<HOME <MENU     Latest News     Forum    Links and background     contact    IAASTD website

Report of the First Plenary Meeting of the IAASTD
30 August – 3 September 2004, Nairobi, Kenya

download minutes as pdf file
NGO Report on the Nairobi meeting and outlook (B.Haerlin)
Minutes of the first Bureau Meeting in Nairobi, 3rd September 04
Global Questions for the Assessment
Green perspectives: Reports from the Pesticide Action Network

I. Opening of the meeting

1. The meeting was opened by Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP, and addressed by Ian Johnson, Vice President of the World Bank and Chair, CGIAR, Louise Fresco, Assistant Director-General for Agriculture, FAO, Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO, and Ahmed Djoghlaf, Assistant Executive Director, UNEP who delivered a statement on behalf of the GEF Secretariat.

2. The opening statements stressed the uniqueness of this initiative, which has brought together six co-sponsoring agencies, FAO, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, World Bank and WHO, as well as stakeholders from governments, producer and consumer groups, agricultural research institutions, NGOs and the private sector, many of whom were involved in the consultative and participatory process over the last two years.

3. Presentations on activities related to the IAASTD were made by Rudy Rabinge of Wageningen University on the Inter-Academy Council report Realizing the Promise and Potential of African Agriculture, and Philip Dobie, Director, UNDP, on the Millennium Project Hunger Task Force.

4. The meeting was attended by the representatives from 45 governments including: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Botswana, Canada, Central African Republic, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Arab Republic of Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Haiti, Hungary, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Malaysia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Uruguay.

5. Civil society groups and institutions represented at the meeting included ActionAid Pakistan, African Academy of Sciences, African Biotechnology Stakeholders Forum, African Centre for Technology Studies, African Technology Policy Studies Network, APNEK Tunisia, Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones & Dry Lands, Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, Agrobased Technologies and Industry Development Project (Bangladesh), Bangladesh Shrimp Development Alliance, Biologistics International, Biosciences East and Central Africa, Botswana College of Agriculture, CAB International, Catholic Relief Services, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Convention on Biological Diversity, CENESTA, Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical, Consejo Nacional Agropecuario, Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan, CREU (Kenya), Crop Life International, Ecuador Fundacion Ecuatoriana de Desarrollo Social, Egerton University, Emergent Genetics, Environmental Management Advisors (Kenya), European Union Commission, Foodlink Resources Institute, Friends of Nomads International, Gene Campaign, GITA PERTIWI, Greenpeace International, InterAcademy Council, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, International Center for Research on Women, International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, International Council for Science, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, International Food Policy Research Institute, International Livestock Research Institute, International Plant Genetics Resources Institute, International Technology Development Group, International Water Management Institute, Japan National Cooperation Agency, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers, Kenyatta University, Knoll Farms, Kulika Charitable Trust (Uganda), National Council for Science and Technology (Kenya), National University of Ireland, Organization Beninoise pour la Promotion de l’Agriculture Biologique, Pesticide Action Network (Indonesia; North America; Senegal), RAMSAR, Red Accion en Alternativas al uso de Agroquimicos, SACRED AFRICA, Science Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Southeast Asia Council for Food Security and Trade, South Asia Partnership Program, Sustainable Agriculture Action Group (Pakistan), Syngenta, Third World Academy of Sciences, Unilever, Uruguay National Institute for Agricultural Research, Vredeseilanden, Wageningen University, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), World Conservation Union (IUCN).

6. Representatives from FAO, the World Bank, UNDP, UNESCO and UNEP also participated in the Plenary.

II. Purpose of the meeting and adoption of the agenda

7. The purpose of the meeting, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and jointly chaired by Louise Fresco of FAO, Shafqat Kakakhel and Steve Lonergan of UNEP, and Robert Watson of the World Bank, was to:

• finalize the scope and structure of the assessment,
• finalize the timetable for preparing, peer reviewing, and approving the Report,
• agree on a budget and financing mechanism,
• agree to a governance structure, and select members of the Bureau,
• approve the principles and procedures, and
• agree to a process for developing outreach and communications, and capacity-building strategies.

8. The Provisional Agenda was adopted and is attached as Annex 1.

III. Key decisions

9 The IAASTD will include global and five sub-global assessments: Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC); North America and Europe (NAE); Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA); Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) and East and South Asia and the Pacific (ESAP). The IAASTD will use a multi-disciplinary approach, and be framed by analyses of history and the future. Secretariat functions will be distributed among the World Bank, UNEP and UNESCO.

