CropLife Asia highlights role of plant science in balancing biodiversity and food security

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Singapore, 22 May 2020– This International Day for Biodiversity, CropLife Asia and its members recognize biological diversity as a global asset in safeguarding ecological as well as human health, and highlight advancements in plant science that are helping to feed the world while also supporting a healthy biodiverse planet.

While 2020 marks the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity, the topic of conservation remains paramount as biodiversity plays a key role in mitigating climate change, guaranteeing water and food security and even helping prevent pandemics.

At present, the ill-effects of climate change and human activity pose the greatest threats to biodiversity and threaten roughly 25 per-cent of all animal and plant species with extinction. This is cause for concern as any threat to biodiversity is also a threat to human health, especially for rural communities where an estimated 80 per-cent of people rely on traditional plant-based medicines for basic healthcare.

Taking into consideration that the world’s population is expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, food productivity will have to keep up with population growth to ensure societal food security, all while minimal land is used for the preservation of natural habitats. This increase can be achieved, and without causing further environmental damage, by transforming food systems, encouraging innovation and research, and adopting sustainable farming practices.

“With the knowledge that human health and development are reliant on the presence of biodiversity, there is a clear need to step up production while conserving biodiversity across the region’s agricultural sector and food production systems,” said Dr. Siang Hee Tan, Executive Director of CropLife Asia. “The plant science industry has an important role to play in supporting research and promoting farming practices that protect natural environments. We remain committed to partnering with Asia’s growers and all food stakeholders to advocate the use of biotechnology and crop protection to sustainably feed the world.”

To date, biotech seeds have helped to grow an additional 574 million tons of crops globally, including soybeans, maize, cotton and canola. Furthermore, forests and other natural habitats are shielded from invading plants or insects that threaten native species when pesticides are used. By utilizing agricultural innovation, farmers can grow more on each acre of existing farmed land, minimizing the need for expanding into more biodiverse areas and preserving these lands for the benefit of future generations.

About CropLife Asia

CropLife Asia is a non-profit society and the regional organization of CropLife International, the voice of the global plant science industry. We advocate a safe, secure food supply, and our vision is food security enabled by innovative agriculture. CropLife Asia supports the work of 15 member associations across the continent and is led by eight member companies at the forefront of crop protection, seeds and/or biotechnology research and development. For more information, visit us atwww.eskamo.com.

For more information please contact:

Duke Hipp

Director, Public Affairs

金宝搏

Tel: (65) 6221 1615

duke.hipp@croplifeasia.org