11.6 Lessons Learned
Technology transfer of agriculture and know-how, similar to other sectors, include
financial flows between countries, activities undertaken by governments to facilitate
the introduction and use of ESTs, private sector banks, small and medium enterprises,
and transnational corporations, as well as success stories from different countries.
Agriculture will be heavily influenced by climate change. Sustainable agricultural
development is an ongoing priority for all countries. Transfer of adaptation
and mitigation technologies has significant benefits independent of climate
change consideration. But is even more relevant, now climate change will offer
greater challenges and development opportunities for agricultural systems.
Carbon emissions from fossil fuels used in agricultural production comprise
4% of the approximate 3.4Wm-2 radiative forcing of the direct and indirect greenhouse
effects of changing gases. Carbon storage in agricultural soil and durable agricultural
products can be increased greatly in the future but is still surrounded with
uncertainty for the time being. Controlling these emissions or enhancing carbon
sinks will be challenging because of technological and other constraints. Available
options for GHG reductions, which can be transferred within and between countries
are improvements in acquiring new species and varieties, changing tillage systems,
treating livestock manure and recovering biogas as energy. However, the specificity
in physical, economic, market, historical, and cultural conditions, and also
the institutional and technological capacities in different regions and countries
create implementing barriers to the diffusion of these options. Exploiting the
other benefits of these options such as increasing productivity, environmental
externalities and economic gains will improve the likelihood of their implementation.
Adaptation will be important in limiting negative effects and taking advantage
of beneficial changes in climate. The extent of adaptability depends on the
affordability of such measures, particularly in developing countries, access
to know-how and technology, the rate of climate change, and biophysical constraints
such as water availability, soil characteristics, and crop genetics. A range
of adaptation options can be employed to increase the flexibility and adaptability
of vulnerable systems. Many of these options, if they also abate climate change,
will be of immediate benefit, and can therefore be considered "no-regret"
technologies, giving them the highest priority for technology transfer.
Even though adaptation and mitigation options are clear, integrated options
need consideration in technology transfer. These include the following factors:
option need to be based on development needs, operate at a desired capacity
and technologies need to be adapted to local conditions. For example, technology
transfer of fertiliser use, as a main source of GHG, is focused upon and must
therefore be balanced by productivity needs and by abatement of GHG emissions.
In the agricultural sector, as most recipients are developing countries with
limited financial abilities, the governments of the suppliers' side can play
an important role to encourage technology transfer through compensation, tax
reducing and so on. They can formulate policies and programmes for the effective
transfer of ESTs that are publicly or privately owned. In the case of privately
owned technologies, the adoption of the following measures for technology transfer
could be considered:
- Creation and enhancement by developed countries of appropriate measures,
fiscal or otherwise, to stimulate the transfer of ESTs and its capacity building,
in particular to developing countries;
- Purchase of patents and licenses on commercial terms for their transfer
to developing countries on non-commercial terms, as part of development cooperation
for sustainable development;
- Implementation of measures to prevent the abuse of intellectual property
rights; IPRs should not be a barrier for technology transfer
- Provision of financial resources to acquire ESTs in order to enable developing
countries in particular to implement measures to promote sustainable development;
- Development of mechanisms and multi-stakeholder institutions for the access
to and transfer of ESTs, in particular to developing countries.
The main flow of technology transfer is from developed to developing countries
dealing with climate change, as was emphasised by the UNFCCC and The Kyoto Protocol.
Some cases of existing agricultural technology transfer among developing countries,
such as CGIAR and other multilateral systems, can be most helpful in assisting
countries dealing with climate change if their capacities are strengthened.
International organisations and relevant developed countries can make great
contributions by encouraging and supporting technology transfer among developing
Climate change requires extra effort to transfer technologies that:
- Increase crop output per liter of irrigation water drawn;
- Increase demand for appropriate technology with incentives if needed, and
ensure the provision of reliable supplies and equipment that meet local situations
- Increase soil carbon and reduce methane emissions;
- Assure that intellectual property rights help and do not hinder technology
transfer, especially to small farmers and developing countries; and,
- Provide crops suited to warmer temperatures
At minimum, this extra effort calls for a restored CGIAR and linked NARSs.