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Environmental Planning for Sustainable Food Supply

Robert E. Evenson

Junho 2007, inglês

This paper first describes two major scientific revelations affecting food supply. The first is the Green Revolution, the second, the Gene Revolution. The Green Revolution was based on “conventional” breeding techniques entailing crosses between parent cultivars with subsequent selection of progeny through several generations. The Gene Revolution, by contrast, utilizes “recombinant DNA” techniques to achieve Transgenic (genetically engineered) crop varieties.

The paper then asks whether these two scientific revolutions actively damaged the environment and if so, how? The Green Revolution was criticized first by Marxist-Leninists and then by environmental critics. The Gene Revolution is subject to more extensive criticism than the Green Revolution with many European critics recommending that developing countries consider the “precautionary principle” in regulatory policy.

The final part of the paper describes the response of USAID to the “sustainable development” movement.

This paper was prepared for the conference, “Toward a 2015 Vision of Land—A Celebration of ICLPST’s 100 Regular Sessions,” held October 24-25, 2007, at the International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training in Taiwan.

A revised version of the paper is included in the book, Toward a Vision of Land in 2015: International Perspectives, edited by Gary C. Cornia and Jim Riddell, and published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in 2008.