United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). It bridges the academic world and the UN system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 and is an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.


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Risk and Uncertainty Lecture: Governance challenges as risk for agricultural development

Within the UNU Bonn/ZEF Risk and Uncertainty Lecture Series, Professor Regina Birner spoke on 29 February 2012 on governance challenges as risk for agricultural development. Professor Birner is Chair of Social and Institutional Change in Agricultural Development at the University of Hohenheim, Germany.

Chair: Joachim von Braun, ZEF-Director

Discussant: Fabrice Renaud, UNU-EHS

Background: Risk and Uncertainty Lecture

In this seminar series we address opportunities, risks and uncertainties for development. Uncertainty, i.e. the unknown unknowns, is a particular challenge. Risk and uncertainty have become a focal topic among development researchers, policy makers and practitioners as worldwide, economy and ecology have been assailed by a series of global crises: financial crisis, high and volatile food and oil price, and/or climate change. These crises present threats to development and to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The understanding, mitigating and controlling of risk and uncertainty is far from being understood. The seminar series provides a forum for agenda setting and discussion on related themes with leading experts in this field of research and policy.

The lecture series is coorganized by ZEF and the United Nations University (UNU) in Bonn.