Over the years, there has been increasing awareness of the threat facing the global environment. But this year, because of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, (Earth Summit), world attention has been concentrated on this concern. Food production is another area in which the U.N. is using science and technology. Food sufficiency is a critical problem in most developing countries. Natural disasters and civil wars have often led to severe strain on available food resources. The U.N.’s science and technology activities have supported research to develop hardy strains of staples and withstand harsh environmental conditions.