10. A provisional timetable was agreed upon, including the establishment of the Secretariats and the start of project activities, contingent upon the mobilization and receipt of financial resources.

11. A baseline budget of US$10.76M was approved by the Plenary, to be comprised of cash and in-kind contributions from the co-sponsoring agencies, the Global Environment Facility and governments, as well as from civil society. It was agreed that additional contributions would be actively sought at both global and regional levels, including from Regional Development Banks to broaden the support base. The baseline budget does not include a contingency provision, and this will be a priority once additional funds have been obtained.

12. The IAASTD will be conducted as an intergovernmental process, with a multi-stakeholder Bureau. 60 members were elected to the Bureau, including 30 government representatives and 30 representatives from civil society and international institutions (some nominations still need to be confirmed).

13. Principles and procedures for governance and selection of authors, review editors and the preparation and approval process was forwarded to the Bureau for review and approval.

14. The Bureau will be responsible for developing outreach and communications, and capacity-building strategies.

IV. Closing of the meeting

15. The First Plenary Meeting of the IAASTD generated considerable support and good-will from governments and civil society due to the strong collaboration demonstrated amongst the co-sponsoring agencies, as well as the multi-thematic, multi-stakeholder and intergovernmental nature of the initiative.

16. The meeting adopted the decisions attached in Annex 2.

17. After the customary exchange of courtesies, the Chair declared the meeting closed at 16.05 on Friday, 3 September 2004.

Agreed Decisions


This paper reports the decisions agreed at the First Plenary Meeting of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development held at UNEP Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya from 30 August to 3 September 2004.

Decision 1 Objectives, goals and outputs of the IAASTD

The Plenary, having considered the recommendations of the Steering Committee for the IAASTD consultative process,

1. Decides that the broad objectives of the IAASTD are to:
a. undertake global and sub-global assessments of the role of knowledge, science and technology (KST) as it pertains to agriculture in reducing hunger and poverty, improving rural livelihoods, and health, increasing incomes and facilitating equitable, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development;
b. provide robust information for decision makers on how to ensure that policies, practices and institutional arrangements enable KST to contribute to reducing hunger and poverty, improving rural livelihoods and health, increasing incomes, and facilitating equitable, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development; and
c. bring together the range of stakeholders (consumers, governments, NGOs, private sector, producers, scientific community, international agencies) involved in the agricultural sector and rural development to share views, gain common understanding and vision for the future.

2. Decides that the primary goals of the IAASTD are to:
a. assess the effects of agricultural KST policy and institutional environments, as well as practices, in the context of sustainable development ;
b. make the resulting state-of-the-art, objective analyses accessible to decision makers at all levels – from small producers to those who create international policy;
c. identify where critically important information gaps exist in order to more effectively target research; and
d. further the capacity of developing country nationals and institutions to generate, access, and use agricultural KST that promote sustainable development.

3. Decides that the primary outputs will include published (printed and web-based) critical in-depth global and sub-global assessments of local and institutional knowledge and experiences, and that the Summaries of the reports will be translated into the six official languages of the United Nations.

4. Recognizes that the primary outputs of the IAASTD may lead to:
a. more directed and targeted agriculturally relevant research programs and policies to contribute to reducing hunger and poverty, improving rural livelihoods and health, increasing incomes and facilitating equitable, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development;
b. more effective institutional arrangements to enable the adoption of advances in agricultural KST, including better integration of traditional and institutional knowledge;
c. increased uptake and adaptation of knowledge, research results and technologies by producers;
d. better integration of research into outreach programs and policy decisions;
e. better understanding of the effects of agricultural polices, practices, technologies and institutional arrangements on ecosystems and their goods and services, and on biodiversity; and
f. better understanding of options for making agriculture more environmentally sustainable.

Decision 2 Structure and approach for the IAASTD

The Plenary

1. Decides that the IAASTD will use a multi-disciplinary approach, and be multi-scale, addressing global and sub-global (community to regional) issues. The global component will address issues with broad relevance and be interlinked with the sub-global assessments.

