The third Earth Summit, also known as Rio+20, takes place in Rio de Janerio from June 20-22, 2012. It marks 20 years since the first Rio summit in 1992 introduced and established the idea of sustainable development. At RIO+20, world leaders, governments, NGOs and the private sector will come together to shape how our planet can reduce poverty while protecting the environment in the coming decades. They will focus on seven key areas to achieve this -- jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans, and disaster readiness. Of these seven, food security and agriculture will play a critical and prominent role throughout negotiations.
With our population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, farmers will need to increase food production by 70% despite climate change, harsher growing conditions, and finite natural resources. As the delegate at Rio+20 reflect on the future green economy, agriculture will be a central part of the discussion. Environmental pressures such as climate change pose a real threat to farmers' ability to provide for themselves and their families, and the activities at RIO+20 will offer the opportunity to adopt clear and focused measures to meet this challenge. Improving the way farmers operate will be critical to sustainability increasing food production and alleviating poverty for the world’s 2.5 billion farmers.
We believe the first step will be recognizing the environmentally friendly practices already being used in agriculture, and determining how these sustainable practices could be shared with more farmers. Today, farms around the world utilize crop protection products and plant biotechnology to increase crop yields, improve incomes and reduce their environmental footprint. For example:
- In Brazil, farmers who use biotech soybeans, cotton and corn varieties have reduced their water usage by 16.2 billion litres from 1996 to 2010.
- Farmers in Kenya who use pesticides to produce disease-free passionfruit improve their income by 400%.
- Bt cotton farmers in India earn between $378-$520 more per hectare than growers using conventional cotton varieties, which has led to $9.4 billion in farm income gains due to Bt cotton adoption from 2002-2010.
- In Canada, adoption of no-till practices in canola, enabled by crop protection products and plant biotechnology, sequesters nearly one million tonnes of carbon each year.
- Each year, crop protection product prevent nearly 50% yield loss in wheat crops around the globe.
In every region of the globe, farmers are using plant science to enhance their sustainability and protect their lands for future generations. Governments, NGOs and the private sector must examine how the outcomes of RIO+20 can enable policies that encourage farmers to use the practices today and enhance them in the future.
To learn more about how plant science products can help agriculture become part of a green economy at RIO+20, please attend CropLife International events throughout the RIO+20 negotiations (see the sidebar for more information) or explore the resources below:
Sharing the story:
How is plant science impacting agriculture around the globe? Hear farmers from around the world sharing their stories of how advances in plant biotechnology and crop proteciton products have made them more profitable and improved their livelihoods, while enabling the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices:
Global Stewardship Case Studies:
Stewardship is a life cycle approach to product management. It is the ethical way to manage crop protection products from their discovery and development, to their use and final disposal or phase-out. The overall aim of the stewardship approach is to maximise the benefits, and minimise any risk, from using crop protection products.
Learn about how the plant science industry is working around the globe to ensure proper stewardship practices through our Global Stewardship Case Studies
How can research and development in plant science
The story of Agriculture
Join us at RIO+20 for CropLife International's and affiliate's side events
"Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development"
Hosted by Farming First 18:00, 12 June 2012 Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
"Scaling up Innovation and Uptake of Best Practices for Sustainable Agriculture"
Hosted by Farming First 13:30-15:00, 14 June 2012 RioCentro Convention Center Room T-9
"Best Practices and Technology Opportunities for Farmers in Latin America"
Hosted by SustainAGRO 11:30 - 13:00 15 June 2012 RioCentro Convention Center
"Achieving and Measuring Sustainable Intensification: the roel of technology, best practices and partnerships"
Hosted by Agriculture and Rural Development Day & Farming First 18 June 2012 Sul America Convention Center
"Leading for Sustainability in Agriculture: What Role for Business?"
Hosted by CropLife International & Business Action for Sustainable Development 10:00-12:00, 19 June 2012 Windsor Barra Hotel