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The Archaeology News Network: Human role in climate change now virtually certain: leaked IPCC report

The Archaeology News Network: Human role in climate change now virtually certain: leaked IPCC report | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
diana buja's insight:

A leaked draft report by the world’s top climate scientists has found that is virtually certain that humans are causing climate change but parts of it have been wildly misinterpreted by climate change deniers, experts said.

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Africa and Beyond
Africa, the Middle East, Food, Agriculture, History and Culture
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Global food security: could wheat feed the world?

Global food security: could wheat feed the world? | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
Donors, businesses and research groups have united to pledge to boost wheat yields by 50% in the next 20 years. Rob Dawson explains why and how (RT @cgiarclimate: Global food security: could wheat feed the world?

Via Luigi Guarino
diana buja's insight:

Who is goihg to do the distributional marketing...? 

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Farmers Need To Get 'Climate Smart' To Prep For What's Ahead - NPR.org

Farmers Need To Get 'Climate Smart' To Prep For What's Ahead - NPR.org | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
Climate change will likely hurt food production, raise food prices and increase hunger. But those calamities may not be inevitable, according to a group of international agriculture researchers.

Via CGIAR Climate
diana buja's insight:

The bottom line: Climate change probably will hurt food production, raise food prices and increase hunger, especially in the tropics.

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CGIAR Climate's curator insight, April 4, 7:37 AM

The planet's top experts on global warming released their latest predictions this week for how rising temperatures will change our lives, and in particular, what they mean for the production of food.

 

The report, sadly, is massive and excruciatingly hard to digest. Our hats go off to the good folks at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), who summarized it with easy-to-read infographics on what to expect over the next several decades.

 

The bottom line: Climate change probably will hurt food production, raise food prices and increase hunger, especially in the tropics.

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/04/03/298333482/farmers-need-to-get-climate-smart-to-prep-for-whats-ahead

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Tweet from @kmfmofficial

Tweet from @kmfmofficial | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
Did anyone notice their car was dusty this morning in Kent?! Turns out it was sand from the Sahara North Africa!! http://t.co/er1gQkReTI
diana buja's insight:

Khamsiin season has gone global and is upon us all.

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"Can big data crunching help feed the world?" - An article by BBC News | E-Agriculture

"Can big data crunching help feed the world?" - An article by BBC News | E-Agriculture | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
CGIAR Climate's insight:

"War on waste" – Food waste represents one of the major issues: globally, roughly one-third of the food produced for human consumption, about 1.3 billion tonnes per year, is lost or wasted [see BigFacts by CCAFS-CGIAR]. For instance, thanks to a combination of GPS and sensors ( which can monitor humidity, temperature, etc.), ICTs can help monitoring food while it is moved from one location to the other, so to minimize food loss because of poor transportation conditions.


Via CGIAR Climate
diana buja's insight:
CGIAR Climate's insight:

"War on waste" – Food waste represents one of the major issues: globally, roughly one-third of the food produced for human consumption, about 1.3 billion tonnes per year, is lost or wasted [see BigFacts by CCAFS-CGIAR]. For instance, thanks to a combination of GPS and sensors ( which can monitor humidity, temperature, etc.), ICTs can help monitoring food while it is moved from one location to the other, so to minimize food loss because of poor transportation conditions.

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CGIAR Climate's curator insight, March 27, 5:46 AM

"War on waste" – Food waste represents one of the major issues: globally, roughly one-third of the food produced for human consumption, about 1.3 billion tonnes per year, is lost or wasted [see BigFacts by CCAFS-CGIAR]. For instance, thanks to a combination of GPS and sensors ( which can monitor humidity, temperature, etc.), ICTs can help monitoring food while it is moved from one location to the other, so to minimize food loss because of poor transportation conditions.

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Sea Level Change Maps

Sea Level Change Maps | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

Imagine a scenic cruise through the Amazon Sea, or a week at a seaside resort in Arkansas. Fanciful ideas in the early 21st century, these dramatic changes could become a reality in the very distant future.

