD was held, which provided a diversity of useful papers
Greenpeace International press release 15 April 2008  

NGO contacts on IAASTD are here
Pictures of the final plenary in Johannesburg in low quality are available here

Background papers

Presentation of key findings of the IAASTD by Robert T. Watson at the United nations Economic and Social Council,July 2008

Ministère Française de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche: L’IAASTD : une expertise internationale qui marque un changement de paradigme pour l’agriculture et le développement
InfOGM: Les biotechnologies modernes ne sont pas adaptées aux petits agriculteurs

Food Sovereignty and the Right to Live, Editorial of Development 51, December 2008

Agriculture at a crossroads: a summary of the IAASTD findings by Patrick Mulvany in Agriculture for Development, 3 2008
22 key findings of the IAASTD at a glance (short version)

Five page briefing and overview with quotes (from Greenpeace)

International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES): The IAASTD report and some of its fallout
a personal note by IAASTD author Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, ETH Zurich, Institute of Integrative Biology, Zurich, Switzerland

Institute of Development Studies: Global Engagements with Global Assessments: The Case of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), by Ian Scoones, November 2008

Charts and tables

A selection of charts and tables from the IAASTD are available at UNEPs GRID Arendal collection of charts and graphics (see examples on the right)

What is the IAASTD?
A United Nations process to identify the best available and newly needed science, technology and knowledge to answer the question above. Initiated by the World Bank in Johannesburg in 2002 this process started with regional consultations in eleven regions of the world and was endorsed by a Steering Committee of 40 representatives of governments and civil society in 2003. It was co-sponsored by the World Bank, UNEP, FAO, UNESCO, UNDP, WHO. Upon the request of an intergovernmental plenary in September 2004 in Nairobi more than 400 carefully selected scientists and experts produced a global and five sub-regional assessments as well as a Synthesis Report which have been reviewed in two consecutive rounds by hundreds of colleagues as well as institutions and the public at large. The process was overseen by a multi-stakeholder Bureau from governments and civil society.The Assessment was finally adopted by 58 participating governments in April 2008 in Johannesburg.

Signatory States: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, People’s Republic of China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Iran, Ireland, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Maldives, Republic of Moldova, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Palau, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Republic of Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Zambia,
Non-Signatory States
(though with warm words of support): United States of America, Australia, Cananda

IAASTD 2003 - 2007 Concept, options, key findings, where we are, how to get involved a summary and overview by Teopista, Kevin Akoyi (Vredeseilanden), October 2007
download same document as powerpoint presentation

All about the IAASTD on three pages     Presentation on the IAASTD by Director Robert T. Watson  (2006)

Structure                                 go to top 
The process is a UN multi governmental process, which means the participating member states representatives make the final decisions and adopt the final report. A multi-stakeholder Bureau of 60 persons representing governments (30), civil society (22) and international institutions (8) has been set up to oversee the process. The Bureau elects 2 chairpersons and a Secretariat, controls the budget and agrees upon the selection of experts and authors, facilitates the public outreach and capacity building. The Chairpersons with the support of the Secretariat will facilitate and organise the process.
Members of the Bureau      
Terms of Reference for IAASTD Bureau      Budget      List of Donors
Principles and Procedures of the IAASTD process

Past Meetings:


2nd public review of the Assessment
Drafts of the International and subregional Assessments as well as the first draft of the summary for decision makers (the document formally adopted by the participating governments) were available for review until May 31 2007. They were substantially improved as compared to their first versions.

Meeting of the Bureau in Washington D.C. 29 - 31. May 2007
decisions of the bureau


Meeting of the Bureau in Costa Rica 1 - 4 November 2006
decisions of the bureau      presentation of the Secretariat on the state of the development at the IAAST Burea Meeeting   

First review of the Assessment
The first draft was open for review and comments until September 2006 and is now being re-written by the authors. A second draft will be online in March 2007.


