he most dramatic technological transformation in history – involving information technologies, biotechnologies and engineering – has occurred since the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992; during the same period, however, governments have systematically downsized or eliminated their capacity to understand science and monitor technologies. While technology has thus far played an extraordinarily prominent role in preparatory documents for Rio+20, technology’s potential contribution to sustainable development and/or new Green Economies cannot be realized as long as the world lacks trusted and transparent mechanisms – at global, regional and national levels – for technology evaluation. The absence of such mechanisms incites distrust and invites disaster.
International effort to address the food, energy and climate crisis tend to regard technology as an important part of the solution. This optimism about technology also prevails in debates around the Green Economy and international environmental governance. And of course technology does hold some potential solutions to some important problems. However, two decades of accelerating technological development and deployment, in the context of massive trade and investment liberalization, has left the globe in far worse straits than it was when the very concept of sustainable development was in its infancy. And now, it is time for a technological te-think. New high-risk technologies, ranging from the very small (synthetic biology, nanotechnology) to the very large (geoengineering), are rapidly developing. Their promoters promise that they hold the keys to solving climate change, world hunger, energy shortages and biodiversity loss and the precautionary principle and social and economic impacs are often ignored in the rush to deploy the latest technofix.
Recommendations for CBD Delegates
As the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) ponders guidelines for considering new and emerging issues that may have implications for biodiversity – and struggles to adopt a protocol on access and benefit sharing (ABS) – researchers in synthetic biology are developing the capacity to construct synthetic life forms. The repercussions for biological diversity are unknown but could be devastating. Natural organisms, too, may be “tweaked” using synthetic biology to allow for patent monopolies beyond the reach of state sovereignty or of indigenous peoples.
Stop Geoengineering - Our home is not a laboratory
Industrial societies have produced unprecedented ecological crises: climate change, depleted fresh water, build-up of toxins, collapse of ecosystems and accelerating species extinction. The transgression of natural limits for private gain has compromised the integrity and survival of our living planet, Mother Earth. This way of living on the Earth has become unsustainable. Common sense says we must act to build a fairer civilization, one that steps more lightly on the planet – and fast.
RE: Asilomar International Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies: March 22-26 2010
As civil society organizations and social movements working to find constructive solutions to climate change, we want to express our deep concerns with the upcoming privately organized meeting on geoengineering in Asilomar, California. Its stated aim, which is to «develop a set of voluntary guidelines, or best practices, for the least harmful and lowest risk conduct of research and testing of proposed climate intervention and geoengineering technologies,» is moving us down the wrong road too soon and without any speed limit.
On the eve of a major intergovernmental conference on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (ABDC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, a civil society member of the international steering committee has resigned, calling the preparations for the gathering of governments and scientists “hopelessly biased” and “foolishly sidestepping key socioeconomic and scientific issues.”
Pat Mooney, Executive Director of ETC Group, a Canada-based international civil society organization with a long history of work with FAO and biotechnology issues, resigned from the steering committee on Tuesday, February 23 2010. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization conference, hosted by Mexico, runs from March 1- 4 in Guadalajara.
Climate Chaos in a Geoengineering Age, a Report Commissioned and Published by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.
This critical overview of geoengineering technologies examines the history, politics and social and ecological implications of attempts to add large-scale, intentional manipulation of the planet to the menu of possible responses to climate change. The report contests the notion that more funding, research and experimentation is needed into geoengineering technologies, and provides a series of recommendations on how these controversial technologies should be regulated.
LA SOCIETÀ CIVILE CHIEDE VALUTAZIONE DEGLI IMPATTI DELLE TECNOLOGIE NELL'AMBITO DI UN ACCORDO A COPENHAGEN
l trasferimento di tecnologia è uno dei quattro temi principali che
verranno discussi nel corso dei negoziati sulle azioni di cooperazione
per il lungo termine a Copenaghen (gli altri sono mitigazione,
adattamento e finanziamenti). Il testo negoziale preliminare contiene
diverse misure volte ad accelerare la diffusione di nuove tecnologie.
Con ogni probabilità i negoziati si tradurranno in un "piano d'azione"
e in un nuovo "organismo" di gestione delle tecnologie, che dovrà
coordinare diversi pannelli tecnici e/o centri di innovazione, e che
avrà grande influenza negli anni a venire sul tipo di sostegno
politico e finanziario che le nuove tecnologie riceveranno. In questo
quadro, è di grande importanza riuscire a fare in modo che siano le
tecnologie appropriate e benefiche a ricevere il necessario sostegno,
e non quelle pericolose o dannose. Questo non può avvenire senza una
valutazione approfondita ed adeguata degli impatti ambientali e
sociali di ogni nuova tecnologia.
让我们三思而行 公民社会呼吁技术评估成为 任何哥本哈根协定的组成部分
我们 - 来自世界各地的公民社会组织和社会活动团体 – 认为迫切需要真正
Technology transfer is one of the four key topics being discussed under negotiations on Long-Term Cooperative Actions in Copenhagen (the others are mitigation, adaptation and financing). The inter-governmental negotiating text that is under discussion contemplates various measures for accelerating the diffusion of technologies.