Global sea levels have risen about eight inches since 1880, and scientists predict they could rise two to seven feet more by 2100, explains Climate Central. If global warming trends continue, even greater rates of sea level rise are possible in the coming centuries.

Martin Vargic, an amateur graphic designer from Slovakia, designed this map that depicts a world after 260 feet of sea level rise.

For average sea levels to rise this high, it would take the melting of both of Antarctica's ice sheets, along with Greenland and other ice caps and glaciers across the world. While this much sea level rise isn't likely for at least several hundred years, the increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels we bring about today create "largely irreversible" climate change for 1,000 years even after we curtail our greenhouse gas emissions, according to one study.

If you want to see what this much sea level rise would do to your hometown, Southern Fried Science blogger Andrew David Thaler shows how to "drown your town" using Google Earth.

"There is still a way to prevent all this from happening," Vargic wrote on his DeviantArt page. "If we limit our greenhouse gas emissions to bare minimum, we can still save our environment and our civilization from the worst."


Via Seth Dixon
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Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."


Via Seth Dixon, gawlab
diana buja's insight:

Well, so - now we are to call languages that were introduced in the 19th century *and some earlier * by colonialists - BUSINESS LANGUAGES.  ...

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Arya Okten's curator insight, March 27, 10:25 PM

Unit III - Non American

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2:30 PM

It's interesting to see years after colonialism and imperialism there the nations it colonized are still having contact with their 'mother country'. For example the countries of Angola and Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau gained independence in the 1970's and they still trade with Portugal and are dependent on one an other to an extent, and language definitely has something to do with it.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:46 PM

Africa is a huge continent filled with tons of countries. Language is widespread even within a city or town. Throughout Africa, there is no denying that the languages vary drastically. All the languages however are among the most spoken languages in the world. More business for Africa!

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Consumers in Africa enjoy shopping the most — survey - BDlive

Consumers in Africa enjoy shopping the most — survey - BDlive | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
Consumers in Africa enjoy shopping the most — survey BDlive ALTHOUGH they are putting money aside for a rainy day, African consumers are eager to spend simply because buying makes them happy, a report from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said on...

Via yokr
diana buja's insight:

 This sounds like a pretty messy and vague report, or perhaps the writeup is the problem.  But the topic is of interest and I would factor in social dimensions of visiting markets in Africa.  More from the piece ...

 

/ The report, which polled 10,000 people in eight of the continent’s largest countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Angola and Ghana, showed 60%-90% of consumers expressed strong desire "to buy more things" every year.

This was higher than averages in Brazil, China and India, and twice the percentage in developed nations, it said.

BCG partner and co-author of the report Stefano Niavas said only 30% of consumers said they "already have enough things".

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Food Politics » Sugar v. HFCS: How I got involved in this lawsuit

Food Politics » Sugar v. HFCS: How I got involved in this lawsuit | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

Via Jeremy Cherfas
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Jeremy Cherfas's curator insight, February 19, 4:12 AM

You want a teeny insight into how the food industry works? Read this.

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Seeing Landmarks From Far Away Might Shatter Your Perception Of Them

Seeing Landmarks From Far Away Might Shatter Your Perception Of Them | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
Wow. I guess it's true when they say not everything is as it appears...

Via Seth Dixon
diana buja's insight:

Well, yes.  Long ago, when I lived for a time in the (then) village at the base of the pyramids, no one ever considered what would happen in a few decades.  

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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, March 21, 11:34 AM

I think it's awesome to see the past mixed with the present, and realizing how our imagination adds to the "mystery" of places.  However, seeing things in context truly changes perception - how could this be brought to your students?  Fascinating.  

Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, March 28, 11:43 AM

LA PERCEPCIÓN A TRAVÉS DE LA DISTANCIA

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 2, 5:33 PM

By looking at these images it is apparent that heir is a clear distincition between how one may view the monument from upclose andd then when you take asep back you can really appreciate it by seeing others appreciate it as well. As an observer you can also identify the different persepectives by looking at it in a different light by either taking a step back or viewing it from a different vanage point. Knowing the history of the monument also helps with a background story in order for better appreciation of the monument and the History that goes along with it.

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A Better Bed Bug Trap?

A Better Bed Bug Trap? | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
Historical records from Eastern Europe report the use of bean leaves to trap Bed Bugs. Leaves of some varieties of bean plants (Phaseolus spp.) have hairs called trichomes on their leaves. Some tri...
diana buja's insight:

Historical records from Eastern Europe report the use of bean leaves to trap Bed Bugs. Leaves of some varieties of bean plants (Phaseolus spp.) have hairs called trichomes on their leaves. Some trichomes have hooks at the tip that can immobilize insects. The hooked trichomes rub against the legs of insects as they walk on the leaf. Some of the hooks will stick in the soft tissue of the insect between the leg segments and entrap it, much the way a fish hook will hook into a fish.

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Cookstove Projects

Cookstove Projects | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
diana buja's insight:

In Sudan's war-torn region of Darfur, women must walk for hours to find firewood, risking attack every step of the way. In 2005, the U.S. government asked Dr. Ashok Gadgil, Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division, for a solution to this grave problem. His team designed a fuel-efficient cookstove which is tailored to Darfur's climate and cooking. The Berkeley-Darfur Stove requires less than half the fuel of traditional cooking methods, decreasing women's exposure to violence while collecting firewood and their need to trade food rations for fuel. (2011 BERC Symposium poster)

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Fate of Independent Research Institutes Hangs in the Budgetary Balance: Scientific American

Fate of Independent Research Institutes Hangs in the Budgetary Balance: Scientific American | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
A decade of neglecting the National Institutes of Health budget has left a sector of science scrabbling to survive
diana buja's insight:

Grim assessment from a responder: "There certainly is a need for research, and the NIH essentially funds research about human health and disease and there has been progress, but now we essentially have an aging population which requires much higher medical costs as well, so money will probably end up going to patient care rather than research... 

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Radio - COBAM

Radio - COBAM | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"Information on climate change and its links with forests are not readily available in Central Africa. The concept of climate change and its processes evolve so quickly that decision makers are hard pressed to keep up. In addition, most of the available information is disseminated through very selective channels (scientific journals, articles, newsletters, websites, etc.) that do not always reach a wider audience.

 

Radio remains the most accessible means of communication, because it is available to everyone and is relatively inexpensive.

 

"Changing seasons" is a CIFOR-COBAM radio program that adopts a debate format. It is broadcast monthly by the national radio station, Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV), which has nationwide coverage,exchanging information on climate change and its links with forests...

 

PHOTO: Cleared trees and groundcover to grow bean crops is quickly denuding vast areas of eastern Burundi.  As rain has decreased over the last decade+, natural growth simply does not regenerate. Photo credit: dianabuja

diana buja's insight:

The use of radio as an extension and communication tool can be an excellent method of linking up with local people and with extension and other relevant workers.  In much of rural Africa there is an information gap that, as here in Burundi and in the Congo, is pervasive due to war, unrest, and poverty.

 

However, to make it work, there are some necessary inputs - chief of which, as pointed out in the last blog post, is ongoing support for  the project *beyond* the 2 or 3 years of a grant.    Part of this work must involve networking and bringing on board relevant experts and policy folk in ministries of agriculture (etc) as well as government offices.  Without that, sustained operation may not occur.

 

In northern Sudan, I have seen villagers enjoying an excellent radio program focused on gum arabic trees (Acacia senegal & A. sayel) and related ground crops.  It was very much appreciated in the gum Arabic regions (south of El Obeid) in which I was working.

