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Timeline Events

Our wiki-timeline maps 40 years of science and technology for development through marking key events and publications on the calendar above (the green area shows the year of publication, while the white area above pinpoints the month). The timeline is also a 'living archive', giving access to some of these key documents. You can quickly and easily add an item to the timeline by using the web form on this page - and together we will build a valuable resource for research and action over the coming decades.

Farmer First Revisited

In the context of current complex and urgent needs for agricultural innovation, effective research and development systems and efficient adaptation methods are required in both advanced and developing economies. This book, published twenty years after the original ‘Farmer First’ reviewed experiences offarmer-led innovation in agricultural research and development and detailed some practical examples of agricultural innovation by farmers as innovators, especially in developing countries. The authors engage with the concept of innovation systems, which provide an important contribution to innovation capabilities when they support farmers’ participation, knowledge sharing and learning, and link to networks with external organizations. At the same time, the book emphasizes the continuing importance of power dynamics in shaping and constraining opportunities for farmer-led innovation, as evidenced by experiences across the world.

Introduction of the German Council for Sustainable Development

In April 2001 the Council for Sustainable Development, consisting of 15 councillors, was set up by the German Federal Government in order to contribute to implement the National Sustainability Strategy. It has since been mandated to advise the Federal Government on all items of the sustainability strategy, to propose concrete action plans and projects, and to communicate the aspects of sustainability in the public. It takes environmental, social and economic aspects equally into consideration. It carries out regular studies on sustainability issues in different fields. In 2009 it published a critical analysis of German sustainability policy, reviewed by international experts. It uses different instruments such as regular publication, speeches and lecture series as well as an award for discussing the topic in public.

Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 1999

Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) is the longest-running of its kind, built by Sustainability Asset Management (SAM) and Dow Jones Index in 1999. A family of different indexes, its goal focuses on providing a clear standard to investors interested in corporate performance around environmental, economic and social goals, increasingly regarded by many investors as key not only to  corporate social responsibility but also the creation of long-term value. The DJSI World  index evaluates the performance of the 2,500 largest companies from 58 different areas in 52 countries, whilst other indexes cover specific geographical regions.  This and indexes like it are seen as a key mechanism in encouraging firms to keep improving their sustainability performance.

UN World Summit on Sustainable Development – Johannesburg (2002)

The world summit on sustainable development was held by United Nations in Johannesburg, South Africa from 26 August to 4 September in 2002. It was a follow-up conference of the ‘Earth Summit’ which was took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. Agenda 21 was a major achievement of the Earth Summit – an unprecedented plan to improve people’s lives and conserve our natural resources for reaching global sustainable development in the 21st century.

The major purpose of the Johannesburg summit was to provide an opportunity for the leaders of the day to specifically identify the goals and understand how to implement Agenda 21. At the same time, side and parallel events also took place near Johannesburg in order to further share experiences among participants. The summit received thousands of participants from varied fields, including heads of State and Government and other representatives from non-governmental organizations.  The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, which emerged from the summit, called for partnerships between the public and private sector in realising Agenda 21.

African Union S&T Consolidated Plan of Action

The African Science and Technology consolidated plan (herby, referred to as ASTCPA) came about as a result of the first African Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology (AMCOST) in 2003. It aimed to consolidate S&T programmes from the African Union (AU) and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The conference saw participating countries commit to increasing public spending on R&D to a minimum of 1% of GDP within 5 years.

Through this it was hoped that the continent would enhance its capacities to fight diseases, eradicate poverty and stem environmental degradation, and improve economic competitiveness. It was also hoped that development and use of science and technology from R&D would lead to the socio-economic transformation of the continent and its integration into the world economy. The consolidated plan of action highlighted a focus on the development of capacity building, knowledge production, and technological innovation in order to achieve this transformation.

This was a significant event as it was the product of the decisions from the first AMCOST. It marks the intention of the continent to move beyond aid, and achieve self sustaining growth. It also marks the intention of African countries to move away from the historical reliance of importing existing technologies, highlighting its intentions to begin stimulating the internal development of technologies and technological capabilities.

Center for Scientific Studies (CECS) in Chile

The Center for Scientific Studies (CECS) was founded in 1984 as the first independent scientific research organization in the history of Chile, and has become an important centre for science in Chile and Latin America. CECS was founded by Chilean theoretical physicists and biologists who had established careers abroad but chose to return to Chile to contribute their skills to the development of their country.

Investigations in the field of Glaciology and Climate Change at the CECS are notably innovative as well as their scientific expeditions to the Antarctic territory. To some extent the Center has arguably reshaped thinking about the role of science in development in Chile and Latin America. The CECS has incorporated the military force as a support to science research, while also holding a democratic view of society. The Center has contributed to the decentralization of the country due to the decision to move and settle down in Valdivia, a small city 800 km (to the south) from the capital city Santiago.

The Center is led by the physicist Claudio Bunster, who, together with his team have helped develop private-public partnerships in order to obtain financing for the institution. Scientists from Latin America and all around the world visit the Centre for their research. The Center has an internal organization based in horizontal relations and mutual support between researchers.

It has been an excellent example of an institution demonstrating that from the South of the world it is possible to produce science of a very first level. In recent years the Center has been involved in a new challenge of greater support and development of applied sciences, beyond their traditional strength in basic sciences. CECS research is funded by competitive funding from the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FONDECYT – Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico) and other national and international agencies.

Timeline entry contributed by Juan Manuel Fernández Urcelay

Source: CECS website

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