2. Decides that the global component of the IAASTD will be framed by analyses of history and the future:

Historical lessons
a. an analysis of existing knowledge to determine factors responsible for successes and failures in the use of agricultural KST (by region, farm scale, type of technology, etc.) in the context of sustainable development;
b. IAASTD will provide a critical retrospective of producer and consumer responses to local and institutional agricultural KST, institutional systems and policies and the subsequent effects on the environment, health, poverty, equity, and nutritional security; and
c. an analysis of the rate of return on investments in agricultural KST.

Plausible futures
d. IAASTD will present a plausible range of future scenarios for agricultural production (crop, livestock, fishery, forest, fiber and biomass), demand and trade, nutritional security, and water, soil and land use between now and 2050 given a range of demographic, climatic, ecological, economic, cultural, socio-political, and technological projections.

This framework will provide the context for assessing the:
e. relevance, quality and effectiveness of agricultural KST; and
f. effectiveness of public and private sector policies and institutional arrangements (including at the community level) in relation to agricultural KST;

in relation to the broader objectives of:
1. hunger and poverty reduction and the improvement of rural livelihoods and incomes;
2. the environment (water, land use, soils, biodiversity and atmosphere);
3. equitable, socially and economically sustainable development; and
4. human health (nutrition and food safety).

IAASTD will take into account enabling conditions and contextual issues that directly affect the generation, use, accessibility and effectiveness of agricultural KST.

3. Decides that IAASTD would complement not duplicate existing activities and develop a set of strategic priority issues agreed by all stakeholders.

4. Decides that the sub-global assessments will use the same basic framework as the global assessment, i.e., historical lessons and plausible futures will frame the assessments. The sub-global assessments will vary in scale from continents to communities, will use a consistent methodology, cover a range of agro-ecological systems, and employ selection criteria that take into account socio-economic and institutional conditions, and poverty mapping.

Decision 3 Outline for the global component of the IAASTD

The Plenary

Decides that the global assessment will contain 3 sections: (i) Historical lessons; (ii) Plausible futures; and (iii) Relevance, quality and effectiveness of agricultural KST, and institutions and policies. The chapters will be based on the questions developed by the Plenary and reviewed and approved by the Bureau, taking into consideration the questions raised during the regional consultations and by the Steering Committee that directed the consultative process. These questions are summarized in Appendix 1. Additional questions, consistent with the broad framework approved by the Plenary, can be taken into account by the design teams. Decision 2 summarizes the broad content of the chapters.

Decision 4 Approach for the sub-global components of the IAASTD

The Plenary

1. Decides to conduct five sub-global assessments: Sub-Saharan Africa, East and South Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and West Asia and North Africa, and Europe and North America. Each sub-global assessment will utilize the methodology for the global assessment: that is, the impacts of agricultural KST on rural livelihoods, nutritional security, equity, the environment and human health will be evaluated in relation to both the past and the future. The methodology will explicitly acknowledge the multiple functions of agriculture – satisfying demand; improving rural economies, livelihoods, and health; and sustaining its environmental and natural resource foundation. The scope of each sub-global assessment will be determined by the priorities established within the region (consistent with the available budget), agreed by the regional Bureau members and approved by the full Bureau.

2. Decides that regional institutional partners nominated by the Secretariat and approved by the Bureau will assist with the sub-global assessments. The involvement of regional institutions will ensure the inclusion and support of authors and reviewers from the region and ground the IAASTD process in regional and local concerns. Utilizing institutional partners in the design, implementation, and authorship of the Assessments will:
a. enhance sub-regional, regional and local capacities;
b. help build synergy between regions as they work together to develop internally consistent methodologies;
c. promote and extend linkages and partnerships to enhance sustainable development beyond the lifetime of the IAASTD process;
d. allow for the needs of multiple institutions and users to be addressed;
e. greatly extend the communities that will contribute to and learn of the results of the IAASTD process at the local, national, and regional levels;
f. facilitate the input from national assessments into the regional assessments; and
g. assist the Secretariat in communication and outreach within the regions including with the Regional Development Banks.

Decision 5 Design meetings for the global and sub-global assessments

The Plenary

1. Decides to approve a design meeting of about 85 experts, nominated by governments and other stakeholder groups and selected by the Bureau, to prepare a detailed outline for the global assessment, based on the outline and questions approved in Decision 3. The Bureau will ensure balance among the selected experts: geographic, area of expertise, gender, and institutional/stakeholder.

2. Decides to approve design meetings (one per sub-global assessment) of about 45 experts, nominated by stakeholder groups and selected by the appropriate regional members of the Bureau, to prepare a detailed outline for each of the sub-global assessments, based on the approach approved in Decision 4. The Bureau will ensure balance among the selected experts: geographic, area of expertise, gender, and institutional/stakeholder.

