The decline in natural assets and biodiversity is an escalating threat. Preserving nature’s vitality holds the key to a more resilient and prosperous future. Swiss companies are striving to develop technologies to maintain biodiversity and developing sustainable agriculture.
Biodiversity is the natural living heritage of our planet. It is essential to the development of ecosystems and the biosphere, and it helps to mitigate the effects of climate change. At the same time, as the global population continues to rise unabated, humankind must have access to sufficient food. This is where innovation has a crucial role to play: to reconcile the need for sufficiently intensive farming to guarantee food security throughout the world, with maintaining biodiversity and protecting the environment.
Despite Switzerland’s pioneering environmental protection laws, biodiversity throughout the country is in an unsatisfactory state. Half of natural habitats and a third of all species are under threat. Over and above effective framework conditions, Swiss companies are developing solutions, tools, products and services that support a societal evolution towards greater sustainability and resilience. Crucially, we must harness the full potential for improvements in agriculture in order to conserve our environmental heritage and, at the same time, ensure food security and the economic viability of family-run farms. All areas of farming are affected by new technologies: soil and crop management, protection for plants and water sources, livestock management, mechanisation and irrigation. Precision agriculture, which aims to use the right treatment product as sustainably as possible, at the right time and in the right place, is the current trend. Drones, mapping, robots and data management tools based on artificial intelligence (AI) are all being used to help farmers as well. These localised treatments pose fewer problems for cultivated land and enable farmers to constantly scale down their use of chemicals. This drastically reduces the environmental impact and benefits biodiversity.