Indigenous communities in Namibia possess a rich indigenous knowledge expressed within many practices of these communities.
56.3% of the respondents reported that indigenous fruits were declining. Only a 42.2% indicated that the indigenous fruits populations are increasing. Regarding to the management practices to improve the production of these indigenous fruit trees; 38.6% reported that there are some efforts on management practices; on the other hand 61.4% reported there are no management practices on the indigenous fruit trees in their areas. Four species were found to be the most frequently used and mentioned fruits which need to be given high preference in terms of conservation are: Berchemia discolor, Hyphaene petersiana, Sclerocarya birrea and Diospyros mespiliformis. .
"But scientists are finding it hard to pinpoint which factors in particular are the most responsible for the rise in pollinator mortality. That’s because a lot of different things have gone wrong lately. For one thing, wild habitats such as meadows and grasslands that the pollinators depend on for a varied diet are shrinking, as urban sprawl and the spread of monoculture agriculture encroaches upon them. The introduction of non-native species has also reduced the numbers of native pollinators in the U.S. and elsewhere. The European honey bee, which is the one that commercial beekeepers raise, is actually an invasive species which is competing with American insects for limited resources. In some areas, moreover, there is evidence that erratic weather and shifts in rainfall patterns due to climate change may already be a factor in the decline of certain species.
Something else that has been getting a lot of attention, especially in Europe, is the impact of agro-chemicals on both wild and domesticated bees. In a landmark move late last month,
“Landscape approaches” seek to provide tools and concepts for allocating and managing land to achieve social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture, mining, and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals. Here we synthesize the current consensus on landscape approaches. This is based on published literature and a consensus-building process to define good practice and is validated by a survey of practitioners. We find the landscape approach has been refined in response to increasing societal concerns about environment and development tradeoffs. Notably, there has been a shift from conservation-orientated perspectives toward increasing integration of poverty alleviation goals. We provide 10 summary principles to support implementation of a landscape approach as it is currently interpreted. These principles emphasize adaptive management, stakeholder involvement, and multiple objectives. Various constraints are recognized, with institutional and governance concerns identified as the most severe obstacles to implementation. We discuss how these principles differ from more traditional sectoral and project-based approaches. Although no panacea, we see few alternatives that are likely to address landscape challenges more effectively than an approach circumscribed by the principles outlined here.
"Grabbing of pastoralists’ traditional land to put it under the commercial farming system, which has widely been adopted as a development and investment strategy in Sudan, is creating a cruel dilemma of increasing both resource conflict and environmental degradation. This is one of the fundamental reasons that the country has earned the reputation as a home of bloody civil wars and the country is unlikely to see lasting peace until such issues have been addressed. My aim in this research is to provide evidence-based information by mapping out the encroachment of large-scale agriculture into transhumance migration routes in Gadarif State (eastern Sudan), with a two-fold approach. First, I tracked the land-use/land-cover (LULC) change using satellite imagery. Second, I interviewed transhumant pastoralists to obtain information about their perspectives on major problems facing them along the routes in their seasonal journey. It is clear that state policy has failed to provide support to pastoralists. Animal mobility in space and time are severely constrained. The average of the annual encroachment of mechanized farming along the routes is 3 percent. The most substantial LULC change occurred after 1999. Other challenges facing the routes are: lack of water resources, design of the routes and degradation of rest places. Due to the abolition of their native administrative system and lack of education, pastoralists have no way of influencing any decisions that impacted their system."
Recent news headlines, a plethora of scientific publications and the creation of new academic think tanks all reflect growing concerns over how to achieve global food security --
Food production need not be solely based on intensive agriculture focused on a few, high-yielding crops.
Estimates show that 40 percent of the food in the developing world is produced by smallholder farmers, often in complex multi-functional landscapes, which depend on integrated crop management.
In addition, recent estimates from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) suggest that around 1.6 billion people rely on forests and other natural systems in some way for their diets, health and wider livelihoods.
Forests, and the wider landscapes in which they occur, potentially have a considerable role to play in the emerging strategies to achieve global food security.
Forests not only contribute to diverse and nutritious diets, particularly for the poorest members of society, but also sustain agriculture through the provision of critical ecosystem services such as pollination, soil stabilization and watershed protection.
However, recognition of the role of forests in food security is not new: 1985 was designated the year of Forests and Food Security and a special issue of the FAO journal, Unasylva was subsequently published.
