martes, abril 15, 2008

Q&A: "Increase Agricultural Productivity While Reducing the Environmental Footprint"
Interview with Robert Watson

JOHANNESBURG, Apr 15 (IPS) - Over the past few years, Robert Watson has had what must qualify as one of the world's tougher assignments: heading an initiative to help agriculture cope with the substantial challenges it faces presently, and the even bigger hurdles ahead.

The three-year International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) has sought to evaluate agricultural knowledge across the spectrum, with the help of governments, civil society, the private sector, and hundreds of experts.

Watson initiated the project while chief scientist at the World Bank; he currently serves as director of the IAASTD -- also as chief scientist at the British environment and agriculture department.

The findings of the assessment are being formally presented Tuesday, this after they were reviewed at an intergovernmental plenary held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from Apr. 7-12. IPS environment correspondent Stephen Leahy chatted to Watson at this meeting about the landmark IAASTD.