Soil is essential for the maintenance of biodiversity above and below ground. The wealth of biodiversity below ground is vast and unappreciated: millions of microorganisms live and reproduce in a few grams of topsoil, an ecosystem essential for life on earth…’
At a moment in time in which the Paris Agreement on climate change is seriously in question—following United States President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw his country from the accord—the fight against global warming is becoming increasingly urgent and deserves special attention.
A Tree Tenure Policy would soon roll-out to provide farmers the legal right to claim ownership of commercial trees planted on their farms and those that grow naturally, Mr Musah Abu-Juan, the Forestry Technical Director of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, has announced.
Mexico's ancient civilizations cultivated crops such as maize, tomatoes and chilies for thousands of years before the Spanish conquerors arrived — and now those native plants could hold the key to sustainable food production as climate change bites, said a leading ecologist.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), has released a new tool that offers water-scarce countries and river basins a way to boost productivity, by measuring how the resource is efficiently used in agriculture.
It’s World Meat Free Day – but what would actually happen if the whole world suddenly went vegetarian permanently? Here’s a briefing about the potential pros and cons for the climate, environment, our health, economy and more.
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) will invest in a gene bank and in other methods of biodiversity conservation to protect its niche farm products, Phouang Parisak, the country’s deputy minister for agriculture, tells SciDev.Net.
If you live or spend time in the UK countryside it may have been some time since you spotted the native brown hare - if you've ever seen one at all. That's because the hare relies on an increasingly disappearing biodiverse landscape for its food. LAURA BRIGGS talks to the scientists behind a new ...
The National Plant Genetic Resources Centre (NPGRC-Tanzania), in collaboration with Hivos, Bioversity International, Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Africa and other partners are currently implementing a project, which explores possibilities of the 'open source seed systems'.
Recent policies of agriculture based on intense mechanisation, excessive use of external inputs (water, energy, fertilisers, pesticides etc) and mono-crop farming has resulted in soil degradation, reduced biodiversity and increased economic risk for European farmers. To increase diversification ...
Anupam Paul has the distinction of rediscovering 800 indigenous varieties of paddy. Helped by a revival project, some of the varieties are back from the brink, and Paul, who is from West Bengal, will present these at the National Seed Diversity Festival at Anna University from June 9 to 11. Simi ...
Farmer groups and the environmental lobby are raising serious question marks over what they say are big flaws in the new system. In November, the NSW Government passed legislation repealing the Native Vegetation Act, replacing it with biodiversity reforms designed to improve environmental, socia ...
Massive agriculture intensification is contributing to increased deforestation, water scarcity, soil depletion and the level of greenhouse gas emission, the United Nations warns.
Japan’s potato chip fans recently went on a panicked buying spree as the country’s snack food companies were forced to partially halt production of the favorite crisps.
We can feed an extra 4 billion people a year if we reject the bloated and wasteful factory farming systems that are endangering our planet’s biodiversity and wildlife, said farming campaigner Philip Lymbery on Monday night, launching a global campaign to Stop the Machine.
Community seed banks can enhance the resilience of farmers’ by securing access to diverse, locally adapted crops and varieties.
As people in four countries - Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria - teeter on the brink of famine, it seems our progress towards ending hunger is sadly inadequate. We are once again confronted with the question: how can we do more for vulnerable communities?
Five years ago, a group of neighboring farmers in Sierra de Cazorla, Spain saw their 500-year old olive trees slowly dying. They took courses in organic farming and decided to work together to restore their groves, produce high-quality olive oil and establish a model of environmental stewardship.
Villagers on a tiny Greek Aegean island, Agios Efstratios, are battling a plague of locusts and a state of emergency has been declared there.The island has about 200 residents who rely on agriculture and fishing. Locust infestation is a recurring problem.
While some leaders in Washington are barely getting their toes wet to address global climate change, researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) have dived in head-first. A new study published in Global Environmental Change modeled potential future scenarios f ...
The spread of pests and pathogens that damage plant life could cost global agriculture $540 billion a year, according to a report published on Thursday.
Many have potential as food crops, medicines or sources of timber.However, scientists say some of the newly-discovered plants are already at risk of extinction.
Crop patterns in India are changing without consideration for local agro-climatic conditions. This puts a burden on environment, incurring huge long-term losses.
Since 2012, Kenya’s expenditure has been like that of a household that buys sufurias, gas cooker, micro-wave and refrigerator but forgets the most essential thing: food.
In the 1960s, when biologist Paul Ehrlich was predicting mass starvation due to rapid population growth, plant breeder Norman Borlaug was developing the new crops and approaches to agriculture that would become mainstays of the Green Revolution. Those advances, along with other innovations in ag ...
