IIED strengthens policy and research links with China

News, 13 November 2013
IIED will share some of its research on key issues in global agriculture with an audience of Chinese academics, government agencies, policy researchers and nongovernmental organisations at a meeting in Beijing on 15 November.

The event is part of a growing programme of work through which IIED aims to engage with Chinese audiences and partners on international development issues.

"China is now a major development actor," says Dr Seth Cook who leads IIED's work on China. "By sharing our most important research findings with Chinese audiences we hope to encourage policymaking and investment decisions that produce the best outcomes for people and the environment. We also have much to learn from China and aim to transfer lessons from China’s development to other nations."

China's policymakers and academics can also benefit from the research IIED has undertaken over the past four decades in partnership with organisations across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Stakeholders in China are keen to learn from the lessons and experiences of development in other countries, to expand international cooperation and  to guide policies in a more inclusive and sustainable direction, all of  which IIED can contribute to.

"IIED's research is relevant to several areas of policy debate underway in China," says Professor Qi Gubo of the Chinese Agriculture University. "The meeting in Beijing will enable participants to learn more about IIED’s research, share their thoughts on pro-poor agricultural investment and certification, and network with other experts in the field of sustainable agriculture."

At the meeting IIED will launch Chinese translations of two of its reports, which focus on ways to improve global agriculture by promoting investments and other policies that bring greater benefits to small-scale farmers and to their local environments. Participants at the meeting in Beijing will discuss the reports, their relevance to China and its overseas investments in the agricultural sector.

The first report shows how agricultural investments in developing nations can be structured as alternatives to large-scale land acquisitions. It documents a range of more inclusive business models that can bring benefits to small-scale farmers and protect their land rights, while also ensuring returns to companies.

The second report — which includes research from China — shows that the costs and benefits of international certification schemes for agricultural commodities vary greatly, and may have little to offer the poorest producers. The authors note that for many farmers, certification is simply too costly. This means that certification may only serve to improve the livelihoods and market opportunities of farmers who are not the poorest.

IIED has worked with partners at Chinese Agriculture University  to translate the reports, which the China Agriculture Press will publish.  IIED is currently translating policy briefs on agriculture and pastoralism into Chinese as well.

The workshop to launch the Chinese versions of the two IIED reports will take place at 9:00 at the Landmark Hotel in Beijing.

Contacts for interviews

Seth Cook (seth.cook@iied.org)

Prof. Qi Gubo (qigupo@cau.edu.cn)

Links to the Chinese translations

http://www.ccap.com.cn/site503/xwzx/xinwen/2013-11-15/415586.shtml

Links to original English press releases for each of the two reports

Food and cotton certification schemes are no panacea for poorer producers

Alternatives to large land acquisitions in developing nations

Links to the full reports in English

Pro-poor certification: Assessing the benefits of sustainability certification for small-scale farmers in Asia

Making the most of agricultural investment: A survey of business models that provide opportunities for smallholders

Contact

Mike Shanahan
Press officer

International Institute for Environment and Development
80-86 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8NH, UK.
Tel: +44 (0)20 3463 7399
Fax: +44 (0)20 3514 9055

Email: mike.shanahan@iied.org
www.iied.org

Notes to editors

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute. Set up in 1971 and based in London, IIED provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development (see: www.iied.org).

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