Apologies to the Planet—Can We Restore the Damage?

  • Dulce Eleonora de Oliveira
  • Marc Van MontaguEmail author


Many of us believe that human ingenuity can promote the innovations required to face the challenge of demographic pressure. But twentieth century experience has shown that pollution by human beings (through increased population), by manufacturing industries and by agricultural practices have severely damaged the environment, requiring continuous mitigation efforts. And still we are unable to bring an acceptable standard of living to half of the world population.

How to render intensive agriculture and small farming more sustainable? Good governance and innovative science are essential, but we can no longer delay applying the knowledge generated in the last decennia by the plant scientists. Intensive cooperation among agronomists, agro-ecologists and biotechnologists is urgently needed, together with communication to society on the value of applying science to agriculture, to achieve global food security and improved environment.

Why not doubt about the ingenuity of this Homo sapiens sapiens, if he is not able or willing to make birth control acceptable; unable or unwilling to develop an economy with better profit sharing; unable or unwilling to apply science for developing sustainable agriculture and industry.


Smallholder Farmer Global Food Security Human Ingenuity Orphan Crop Urban Food Security 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.VIB—Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach, Department of Biotechnology and BioinformaticsGhent UniversityGent-ZwijnaardeBelgium

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