As part of the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 Ethics and the Environment Lecture Series, the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) is hosting a one-day symposium and a two-day conference on campus (both events are open to the public, registration suggested) that seek to explore the scientific, policy and ethical questions presented by the need to greatly boost food production to feed a growing world population while reducing agriculture’s contribution of about 30 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases.
The world population is projected to grow from 6.7 to 9 billion or more people by 2050, and many more people will have the income to eat meat and other foods that require more land and other resources. Avoiding land use change while feeding the world of 2050 will require improvements in the world’s current rate of crop yield growth, yet reducing greenhouse gases will require reducing methane emissions from livestock and probably require reductions in fertilizer use. Measures that increase the cost of food could have harsh impacts on the world’s 1 billion malnourished people, yet low food prices disadvantage poor farmers in developing countries.
These events are sponsored by the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) and the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and co-sponsored by University Center for Human Values and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Modern biotechnology holds enormous potential to solve many of the world’s intransigent problems in medicine, agriculture, energy and the environment. At the same time, questions regarding safety, environmental impacts, bioethics, intellectual property rights and social equity of biotechnology remain unanswered.
The Princeton Environmental Institute, with the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the University Center for Human Values and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is hosting a one-day symposium to gather leaders in biotechnology, food security, agricultural development, biodiversity conservation, and environmental protection to discuss major technology and policy issues and to suggest best possible policy options to move the technology forward.
The participants in the symposium will strive to answer the question: Can modern biotechnologies help tackle global poverty, fight hunger, moderate climate change, and contribute overall to the development of a sustainable world?