The Enviresearch Foundation has been launched following the success of Enviresearch, a regulatory company providing “the best regulatory and risk assessment service in Europe, for the global chemical industry”. This background provides the direction for the Enviresearch Foundation research interest areas…
Humankind evolved from being a wandering hunter-gatherer to becoming a settled farmer involved in agricultural practices over 10 000 years ago. With limited knowledge of growing practices, no mechanical support, nor high reliability of production, life was hard for these earliest practitioners of the art of farming. However, from these humble beginnings the agricultural industry has developed through the invention of the plough, the understanding of how selective breeding works from an European monk named Gregor Mendel, and more recently with the industrialisation of farming practices and the use of chemicals (such as herbicides and insecticides) to promote high yields. The agricultural industry is nowadays a multi-billion pound industry whose aim is to provide the food to sustain the global population of more than 7 billion.
The importance of agriculture cannot be under-estimated, yet with the development of chemicals to promote the growth of crops comes the increased potential to cause wider environmental harm. To see a classic example of the disastrous impact the unregulated use of a toxic pesticides can have on wildlife one doesn’t have to look any further than the use of DDT in North America and its link to bird population declines (amongst other adverse effects) in the 1950s and ‘60s as documented by Rachel Carson in her book Silent Spring in 1962. This resulted in the banning of this substance in the majority of countries in the early 1970s. Following this early lesson, modern agricultural practice requires strict regulation of chemicals used in the production of food and this is driven by our improved knowledge and understanding of how these chemicals work and what environmental impacts they may have. This understanding is driven by research into the safe use of chemicals in sustainable agriculture. It is the belief of the Enviresearch Foundation founders and supporters that this research should not only continue, but be actively encouraged, to find solutions to tomorrow’s problems. Therefore, the Enviresearch Foundation provides funding to scientific research in the following areas:
- Practical applications of research into the environmentally safe use of chemicals in sustainable agriculture
- Research with multiple environmental benefits
- Benefits to the European Economic Area