How crop biotechnology preserves and promotes biodiversity

biodiversity

Experts attending the [recent] United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Egypt say that adopting smart agronomic practices can play a significant role in conserving the environment.

Those practices include agricultural biotechnology, which can protect diversity by making crops more efficient, reducing pesticide use and helping to prevent species extinction, they said in exclusive sideline interviews with the Alliance for Science.

Dr. Margaret Karembu, director of ISAAA AfriCenter Kenya, identified three ways that biotechnology can help conserve biodiversity:

By increasing productivity per unit of land. This means reducing the amount of land you open up for crops and so you’re able to sustain biodiversity in these regions. Secondly, when you use very selective techniques that only kill the harmful pests for your crops it means this reduces the amount of harmful chemicals you pump into the environment —especially those that are broad spectrum, killing many of the other non-target pests that help in pollination. Thirdly, when you select tools that help you grow crops in the areas that will give you the highest yield. For example, in drought then you don’t open up semi-arid land, and that also conserves very unique biodiversity.

Read full, original article: Biotechnology boosts biodiversity conservation, experts say

Related article:  Plant geneticist Kevin Folta: Scientific American's rewritten anti-GMO article a 'lesser abomination'
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