International Day for Biological Diversity – Sustainable agriculture the key to food security

    21 May 2011

    International Day for Biological Diversity is a significant opportunity to highlight the importance of sustainable agriculture for preserving biodiversity and also securing future food production for Australia and the world. It is also an appropriate day to recognise the importance and significance of the contribution of Australia’s Plant Science Industry in this endeavour.

    CropLife Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Cossey; said on Sunday: “Biodiversity in agriculture provides and maintains ecosystem services essential to farming. Environmental stewardship underpins sustainable agriculture and that is critical to Australia’s biodiversity. Australian farmers are among the most innovative and efficient farmers in the world and will need to continue to be so in order to meet the future challenges facing global agriculture.

    “Australian plant science companies are dedicated to enhancing the biodiversity of the planet. Globally, the plant science industry is one of the world’s most innovative sectors, with the top 10 companies investing an estimated $4.72 billion in research and development each year. In Australia alone, CropLife member companies spend over $13 million a year on industry stewardship schemes. Australia’s Plant Science Industry is also recognised as a world leader in industry stewardship.

    “The Australian plant science industry has a critical role to play in achieving sustainable agriculture. To ensure food security we must increase food production while adopting sustainable and efficient agriculture that ensures the preservation of biodiversity. This will only be achieved with the growth of the Plant Science Industry which brings the innovation and new technologies to the Australian farming sector.

    “Higher yields from applying biotechnology solutions and advanced crop protection products also remove the pressure on native ecosystems being converted into agricultural production land.

    Food security challenges will increase the pressure on natural ecosystems from agriculture. Enabling farmers to produce more using less natural resources and other inputs will be critical in producing enough food for an ever growing global population. Stewardship that ensures the responsible development, use and disposal of plant protection products means that our industry’s tools can be part of the solution.

    “Food security challenges will increase the pressure on natural ecosystems from agriculture. If food production is to keep pace with population growth, without degrading the ecosystem services necessary to sustain it, we must recommit ourselves to supporting sustainable agricultural practices. Policymakers and consumers must do their part to ensure that farmers and other agricultural producers have the right incentives to adopt sustainable agricultural practices.

    CropLife and its member companies look forward to continuing to contribute to meeting this challenge and supporting Australian agriculture”, Mr. Cossey said.

    International Biodiversity Day – Background

    The United Nations proclaimed May 22 the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. It was first created by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in late 1993. In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as IDB, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

    International Day for Biological Diversity – Sustainable agriculture the key to food security.pdf