John Coykendall is in a race against time to save near-extinct seeds. The renowned heirloom seed saver and master gardener at Blackberry Farm, a luxury resort in Walland, Tenn., is the subject of the new documentary "Deeply Rooted: John Coykendall's Journey to Save Our Seeds and Stories."
When Americans come of a certain age, they learn about the birds and the bees. When biodynamic vineyards come of age, though, vineyard owners think back on the story of the bees and the grapes.
our daily dose of caffeine can influence coffee cultivation practices which in turn affect forest diversity and sustainability. So how should you go about choosing your beans, and what do those certification logos actually mean?
The Philippines remains among the world’s most vulnerable to climate change. German Watch’s recent Climate Risk Index 2016, for instance, ranks the Philippines fourth in the world’s top 10 countries most affected by climate change in the past 20 years.
The morning coffee ritual is serious business; Australians drink roughly 16.3 million coffees a day. Plenty of news coverage has been devoted to its health benefits and cultural significance, but how much do you know about the environmental cost of your daily latte?
Farmers who grow single crops are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, but now researchers are resurrecting ancient crop varieties to encourage diversity and offset the risks of extreme weather.
On a sunny Friday morning in San Pablo Huitzo, a town in the Valles Centrales region of Oaxaca, Mexico, a half-dozen women are gathered for a workshop on making alegrías, a healthy, granola bar-like snack made with popped amaranth seeds. Their ingredient list is short: water, honey, raisins, a f ...
A team in China has decoded the genetic building blocks of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, whose leaves are used for all types of tea, including black, green and oolong.The research gives an insight into the chemicals that give tea its flavour.
The participation of small-scale farmers at the table of international negotiations and the protection of agricultural biodiversity are key to food security, according to the Quaker United Nations Office, which published last month two policy briefs with a list of recommendations.
A national effort to enhance farm sustainability through soil health has additional backing from a major consumer foods manufacturer.
[SYDNEY] The increasing use of groundwater for irrigation poses a major threat to global food security and could lead to unaffordable prices of staple foods.
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Apr 10 2017 (IPS) - Microscopic soil organisms could be an environmentally friendly way to control crop pests and diseases and even protect agriculture against the impacts of climate change, a leading researcher says.
Deforestation to make way for cocoa plantations is having a devastating impact on spider monkeys. But a conservation project in the Ecuadorian rainforest is helping farmers to change their ways.
A report released yesterday by the European Commission shows that ecological focus areas (EFAs) can be helpful in addressing the consequences of certain farming techniques and practices on our environment. This is achieved by bringing potential positive effects for biodiversity, soil, water and ...
In Sierra Leone, where communities are recovering from years of hard times, chocolate could just be an essential ingredient in the recipe for a sustainable future. And it could even save local wildlife.
Something that affects every single one of us—food—is being used as a way to offer a new perspective on the global problem of falling bee populations. The impact of the decline in pollinating insects on our diets and the tangible, daily consequences for our health, the environment and biodiversi ...
Colombia’s Pacific coast state of Valle del Cauca, home to at least 80 percent of the country’s booming sugar cane industry, continues to rebound after excessive and damaging rains in 2011-2012. In fact, recent USDA Foreign Agricultural Services report found that the country’s cane industry cont ...
Once again trade in agriculture is expected to dominate the agenda and the EU must play a key role.
Aquaculture, or fish farming, is one of the fastest growing sectors of agriculture in the world today.
BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As farmers worldwide experience more frequent drought and erratic rainfall linked to climate change, the race to find and improve drought-resistant crops grows ever more important.
While many Kenyans are grappling with an acute food insecurity occasioned by the prolonged dry spell, a move by Uasin Gishu County residents to engage in shamba system is paying off with millions of shilling generated from the initiative.
'Food production must double by 2050 to feed the world's growing population.' This truism has been repeated so often in recent years that it has become widely accepted among academics, policymakers and farmers, but now researchers are challenging this assertion and suggesting a new vision for th ...
22 February 2017 – Warning that diminishing natural resources and a changing climate have put humankind’s future ability to feed itself “in jeopardy,” the United Nations underlined today that while the planet still has the potential to produce enough food, “major transformations” are needed to m ...
Almost 20 per cent of the food made available to consumers is lost through over-eating or waste, a study suggests.
ROME, Feb 22 2017 (IPS) - Mankind’s future ability to feed itself is in jeopardy due to intensifying pressures on natural resources, mounting inequality, and the fallout from a changing climate, warns a new United Nations’ report.