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World Business Council for

Sustainable Development Case Study

Protecting Land in Agricultural Areas
The business case
Syngenta Crop Protection Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada have embarked on a
unique and valuable partnership that aims to protect environmentally sensitive land
located in agricultural areas. Through two programs, the Small Marsh Restoration
Program restoring wetlands and the Saskatchewan Rangeland Stewardship Program
educating growers on sustainable management practices on their farms, Syngenta
benefits from the ground demonstration of the company’s commitment to customers,
government, environment and stakeholders and ensures that farmers are using the
company’s products responsibly.

Syngenta is a world leading agribusiness operating in the crop protection and seeds
businesses, employing 21,000 people in over 90 countries. Headquartered in Basel,
Switzerland, the company has operations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin
America, Asia Pacific and North America. Syngenta helps growers meet the growing
population’s need for safe, affordable and nutritious food, grown in a sustainable way
through innovative research and technology. Syngenta is committed to the optimization of
natural resource management, to the maintenance and enhancement of the economic
viability of farming, and to the protection of the environment and biodiversity.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is an international leader in wetland conservation. It is a

not-for-profit organization with a high level of recognition in rural communities and with
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada and Environment Canada. The fact that they asked
Syngenta to partner with them is a compliment and shows that Syngenta is recognized as
successful in communicating how serious it is about sustainable agriculture.

DUC and Syngenta share a vision of sustainable agriculture where farmers are
economically viable and agricultural processes such as soil conservation, biodiversity and
the protection of water quality are integral components of farm management. DUC
coordinates a number of agriculturally focused restoration, conservation and
demonstration programs in areas across the country.

The main objective of the Wetland Conservation project was to restore wetlands to
provide habitats for wildlife. This was a non-profit project demonstrating Syngenta’s
commitment to sustainable agriculture.
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DUC approached Syngenta in 2003 as a possible partner for projects that support land
and water management on agricultural lands. DUC and Syngenta quickly recognized their
shared commitment to environmental stewardship to support the efforts of farmers.
Syngenta signed a 3-year agreement to support the Maritime Small Marsh Restoration

The support of this program created excitement within Syngenta CP Canada so, in 2004,
Syngenta signed another agreement with DUC to support a different type of program
called the Saskatchewan Rangeland Stewardship Program. The projects are slightly
different, designed to fit specific regional agricultural needs. The Maritime Small Marsh
Restoration Program restores small, 2-4 acre (0.8-1.6 hectare), marshes located in the
fertile zones of the Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward
Island) to improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat. The program is targeted
towards agricultural lowland landscapes and creates shallow open water areas with some
vegetation for cover. Buffer strips are left around the edge of the wetland and livestock
access to the wetland is controlled. They are also useful for catchment of storm water
runoff, thereby protecting streams and rivers from severe weather events. All projects are
on private lands associated with agricultural operations and conservation agreements are
established between the landowners and DUC to secure the wetland and the buffer strip
areas for 30 years.

The Saskatchewan Rangeland Stewardship Program educates and aids growers in the
adoption of sustainable management practices on their farms. Environmentally sensitive
areas have been identified in Saskatchewan and all producers participating in the
program operate farms in these areas.

Canadian farmers develop Environmental Farm Plans (EFP) that allow the farmer to
assess his own farm for different factors and address areas at his or her own initiative but
taking advantage of programs that provide support. The information contained in the EFP
is the farmer’s property, but at the same time indicates due diligence and can been used
to protect the farmer.

Within the EFP there is a section on ecological resources that looks at habitat for
restoration. This aims to act as a trigger to encourage farms to contact DUC to discuss
opportunities related to their lands. Additional referrals to DUC come through the
provincial government (as tied to EFPs through departments of Agriculture or Natural
Resources) and requests by farmers. Word of mouth also plays an important role as
there is no advertising.

For the wetlands, DUC has a field staff that conducts on-site assessments, writes the
plan and applies for permits where required by the province. DUC then hires the
construction contractor and overseas the project. Permits are required under
environmental protection laws where wetlands are being enhanced (i.e., larger, more
open water, improved functionality, etc.). Where new wetlands are being established,
permits are not necessary.

DUC also organizes tours for farmers to explain how these programs work with both
types of projects (i.e., technology transfer). Syngenta has also organized farm tours for
customers in western Canada. This is also supported by the Federal Department of

For the Maritime Small Marsh Restoration Program, a total of 78 projects were completed
in 2004 and 2005 resulting in 244 acres of land being restored.
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For the Saskatchewan Rangeland Stewardship Program, to date 8 producers have

worked with DUC and Syngenta to adopt sustainable management practices that include
solar-powered watering systems with shallow buried pipelines for livestock watering,
cross fencing, the use of windmills for aeration and winter watering, and the incorporation
of winter wheat into their crop rotation.

The benefits of the partnership between Syngenta and DUC are far reaching, affecting
various parties and the sustainability of the projects are guaranteed into the future.

Outcomes for Syngenta

This partnership shows the company’s respect for nature, the enthusiasm of its people to
participate in programs that support growers and organizations willing to protect the
environment and that Syngenta Canada is contributing to the quality of life of its
customers. The project also effectively demonstrates intensity through development of
extensive internal and external partnerships and enthusiasm internally, between Canada
and the USA, marketing, public affairs, government affairs and business development,
and externally between an important non-governmental organization (Ducks Unlimited),
growers and cross-boarder funding support, therefore making use of North American free
trade opportunities.

Syngenta benefits from this project through the company’s demonstration of commitment
to the environment and its customers and also through the public recognition that DUC
has given Syngenta. Syngenta has received significant recognition for its involvement
through the use of the Syngenta logo prominently displayed on signs at each location,
from various tours (grower tours, media tours and DUC Director tours), and from various
articles that have been published about the partnership.

Outcomes for DUC

DUC benefits from this project with Syngenta as they gain the necessary funds and
participation from Syngenta needed to reach their conservation goals.

Outcomes for the growers

Participating growers benefit from the restored natural habitats on their properties and
from the financial and environmental benefits of including sustainable practices on their
farms. The adoption of these practices also helps to ensure the sustainability of their
operations for future generations. Syngenta has worked with participating growers to host
tours of their farms to showcase the sustainable practices adopted and has organized
other fund raising events to bring awareness to the program.

Lessons learned
It has been very valuable to do these projects as they demonstrate the company’s
commitment to the environment. It also demonstrates and encourages the farmers to use
best practice, ensuring that they are using the company’s products responsibly.

Syngenta has renewed its contract on these projects for another 3 years.

About the WBCSD

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) brings together some 200
international companies in a shared commitment to sustainable development through economic
growth, ecological balance and social progress. Our members are drawn from more than 30
countries and 20 major industrial sectors. We also benefit from a global network of around 60
national and regional business councils and partner organizations.

Our mission is to provide business leadership as a catalyst for change toward sustainable
development, and to support the business license to operate, innovate and grow in a world
increasingly shaped by sustainable development issues.

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