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 Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>