3. Decides to approve a final design meeting for the global and sub-global assessments of about 30 experts, representing the global and sub-global assessments, to finalize the designs and ensure methodological consistency and complementarity of work.

Decision 6 Timetable for preparing, peer reviewing and approving the global and sub-global assessments

The Plenary

Decides, assuming funding is immediately available, to approve a timetable, which includes the following key features:
a. one additional Plenary meeting;
b. three additional Bureau meetings;
c. a series of design meetings;
d. four lead author meetings for each of the global and sub-global assessments;
e. two combined global and sub-global lead author meeting; and
f. two rounds of expert and government peer review to ensure quality.

Decision 7 The Budget

The Plenary

1. Decides to approve the baseline budget for the IAASTD of US$10.76 M over a maximum period of three years with the assumption that at least 80% of the needed funds are secured by July 2005.

2. Decides that since the Plenary recognizes that there is value in undertaking further work beyond the IAASTD work plan as framed in Decisions 3, 4 and 5, any additional work approved by the Bureau would give priority to activities that increase ownership and broaden participation at regional and sub-regional levels.

3. Recognizes that the baseline IAASTD budget is based on the following assumptions:
a. the travel costs (transportation, hotel, per diem) of authors from developing countries and countries with economies in transition to the design and author meetings are covered – coach class only;
b. the travel costs (transportation, hotel, per diem) of government representatives from developing countries and countries with economies in transition to plenary meetings are covered, limited to one representative per country – coach class only;
c. the travel costs (transportation, hotel, per diem) to Bureau meetings for government representatives from developing countries and countries with economies in transition who are elected to the Bureau are covered – coach class only;
d. the travel costs (transportation, hotel, per diem) for NGO, consumer, producer and developing country private sector representatives elected to the Bureau are covered for Bureau and plenary meetings – coach class only;
e. OECD governments pay their own travel costs to Plenary meetings and other relevant meetings;
f. OECD governments pay the travel costs of their own experts to the lead author meetings; and
g. some expert authors and review editors may be offered honoraria (but no salary compensation) based on criteria developed by the Bureau.

4. Recognizes the major expenses of the baseline budget are ($US)
Plenary I
Design meetings
Meetings (plenary and bureau)
Meetings (global assessment)
Meetings (sub-global assessment)
Sub-global institutions
Communication and outreach

5. Encourages in-kind support from developing countries and civil society. For example, travel expenses for experts to attend design team meetings and lead author meetings and representatives to attend Bureau and/or Plenary meetings, and self-funded national assessments utilizing the same methodology as the sub-global assessments that contribute to the sub-global assessments.

Decision 8 Approach for financial contributions

The Plenary

1. Decides to adopt the approach taken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, i.e. voluntary contributions reflecting equitable cost sharing (not the UN indicative scale).

2. Decides that contributions would be sought from the co-sponsoring agencies (FAO, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, World Bank, WHO), the Global Environment Facility, governments, foundations, regional development banks and civil society, including the private sector.

3. Decides that cash contributions will be placed in a multi-donor trust fund managed by the Secretariat and dispensed based on funding decisions recommended by a finance committee and approved by the Plenary or by the Bureau.

4. Decides to accept in-kind or earmarked contributions, e.g., a Regional Development Bank contributing to a sub-global assessment, but must be approved by the Bureau to maintain overall transparency.

5. Recognizes that the required financing of about US$10.76M for the baseline budget over three years, which could be achieved by donations of:
a. US$3M from the World Bank budget and WB Development Grants Facility;
b. US$3.35M from the GEF (includes $350K from a PDF-B grant);
c. US$4.41M from cosponsoring agencies, OECD governments, foundations, and others.

6. Decides that once the baseline budget of US $10.76M is realized, additional funding will be sought to increase ownership and broaden participation at regional and sub-global levels.

Decision 9 Composition of the Bureau, geographic government representation on the Bureau, selection processes for government and non-government Bureau positions, and terms of reference for the Bureau

The Plenary

1. Decides to approve the composition of the Bureau, which is based on the recommendation of the multi-stakeholder steering committee, i.e. a Bureau of 62 members: 2 co-chairs, 30 government representatives, 22 non-government representatives and 8 representatives from institutions. The 22 non-government representatives will consist of:
a. 6 non-governmental organizations (NGOs);
b. 6 private sector;
c. 6 producers; and
d. 4 consumers.

