What can we do about it?

Faced with the advance of soybean along with its associated impacts, it is necessary to identify the mechanisms and tools to promote wetlands conservation and maintenance of water. Despite the availability of technology for higher crop yields and quality with lower environmental impacts, the lack of planning and economic interest leads to crop management with little to no attention to conservation of natural resources, especially wetlands. 

Responsible soy production

Soy cannot continue to expand unchecked – limits and standards must be set. It is necessary that responsible soy production becomes the common rule, not the exception. We need to increase demand for soy from responsible suppliers. There has been significant advance with the definition of responsible soy production. 

The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) set standards for Responsible Soy production that includes for example requirements to halt conversion of areas with high conservation value, to promote best management practices, to ensure fair working conditions, and to respect land tenure claims.  Now it is necessary to move toward their complete implementation and, in parallel, the evaluation of the standards’ effectiveness.

Download: Wetlands International Position Statement and Recommendations for the RTRS Standard for Responsible Soy Production.

Mitigating the impacts from soy on wetlands

  • Ban soy cultivation in wetland ecosystems that are most sensitive and fragile. This includes areas of high value for biodiversity conservation and along the periphery of rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. 
  • In landscapes with wetlands, undertake soybean cultivation with appropriate care in order to preserve the goods and services that they provide to society, especially for food production. 
  • Increase awareness among farmers and other actors in the soybean production chain on the importance of wetlands and their role as suppliers of key goods and services to society, and in particular agricultural production. 
  • Reduce the risks from the use of chemicals it is very important to promote environmental monitoring, integrated pest management, and the responsible use of agrochemicals in soybean cultivation. 
  • Identify specific indicators to monitor socio-economic impacts of soybean expansion on wetlands.

Solutions must come from different sectors: governments, companies along the entire soy value chain, financial institutions and NGO’s. Read our recommendations for all different players.

Read more

How are wetlands impacted by soy?
The case of Argentina
What is Wetlands International doing about it?
Recommendations for the different players

Impacts of soybean production on wetlands and water

Impacts of soybean production on wetlands and water

Contact person

Marta Andelman, Communications coordinator Wetlands International Argentina