Blog for People, Food and Nature

April 30, 2015

The Connection between Biodiversity and Coffee Agriculture

Amanda Caudill Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

When I tell people about my research with biodiversity and coffee farms, most people look at me confused and ask, “Wait, what does coffee have to do with biodiversity?” I understand that this question is not unfounded. Although about 1 billion cups are coffee are consumed worldwide daily–most people do not link the dark, velvety […] ...
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April 29, 2015

Mapping Restoration Opportunities through Soil Surveying

Stephanie J. Connolly USDA Forest Service

Recent collaborative research by West Virginia University (WVU), the USDA-NRCS and USDA-Forest Service has linked spodic soil properties to the historical range of red spruce (Picea rubens) in the Central Appalachians. The data collected has allowed researchers to map the occurrence of these properties to help project the historical extent of red spruce before railroad [&hellip ...
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April 27, 2015

Felines in trouble: a Brazilian scenario

Rodrigo Cambará Printes Brazilian Institute for Biodiversity Conservation Larissa Rosa de Oliveira Francine Schulz

Carnivores, such as large cats, are extremely important to maintain the ecological equilibrium in areas because they guarantee the diversity and resiliency of ecosystems. As predators, large cats can help control herbivore populations. Also, large cats usually leave behind a great part of their prey for several reasons, including providing food for scavenger and decomposer [&he ...
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April 24, 2015

An Old but Still Pertinent Soil-ution from West Sumatra

Carol J. Pierce Colfer Cornell University CIFOR

In 1983, our team (from the University of Hawaii, North Carolina State and the Indonesian Center for Soils Research) began a multi-year program in Sitiung, West Sumatra. We began our work using a Farming Systems approach, living in a village and working collaboratively with local farmers. The Indonesian policy at the time called for food […] ...
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April 23, 2015

The African oil palm in Bahia, Brazil: Past, present, and potential of an Afro-Brazilian landscape

Case Watkins Louisiana State University

In 1991, the Secretary of Culture in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia officially designated an eighty-kilometer strip of its Atlantic shores as the Costa do Dendê, or Palm Oil Coast, in a formal nod to the dense stands of African oil palms that had come to dominate local landscapes. Part of a broader initiative […] ...
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April 22, 2015

The sustainable solutions at our feet: Top five reasons you should “root” for soil health farmers on Earth Day 2015

Ron Nichols USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service

To meet the growing sustainability challenges of the 21st Century, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is reminding people that many of the solutions are right at our feet — in the soil. Here are the top five reasons NRCS says why on Earth Day, you should “root” for soil health farmers: A lot of people […] ...
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April 20, 2015

Choosing sustainability: food production to 2050

Fiona McKenzie Australian Futures Project

It is often claimed that we need to increase global food production by 70-100% in order to feed the world in 2050. The assumption that food production is tied to food security dismisses the role of access and consumption to food. This is partly because food security is only weakly linked to the capacity of […] ...
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April 18, 2015

A Multi-sectoral Approach is Key for a Sustainable Future

Marissa Sherman EcoAgriculture Partners

This week, I had the pleasure to represent EcoAgriculture Partners (and livetweet) the Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World 2015: Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability. The event focused on the underreported consequences of an unsustainable global system. Along with presenting the most pressing problems the world faces, the event highlighted a possible solutio ...
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April 11, 2015

Can we meet future global food demand without causing any further environmental damage?

Insa Flachsbarth Technical University of Madrid Bárbara Willaarts

One would wish to have a direct and simple answer to this big question: Yes we can!  But unfortunately there are no free lunches, and whatever strategy we will adopt to satisfy global food demand, food production will inevitably have adverse impacts on our environment. Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the Agriculture and Ecosystems […] ...
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April 10, 2015

How and where to restore tropical forest: a bird’s eye view

Leighton Reid Missouri Botanical Garden

Great Tinamous are surprisingly light-footed for being rather awkwardly shaped. They wander delicately on the rainforest floor and call to one another in haunting tones at dawn and dusk. When approached by people, they disappear nervously into the underbrush. This shy, sun-dappled lifestyle works well in endless forest, but it complicates the task of restoring […] ...
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