Science diplomacy for plant health

"Global food security can only be addressed if we consider its complexity"

"Global food security is one of the main societal challenges of the twenty-first century that can only be addressed if we consider its complexity: an increased human population with changing dietary habits will have to produce more on degraded land, with plant varieties whose yield can barely be increased, under changing climatic conditions while facing the loss of biodiversity and the threats posed by crop pests." That is stated by a team of international researchers in an article posted recently in Nature Plants. 

"The battle between humans and plant pests is as old as agriculture, but the movement of pests as a consequence of human activities has been exacerbated only recently. Increased trade and tourism contribute to the global movement of pests that emerge in unexpected places and at a previously unforeseen pace; plant pests introduced into one country spread naturally, or move through trade, to another country. But international trade has also been suggested to provide part of the solution to meet future global food demands."

"Balancing these issues requires a multi-actor, well-coordinated response. Partnerships are key to deliver technical support to countries, including forecasting and early warning followed by enhancing preparedness as well as implementing preventive measures and outbreak response. In this context, science can provide technical solutions but can also build bridges between national and international communities: science diplomacy allows countries to address challenges that cannot be handled through national activities only." 

Read more in this comment in Nature Plants.

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