Reports archive

A selection of policy and advocacy reports. For reports and briefing papers on climate change and poverty, please see our Stop Climate Injustice archive.

Biodiverse agriculture for a changing climate
This paper explores biodiverse agriculture as a realistic and proven alternative to industrial methods of production. Practised by millions of small-scale food producers and organic growers, it can limit and adjust to climate change while replenishing natural resources.

Negotiating the Seed Treaty
A critique of NGO contributions to negotiations for the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Why the GM route won't feed a hungry Africa
Genetically-modified crop technology is not a solution to a hungry Kenya and Africa in general. Building on Practical Action's work experiences with small-scale farmers in Kenya and Zimbabwe and drawing lessons from the failed "green revolution" in Africa.

International Call to Action on the world food emergency and the underlying loss of biodiversity Social movements and civil society organisations, including Practical Action as part of the UK Food Group and the IPC for Food Sovereignty, joined together to develop a global plan of action for food and agriculture.

Food Sovereignty: towards democracy in localised food systems
Practical Action commissioned this paper by FIAN as a contribution to the discourse on Food Sovereignty, the rapidly developing food and agriculture policy framework. In a world plagued simultaneously and perversely by hunger and obesity, rational policies are overdue for governing the way food is grown, processed and traded, and how the benefits of the world's food systems are shared.
Read online at UKabc
Order hardcopy: Food Sovereignty: towards democracy in localized food systems - ISBN 1-85339-608-7

Practical Action produced two papers in advance of the G8 summit in Scotland, addressing the effectiveness of EC aid to Africa:

download Democratising Technology, Practical Action's discussion paper on technology democracy, published at the Public Good or Public Gain conference, looks at nine examples of "democratising technology", examining lessons to be learnt and issues for the future and identifying the principles of democratic technology.

Turning off the lights: GATS and the threat to community electricity in Sri Lanka
The US and EU should halt attempts to pressurise developing countries to accept electricity privatisation in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) negotiations so that low cost community run electricity schemes are protected. Buy the full report from

Up in Smoke: the threat of global warming
Environment and development agencies including Practical Action have launched a joint statement of concern that climate change due to global warming is already happening, and hitting poor communities and vulnerable ecosystems.

Public Good or Private Gain?
A full transcript of proceedings at Practical Action's November 2004 conference on reclaiming science for sustainable development. Download transcript (PDF, 1.3Mb) or read more about the conference.

ITDG's paper, Powering Poverty ReductionPowering Poverty Reduction
In this paper, launched at the International Conference for Renewable Energies in Bonn, Practical Action calls for international policies that consider the needs of the poor and ensure that appropriate, workable and renewable services are promoted.

Smoke: the Killer in the KitchenSmoke - the Killer in the Kitchen
Smoke in the home from cooking on wood, dung and crop waste kills nearly one million children a year. In its report, Smoke: the Killer in the Kitchen, Practical Action is calling for global action to save the lives of 1.6 million men, women and children lost each year to lethal levels of household smoke.

Scaling up through knowledge sharing with communities
Practical Action and partners organised a workshop and networking event on scaling up through knowledge sharing with communities at the World Urban Forum 2004. Case studies from the workshop are available to download.

Download this paper as a PDF file (100K)Power to the People: sustainable energy solutions for the world's poor
Access to basic, clean energy services is essential for sustainable development and poverty eradication, and provides major benefits in the areas of health, literacy and equity. However, over two billion people today have no access to modern energy services.

Sustainable energy for the poor: an action planSustainable energy for poverty reduction
An action plan which details the steps to be taken at every level in order to provide modern sustainable clean renewable energy to 2 billion of the world's poorest people

Sustaining Agricultural Biodiversity
A summary of NGO actions since 1996, and an agenda for action on GMOs, trade, intellectual property rights, biopiracy and genetic resource conservation and development.

Preserving the Web of Life
The fast-disappearing varieties of crops, livestock breeds and aquatic organisms threaten the planet's web of life. Urgent action is needed to restore this vital component of biodiversity so essential to food security and ecosystem integrity.

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