UN Biodiversity Conference results in significant commitments for action on biodiversity
Agreements reached on actions to integrate biodiversity in forestry, fisheries, agriculture, and tourism sectors and to achieve the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development
- Marine agenda advances with work on marine debris, underwater noise and spatial planning;
- Capacity-building strategy agreed for the Convention and its Protocols;
- Pledges and commitments in support of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity made by Business; Cities and Subnational Authorities, IPLCs and Youth;
- Protected areas on the land and in the oceans and seas, expanding considerably, with Mexico increasing marine protection to 23 per cent;
- Decisions made on Climate-related Geoengineering, synthetic biology and others.
GMOs: A good but battered means for Sustainable Production Intensification
Senior Agronomist in the FAO Investment Centre, Rome, Italy
This paper expresses the views of the author, who alone is responsible for its contents. The paper does not reflect the official position of the author’s employer, FAO.
Abstract. The author proposes this opinion paper as a personal review on crops Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops. GMO crops cover about 13 percent of the world’s cropped land. More than three quarters of this area is within three countries: USA, Brazil and Argentina. Four crops account for the majority of land under GMOs: corn, soybean, cotton, and canola. A very large part of the world population likely eats every day food that either contains GMOs or GMO derivatives or animal products derived from GMO fed animals. It has been the fastest adopted agricultural technology over only twenty years. The developing world and its low income countries are gradually improving their policy, institutional and administrative environments towards the adoption of modern biotech rules. The technology is simple, has been thoroughly tested and through extensive scientific research and testing has been shown to be as safe as crops bred and developed by other techniques. Only a small fraction of the GM achievements, and opportunities, are being widely exploited. Other tested discoveries, which offer valuable strategies to address the challenges of climate change, productivity concerns and human health plagues/malnutrition that are widespread in low income countries, are yet to be adopted on a meaningful scale. There is no credible evidence that GMOs constitute a threat to human health. Cultural, which at times appear to be ideological, barriers more often of the developed world, are hindering rational technological advancement. A safe and sustainable technology exists that can contribute substantially towards the global food security target and humanitarian responsibility.
Keywords: Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), Sustainable Production Intensification (SPI).