 

Here in Burundi, several years ago an international donor funded and mounted an educational radio station with links to about six major areas of the country.  I collaborated in developing a series of programs on small ruminant husbandry, an important topic given losses during the fighting, plus inbreeding and diseases – a logical next step after having completed a major assessment of the role of restocking and small ruminants in post-conflict reconstruction.  We received funding for this applied research program from AARNET-ILRI (the Animal Agriculture Research Network of the International Livestock Research Institute). 

 

However, because key policymakers were apparently not committed to an educational radio station, and perhaps more importantly, because the country was not yet sufficiently at peace, the programming lapsed primarily into popular music.  A good lesson on the need for both interactive project design and for ongoing followup.

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Portraits of Reconciliation

Portraits of Reconciliation | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
20 years after the genocide in Rwanda, these perpetrators and survivors are standing for forgiveness.

Via Seth Dixon
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diana buja's curator insight, April 8, 2:23 AM

Yesterday was a national holiday here in Burundi, commemorating the shooting down of the plane containing the presidents of Burundi and Rwanda, and the beginning of the awful genocide in Rwanda.  I was in Nairobi at the time, and have graphic visions of what took place, which I will blog about this week.

Paige Therien's curator insight, April 11, 1:14 PM

These pictures and the stories behind them are very emotional.  The Rwandan Genocide was made possible by powerful propaganda which further pushed Hutu and Tutsi interests and perceptions of one another to opposite extremes.  As they are all Rwandans who live amongst each other, the genocide spread like wildfire from within and turned the country on its head.  I think the fact that victim/forgivers and perpetrators can stand side by side and be civil is very important. It shows the persistence of humanity to work together in reciprocal relationships and the importance of a "clear conscience" when doing so.  This project of reconciliation fosters support for those who lost so much, as well as unity through communication.  When these people are compared with the United States, I think it is very telling of the United State's moral and ethical character; the lack of political and economic interests in Rwanda was their reasoning behind our country not getting involved.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:35 PM

Rwanda is a genocide that many people don't even know about. Regardless of whether someones heard of it, they should still be aware of how people have lived their lives from that time. Some looking to forgive the people who did this, and others looking to gain forgiveness from those they hurt.

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Yield Trends Are Insufficient to Double Global Crop Production by 2050

Yield Trends Are Insufficient to Double Global Crop Production by 2050 | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.


Via Luigi Guarino
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Andres Zurita's curator insight, April 6, 11:06 AM

Several studies have shown that global crop production needs to double by 2050 to meet the projected demands from rising population, diet shifts, and increasing biofuels consumption. Boosting crop yields to meet these rising demands, rather than clearing more land for agriculture has been highlighted as a preferred solution to meet this goal. However, we first need to understand how crop yields are changing globally, and whether we are on track to double production by 2050. Using ~2.5 million agricultural statistics, collected for ~13,500 political units across the world, we track four key global crops—maize, rice, wheat, and soybean—that currently produce nearly two-thirds of global agricultural calories. We find that yields in these top four crops are increasing at 1.6%, 1.0%, 0.9%, and 1.3% per year, non-compounding rates, respectively, which is less than the 2.4% per year rate required to double global production by 2050. At these rates global production in these crops would increase by ~67%, ~42%, ~38%, and ~55%, respectively, which is far below what is needed to meet projected demands in 2050. We present detailed maps to identify where rates must be increased to boost crop production and meet rising demands.

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Mahangu crops under worm attack - New Era

Mahangu crops under worm attack - New Era | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
New Era
Mahangu crops under worm attack
New Era
According to Wilhelmina Gideon from Okaku village in Oshana Region, she noticed the worms on her mahangu (pearl millet) crops last week.
diana buja's insight:

-- Said Gideon: “These things (worms) are increasing every day. If you come here in the morning you’ll see the crops are covered, but they disappear as the sun rises,” said meme Anna Ashikoto from Oluhwa village, also in Oshana Region.

Anna Fillemon also an elderly from the same village said she remembered the bollworm or similar worms from many years ago, but the plague then was not as big as the present one.

She said villagers used to control the worms by digging trapping channels around the mahangu fields and by handpicking and burning the worms and it worked.