The forests and food security agenda was gradually replaced by other pressing development concerns. Until recently, it was off the agenda altogether.
However, with “mainstream” food security issues coming to the fore, the role of forests in securing nutritional and food security is back in the frame.
This week, the FAO International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutritionin Rome will feature discussion on how we can ensure that sustainable food production can take place without compromising the wider environment.
We seem to have come full circle. Given the evidence, we should not be surprised that the issue of forests and food security is once again at the forefront of the international development agenda: the challenge will be to keep it there.
The problem-oriented focus [of the meeting] was reinforced by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, who noted that many South African scientists had won Nobel prizes in the sciences by focusing on solving practical problems in physics, chemistry, and medicine. African scientists have contributed to many other fields of scientific endeavor and are well positioned to do the same in the future, she said.
“But they must abandon the separation between basic and applied research and focus on finding solutions to contemporary problems,” she underscored.
"Our findings prove that there is a strong scientific agreement about the cause of climate change, despite public perceptions to the contrary," said John Cook of the University of Queensland, who led the survey.
Public opinion continues to lag behind the science. Though a majority of Americans accept the climate is changing, just 42% believed human activity was the main driver, in a poll conducted by the Pew Research Centre last October.
"There is a gaping chasm between the actual consensus and the public perception," Cook said in a statement
Experts say a ‘total economic valuation’ is needed to fully appreciate pastoralists’ contribution to national economies NAIROBI, 16 May 2013 (IRIN) - Pastoralism is often regarded as an antiquated ...
diana buja's insight:
Still today, gov'ts and advisors, etc, firmly believe that pastoralilsm is a preliminary stage before agriculture - a great deal of work remains to be done, to show how and why this is simply not the case.
An antebellum slave cabin from the Point of Pines Plantation on Edisto Island, South Carolina, will become a centerpieceof the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture(NMAAHC), a new museum set to open in 2015. The cabin, one of two still standing on the plantation, was donated to the museum last month by theEdisto Island Historic Preservation Society who received it from the plantation’s owners, the Burnet Maybank family.
Another [document] is the 1758 estate inventory of Joshua Grimball (Paul Grimball, the first European settler of Edisto Island in 1674, built the plantation; it stayed in his family until it was sold to the Baileys in 1789).
Along with the furniture, tools, cattle, spinning wheels and glassware, it lists the names of more than 90 Point of Pines slaves, among them Wando Pompey, the Wench Murriah, Big Sampson, Angolo Ned, Sambo and Gamboa Sampson.
The African place names indicate first generation slaves
Equatorial Guinea is not a country that stands very large in the American consciousness. In fact most Americans think you mean Papua New Guinea when you mention it or are simply baffled.
"The Bioko Island drills are one of the largest, rarest and least studied primates in the world. Other than captive individuals, little is known about the drills, their behavior and their ecology," Justin Jay of the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program'sDrill Projecttold mongabay.com.
Indeed, only the very basics are known about the Bioko drill, which is a subspecies endemic to the island. Although drills are related to baboons and look very similar, they are more closely related to mandrills. Once thought to be baboons, the drill and mandrill now occupy their own genus Mandrillus.
About the mandrill Charles Darwin said in The Descent of Man, "no other member in the whole class of mammals is colored in so extraordinary a manner as the adult male mandrills".
The Eastern Black and White Colobus species of Old World monkeys naturally reside in the forests of Africa, and eat mainly fruit, leaves, flowers, and twigs. Because of their herbivorous diet, they are important for seed dispersal from their sloppy eating habits and their digestive systems. These monkeys are vital creatures to Africa’s ecosystem, and unfortunately they are popular prey for Africa’s forest predators and are threatened by bushmeat trade from hunters, logging, and habitat destruction.
On 24th April 2013, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs released the report Agricultural Innovation: The United States in a Changing Global Reality authored by University of Minnesota researchers...
New measures for global spillover potential presented in the report include:
Agro-technological distances – identifying global similarities in agro ecologies and globalsimilarities in agricultural productionCumulative home-grown knowledge stocks, by region and countryPotential spill-in leverage versus world share of knowledge stock, by country
The following datasets contributed to this analysis:
Developed countries’ contributions to agricultural R&DGlobal productivity growth trends (how much of R&D is going towards productivity growth, and how much is dedicated to other areas)Public and private contributions to global R&D and productivity growthTotal spending on science-related R&D (looking beyond just agricultural R&D to other sciences, in recognition that there are spillovers from other types of R&D investments)
diana buja's insight:
How technology-driven is this report? What are "home-grown knowledge stocks"?...
