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Analysis for biotechnology innovations using Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA):


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  • Linacre, Nicholas A.
  • Gaskell, Joanne
  • Rosegrant, Mark W.
  • Falck-Zepeda, José
  • Quemada, Hector
  • Halsey, Mark
  • Birner, Regina


" Meeting the food needs of the world's growing population while reducing poverty and protecting the environment is a major global challenge. Genetically modified crops appear to provide a promising option to deal with this challenge. However there is a need to make strategic decisions on how to spend limited agricultural research funds in order to achieve a maximum impact with regard to finding sustainable solutions to end hunger and poverty. In international development institutions, there is growing interest in the potential use of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) as part of a research based Environmental Management System (EMS) to promote mainstreaming of environmental considerations in policy development. SEA was developed as an approach to integrate environmental considerations at a policy level, where alternatives environmental policies can be evaluated. In this paper, we propose using SEA in a policy research and priority setting process regarding new technologies, taking the development of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) as an example. We propose that this method would be a useful tool for the international agricultural research centers of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), streamlining business processes, strengthening accountability, sharpening the research agenda it supports, fostering broader partnerships, and increasing the relevance and impact of CGIAR research in achieving international development goals. Currently international law requires only Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) of specific biotechnology projects. The incorporation of environmental considerations only at the level of specific projects precludes the adoption of alternative environmental policies. In this review, we outline an SEA approach currently being considered at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) for use in evaluating biotechnology policies. SEA may be a useful tool to inform the evaluation of biotechnology policies and priorities by taking account of information on the economic, social, and environmental benefits, cost and risks of adopting those policies." Authors' Abstract

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series EPTD discussion papers with number 140.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:140

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Keywords: Risk; Strategic Environmental Assessment; Genetically modified organisms; Living modified organisms;

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  1. repec:reg:rpubli:72 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Lutter, Randall, 1999. "The Role of Economic Analysis in Regulatory Reform," Working paper 72, Regulation2point0.
  3. Krupnick, Alan & Toman, Michael & Kopp, Raymond, 1997. "Cost-Benefit Analysis and Regulatory Reform: An Assessment of the Science and Art," Discussion Papers dp-97-19, Resources For the Future.
  4. Kozine, Igor, 2001. "Probabilistic Risk Analysis. Foundations and Methods By TIM BEDFORD and ROGER COOKE. Cambridge University Press, UK, 2001, 408 pages, ESBN 0 521 77320 2," Risk, Decision and Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 207-207, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Di Falco, Salvatore & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Farmer management of production risk on degraded lands: the role of wheat genetic diversity in Tigray Region, Ethiopia," EPTD discussion papers 153, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Smale, Melinda & Zambrano, Patricia & Falck-Zepeda, José & Gruère, Guillaume, 2006. "Parables: applied economics literature about the impact of genetically engineered crop varieties in developing economies," EPTD discussion papers 158, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Paul J. Block & Kenneth Strzepek & Mark W. Rosegrant & Xinshen Diao, 2008. "Impacts of considering climate variability on investment decisions in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 171-181, 09.
  4. Gruère, Guillaume P., 2006. "An analysis of trade related international regulations of genetically modified food and their effects on developing countries:," EPTD discussion papers 147, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Gruère, Guillaume & Giuliani, Alessandra & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Marketing underutilized plant species for the benefit of the poor: a conceptual framework," EPTD discussion papers 154, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Falck Zepeda, José & Barreto-Triana, Nancy & Baquero-Haeberlin, Irma & Espitia-Malagón, Eduardo & Fierro-Guzmán, Humberto & López, Nancy, 2006. "An exploration of the potential benefits of integrated pest management systems and the use of insect resistant potatoes to control the Guatemalan Tuber Moth (Tecia solanivora Povolny) in Ventaquemada,," EPTD discussion papers 152, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Linacre, Nicholas & Falck-Zepeda, José & Komen, John & MacLaren, Donald, 2006. "Risk assessment and management of genetically modified organisms under Australia's Gene Technology Act:," EPTD discussion papers 157, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).


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