Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Align EU policy with global imperatives to halt ‘perfect storm’

05.07.2010
Scientists at ESOF 2010 present solutions to ensure future food security
• Integrated international and multidisciplinary response required for sustainable intensification of global agriculture
• European agricultural policy must reconcile with global imperatives
• Biological research vital for locally adapted landraces & high-yield crops
o No technology should be ruled out without full consideration
o Plant breeding in the hands of farmers promotes biodiversity
Renowned researchers advise urgent international response to increase crop production to feed the world’s predicted population of nine billion people in the year 2050. Speaking in two sessions during ESOF 2010 in Torino, Italy, the scientists stress that an integrated international and multi-disciplinary effort is required to prevent the ‘perfect storm’ predicted to arrive due to changing consumption patterns, climate change impacts, and the scarcity of water and land.

Europe has a responsibility to reconcile internal policy goals with global political imperatives. “Agricultural policy should be radically reformed to reward sustainable farming practices, agricultural employment and equity,” says Professor Gianluca Brunori from the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Pisa in Italy. “The necessary transition should be accompanied by relevant farm structures that consider human and social capital. Research, education and agricultural extension are keys to this endeavour. Knowledge and innovation policies should be revised accordingly.”

“Biological science-based advances play vital roles in the sustainable intensification of food crop production,” says Sir David Baulcombe FRS, University of Cambridge UK. “No technology should be ruled out,” he continued. “Plant science and genetic research are important parts of the solution toolkit to address the ‘perfect storm’ ahead. Current European policy must evolve to embrace GM crops – they are not the complete answer but should not be ruled out.”

Sustainable intensification of global agriculture requires crop yields to increase without adverse environmental impact and without the cultivation of more land.

Sir David Baulcombe and Professor Brunori will address the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) 2010 at the Lingotto Conference Centre in Torino, Italy on Sunday 4 July. They join a faculty of European expert speakers and panelists during the sessions titled Feeding the world in times of global change organized by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

Salvatore Ceccarelli from the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) addresses the current decline in biodiversity and suggests “a multi-country programme of evolutionary plant breeding would deploy crops with large amounts of genetic variability into the hands of farmers, allowing them to evolve gradually and adapt to climate and local organic conditions.”

Prem Bindraban from ISRIC World Soil Information in the Netherlands examines global food demand, production capacity and changing conditions. He concludes that regional interdependency is key to ensuring global food security.

Consumers are part of the solutions offered. Gianluca Brunori stresses that consumer education must shift current food consumption patterns predominant in Western Europe and many developed nations towards ‘sustainable diets’ that reduce total consumption and decrease meat consumption in particular. To reduce environmental impact, consumers should shift to short-distance food chains – sourcing local food products – and avoid excessively packaged products.

Speakers and panelists in the sessions will present a number of solutions requiring integrated international and multidisciplinary approaches:

1. Sustain the environment and preserve the natural environment by utilizing:
• Environmentally friendly methods to grow food crops to reduce the use of harmful chemicals and artificial fertilizers
• Crop management strategies based on traditional and organic practices and high-tech solutions
• Cooperation between breeders and farmers to develop locally-adapted crop varieties and farming methods

• Genetic engineering to allow the transfer of desirable traits to high-yield crop varieties

2. Protect the livelihoods of farmers and rural communities worldwide by delivering:
• Affordable new crop varieties and technologies, including locally adapted landraces and genetically modified crops
• Increased government investment into agricultural research in parallel with industry
• Balancing of supply and demand by regional distribution of agro-ecological roles

• Fewer agricultural subsides that negatively impact small farms and farming communities in impoverished nations.

Suzanne Beveridge
Head | EMBO Public Relations & Communications
T: +49 6221 8891 108
M: +49 1609 0193 839

Suzanne Beveridge | idw
Further information:
http://www.esof2010.org/schedule/1/4a

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>