A lot of questions here, and have downloaded to read. Is this 'just another desk-study'?
To add - pix of traditional locals with cell phones (cover of the report, above) seems the new-wave method of juxtaposing tradition with modernity. that they somehow can become comfortable bed-fellows.
The chart below shows student enrolments in higher education in three subject areas in the OECD or advanced industrial countries in 2010, with Britain and the United States identified separately. The data refer to the percentage of students enrolled in higher education who study science, engineering and also social science, business and law. The latter category is rather broad but the UNESCO data does not allow a finer distinction to be made between these subjects. The data are very relevant to the debate about the importance of science and technology as opposed to the arts, humanities and social science in stimulating investment and growth in Britain.
... the world is increasingly farming on the margins, with most of the last few remaining near-pristine ecosystems now being invaded and destabilized. Just as inexorable is the move to rapidly growing cities of poor rural people, who are bringing their livestock with them. The resulting losses of biodiversity, and the rise of genetically improved, and thus similar, animal populations, also increases the risk of a pandemic emerging. Climate and environmental changes are generally making matters worse.
"Already 1.6 billion people rely on forests, which cover more than 30 percent of the world’s land surface, to eke out a livelihood, according to 2010 data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The upcoming FAO International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition in Rome will explore the important role forests play in the lives of rural people and the global economy.
Such dietary sources contribute to food security as well, said Powell, pointing to a recent global study done by CIFOR. It found that forests-related income contributed about one-fifth of the total income of rural households across 24 countries — money that, if used wisely, could then used to buy nutritious foods.
"The view that increased crop production is the strategy most likely to achieve global food security could in reality allow farmland to encroach on valuable ecosystems, have a disastrous impact on forests and might not solve food security and nutrition problems, scientists say.
Further research is essential for understanding the full impact forests and tree-based agricultural systems have on dietary and nutritional needs for at least 1 billion people whose livelihoods are directly affected by forests, the scientists said in a discussion paper released ahead of the International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition hosted by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome.
Since 1998, when the Niño climate phenomenon caused global temperatures to soar, the rate of increase in warming has slowed, causing some sceptics to suggest climate change has stopped or that the effect of rising carbon dioxide levels on climate is not as great as previously thought
Every unit of the U.S. military, immediately prior to combat deployment, spends three weeks at the National Training Centre at Fort Irwin, California. Scattered across a base the size of Luxembourg, in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the Department of Defence has built fifteen simulated towns populated by 350 civilian role-players, many of Middle Eastern origin.
CGIAR has just published a really useful snapshot of the world’s major food crops, animals and tree and water resources and what is likely to happen to them in the face of climate change, the effects of which on food production will require reexamining what’s in the cooking pot, especially in regions where people already do not get enough to eat.
Above, a worker on a small farm in Limuru, Kenya, pushes maize stalks (after their cobs have been harvested) through a pulverizer before feeding the stover to the cows; this is one way small-scale farmers can improve their dairy cow feeding and milk yields while reducing the amount of methane their cows generate per unit of milk produced. (Photo on Flickr by Luigi Guarino.)
There are real benefits to rituals, religious or otherwise. Recent research suggests that rituals may be more rational than they appear. Why? Because even simple rituals can be extremely effective. Rituals performed after experiencing losses – from loved ones to lotteries – do alleviate grief, and rituals performed before high-pressure tasks – like singing in public – do in fact reduce anxiety and increase people’s confidence. What’s more, rituals appear to benefit even people who claim not to believe that rituals work. While anthropologists have documented rituals across cultures, this earlier research has been primarily observational. Recently, a series of investigations by psychologists have revealed intriguing new results demonstrating that rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made a bold and courageous decision this week to extend the country’s forest moratorium.
Indonesia ranks as one of world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, largely due to the clearing of forest and peat lands. The forest moratoriumaims to address this problem by prohibiting any new licenses to log, clear, convert, or otherwise alter pristine forest and peat lands, an area encompassingmore than 43 million hectares of land. Forest users with existing licenses are still allowed to operate in these regions, and there are several exceptions to the rule.
Nearly a third of managed honeybee colonies in America died out or disappeared over the winter, an annual survey found on Wednesday. The decline—which was far worse than the winter before—threatens the survival of some bee colonies.