What we do

October 2010
  • EcoNexus carries out investigative research into areas including:
    • agriculture and climate change;
    • climate change and biodiversity;
    • new and emerging technologies, their implications and risks;
    • technological applications of genetic engineering, such as GMOs, and their safety implications;
    • synthetic biology;
    • patents on life;
    • agrofuels, biomass and the bio-economy;
    • livestock;
    • aquaculture;
    • the influence of corporations on science, public institutions and society.
  • We provide information and advice and our briefings and reports are published on our website and are also available in print.
  • We invite collaborations and offer consultancy work, speakers, workshops and advice.

EcoNexus offers a rigorous scientific critique of genetic engineering and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). EcoNexus researches the science behind selected new biotechnologies and the way these technologies are presented and employed. We have long experience of issues connected to patents on life, and the way genetic engineering (GE) is being promoted as a technical solution to social and development problems.

EcoNexus plays a leading role in research into genetically engineered trees and their potential impact on forests and global forest ecosystems and the spread of industrial monoculture plantations.

It is currently involved in the debate about synthetic biology, a technology which seeks to combine the disciplines of biology, engineering and information technology to go beyond current genetic engineering.

It also investigates the implications and risks of nanotechnology and geoengineering.

More recently agrofuels (biofuels), biomass, soils and land-use issues have become key topics. EcoNexus has extended its focus to industrial agricultural technologies promoted as solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss. It highlights the attempts to replace fossil oil through use of plants, trees and other biomass resources for agrofuels, biochar, bioenergy in general and the products of the projected new bio-economy, promoted as a means to replace our dependence on fossil oil. It investigates and reports on the impacts of these on the environment, health, food security, agriculture, soils, land-use, human rights and society. It also offers analysis of the way in which control of agriculture and natural resources for food, medicine and health are being removed from the public domain.

A new focus is on livestock and aquaculture and their effects on biodiversity and climate change as well as applications of genetic engineering in these fields.

Econexus is currently involved in the three international Rio conventions: the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) including the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and (to a lesser extent) the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

EcoNexus examines the influence of transnational corporations (TNCs) and market approaches on development issues and scientific, social, economic and political processes.