Now in its third year, the Bayer Life Talks series is designed as a platform for open and public discussion on how innovations in life sciences should play a role in modern economies, and the contribution they can make to overcoming societal challenges.
Scroll down to read in further detail about past and upcoming sessions.
If you are interested in learning more about the series, please contact us here.
The fifth session of the Bayer Life Talks took place in person at the L42 Business Center in Brussels on 9 November 2023. It looked at the state of play for the EU’s Pharmaceutical Strategy and served as an important opportunity for stakeholders to engage with each other to assess the trajectory and progress of the Directive and Regulation, as they make their way through the negotiations between Parliament and Council.
With such significant focus on carbon emissions reduction, water is often not part of the mainstream public discourse concerning our natural resources use. However, while Europe is largely considered to have adequate water resources, water scarcity and drought is an increasingly frequent phenomenon, and one that demands increasing attention in today’s climate change-affected world.
Water is a critical input for agricultural production and central to ensuring food security. Irrigated agriculture represents 20 percent of the total cultivated land and contributes 40 percent of the total food produced worldwide. Irrigated agriculture is, on average, at least twice as productive per unit of land as rainfed agriculture, thereby allowing for more production intensification and crop diversification.
Currently, agriculture accounts for nearly 70% of global freshwater consumption, and with climate change, increased urbanization and the necessity to feed a global population set to grow to more than 10 billion by 2050, competition for water resources will increase significantly in the coming decades, with agricultural production having to expand by approximately 70% by 2050 to meet the demand for calories.
This edition of the Bayer Life Talks will look at the EU’s current approaches to water management, which are most recently addressed in the context of the Green Deal and the EU’s Circular Economy Package, and to develop the conversation around the value and role of water in Europe and around the globe. It will reflect on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which carry a number of targets for water action as we head towards 2030, and the discussion will focus on the tools, both policy and innovation, that can be utilised to move the water scarcity agenda forward.
What challenges does the evolution of modern economies pose to existing water use and management practices both in Europe and globally?
The UN’s SDGs 6 deals specifically with water scarcity. With agriculture so vital to the food security agenda, but also a major water consumer, what is being done by industry to address SDG 6, and in particular 6.4 and 6.5, which reference water management and use-efficiency?
How, in an increasingly unstable geopolitical and environmental context, can business innovation help to improve the management of water resources in Europe and beyond?
How can broader public awareness of water use be improved, from the clothes we wear, the products we purchase, through to the food we eat?
CEO, Thirst Foundation
SDG Water Investments Specialist, Global Water Partnership Southern Africa
Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization
Vice President, Copa
Executive Vice President, Public Affairs, Science, Sustainability & HSE, Bayer AG
Note: All session timings below are in Central European Summer Time (CEST)
For more information on any aspect of the Bayer Life Talks series, please contact us using the details below: