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Visions for a Sustainable World Klaus Ammann, University of Bern At Nestlé Vevey, Switzerland 17. December 2001.

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Presentation on theme: "Visions for a Sustainable World Klaus Ammann, University of Bern At Nestlé Vevey, Switzerland 17. December 2001."— Presentation transcript:

1 Visions for a Sustainable World Klaus Ammann, University of Bern At Nestlé Vevey, Switzerland 17. December 2001







8 John Elkington The evolution of sustainable corporations is no further along than aviation was when Wilbur and Orville were still running their cycle shop


10 New Technologies for Assessing the Sustainability of Agriculture in Developing Countries (2001)2001 Category: Water and Agriculture ETH: Wolfkang Kinzelbach, Rolf Kappel MIT: Dennis McLaughlin UT : Taikan Oki Chalmers: Gunnar Gustafson

11 So, you've decided to adopt a more sustainable way of living. Where to start? One of the most sustainable changes you can make in your lifestyle is to reform your diet. Moving towards an organic, plant-based diet has numerous benefits to both your health and well being, and that of the planet. Here are some resources to get you started.

12 New report questions whether planting Bt corn worth the cost (Dec. 13, 2001 – CropChoice news) – Over the past six years, farmers who planted transgenic Bt corn have lost about $92 million or an average of about $1.31 per acre according to the first farm- level economic analysis of the product.

13 ISAAA annual report 2001 There are significant agronomic, health, and environmental benefits associated with GM crops, including the following: More sustainable and resource-efficient crop management practices that require less energy/fuel and conserve natural resources. More effective control of insect pests and weeds. A reduction in the overall amount of pesticides used in crop production, which impacts positively on biodiversity, protects predators and non-target organisms, and contributes to a safer environment. Less dependency on conventional insecticides that can be a health hazard to producers and consumers; the potential health benefits associated with fewer insecticide poisonings from Bt cotton in China is an important finding, with significant implications for other developing countries where small farmers in particular may be at similar risk where conventional insecticides are applied by hand sprayers.

14 Compared with conventional maize, Bt maize has reduced levels of the fumonisin mycotoxin in maize grain and results in healthier food and feed products. Greater operational flexibility in timing of herbicide and insecticide applications. Conservation of soil moisture, structure, nutrients and control of soil erosion through no- or low-tillage practices as well as improved quality of ground and surface water with less pesticide residues. Improved pest control, lower cost of production and improved yields, all contribute to a greater economic advantage to farmers who utilize the technology to develop more sustainable farming systems.

15 Kurt Bodenmüller BioGen Study: Health-relevant and environmental aspects of different farming systems: organic, conventional and genetic engineering Published by: InterNutrition – Swiss Association for Research and Nutrition, Switzerland Foundation Gen Suisse, Switzerland September 2001

16 The farming methods available today (organic, integrated and conventional, genetic engineering) all have their advantages and disadvantages. A direct comparison of the benefits and risks of the various systems and their products is only possible to a limited extent because of the lack of comparative studies. More research is necessary in this field in order to confirm previous results and to obtain reliable findings. Since their introduction, genetically modified products have been subject to stricter safety regulations and are among the best analyzed of all foods. Their safety in terms of human health must be scientifically verified before their introduction to the marketplace. In the interests of consumer health, organic products and conventional foods should be subject to the same rigorous safety analyses as those that apply to GM products.

17 From agronomic, health and environmental viewpoints, conventional, organic and genetic engineering farming methods should coexist. The different strategies help move towards a more sustainable agriculture. Only a flexible and specific combination of all useful approaches will enable the existing potential to be fully exploited. An unilateral ban on transgenic breeding methods cannot be scientifically justified. It would be incomprehensible and short-sighted not to benefit from these new opportunities in order to overcome unsolved agricultural problems.



20 From Monsanto-Study 1998

21 traditional Roundup 100% Roundup 50% Beetreport Denmark 2001 NERI


23 Published online before print September 14, 2001 Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.211297698 Corn pollen deposition on milkweeds in and near cornfields John M. Pleasants*†, Richard L. Hellmich‡, Galen P. Dively§, Mark K. Sears¶, Diane E. Stanley-Horn¶, Heather R. Mattila¶, John E. Fosteri, Thomas L. Clarki, and Gretchen D. Jones**





28 Evaluation of complex systems leaves no room for linear planning. Therefore it is wrong to use the precautionary principle as a sharply defined planning goal

29 Rio Declaration 1992 The concept of precaution shall be applied also there where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage lack full scientific certainty

30 Instead of using general definitions of the precautionary principle, we need to stick to the original precautionarys approach as a planning process case by case

31 unfortunately, planning problems in the field of green biotechnology have now evolved into wicked problems with complex structures and no obvious causal chains

32 Solving wicked problems needs new, second generation system approaches in planning

33 Elements of second generation planning: Symmetry of ignorance different kinds of knowledge:

34 factual knowledge deontic knowledge explanatory knowledge instrumental knowledge conceptual knowledge knowledge of daily life

35 Complexity 1 Industry people live in corporate atmosphere of euphemism and perfection, believe too much in deontic (planning)-knowledge Difficulties to understand critizism from outside




39 Complexity 2 Scientists are often naïve and believe in factual knowledge alone, also try to manipulate non-scientists by selecting appropriate facts.


41 Complexity 3 Some NGO’s have evolved into powerful protest corporations, not interested in scientific facts which could blur populist argumentation.


43 Mutierte Gene... hypoallergene Nahrung Ara h1/h2 G.A. Bannon University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little



46 Complexity 4 People listening to the the PR machines of both corporations do not know whom to believe. It is difficult to accept that biotech critizism and acceptance is a demanding cultural process.

47 Sustainability System for renewable natural ressources Equity: Enhance the global dialogue Innovation: making the best of biotech and organic farming, new technologies to process food

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