Global
Agriculture

Biodiversity

BASF position.  

Biodiversity and agriculture are closely linked. One the one hand, biodiversity provides essential functions (e.g. ecological services) for agriculture such as keeping the soil fertile, pollinating flowering plants, and controlling pests by beneficial organisms. On the other hand, agriculture has created many new habitats and has developed varieties and strains that also contribute to biological diversity, commonly known as agro biodiversity.

  • A balance is needed between the conservation of natural resources and the production of agricultural goods. This is a growing challenge - by 2050, demand for food, feed and fuel will have increased by 70 percent. Thanks to technology and innovation, farmers can now use natural resources more efficiently. Sustainable land use and management enable both high yields and biodiversity. This reduces the pressure to convert more land to farming, helping to preserve natural habitats and their wildlife.
  • Crop protection products have an influence on biodiversity by controlling pests and weeds. This is desirable and an inherent part of good agricultural practice as crop protection products help to increase and safeguard yield on the existing land.
  • BASF’s crop protection products undergo many years of extensive risk assessment to ensure that there are no unacceptable effects on plants and animals (like wild birds and mammals), if used according to instructions. Tests meet or exceed regulatory standards. Regulatory authorities carefully evaluate these studies and risk assessments before they allow a product to be marketed. BASF is constantly focused on developing innovative products, concepts and partnerships to improve biodiversity, resource efficiency, and the sustainability of farming.
  • BASF adheres to the responsible and ethical management of all its crop protection products throughout the entire life cycle, from discovery, through use, recycling and disposal. BASF works to reduce emissions into the environment during the production process, and to optimize water protection concepts at its manufacturing sites.
  • BASF believes that biodiversity is best enhanced by targeted initiatives, and not primarily by the regulation of crop protection products. There are several options available to enhance biodiversity at a field, farm, and landscape level. Many animal and plant species have developed under the conditions of former farming practices. Conservation of biodiversity often means protecting elements associated with these historic farming practices. BASF believes that while these practices should be included in nature conservation programs, modern, efficient and sustainable farming methods need to be implemented and encouraged for agricultural production.
  • BASF supports initiatives to enhance biodiversity. These include:

    • Initiatives which increase the biodiversity in cultural landscapes, e.g. the French Bee Biodiversity Network.
    • Initiatives to promote practical measures, combining economical success and biodiversity protection on farms, e.g. the Rawcliffe Bridge project in the UK.
    • The targeted re-forestration and protection of natural habitats beside agricultural farmland, e.g. the Mata Viva project in Brazil.
       
  • The impact of farming on biodiversity can only be assessed and improved through measurement. BASF supports transparency and the setting of clear targets to protect biodiversity. AgBalance™, BASF's tool for assessing sustainability in agriculture, includes biodiversity as an important component of sustainable agriculture.