2. Decides that the co-chairs of the Bureau will be those elected by the Bureau to co-chair the IAASTD.

3. Decides to approve the proposed regional distribution:
a. Central and West Asia and North Africa (4);
b. Sub-Saharan Africa (6);
c. Latin America and the Caribbean (5);
d. East and South Asia and the Pacific (6);
e. Europe and North America (9).

4. Decides that Bureau members should have relevant technical or scientific expertise in a field such as agriculture (production, marketing, processing, research, etc.), health, nutrition, gender, rural development or the environment, and that members should promote trust among the stakeholders and demonstrate broad vision.

5. Decides that:
a. the IAASTD co-chairs will be elected by the Bureau;
b. the plenary (i.e. the Panel of participating governments) will elect the government representatives of the Bureau, with each region selecting its own members, taking into account areas of expertise and gender balance and the criteria set out above;
c. the non-governmental stakeholders (producer and consumer organizations, NGOs and the private sector) select their own members of the Bureau, taking into account geography, expertise, and gender, via four nominating committees (one from each group) based on the criteria set out above;
d. the following institutions will also be represented on the Bureau: CAB International (CABI); the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); the Kyrgyz Agricultural Research Institute; the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW); the International Council for Science (ICSU); the Rockefeller Foundation; the Third World Academy of Science (TWAS); the World Conservation Union (IUCN); and
e. the cosponsoring agencies and the Global Environment Facility will serve as ex-officio members of the Bureau.

6. Decides that once the Bureau membership has been finalized, the members will be listed in Appendix 2.

7. Decides that the terms of reference for the Bureau include:
a. designing the nomination process for the IAASTD co-chairs;
b. selecting authors for the design meetings;
c. selecting authors for the preparation of the global and sub-global assessments;
d. selecting review editors;
e. developing an outreach and communications strategy;
f. developing a capacity-building strategy;
g. overseeing the management of the sub-global assessments;
h. advising the Plenary on emerging issues of concern;
i. accepting additional functions requested by the Plenary; and
j. oversight of the budget.

8. Decides that if a vote needs to be taken on a specific issue, i.e., in the event that consensus cannot be reached, only the government members will vote, after listening to the views of the non-government representatives, given the intergovernmental nature of the IASSTD

Decision 10 Principles and Procedures for the IAASTD

The Plenary

1. Decides to forward for review and approval of the Principles and Procedures in IAASTD-PI/Doc.8 to the Bureau, which are based on those developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the international Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and endorsed by the steering committee, and address the following key issues:
a. composition and roles and responsibilities of the Bureau;
b. roles and responsibilities of the Secretariat;
c. eligibility for participation in the plenary;
d. conflict resolution;
e. procedures for the preparation, review, acceptance, approval, adoption and publication of the IAASTD;
f. processes for the selection of authors and review editors; and
g. tasks and responsibilities of the lead authors, coordinating lead authors, contributing authors, expert reviewers, review editors and focal points.

Decision 11 Criteria and process for the selection of co-chairs for the IAASTD

The Plenary

1. Decides to request the Bureau, with the assistance of the Secretariat, to design a nomination process for two co-chairs to be elected at the beginning of the second Bureau meeting, with due consideration for balance with respect to gender, geography, area of expertise and sector of employment:
a. one co-chair should be from a developed country and the other from a developing country; and
b. one should have a background in the natural sciences and the other in social sciences.

2. Decides the selection criteria for the co-chairs should include:
a. well respected in their field of expertise;
b. capacity to facilitate a complicated process;
c. demonstrated intellectual leadership;
d. ability to inspire unity among stakeholders;
e. impartiality on contentious issues, such as genetically modified organisms;
f. commitment to allocate at least 30% of their time over the three years of the IAASTD process;
g. ability to co-chair intergovernmental meetings (i.e., the plenary meetings) and multi-stakeholder Bureau meetings;
h. ability to chair multi-disciplinary scientific meetings;
i. politically astute;
j. fluency in English; with excellent ability to communicate, verbally and in writing;
k. experience with international and/or assessment processes; and
l. literacy across both natural and social sciences.

3. Decides to charge the Bureau with assessing whether an honorarium is required for one or both co-chairs and the appropriate level.

go to top