Entomology in the Changing World: Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture
For the last hundred years technological society has brought us a material wealth, healthier and longer life, and the information age. Along with it, however, human population has increased rapidly with dramatic changes in the population structure, and the world environment has greatly deteriorated. The issues and problems associated with these changes require new interdisciplinary approaches for long-term solution. Entomology certainly is among the important aspects of the problem-solving strategy. Over a century entomology as science and a scientific discipline has made significant contributions to the exploration of global biodiversity and population management of agricultural pests and disease vectors. Similarly, major advances have been made in morphology, taxonomy, ecology, physiology, and other aspects of insect biology, In the process many of these entomological disciplines have become highly specialized and independent, often losing their affinity and relevance to each other. Current societal problems demand a close collaboration and interdisciplinarity. This paper elaborates my thoughts on the recent trends of entomology in relation to the rapid changes taking place in our world and the role we the entomologists should play in diverting the technological tendency from the destructive path and building toward a sustainable society, the sustainable life-support system, where we can live in clean environment with the riches of biodiversity while enjoying the benefits of technological society. Among the most urgent and pressing issues are the loss of biodiversity and habitat fragmentation, genetic variation of pest populations related to integrated pest management, low-input and sustainable agriculture, and entomological problems emerging in rapidly expanding urban environment. Some recommendations are made for advancing these crucial areas of entomology.
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