Resolution Regarding Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology and the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development Johannesburg 2002

WHEREAS: World population reached 6 billion people in the year 2000-and is anticipated to rise to as many as 8 billion by 2025, and more than 9 billion in 2050;

WHEREAS: Such high rates of population increase, even if stabilized at current levels, necessitate that our obligations and expectations-personal, community, regional, national, international, public and private sector- for our interaction with the natural world must be considerably different from what they were in 1950 (when the population stood at 2.5 billion) or 1980 (when the population stood at 4.4 billion);

WHEREAS: The United Nations, under the leadership of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, is striving to implement Agenda 21 from the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, reconciling human activities with natural resources under the rubric of "Sustainable Development";

WHEREAS: Though Sustainable Development may pose complexities in specific applications, its essence was well-expressed by Secretary-General Annan in his lecture to the London School of Economics in February 2002: "Can the people now living on this planet improve their lives, not at the expense of future generations, but in a way from which their children and grandchildren will benefit?";

WHEREAS: According to the United Nations, the implementation of the Agenda 21 program from the Rio Summit has not yet met the promise of the vision of Sustainable Development;

WHEREAS: If encouraged by appropriate government policies, industrial and environmental biotechnology may serve as an important component of the bridge toward international development that includes: improved health for the majority of the earth's inhabitants living in lesser developed regions; economic opportunities that encompass both developed and lesser developed regions; reduction of the waste of precious natural resources in industrial processes and consumer use; and limiting the creation, or mitigating the effects from disposal or destruction of industrial waste byproducts classified as toxic or otherwise undesirable and without economic value;

WHEREAS: Industrial and environmental biotechnology, applied to meet local, regional and national needs, can play a significant role in addressing urgent global environmental problems-rising greenhouse gas emissions, shortages of potable water, over-reliance on non-renewable fossil fuel energy, protection of groundwater from landfills;

WHEREAS: These ongoing and prospective benefits from the application of industrial and environmental biotechnology are recognized by a range of experts, exemplified by the recent OECD report, The Application of Biotechnology to Industrial Sustainability.


BE IT RESOLVED: that the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Industrial and Environmental Section (IES) supports the inclusion of industrial and environmental biotechnology as an integral part of any international strategy and implementation program to further the goals of Sustainable Development that results from the Johannesburg Summit of August-September 2002;

BE IT RESOLVED: BIO-IES urges national representatives of the United States and other nations to seek specific reference to the advantages of industrial and environmental biotechnology for achievement of the economic, environmental and social goals of sustainable development at the Johannesburg Summit;

BE IT RESOLVED: BIO-IES urges national representatives of the United States and other nations to seek inclusion of specific references to industrial and environmental biotechnology in the implementation program resulting from the Johannesburg Summit, including national action plans.