Some villagers claim to have reported the matter to their councillors.

Josua Antonio another agricultural technician said an assessment of the situation was due to be carried out over the weekend and the ministry had sent extra vehicles to help. He said based on the findings, the ministry would make a decision on the use of pesticides.

“We are told that we will receive less harmful pesticides that only takes seven days to neutralise the worms, but again as I said, this is going to be the last resort,” said Antonio.

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Aflatoxins: New briefs disclose the threat to people and livestock and what research is doing about it

Aflatoxins: New briefs disclose the threat to people and livestock and what research is doing about it | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
A damaged maize cob that, if harvested with clean cobs, can contaminate all the cobs with aflatoxins (photo credit: Joseph Atehnkeng/IITA). 'The UN World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that bi...
diana buja's insight:

Aflatoxins are a very serious problem here in Burundi,  peanut and maize crops are perhaps the biggest problems - and we need the research that is useable by smallholders to be available to, and pomoted by, both NGOs and the extension service.  

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Coffee place geography

Coffee place geography | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
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Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile?

Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile? | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (known as Gerd) is now about 30% complete.  Once completed, in three years, it will be Africa's largest hydropower dam, standing some 170m (558ft) tall."


Via Seth Dixon
diana buja's insight:

Egypt and Sudan have their own considerations in this dam issue.  Here in Burundi all countries that share the Nile watershed  - Burundi being the most southern point - meet regularly here to discuss these and related issues, though how  their respective politicians / governments act may be a different question.

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 1, 3:06 PM

In an area fraught with political instability, non state actors, and rebel groups all too willing to fight for power and the wealth that comes from it - it will be interesting to see how the conflicts shift over time as this dam gets closer to completion. Will Egypt attempt to sabotage it or will they take a more diplomatic approach and try to work with the Ethiopian government diplomatically again?  Perhaps Egypt will whisper in to the ear of Sudan or the various "rebel" groups in the region, considering diplomatic means have apparently failed so far. With Sudan's use of the Blue River also going to be affected by Ethiopia's damming, it will be interesting to see if a cooperation between Egypt and Sudan occurs. Perhaps Ethiopia would like to see a deeper conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, keeping their affected neighbor off balance.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 16, 6:47 PM

It is extremely difficult to divide a river. The Ethiopians will benefit immensely from this project but the Egyptians could lose everything if the Nile dries up. This is going to be a difficult problem to solve.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:45 PM

There is no way the whole Nile river is going to be dried up because of this damn. Ethiopia won't let that happen. To say that the river is going to have the same amount of water in it, thats not going to happen. Obviously the Gerd is going to have a huge impact on the water supply of the Nile but it definitely isn't going to dry up the whole thing!

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Maize in the Market

Maize in the Market | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

A woman sells a variety of maize in Tlaxcala, Mexico.


Via Luigi Guarino
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Dorian Fuller RiziCulture Lecture - YouTube


Via Dorian Q Fuller
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Dorian Q Fuller's curator insight, March 1, 6:21 PM

Recently found my Arkansas lecture of last Spring.

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Climate change and the next Great Famine | TIME

Climate change and the next Great Famine | TIME | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
A new study finds that as the planet warms, yields for important staple crops like wheat could decline sharply.

Via CGIAR Climate
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CGIAR Climate's curator insight, March 19, 12:22 PM

A new analysis on the impact global warming will have on crop yields, was just published in Nature Climate Change. The news isn’t good: the research, based on a new set of data created by the combination of 1,700 previously published studies, found that global warming of only 2º C (3.6º F) will likely reduce yields of staple crops like rice and maize as early as the 2030s. And as the globe keeps warming, crop yields will keep shriveling unless drastic steps are taken to adapt to a changing climate.

 

As Andy Challinor, a professor of climate impacts at the University of Leeds and the lead author of the study, put it in a statement:

"Our research shows that crop yields will be negatively affected by climate change much earlier than expected…Furthermore, the impact of climate change on crops will vary both from year-to-year and from place-to-place—with the variability becoming greater as the weather becomes increasingly erratic." 

