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World Economic and Social Survey 2011

The Great Green Technological Transformation

image of World Economic and Social Survey 2011
This survey explains why the Great Green Technological Transformation will have to be fully realized in developing countries if they are to achieve food security and rural development, minimize the damage from natural hazards and extreme disasters partly induced by climate change, and transform their economies to beat destitution and create productive jobs. Avoiding the climate change tipping point will require fundamental shifts in existing technologies to transform manufacturing, agriculture, living arrangements and infrastructure and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make more efficient use of natural resources and derivatives, create less waste, preserve biodiversity and reduce social disparities. The survey assesses options and policies to facilitate a new technological revolution, and the challenges societies face in achieving sustainable development and poverty reduction.

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Towards a truly green revolution for food security

The increase in prices underlying the 2007-2008 food crisis and the new food price spikes in 2011 have exposed the presence of serious threats to the sustainability of the global food system and its capacity to provide adequate and affordable access to food. Meeting the challenge of expanding food production to feed the world population over the coming decades requires a major transformation in agriculture. The so-called green revolution of the 1960s and 1970s helped boost agricultural productivity worldwide, but did not conduce to a sustainable management of natural resources, nor to food security for many of the world’s poor. The world now needs a truly green revolution in agriculture—one conducive to the kind of technological innovation that aims to radically improve the productivity of small farm holdings through environmentally sustainable natural resource management embedded in broader developmental agricultural support measures.

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