Sustainable Agriculture for Food, Energy and Industry

Edited by N. El Bassam, P. K. Behl, B. Prochnow 
Earthscan  1998  

2 Volumes  1308 Pages  ISBN 9781873936764      £225.00


The present day challenges towards food, water and energy security are immense. We are facing a tremendous pressure in the global environment resulting from industrial emission of greenhouse gases, the continual growth of the world population and the depletion of natural resources. The recognition of the necessity for action, as well as the will and intention to act upon this, are vital evolutionary steps towards sustainability, but they would mean nothing if they could not be transformed into practical measures and in appropriate governmental policies.

Nearly 350 scientists representing more than 50 countries from different parts of the world have come together to consider the prospects for the world food security in the 21st century and to discuss issues related to sustainable agriculture for food, energy and industry. The joint conference was organised by the Federal Agricultural Research Centre (FAL) Braunschweig, Germany; the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Rome, Italy; and the Society of Sustainable Agriculture and Resource Management (SSARM) Hisar, India.

It was worldwide the first conference of this size dealing with aspects related to sustainability as an integrated strategy. The major goals of the conference were to define sustainability in agriculture, to identify possibilities of practical transformation locally and globally, and to advance international cooperation in these areas.

The research and experience from many regions of the world ranged from sustainable land use systems in the Amazon, over space based life support systems and Biosphere 2, to the organic farming in India and China and the potential of biotechnology to augment the food supply.

We would like to thank the German Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Jochen Borchert, who from the beginning had taken over the patronage of this conference and also his representative Mr Karl-Wilhelm Schulze-Weslarn who explained the policy and activities of the Ministry towards sustainability.

We would like to thank the President of the Federal Agricultural Research Centre (FAL), Prof. Dr. Munack and his staff; Institute's Director, Prof. Dr. Weissbach; and colleagues and co-workers at the Institute of Crop Science for their substantial engagement.

The contribution of the FAO, especially the Regional Office of Europe and SREN (Sustainable Rural Development & Energy Network) and the Department of Sustainability, was essential for the development of the program. Our gratitude to Dr. Henri Carsalade, Dr. Gustavo Best and Dr. Rainer Krell and others of the FAO for the continuous dialogue, encouragement and assistance.

Thanks are also due to Prof. Dr. Rishi Behl, Society of Sustainable Agriculture and Resource Management (SSARM); the International Council Members; the Local Organising Committee, especially Blair Prochnow, Anne-Marje Korte, Wolfgang Bacher, Gunter Gabler and Anja Voges.

It is our hope that this book with over 230 contributions from scientists worldwide will be a milestone in our efforts to understand the complexity of sustainable development systems and will serve as a basic source dor different disciplines in sustainability. We are convinced that with intelligence, skills and experience the anticipated goals can be achieved. This will assure the availability of food, water and energy for all, as well as preserving human dignity and helping us live in peace with ourselves and our mother eath.

Table of Contents

Volume 1



Adress by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry

Declaration of Braunschweig

  1. Introduction to the scope
  2. Assessment of sustainability
  3. Elements of sustainability and resource management
    1. Climate and agro-ecosystems
    2. Biodiversity, plant breeding, genetic engineering and biotechnology
    3. Soils, water, nutrients and wastes
    4. Plant-soil-microbe interaction
    5. Remediation of contaminated and degraded lands
    6. Management of marginal lands and fragile environments
    7. Biological, ecological and organic farming

Volume 2

  1. Biomass production, processing and utilisation
    1. Food
    2. Energy
    3. Industry
  2. Integrated research studies
  3. Cultural, Social, economic and environmental dimensions

Author Index

Subject Index

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agricultural residues : agriculture & forestry : biodiversity : biomass : bioproducts : biotechnology : climatology : crops : ecology : environmental science : food science : genetics : non-food crops : organic farming : plant genetics : plant nutrition : renewable energy : soil science : waste treatment : water science

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