The world population currently is around 7.5 billion and it is estimated that its rate will increase which constitutes a major threat to sustainability. And one of the key challenges faced by mankind today is how to feed this growing population while at the same time preserving the environment and promoting socio-economic development.
The sustainability challenge demands that agricultural production per hectare should increase so as to fulfill the need of population, but at the same time, this needs to be done in a way that does not affect the environment for our future generation.
Biotechnology has been accepted as the solution to environmental challenges. And from the different novel ways used for sustainable development, it is clear that biotechnology principles are used to solve the world’s most unmanageable problems.
Biotechnology promises to make a significant contribution in enabling the development of better healthcare, enhanced food security, and improved supplies of portable water, more efficient industrial development process for transforming raw material, support for sustainable development methods of afforestation and reforestation and detoxication of hazardous waste.
It offers new opportunities for global partnerships by adopting and adapting process that has evolved in nature, biotechnology typically replaces crude chemical reactions with biological activity. Thus using cleaner and efficient product results in decreasing the economic as well as environmental costs.
Modern biotechnologies based on scientific discoveries offer novel approaches for striking a balance between developmental needs and environmental conservation. The leading areas where its principles are working are as follows.
- Genetically Modified Organisms(GMOs) in the field
GMOs like drought tolerant corns can help farmers minimizing the loss with extreme weather events. Some of the corn and soy are also resistant to the herbicide glyphosate. A genetically engineered soybean that may lower LDL cholesterol due to the high amount of oleic acid, all these happened because of the advancement in the biotechnology field. No doubt it’s a bliss. In addition to it how biotechnology is helping to make farming and agriculture even more sustainable are many. Like biotechnology and GM crops
In addition to it how biotechnology is helping to make farming and agriculture even more sustainable, there are many examples –
- Biotechnology in Genetically Modified crops helps farmers to minimize yield loss from pests and grow more food.
- Allows important non-target insects like bees, butterflies, earthworms, and ladybugs to flourish thus enhancing biodiversity.
- Its uses also improve soil health and conserving tillage.
- A drought resistant crop prevents the use of extensive irrigation and conserves our water resource.
- It also decreases the use of harmful fertilizers thereby helps to mitigate nutrient pollution.
Production of biofuels
Biotech companies have promoted biofuels as trusted and “green” alternative to a traditional gasoline. It plays a big role in lowering the greenhouse gases. The main biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel. Its generation is been advancing by using new sources. Novel ways to create biofuels from new sources such as sawdust of rice, almond hulls, and municipal waste has been carried successfully by researchers. Thus using these biofuels will be of great importance towards sustainable development in coming future.
Pollution control by genetic engineering
In the near future, industrial application of biotech will transform in such a way that it will provide the green tech tools needed for sustainable development in the industrial sector, eliminating wastes, pollutants and safeguarding our natural resources. Pollution control by genetic engineering works best and makes possible to alter the properties of existing degradative enzymes to modify regulatory mechanism and to assemble within a single organism. Thus it is not that simple but will be very useful for controlling the population. One of the famous discoveries is Pseudomonas putida which degrade organic solvent such as toluene.
“Our perception of the challenges and the choices we make at this juncture in history will determine how we protect our planet and secure our future ”