Advancing Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs) impact on multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as Developing Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure (SDG 9), Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Life on Land (SDG 15).
The manufacture and application of conventional fertilizers have devastating environmental consequences, including emission of greenhouse gases, acidification, eutrophication, and the depletion of scarce resources. Biofertilizers can reduce the use of conventional fertilizers. Biofertilizers should be a vital part of integrated nutrient management systems. They are cost effective, eco-friendly, and renewable source of plant nutrients used for supplementing chemical fertilizers in a sustainable agricultural system. The function of biofertilizers in agricultural production has particular implication in the context of both the cost and environmental impact of mineral fertilizers. Biofertilizers are the preparations/formulations of living microorganisms known to provide plants with healthy rhizospheres (thin layer of soil that is directly influenced by root secretions, and associated soil microorganisms) and microbiome. A healthy microbiome is a prerequisite for ensuring optimum plant growth. This optimal plant growth is attained by the activities of the active agents of biofertilizers, the microorganisms, such as nitrogen fixation, solubilization of phosphorus, secretion of growth hormones, competitive suppression of pathogens, and others.
Conventional synthetic chemical pest control regimens may seem a fast-acting and profitable solution at first. However, with time, pests become resistant to the control measure requiring, repeated application of higher concentration and demand for developing deadlier compounds. Moreover, the active ingredients are most often not readily degraded in nature. Pesticides have been recovered from environmental samples, in physiologically significant concentrations, even after 20 years of its last aplication. Chemical pesticides show toxicity to other nontarget organisms, including us. They contaminate our environment including our food, water, and air. In contrast, biological control agents leave behind no long-lasting residues that remain in the environment. They do not leach into groundwater or create resistant strains of insects. Biological control minimizes environmental, legal and public safety concerns. Biological control is the action of parasites, predators, or pathogens in maintaining another organism's population density at a lower average than would occur in their absence.
Industrialization has brought the benefits of a comfortable contemporary lifestyle. Things like fertilizers and insecticides; healthcare and pharmaceuticals; fast transportation by land, water, and air; effortless household appliances; lubricants, paints, detergents, synthetic fibers, polythene packaging; televisions, mobile phones, and computers are some of the examples of yields of industrialization. However, the convenience, and often extravagance, of modern civilization conceals the actual cost of this industrialization. The price is hundreds of millions of tons of hazardous waste, by-products, and unused substances that pollute our air, soil, and water every year. These contaminants expose local communities to high risks (in terms of health and commerce), and over time, its impact can be felt globally. Bioremediation the diligent use of biodegradative processes to remove or detoxify pollutants that have entered the environment and pose a threat to public health; which relies upon enzymatic activities of living organisms to transform or degrade the offending contaminants from a site. However, biodegradation is an umbrella term for many processes with considerably different outcomes and consequences. Any particular xenobiotic chemical could be mineralized, or transformed, or accumulated, or polymerized. Besides, more than one of these processes could occur simultaneously for the same pollutant. Usually, bioremediation-based restorations are less expensive, primarily if carried out in situ. Nevertheless, bioremediation is the most ecologically acceptable technology, mostly because the end products of an effective bioremediation process deployment are nontoxic and can be accommodated without any harm to the ecosystem.