Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. Approximately 8.7 million different living species form the ultimate foundation of our human wellbeing. But biodiversity is vanishing at up to 1,000 times the natural rate.
Habitat loss is largely accounted for by conversion of wild lands to agriculture, which now totals 30 percent of all land globally. However, thanks to biotechnology and crop protection products, farmers can now grow more food per acre – helping alleviate the threat of further habitat loss. For instance, if the world had been forced to continue at 1961 crop production levels, almost a billion hectares of new farmland would be under cultivation today – more than the total land area of the US.
The plant science industry is committed to promoting sustainable farming practices to protect biodiversity, such as:
- Integrated pest management: a system of managing pests that is designed to be sustainable and protect biodiversity;
- Conservation tillage: leaving crop residue in the field, providing insects a protective environment to live and feed)
- protecting and creating natural wildlife habitat areas around the farm, such as planting flower hedgerows
CropLife Asia is also committed to protecting pollinators, on which 35 percent of the world’s food crop depends. We are working with public and private partners across Asia to promote beekeeping and train farmers to use crop protection products in a responsible manner. Our pollinator initiatives include:
- BeeConnected: CropLife Asia is bringing CropLife Australia’s BeeConnected app to the region. BeeConnected connects registered beekeepers with registered farmers and contractors, enabling two-way communication on the location of hives and crop protection product activities so that these interdependent parties can connect with each other
- Madhu Sandesh Project, India: CropLife Asia and CropLife India is partnering with Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Agriculture Development Trust Baramati (KVK Baramati) to promote beekeeping and bee health in the Baramati region of Maharashtra. The Madhu Sandesh project involves:
- establishing an apiary at KVK Baramati: for providing educational opportunities to participants of KVK Baramati’s regular farmer training courses
- providing rental beehives to farmers to pollinate their crops
- cultivating professional beekeepers through providing training and resources to hobbyist and small-scale beekeepers.
- providing a localized version of BeeConnected, the Madhu Sandesh mobile application, to connect beekeepers and farmers.