12 Jul 2013 11:19

MANADO, Indonesia, July 6 (Bernama) -- The North Sulawesi provincial city of Manado is hosting an international conference on Biodiversity and Integrated Pest Management from July 4-7, 2013.

The conference is initiated by Sam Ratulangi University (Unsrat) in cooperation with Virginia Tech and Clemson University in the United States, Indonesia's Antara reported.

Unsrat secretary for international affairs Wiske Rotinsulu said here on Friday that the conference was attended by more than 200 agricultural experts from various universities in 27 countries.

According to her, among the experts attending the conference were from the United States, Australia, The Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia, The Philippines, India and Poland.

"Th agricultural experts were to discuss the relation between biodiversity and integrated pest management," Wiske said.

She pointed out that efforts to increase sustainable food production and food availability were inseparable from the survival of biodiversity in nature.

She added that excessive use of pesticide by the farmers would not only damage the environment, pollute the water and soil, but also harmful for the farmers' health.

"Therefore it is necessary to develop organic agriculture for biodiversity to remain sustainable," she said, adding that the result of the conference would be followed up with research cooperation in the fields of agriculture and environment.

North Sulawesi Governor Sinyo Sarudajang when opening the conference on Thursday said food production was important but gradual destruction of forests, watersheds, and other natural habitats to produce that food could eventually lead to the destruction of natural resource wealth.

North Sulawesi has long been appreciated for its great biodiversity after Alfred Russel Wallace, the famed 19th century British naturalist, spent considerable time to collect various kinds of insects and birds throughout the island of Sulawesi.