Daily Archives: June 3, 2012

Forum to debate new scientific agenda related to RIO+20

The international scientific community has already determined that after the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO+20), it will be necessary to establish a research and technology agenda and inaugurate a new relationship between science and society.

The path to this goal will be defined during the week preceding RIO+20 at the “Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development”, to be held from June 11 to 15, also in Rio de Janeiro.

The forum will bring together some of the world’s foremost scientists and public policy makers to explore the key role of interdisciplinary and innovative science in the transition to sustainable development, in the green economy and in the eradication of poverty—the central questions to be discussed at RIO+20 from June 20 to 22.

The forum will be organized by the International Council for Science (ICSU), together with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC).

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Embrapa prioritizes “green agriculture”

By Aécio Amado e Juliana Andrade
Embrapa – According to the President, Pedro Arraes, Embrapa has established 2012 as the year of a “green agriculture”. The company’s contribution for the sustainability project of the sector, is mainly in order to provide scientific support to enable the country to have clarity of what is the Brazilian agriculture and how they run their production systems. The idea is to bring technology studies focused on agriculture with base on sustainability goals set by the federal government.
“We have to do this inventory of technologies, with scientific criteria of sustainability. The role of Embrapa is to put science in such discussions, offering parameters and tools for the producer to make his choice, considering the gain that they may have preserved more water, for example, and opening the market for sustainability in three dimensions: social, economic and environment, said Arraes.
In the research’s course, the company was the target of criticism over the years by sectors that have questioned the impact of controversial studies, as in the case of GM. Embrapa also had several works recognized. Many experts point to the Embrapa as one of the most responsible for saving the country’s natural resources. “Not only was the Embrapa that contributed to increased agricultural productivity, but the National Agricultural Research, which is much older.”
Currently, one of the challenges the company is in the area of Bioenergy. According Arraes, research on some products are already advanced, as the use of palm oil in the Cerrado. “The palm produces 6 tons of oil per hectare. In Savannah, we are producing 25 ton/hectare. The project is experimental, we are irrigating with droplets. We must analyze everything. Water is the issue, for example. How much water are spending to produce this fuel? We are failing to wet the beans? You must have a study, “explained the Embrapa’s president”.
Arraes also highlighted studies of forest fuel. He said the methanol from wood can be an alternative, especially for small producers, where Bioenergy is still taken as a challenge. “We have a palm tree, the macaúba, which is upland, has 40% oil and is quite rustic. This can be an interesting alternative for the small producer. But still being studied. Once we find the technology, we have to think about territory – is it feasible? What kind of organization is needed and which link with the private sector needs to be done for you crush it? “

Source and Photo: Agrolink, March 20th, 2012
Click here to read the Portuguese version

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