Challinor co-leads research on Adaptation for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) http://ccafs.cgiar.org/themes/long-term-adaptation

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The rarely seen birds of Egypt by Ahmed Waheed

The rarely seen birds of Egypt by Ahmed Waheed | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

Ahmed Waheed started bird-watching when he was seven years old. He would travel with his father, who was the manager of the Zaranik Protectorate in North Sinai. The protectorate covers 250 square kilometers, and lies just 30 kilometers west of the town of Arish, along the Mediterranean Coast in northeastern Egypt. 

 

The rarely seen birds of Egypt by Ahmed Waheed | PANORAMA

Panorama presents the Rarely seen birds of Egypt by photographer Ahmed Waheed. Waheed is starting an online magazine called "Egypt Geographic" 

tags: #DWC #LN Egypt Birds Nature

 

"Photographing birds can be a challenging hobby, requiring knowledge of species’ behavior and migration patterns, and lots of patience. This photo was taken in Hurghada, Red Sea Governorate, in March of 2013.


diana buja's insight:

Dr Ahmed gives us stunning pictures of birds in Egypt.  Some are on their way south - where we meet them just next to us in the Rusizi Wetlands, which is on the north-western side of Lake Tanganyika in Burund.

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PAEPARD: Supporting climate resilient livelihoods in the Sahel

PAEPARD: Supporting climate resilient livelihoods in the Sahel | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

Via Bukar Usman (D.V.M., M.V.S.c)
diana buja's insight:

The remarks/insight by Bukar Usman (D.V.M ) are spot-on.  For years I've watched well-meaning folks and research institutes trying to make the Sahel into something it is not.  Stress and drought are always there, and a refocusing on ways to enhance - or support - current - and related - arid land strategies are needed.

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Bukar Usman (D.V.M., M.V.S.c)'s curator insight, January 17, 5:04 AM

For decades the Sahel has been presented as suffering from irreversible degradation, leading to desert advancement and the impoverishment of the population. This issue paper develops an alternative profile and identifies the considerable potential of the Sahel’s dryland ecosystems. It explores the inherent resilience within existing crop and livestock production systems based on exploiting climatic variability; systems which local people in the Sahel have used to establish successful local and national economies. This new profile can help re-define development interventions and promote a more climate resilient future.- Report

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Soil biodiversity and ecosystem function

Soil biodiversity and ecosystem function | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
It has long been recognised that organisms living in the soil are important for making nitrogen available to plants and for storing carbon in the soil but a new paper in PNAS by de Vries et al, Soi...
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diana buja's curator insight, September 6, 2013 7:11 AM

Comprehensive studies of soil, such as this on, are so labor and finance intensive that similar studies in developing countries may not be possible.  What are the next 'best bet' options?  

In Sudan (el-Obeid area) we discovered local farmers identified a soil type that was not identified by researchers.  The farmer-identified soil type was linked to specific forms of cropping.  That, in itself, was reason enough to conduct our less intensive, but more farmer-centered study,of soils.

Similar findings here in Burundi, regarding micro-catchment soil types - identified by farmers - especially in wetland areas.

But the weakness of these studies relates to their less specific results.

As the study in the attached research notes:

"Researchers found a strong link between soil biodiversity and the performance of ecosystems, in particular on carbon and nitrogen cycling. Indeed soil biodiversity was a greater predictor of C and N cycling than land use. Intensive wheat rotation was found to reduce soil biodiversity across the food web in all countries. The authors hope that this and other research will lead to the development of sound land management practices that support soil biodiversity, in turn increasing the productivity of land while mitigating climate change.

Raziq's curator insight, September 6, 2013 11:23 PM

 It has long been recognised that organisms living in the soil are important for making nitrogen available to plants and for storing carbon in the soil but a new paper in PNAS by de Vries et al, Soi