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 When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

nachricht WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>