The importance of science and technology in enabling sustainable development was affirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002 and especially at one of its major parallel events, the Science and Technology Forum on Sustainable Development,
the conclusions of which2 were reflected in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI). In this plan, the participating governments acknowledged the essential role of science and technology in generating solutions to environmental and developmental issues.
Most notably, the document stressed the importance of enhancing development and transfer of technology to the developing countries, building capacities in science and technology so as to allow access to international research and development programmes, and building partnerships
and networks among public and private actors in science and technology including knowledge institutions such as centres of excellence.