06.10.2014

Barañao keynote speaker at the STS Forum in Japan

The Minister of Science held in Kyoto yesterday a meeting with the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. The official mission to New Zealand will continue until October 10.

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The Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Lino Barañao, participated yesterday in the Science and Technology in Society Forum (STS Forum) in the city of Kyoto, Japan. First, he delivered a keynote speech at the "Population and Resources" session, then he participated as speaker at the round-table meeting "Promoting Openness and Transparency in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy" with science and technology ministers and senior authorities from 30 countries. His visit to Japan also included a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

During his speech at the "Population and Resources" session and referring to the possibility of limiting the consumption and population growth Barañao said that "it is unlikely that this situation can be solved in this way, and in this sense, I understand that the challenge is to meet the emerging needs of this growth process". He also stated that "the problems resulting from population growth and increased consumption deserve more prominent attention on discussion of science and technology application".

Regarding to encouraging the sustainable agriculture, Barañao said: “The planting system implemented in Argentina is the most efficient in terms of performance, power consumption and soil conservation. Recently, Argentine researchers have isolated a gene from sunflower which has shown resistance to drought and increase in the productivity for crops such as soybeans, corn and wheat under normal irrigation. According to certain estimates, if adopted globally, this genetic modification would imply additional yields for a value of 20 billion dollars”. "About ensuring access to a reliable and sustainable energy, the Minister said: "We are funding public-private consortia for the development of innovative methods of energy production. As part of the relationship between YPF Argentine National Oil Company and the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research a Y-TEC technology company was created, which has already produced six patents related to unconventional oil and gas" and he added that "Argentina has one of the world's largest reservoirs of shale oil and gas".

Regarding to the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources Barañao stated that "the Pampa Azul Project, coordinated by the Ministry of Science, aims to provide a systematic assessment of biodiversity, geological resources and the impact of climate change in the South Atlantic. It is a cross-cutting project to different areas of government as well as to international cooperation with more than six participating countries. Its objectives include the development of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture systems, as recommended by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). "Furthermore, the Minister of Science spoke about the protection and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and he also explained that "a special commission for the sustainable use of biodiversity was created in the Ministry.The scientific coordinator of the commission,Bibiana Vila, has been honored with the Midori Prize 2014 on Biodiversity of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD) together with the AEON Foundation from Japan, for her work on the sustainable management of vicuñas (South American camelid) by local indigenous communities in the Andean region.

Finally, Barañao highlighted the partnership for sustainable development being conducted by Argentina at bi-national, regional and bi-regional level. As an example he presented the case of BIOTECSUR, regional platform co-financed by the European Commission and the Mercosur, under which the Ministry of Science articulated public and private actors to provide sustainable solutions and improve the scientific capabilities of the MERCOSUR countries within the field of biotechnology.

It is noteworthy that it is the fourth edition in which the Minister participates in the STS Forum. His visit to Japan, accompanied by the National Director of International Relations from the Ministry,   Agueda Menvielle, was part of the scheduled activities within the framework of the official mission to that country and New Zealand.

The mission will continue on October Wednesday 8 in Wellington, New Zealand, and includes meetings with ministers of Business, Science and Employment, Steven Joyce and of Primary Industries, Nathan Guy. The purpose will be to promote bilateral relations and advancement in the cooperation of productive innovation in areas of common interest. Additionally, visits to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and the Callaghan Innovation Center are scheduled. On Thursday 9 in the city of Hamilton, the Minister of Science will visit the Waikato Innovation Park, the AgResearch Research Institute and the Dairy New Zealand organization. The mission will end Friday 10 in Auckland, where Barañao will visit the Landcare Research Center, the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and the Liggins Institute, and he will meet with the former director and senior adviser on scientific issues of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Peter Gluckman

About STS Forum

The STS Forum was inaugurated in November 2004 and holds an annual meeting in Kyoto, Japan. The meeting is aimed at creating a global human network providing a framework for an open discussion about further progress of science and technology for the benefit of humankind.  Annually, the forum gathers more than 800 outstanding scientists, Nobel prizes, senior officials, business executives and journalists from over 90 countries. It is also an enabling environment to facilitate bilateral meetings with representatives of other States as well as provide the identification and achievement of opportunities to cooperate both at government and company level.

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