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munications, and distance education and training via the Internet. Some of these projects have been quite successful suggesting that the potential impact of IT on development can be enormous, particularly in terms of improved health, hygiene, nutrition, and education (Pigato, 2001
       ICT can complement conventional methods to meet the growing demand of stakeholders in accessing improved technologies and timely information and support services, improving productivity and livelihoods in poor rural com­munities. Although ICT allows greater and faster flow of in­formation, due to the technical and knowledge requirements, not all people have the same level of access. ICT can further widen the "digital divide" between developed and developing countries, as well as between rural and urban communities within a country (Herselman and Britton, 2002). Nanotechnology Nanotechnology (see Glossary) may improve agriculture and resource management, particularly soil fertility, crop/ animal production, pest management, veterinary medicine, product safety and quality, and farm waste management. Applications of nanotechnology in agriculture are rapidly expanding and developing (Binnig and Rohrer, 1985; Mills et al., 1997; Huang et al., 2001; Dutta, and Hofmann, 2004; Hossain et al., 2005; Graham-Rowe, 2006). Investment on nanotechnology R&D from both public and private sectors has been increasing (Kuzma and VerHage, 2006). The po­tential of nanotechnologies in terms of environmental im­pacts, including those with agriculture applications (waste management, water  purification,  environmental  sensors, and agricultural pollution reduction) has been assessed (De-fra, 2007).
        Biosensors developed into nanosensors expedite rapid testing and analysis of soil, plants, and water making nu­trient and water management in the farm more efficient and less laborious (Birrel and Hummel, 2001; Alocilja and Radke, 2003). Nanoporous materials such as zeolites can help release the right dosage of fertilizer at the right time owing to well-controlled stable suspensions with absorbed or adsorbed substances. Nanoelectrocatalytic systems could optimize purification of highly contaminated and salinated water for drinking and irrigation; and nanostructured ma­terials may offer clean energy solutions through the use of solar cells, fuel cells, and novel hydrogen storage (Court et al., 2005).
         Nanomaterials can provide environmental filters or as direct sensors of pollutants (Dionysiou, 2004). Nanoparti-cles have been used in photocatalysis that enhance degrada­tion process in solid, farm or wastewater treatment (Blake, 1997; Herrmann, 1999). Air pollution could also be reduced (Peral et al., 1997) through on the use of photocatalysis for purification, decontamination, and deodorization of air.
          The integration of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information and communications technology could revolu­tionize agriculture this century (Opara, 2004).These tech­nologies could contribute to reducing hunger and improving nutrition by optimizing plant health and eliminating patho­gens or other organisms that might contaminate food.
        Despite the rapidly expanding products and market of nanotechnology (nanotechnology food market in 2006 was about US$7 billion in 2006 and may reach a total of $20.4


billion by 2010 (HKC, 2006), there are some biosafety and IPR concerns. Their application in agriculture will directly introduce them into ground and surface water catchments where they may accumulate in concentrations that may undermine the goals of food safety and environmental sus-tainability (NSTC, 2000; ETC Group, 2005). Nanomate­rials are built from nanoparticles that may be too diverse for stereotypical risk assessments (Colvin, 2003). However, since nanoscale particles have minute dimensions in com­mon, these can direct research to likely exposure routes. For example, their small size but large-scale release may lead to their accumulation in groundwater because even particles that are not soluble in water can form colloidal species that can be carried in water (Colvin, 2003).
        As with biotechnology, nanotechnologies are not evenly distributed: wealthier industrial nations produce and own the technologies. A single nanoscale innovation can be rele­vant for widely divergent applications across many industry sectors and companies, and patent owners could potentially put up tolls on entire industries. IP will play a major role in deciding who will capture nanotech's market, who will gain access to nanoscale technologies, and at what price (ETC Group, 2005). Participatory approaches to AKST
Efforts to preserve natural resources and guarantee the provisioning of essential ecosystem services are frequently characterized by social, political and legal conflicts (Witt-mer et al., 2006). Broad-scale approaches are necessary to face problems that extend beyond a local site and a short time span.
         The asymmetric administration of shared lands and natural resources is a potential source of conflict in many trans-boundary eco-regions of the world (Viglizzo, 2001). The cross-border externalization of negative environmental impacts due to asymmetries in land conversion and intensity of farming represents a challenge to neighboring countries. The problem may become critical in shared basins with in­terconnected rivers and streams where downstream coun­tries often have to pay the cost of negative impacts that have not been properly internalized upstream.
         AKST can be employed to prevent or mitigate conse­quences of conflict over environmental resources, particu­larly through the use of participatory approaches supported to enhance the commitment of stakeholders to the decision-making process and to share the responsibility of manag­ing common resources. Strategies include (1) developing stakeholder appreciation for importance of trans-boundary basin management (2) jointly designed land-use strategies to prevent potential conflicts due to negative externalities from neighboring areas, (3) environmental impact assessment for ex-ante evaluation of potentially conflicting projects, and (4) acceptance of third party independent arbitration to face current or potential conflicts when necessary.
          Agricultural and environmental conflicts are charac­terized by the interaction of both ecological and societal complexity (Funtowicz and Ravetz, 1994). Participatory ap­proaches (De Marchi et al., 2000) and multicriteria analysis (Paruccini, 1994) can help resolve agroenvironmental con­flicts. Multiple criteria analysis uses different approaches (normative, substantive and instrumental) to deal with dif-