A coalition of individuals involved with global food issues has issued a declaration calling for more research into high-yield farming and forestry methods in order to provide better food security for the developing world as well as avoid cultivation of environmentally-sensitive ecosystems.
Nobel Peace Prizes winners Norman Borlaug and Oscar Arias have joined with former U.S. Sen. George McGovern, former Greenpeace activist Patrick Moore, James Lovelock and others in support of the “Declaration in Support of Protecting Nature with High-yield Farming and Forestry.” The declaration reads, in part,
Therefore, we, the signatories to this declaration, hereby declare that additional high-yield practices, based on advances in biology, ecology, chemistry, and technology, are critically needed in agriculture and forestry not only to achieve the goal of improving the human condition for all peoples but also the simultaneous preservation of the natural environment and its biodiversity through the conservation of wild areas and natural habitat.
We invite all organizations and individuals concerned with human welfare and the conservation and preservation of our planet’s rich biological heritage to join us in support of high-yield agriculture and forestry by adding their names to this declaration.
Center for Global Food Issues director Dennis Avery writes in a column for TechCentralStation.Com, that the alternative to high-yield agriculture and forestry is environmental destruction,
The leader of the new coalition is Dr. Norman Borlaug, the Iowa plant breeder who won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the Green Revolution. He and his fellow researchers saved a billion people from starving during the 1960s. But Borlaug was also the first to note (in 1986) that the higher crop yields saved billions of acres of wildlands from being plowed down for low-yield food. Today, the total of wildlands saved by high yield farming has risen to at least 12 million square miles (not acres), equal to the total land area of the United States, Europe, and South America. (Or 3,400 Yellowstone National Parks.)
Large amounts of land that is currently wilderness will have to be put into production if yields should taper off. It is good to see somebody fighting to avoid that possibility.
Declaration in Support of Protecting Nature with High-yield Farming and Forestry. Center or Global Food Issues, 2002.
High yield heroes. Dennis Avery, TechCentralStation.Com, April 30, 2002.