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EWA-BELT presented at the 26th Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) by OCCAM

27 / 31 March 2023 • Palais des Nations, United Nations Offices in Geneva

From March 27 to March 30 OCCAM - the Observatory on Digital Communication, was invited to participate in and intervene at the 26th Commission on Science and Technology for Development held at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

The United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) discusses how the digital revolution affects development and offers new strategies in view of a sustainable future for all. The forum analyzes and frames the critical issues influencing science and technology at multilateral and governmental levels. The 26th edition of the Commission addressed two crucial topics: technology and innovation for cleaner and more productive and competitive production, and ensuring safe water and sanitation for all: a solution by science, technology, and innovation.

Arch. Pierpaolo Saporito, President of OCCAM, had the opportunity to present the results and Digital Best Practices achieved so far within the EWA-BELT EU-H2020 Project framework and expand the network of interested parties. He first addressed how the EWA-BELT Project is an example of how technology and science could be applied to achieve sustainable intensification pathways in the African farming systems. Attention was later focused on the experimentations on the field where the digital diagnostic platform PLANTHEAD and portable DNA extraction tools are being tested in the 60 participating Farmer Field Research Units (FFRUs) in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Tanzania, to promote sustainable e-agriculture merging new technologies with traditional practices. The experimentations on the field confirm that farmers using remote diagnostic and portable DNA extraction innovative tools applied to their local knowledge, have their productions significantly improved and increased, especially related to Neglected Underutilized Crop species, or NUS. Thus, using these new technologies in addition to local knowledge may lead to considerable agricultural surpluses and amelioration of their living standards.

The main pillars of the EWA-BELT Project have been endorsed throughout the four days of the Commission’s work and debates in line with the priority themes, encompassing competitive production and safe water and sanitation. On this matter, eminent speakers and high-level experts manifested their interest in the EWA-BELT Project. After the session on the Highlights of Technical cooperation activities under the CSTD, OCCAM had the opportunity to illustrate the EWA-BELT Project to the Representative of the African Union and discuss relevant aspects of the project together with future opportunities of collaboration to expand the knowledge and results (to be) achieved to other African countries under the aegis of the African Union.

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