64 | East and South Asia and the Pacific (ESAP) Report

tion to overcome collective action problems in dealing with scale requirements. Management capacity, crucially cen­tered around knowledge, is as important as physical capital but is the most difficult thing to produce.

10. Trade agreements do not sufficiently address envi­ronmental, social, labor and health dimensions. While sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures may promote better human and animal health and environmental stan­dards, they have been used as trade barriers, which have led to trade loss, diversion and higher costs for developing countries. Bilateral and regional free trade agreements also restrict policy space and make it more difficult for govern­ments to implement and enforce environmental, social and health protective measures. Governments need the policy space to be able to take these measures. Other consider­ations, such as multilateral environmental agreements, la­bor standards and social development instruments, could be given at least equal weight.

11. Pesticide use has increased rapidly in the ESAP re­gion with consequent health, environmental and social impacts. Pesticide residues and the use of banned chemicals lead to problems in meeting SPS standards for agriculture-based export protects. In order to utilize the potential for exports, more attention to AKST and extension is necessary to reduce pesticide use and eliminate banned chemical use. Various alternatives, such as Integrated Pest Management, organic agriculture and agroecology exist. The challenge is to mainstream and promote their adoption with necessary policy and investment support.

12. There is good opportunity in organic and fair trade markets and their social, sustainability and ethical objectives often overlap. If the overlap is encouraged, it could increase the volume of trade and improve working conditions and livelihoods of producers. Developing country producers' ability to meet organic and fair trade standards can be facilitated through better access to locally-developed AKST. There could be benefits to small producers through mainstreaming organic and fair trade markets, provided the ill effects of conventional supply chains are avoided.

13. Increasing international trade in agricultural com­modities has often led to over-exploitation of natural resources in ESAP countries. There are positive exam­ples of learning and technology development and systems of culture that have reduced pressures on natural stocks. The challenge is to address new problems such as environmental change and erosion of biodiversity. One option is to provide systems of compensation for the provision of environmental services, in order to increase the supply of environmental public goods that are often linked to particular forms of land use and cultivation.

14. In any intellectual property rights (IPR) regime there is a trade-off between rewarding development of knowledge and inhibiting the spread of knowledge and the capacity for reverse engineering, which are both crucial for development. IPR standards under trade agreements have contributed to a shift in AKST, by facili-


tating private sector dominated research and consequently privately-generated and owned AKST. IPRs may restrict ac­cess to research materials, tools and technologies, as well as to plant material for farmers, with consequences for food security. While some national level action has been taken to break monopolies and encourage competition, there is no international mechanism to deal with such issues. In­creasing funding and support for public sector research that delivers publicly available outputs is an option to address the growing private sector dominance. Implementation of farmers' rights on seeds is critical to ensure conservation of agricultural biodiversity and associated AKST and can provide an important counterbalance to formal plant breed­ers' rights and patents. Recognition and protection of tra­ditional/indigenous knowledge remains a challenge. There are questions about whether patentability and ownership of such knowledge are appropriate and what processes are needed to protect them and further to share the benefits of protection.

15. There, however, has been a concentration in agri­cultural research and development and extension, on a few major crops and tradeables, varieties and traits, to the neglect of locally relevant crops and technolo­gies, which have been marginalized both in the private as well as the public sector. More investment in research on agroecosystems and locally adapted technologies could be used in order to develop approaches that promote food security and environmental sustainability.

16. The current restrictions in various countries, in­cluding those of the EU, on imports of transgenic crops, means that the export potential of transgenic crops is limited. At the same time, many developing countries in Asia lack regulatory and monitoring ca­pacity to import transgenic crops. The precautionary principle and the principle of prior informed consent are the key elements in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, but have not been implemented. Given all these considerations, more investment and research prioritization can be consid­ered for independent biosafety and long-term risk-related research and for non-genetic engineering AKST.

17. Though per capita carbon emissions in ESAP de­veloping countries are lower than those in the devel­oped countries, it is likely that there will be pressures on these countries to reduce emissions and shift to low carbon economies. While biofuels may provide pros­pects for the development of new sources of energy from agriculture, there is the threat of converting natural for­ests and agricultural lands into monoculture plantations. Furthermore, there is the issue of corporate or community ownership of such initiatives. These developments may have implications for food security, biodiversity, sustainability and livelihoods. Establishing decentralized, locally-based, highly-efficient energy systems is one option to improve livelihoods and reduce carbon emissions.

18. While carbon and other GHG emissions use global public space (absorption space), a price on carbon emissions, along with necessary changes in con-