"Declaration of Hamburg"
International Crop Science Congress
August 17 -23, 2000
At the present, agriculture is able to feed the majority of humans. But
scientists are becoming very concerned that this will not be the case when
we have 8 billion people on the planet in about 20 years time. Failure to
feed 8 billion people in a sustainable way will lead to enormous
environmental damage, social dislocation and reduced economic growth that
will affect the whole world.
Scientists, gathered at the 3rd International Crop Science Congress, alert
the society and policymakers to take action on the following concerns:
---The lack of awareness on the gravity of food security and poverty issues
for the next 20 years on the global level.
---The urgency of protecting genetic resources and biodiversity.
---The scarcity and degradation of natural resources, such as land and water.
Strengthening agricultural research and education at national and
international level is a prerequisite to fulfill future human needs. We
believe there are grounds for cautious hope in our ability to feed ourselves
via improved education , modern technological developments and most
importantly a shared appreciation of the problem. Failure of the world's
agricultural scientists to communicate this message would be an abandonment
of one of their most important professional and ethical obligations.
The third International Crop Science Congress highlighted the fact that
sustainable development of plant production and resource conservation is
essential for achieving and maintaining food security. This requires a
better and more comprehensive insight into ecologically sound crop
production processes, especially in fragile environments and resource-poor
The participants at the 3rd International Crop Science Congress decided to
foster the necessary dialogue on the potential contributions of new
technologies, such as molecular biology and gene technology, to production
agriculture and resource use management. Science-based knowledge is
essential for a well-informed dialogue and for an effective policy and
regulation of new technologies.
APPENDIX TO THE DECLARATION OF HAMBURG
Concerns and prospects:
Hamburg, 22 August 2000
Crop sciences provide the key-knowledge base for increasing the production
and quality of human food, animal feed and bio mass for industrial use and
the provision of energy. Crop sciences play a vital role in improving the
quality of life for all human beings by producing food and renewable
resources in a sustainable and safe way that meets the needs and the
standards of the Global Village.
Food security continues to be a growing concern globally, due to widespread
poverty and the need for more and better quality food for a fast growing
population, particularly in developing countries. The world's food supply
depends in many regions on the availability of land and water, which is
becoming increasingly scarce as demands for it increase. Water saving
strategies and a better adaptation of crops to limited water and nutrient
availability in semi-arid regions are key issues for research.
To overcome the large losses due to pests and weeds and to reduce the use of
pesticides and herbicides, advanced technologies for integrated crop
management and ecologically based sustainable cropping systems should become
When developing new crops and cropping systems knowledge of genetic
resources and plant-biotechnology should be developed and applied with a
focus on sustainable and efficient plant production. An integrated and
multi disciplinary approach to crop science is needed for innovations and
improvements in agricultural production and resource conservation at the
field, farm/household, regional and global level.
To meet the concerns of society, participation of scientists in the public
debate on the potential benefits and risks of the application of modern
technologies should be encouraged by all public and private research
For the sake of human health, a high priority should be given to improvement
of the quality and monitoring of the safety of human food and animal feed
throughout the production, storage, processing and delivery chain of plant
To bridge the gap in knowledge and modern technologies between developed and
developing countries, more financial resources should be made available for
education, training, access to public and private research as well as for
To strengthen the role of farmers in the stewardship of the rural landscape,
natural resources and environment, more emphasis should be given in research
and education to forms of land use other than agricultural production.
To foster a greater understanding of environmental impacts, and to promote
efficient resource use, knowledge and research tools in crop science should
be combined with advances in information and communication technologies,
such as GIS and DSS.
** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed for research and educational purposes only. **