Rio+20 Side Event: Sustainable Farming, Food Security and Biotechnology

We need to keep on improving access to better and sufficient food
while alleviating the environmental drawbacks of agriculture.

Join Us!

The world is facing very daunting challenges. Over 1 billion people are malnourished, often resulting in chronic diseases and premature deaths. Agriculture impacts the environment through pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation, ploughing and conversion of natural habitats. This situation will be compounded by the further growth of the world population. By 2050 the world will have to produce 70% more food, feed, fibre and biomass on a smaller agricultural area and under the stress of climate change.

Farmers will have to produce more with less impact on the environment. In other words, to increase yield per hectare, to make better use of water, to be less dependent on pesticides and fertilisers, to enhance nutritional value, etc. As was already recognised in the Earth Summit in 1992, this immense challenge cannot be solved by conventional approaches alone, but requires the involvement of new technologies such as modern biotechnology.


  • Food security and world changes and trends since 1992
  • Strengthening sustainable farming – contributions from the public research sector including biotechnology
  • Global adoption of biotech crops – lessons learned
  • Discussion with the participants


Dr. Julian Adams,
Prof. of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, and the Asia Coordinator for the Program for Biosafety Systems at the International Food Police Research Institue (IFPRI). He has held visiting appointments at Universities in Brazil, France, and Germany. He received several awards, including Alexander von Humboldt, Fulbright, Jefferson and NATO Fellowships.  Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis.


Em. Prof. Marc Van Montagu, president of the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB) and of the Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI). He with J.Schell co-discovered the mechanism of DNA transfer from Agrobacteria tumefaciens to plants, and constructed the first chimerical plant genes. He ranks among the 10 most cited scientists in Plant & Animal Science. He created the Institute of Plant Biotechnology for Developing Countries (IPBO) at Ghent University. He has received numerous awards due to his scientific accomplishments, including the title of Baron (1990). He is member of several academies of science, agriculture and engineering and holds numerous Doctor Honoris Causa degrees.


Anderson Galvão, Board of Directors member, of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and Founder-Director of Céleres. Associate Consultant of GV-consult School of Business Administration of São Paulo (FGV/EASP) and advisor of Council for Biotechnology Information. Agronomist from Federal University of Uberlândia and post-graduated in Business Administration from FGV.


Dr. Lúcia de Souza, Executive Secretary of PRRI, Vice-President of the Brazilian Biosafety Association (ANBio) and Director of Cutting Edge Solutions. B.A in Biology & education (University of São Paulo-Brazil), Post-graduated in Marketing (ITAM-México), and Ph.D in biochemistry (Friedriech Miescher Institut/University of Basel-Switzerland).


Diana Liverman, co-director of the Institute of the Environment at The University of Arizona and a Regents Professor in the School of Geography and Development. Her research focuses on the human and social dimensions of environmental issues including vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, environmental change and food security, climate policy and governance, climate and the arts, and environment and development. She was recently awarded the Founders Gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society and distinguished scholarship honors from the Association of American Geographers.


Deise Capalbo, Researcher at EMBRAPA on environmental impacts posed by GMOs and biological control agents. Previous research focused on biocontrol agents production process, quality assurance, and registration policies. Current research on GMOs includes: biological degradation of the Cry protein from Bt plants; public participation on the decision making process; development of teaching tools for environmental risk analyses (ERA); international network of researchers like GMO ERA Project, LAC Biosafety Project /GEF with Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru (Nat. Coord. for ERA and public perception), 2008-2012. General Coordinator of the multidisciplinary Biosafety Network at Embrapa (BioSeg) 2002-2007.


Paulo Paes de Andrade is a full Professor at the Department of Genetics, Federal University of Pernambuco (Recife, Brazil), and integrates the research groups in plant gene expression and in molecular biology of parasites. He is also a member of the National Biosafety Technical Commission (CTNBio) since 2006, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. In CTNBio he made significant contributions to the risk assessment of plants and other genetically modified organisms and to the development of the new Brazilian GMO regulatory framework.


Ron Bonnett, President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), has had a long and varied career in agriculture. He is currently CFA’s representative for Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) Advisory Committee and Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC). As an advocate of agriculture at the international level, Ron sits on the Board of Directors for the World Farmers’ Organization. He is also the current President of Beef Improvement Ontario and planning committee chair for Ontario’s Agricultural Management Institute.

19 JUN 2012, 19:30 – 21:00 room T-9 – RioCentro, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  A valid United Nations Rio+20 Conference access pass is required


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