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A Better World for Our Children: World Environment Day 2014

By Gabriela Burian, Global Lead, Sustainable Agriculture Environment, Monsanto
Jun 5, 2014 5:50 PM ET

If you have kids, like me, you’re probably concerned about their future. And doing everything that you feel is possible to help them to have a better world. Today is the World Environment Day, a good opportunity for reflection and perfect timing to reinforce environment causes that we care about.

Just as every child deserves access to nutritious food, every generation deserves a planet with enough resources to meet their needs. I feel blessed to be in a position to work toward both of these important goals, at a company that has the know-how and the desire to build the way. Our job is to help farmers around the world grow more crops using fewer natural resources while having less impact on the environment – toward a sustainable agriculture.

In this direction, we have been working to address global challenges, such as those associated with water and climate change, through our business solutions, with farmers and partners. We have joined Action2020, a platform for action initiated by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and we are proud to participate in the development of business solutions that aim to achieve food security within planetary boundaries.

We’re also engaging in partnerships with farmers and others to help growers use fewer resources and have a smaller impact on the environment.

In the U.S., for example, we are doing this through multi-stakeholder collaborations like the Soil Health Partnership (SHP), a National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) initiative that includes many partners, including The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as the technical advisor. We also are involved in collaborations like the Field to Market Alliance, which we are working to promote sustainable practices across the entire food chain, from the farm gate to the grocery store.

Beyond U.S. borders we’re working with TNC to better understand how climate change impacts agriculture in places like Tanzania and how precision methods for fertilizing and watering crops and managing weeds and pests affects soil conservation and water management in Brazil.

In two mega-biodiversity areas (Brazil and Indonesia), we are working together with Conservation International (CI) to help protect and restore forests while producing more on farms. Forests help combat climate change because they have the ability to absorb large amounts of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Plus, they protect biodiversity. A unique aspect of this partnership is demonstrating to farmers the economic value of maintaining a portion of their land as forest, as required by Brazilian law.

These partnerships among others are a big part of why I’m excited to hop on my electrical bike and head into work every day. Knowing that together with farmers and partners I’m helping to make the world a better place for my nine- and 13-year-old kids, and for their children and all the generations to come. That’s what gets me up in the morning.


Billy Brennan