Blog

September 5, 2014

European Wood-Pastures as Cultural Landscapes

Tobias Plieninger University of Copenhagen Tibor Hartel Sapientia University, Romania

European landscapes are shaped by long-lasting, intensive and complex interactions between people and nature. This interaction has generated values that are appreciated by society, nowadays called “landscape values” or “ecosystem services,” but many of these cultural landscape values are in decline. Wood-pastures—combinations of grazing lands with scattered trees—ar ...
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August 15, 2014

Grass, Soil, Hope: A Story About Carbon Country

By Courtney White, Quivira Coalition This is the story of how I came into Carbon Country. I’m a former archaeologist and Sierra Club activist who became a dues-paying member of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association as a producer of local, grass-fed beef. For a boy raised in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, during the […] ...
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August 6, 2014

Partnership and Knowledge Exchange in Smallholder Dairying Systems

By Cath Milne and Mizeck Chagunda, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) Dairy Research and Innovation Centre In 2008, three major entities forged a partnership to strengthen the industrial fabric of smallholder dairy development in Malawi. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security’s Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development, Bunda College of the Lilongwe Uni ...
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July 28, 2014

What Influences Farmers’ Land Management Practices to Combat Land Degradation?

By Taryn M. Kong, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona Livestock farmers’ land management practices affect the health and integrity of the landscape, and poor management—such as overgrazing—is often attributed as a cause of land degradation. However, to combat land degradation, policy-makers and scientists need to dig deeper to understand ...
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July 18, 2014

Soil Restoration in Mexico’s Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve/Restauración de Suelos en la Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra Gorda, México

By/Por Esther Díaz Pérez English Español After centuries of farming practices in the rugged mountains of the Sierra Madre Oriental, the scars of deforestation are indelibly marked on the area known as Sierra Gorda. In the past, the steep slopes lost their protective forest cover and the soil was deeply eroded. Coupled with this, the soil’s […] ...
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July 10, 2014

National Policy for Climate-Smart Agriculture: Lessons from Brazil, Ethiopia & New Zealand

Agriculture, especially large-scale industrial agriculture, is often criticized for its major environmental impacts and general disregard for ecological health. That’s where climate-smart agriculture, or CSA, comes in. CSA seeks to increase production and livelihoods while decreasing environmental impacts and building resilience to climate change. The concept is gaining groun ...
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July 9, 2014

What’s Happening with Integrated Landscapes in Latin America and the Caribbean?

By Elise Ursin, EcoAgriculture Partners Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are vital contributors to global agricultural production and biodiversity. The region is predicted to contain 43 percent of the world’s farmland by 2050 and currently includes eight of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots. However, its natural resources are poorly regulated (deforestation in the ...
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June 11, 2014

Women as the Primary Source of Information – Sustainable Rangeland Management in Northwestern Kenya

By Gabby Abrego, Conservation International “Our livelihood is our land and the cows,” Beatrice Lemparia explains as she begins to describe life as an indigenous Mukogodo Maasai woman. Beatrice comes from one of the semi-nomadic, pastoralist communities that lives northwest of Mount Kenya. “You are not a complete Maasai without livestock, even if subjected to […] ...
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May 19, 2014

The Role of Spatial Data in Grassland Restoration

Timo Pitkänen, University of Turku, Finland

Semi-natural grasslands are often habitats dominated by a high diversity of indigenous plant species, which are characterized by their small size and tolerance for disturbance. The long-term history of the emergence of these plants is not fully known, but it is well known that they cannot survive without moderate disturbances that keep their tall and […] ...
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April 30, 2014

The Cultural and Ecological Significance of European Wood-Pastures with Reference to Central Romania

By Tibor Hartel, Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Department of Environmental Science and Art, Cluj-Napoca, Romania Wood-pastures are probably the most important ecological and cultural identity bearing landscapes of the European continent. These are grazed landscapes with trees and shrubs—similar landscapes evolved in prehistoric times under natural phenomena, ...
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