IAASTD Bureau Meeting in Montpellier
At its last meeting in Montpellier the Bureau of the IAASTD adopted the outlines of the global and sub-regional assessments. The revised global and remaining sub-regional outlines, the minutes of the Bureau meeting, revised rules and procedures, timeline and budget are published at the official web-site at
List of approved decisions of the Bureau            picture of participants     high resolution (big)

18 - 22 July Scenarios Workshop Rome, Italy
Presentation of Mark Rosegrant, IFPRI: Scenario development for IAASTD

23-25 May Integrated (Global and Sub-Global) design team, Montpellier, France
25-27 May Bureau meeting, Montpellier, France
Minutes, decisions, revised budget, revised global and sub-regional outlines, timetable

27-29 April Sub-global design team Latin America and the Caribbean, San Jose,
Outline of LAC Assessment

14-16 April Sub-global design team North America/Europe, London, UK
Outline of NAE Assessment

9-12 April, Sub-global design team East/South Asia and the Pacific, Beijing, China
Outline of ESAP Assessment

4-6 April Sub-global design team Sub-Saharan Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
Outline of SSA Assessment

8-11 February Central and West Asia and North Africa, Rabat, Morocco.
Outline of CWANA Assessment

30 January - 3 February, Global Design Team, Bangkok, Thailand
92 specialists participated in the meeting in Bangkok. A draft annotated chapter outline was developed -- this draft will be available later this month for comments after review by the Bangkok team.
Outline and annotated Chapters of the Global assessment


Kick-off in Nairobi
The first meeting of the parties (governments), the 5 co-sponsoring UN agencies and the World Bank as well as civil society representatives took place at the UNEP headquarter in Nairobi from August 30 to September 3rd 2004. The government representatives (45 countries present) decided to go ahead with the Assessment. They agreed on the content and scope of the Assessment and adopted outlines and procedures, a time-table and a baseline-budget of US$ 10,7 Mio. A Bureau consisting of 30 government representatives, 22 representatives of civil society and 8 representatives of international institutions was established to oversee the process. The two co-chairs identified by the Bureau will be Hans Herren and Professor Judi Wakhungu, the Director of the Secretariat is Robert Watson.
Minutes of the Nairobi Plenary 30. August - 3rd September

2003                              go to top 
Steering Committee of 40 representatives from governments, agencies, industry, farmers and other rural producers, consumers, environmental and other NGO's produced a basic document calling for the International Assessment.
Final Report of the Steering Committee for the Consultative Process on Agricultural Science and Technology (12 August 2003):
English  Arabic   Chinese   Spanish   French   Russian
Short report on the final outcome by Benny Haerlin (August 2003)  
Reuters: Green Light for Global Study on Food Security (August 2003)

Contacts to NGO representatives and Bureau Members                                 go to top 

Kevin Akoyi, (IAASTD CSO Bureau Member from Uganda)
Vredeseilanden, Email: kevinakoyim[at]

Benny Haerlin ((IAASTD CSO Bureau Member from Germany)
Email: haerlin[at], Phone: + 49 173 9997555

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, PhD (Lead Author, Global Report)
Pesticide Action Network North America (in US)
Email: mie[at], Office: +1-415-981-1771

Lim Li Ching (Lead Author, Asia report; note surname Lim)
Third World Network, Email: limliching[at]

Romeo Quijano, MD (IAASTD CSO Bureau member)
PAN Philippines, Email: romyquij[at]

Erika Rosenthal, LLD (Lead Author, Global & Synthesis Report; Trade Theme)
Email: erosenthal[at], +1-202-742-5846

Patrick Mulvany (IAASTD CSO Bureau Member)
Practical Action, Email: patrickmulvany[at]

Juan Lopez Friends of the Earth International
Email: juanlopezvillar[at], Phone (Maputo): +258842420298

Jan Van Aken , Greenpeace Intl.
Email: jan.vanaken[at], Phone: +49 40 306 18-389

Luis Gomero (Lead Author, Latin America Regional report)
RAAA, Peru, Email: lgomero[at], Tel: +51 1 4257955