A three-year study of small-scale farming in Africa, Asia and Latin America has prompted calls for a major rethink of approaches that aim to help. By Jeremy Torr.
London, 21 March 2013. Researchers will meet at London Zoo on 26-27 March to join the dots between large land deals, conservation, land rights and efforts to tackle poverty in poor communities worldwide.
Speakers will present research on both impacts of land grabs on conservation and its reverse – the role of conservation as a driver of land grabs. They will also share studies that show how stronger land rights can improve conservation outcomes.
The issues are burning because worldwide large land deals are on the increase, and they often take place in areas that are home to both large numbers of poor people and important biodiversity. People and wildlife can lose out when investors acquire land for large scale agriculture.
At the same time, there are growing threats from ‘green grabs’ that displace communities in order to conserve wildlife or gain value from eco-tourism, biofuels or the carbon that forests store in their wood.
The meeting in London—organised by the International Institute for Environment and Development, the International Land Coalition, the Zoological Society of London and Maliasili Initiatives — is the international symposium of the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group.
Speakers will present case studies from Cameroon, Uganda, Chile, Kenya, Mongolia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Liberia and Cambodia.
“The global rush for land threatens to squeeze out both poor communities with weak land rights, and wild species and habitats that we should be conserving,” says Dilys Roe, a senior researcher at IIED, which convenes the Poverty and Conservation Learning Group. “It is in the interests of both the conservation and land rights communities to tackle the land rush. One solution is for them to work more strategically together to secure or strengthen local land rights in ways that bring both conservation and development benefits.”
“Secure land tenure is a foundation of community-driven conservation efforts around the world,” says Fred Nelson, Executive Director of Maliasili Initiatives, which supports sustainable natural resource management efforts in Africa. “The current land crisis provides an opportunity for conservation, development, and human rights groups to work together to address historically-rooted weaknesses in the recognition of local communities’ land rights, and to enable communities to better secure their territories and the natural resources on which their livelihoods depend.”
An international effort to ensure good governance of natural resources could do more to improve accountability and sustainability, according to research in the oil- and gas-rich Caspian Sea Region that the International Institute for Environment and Development has published today.
Rice is the world's most popular grain crop. But it uses vast amounts of water to grow. A new and simple technology could reduce water wastage by up to 30% for rice growers.
In the Philippines , more and more people are now raising goats -- in their farms, in their backyards, and even in their ranches! “We have been raising goats since the early 1970s and we have observed that the demand for the animal has been increasing.
Ten days before the Philippines would celebrate Christmas, tropical storm Sendong (international name: Washi) hit Mindanao. A look at a few factors that caused the tragedy of deaths and loss of homes.
According to a recent report from analysts Verdantix, overall investment in sustainability across the US, Canada, UK and Australia will jump to US$52bn in 2012; up to a 24 percent increase.
With reef fish numbers declining around the world, dining at a fish restaurant comes under increasing question unless the species is sourced either sustainably or from a local fish farm.
With traditional food production under threat from climate change, we should switch from agriculture to cell culture, says Lucía Atehortúa. If climate change begins to limit the global production of food and energy crops, it will be necessary to develop a new system of food production.
African nations can break dependence on food imports and produce enough to feed a growing population within a generation despite extra strains from climate change, a study said on Thursday. Research into new crops resistant to heat, droughts or floods, better support for small-scale farmers and greater involvement by national leaders in setting policies in sectors from transport to education were needed, it said.
Coconut brings many natural products, including foods, drinks, fibers, building materials, and chemicals. Although not a native of the Philippines, coconut is considered as God’s gift to Filipinos.
The Philippines has not achieved self-sufficiency in milk because there is not enough investments in dairy and there are not enough animals on the ground to support the huge demand.
Although more than 99% of the world’s food comes from the soil, experts estimate that each year more than 10 million hectares of crop land are degraded or lost as rain and wind sweep away topsoil. An area big enough to feed Europe has been so severely degraded it cannot produce food, UN figures show.
If only Filipinos are aware of its multifarious uses, the unexploited sago (scientific name: Metroxylon sagu) has the potential to uplift economic and social conditions in the countryside, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. Technologies to enhance the cultivation of the plant can lead to the development of the sago industry.
Water crisis – too much or too less – hog the headlines of newspapers every now and then. But beyond safe drinking and sanitation, water plays a critical role in food production.
Pili (known in the scientific world as Canarium ovatum) is an indigenous tree in the Philippines. But despite this fact, pili is almost completely unknown among Filipinos. Second to cashew in importance as a source of nut, it has the potential of becoming a major export crop.
As trees are fast disappearing in various parts of the world and with the concern of environment growing, timber are getting scarce day by day. This is due to long period of time taken by even softwood to attain maturity. So, a substitute or if that is not possible, an alternative, has to be found. Bamboo is the answer for this.
The Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) Foundation Inc. is campaigning for the mass production of narra to avert is extinction in the Philippine forests. With reforestation and education programmes, it believes the nitrogen-fixing tree which can grow to a height of 33 meters and a diameter of 2 meters, could easily be preserved.
The Geneva-based World Health Organization reports three people are poisoned by pesticides every minute around the world.As a response to such health concerns, the use of botanical pesticides is now fast gaining wider acceptance among farmers. Botanical pesticides are derived from plants which have been shown to have insecticidal properties. The move from chemical to botanical pesticides is an important step in the search for a balanced, self-regulating agricultural system.
Rice hull is made of hard materials. It is an ideal source of energy. A ton of rice hull is equivalent to 318 liters of fuel. Using rice hull could impact on the world economy as it reduces dependence on fossil-based fuels, thereby significantly reducing energy costs.