Blog for People, Food and Nature

January 18, 2016

Trendy and sustainable, quinoa and chia research in Egypt

Christine Arlt SEKEM Initiative

Chia and quinoa seem to be predestined for Egypt. Chia and quinoa are dry and salt-tolerant crops. Both of them have a great potential to improve food security in regions that do not have enough water resources. “In march 2015 I visited the SEKEM Initiative Farm for the first time and gained awareness of the huge challenges […] ...
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October 1, 2015

In City Farming, supporters ask the wrong question of a great solution

Anne Palmer Center for a Livable Future, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Every so often, I read a headline highlighting a study that proposes to prove cities are able to grow significant amounts of food. These studies claim that urban farming can provide for the food needs of an entire city. For you urban dwellers, spend a day or two writing down everything you eat and then […] ...
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July 16, 2015

Catalyzing the uptake of the Landscape Approach

This past April, a team of ecosystem management practitioners came together in Nairobi, Kenya. Their mission? To put the Ecosystem Management of Productive Landscapes project on the map. Demand for food, energy, and fiber is projected to increase 40-60%, a strain on industry and agriculture that will also be exacerbated by stresses from climate change. Considering the futur ...
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July 6, 2015

The Value of Multifunctional Agriculture: a case study in northern Europe

Alberto Bernues Norwegian University of Life Sciences

In some of the most biodiverse regions of the world, people have farmed for centuries, shaping magnificent agricultural landscapes. Multifunctionality recognizes agriculture as a multi-output activity producing not only private (market) goods such as food, feed, or fibre, but also public (nonmarket, non-excludable, non-rival) goods such as agricultural landscapes, farmland biod ...
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July 2, 2015

Protecting Endangered Plants, One Taboo at a time: traditional practices and conservation

Diana Quiroz Naturalis Biodiversity Center

The iroko (Milicia excelsa) is one of West Africa’s most iconic trees. It is a sacred tree in many of the areas where it occurs. In Benin, people call Him “the king of the forest” and hence address Him with respect. For the past five years, our team has studied plant use in West Africa […] ...
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June 10, 2015

Harvesting Under Fear

Anne-Sophie Gindroz Rights and Resources Initiative

A new measure by the Indonesian Government to give some state protected areas back to communities for management seeks to change local farmers’ lives. But how permanent is it? They harvested their coffee during the dead of the night, using the faint light from their mobile phones to guide them, trying not to get caught […] ...
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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 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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March 26, 2015

Indigenous Landscapes Provide Foods and Funds in Obalanga Subcounty, Uganda

Esezah Kakudidi Makerere University Samuel Ojelel

The subsistence farming communities in Obalanga are reliant on their indigenous landscapes for a wide array of services. The communities benefit from provisionary services (e.g. food), regulative services (e.g. local climate moderation), supportive services (e.g. soil fertility) and cultural services (e.g. recreation) from these landscapes. These interactions are pertinent in t ...
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March 19, 2015

Potential for Nutrition Gains in Nepal through its Agriculture Sector

Jess Fanzo Columbia University

Agricultural and food systems around the world have evolved to become more complex and globalized. The nutritional quality of food production, processing, and consumption – as determined by the food system – is intrinsically related to the World Summit goal for all people to have the opportunity to lead a healthy and active life. Nutrition-sensitive […] ...
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