Africa and Beyond
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Africa and Beyond
Africa, the Middle East, Food, Agriculture, History and Culture
Curated by diana buja
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Africa’s New Science and Innovation Agenda | Technology+Policy

Africa’s New Science and Innovation Agenda | Technology+Policy | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

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.

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Climate research nearly unanimous on human causes, survey finds

Climate research nearly unanimous on human causes, survey finds | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"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

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Pastoralism’s economic contributions are significant but overlooked

Pastoralism’s economic contributions are significant but overlooked | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
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.

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The History Blog » Blog Archive » 19th c. slave cabin donated to Smithsonian’s African American History Museum

The History Blog » Blog Archive » 19th c. slave cabin donated to Smithsonian’s African American History Museum | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

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

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Drill baby drill! The fate of African biodiversity and the monkey you've never heard of

Drill baby drill! The fate of African biodiversity and the monkey you've never heard of | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

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".

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Gummy grin: colobus monkey born at ZSL London Zoo « Green Blogger

Gummy grin: colobus monkey born at ZSL London Zoo « Green Blogger | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

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.

 
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National Geographic Traveler Magazine: 2013 Photo Contest

National Geographic Traveler Magazine: 2013 Photo Contest | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
The National Geographic Traveler Magazine photo contest, now in its 25th year, has begun. There is still plenty of time to enter. The entry deadline is Sunday, June 30, at 11:59 p.m.
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Ex-SVP pol spreads racial hatred - World Radio Switzerland

Ex-SVP pol spreads racial hatred
World Radio Switzerland
A former Swiss People's Party politician has been convicted of spreading racial hatred online.
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Goa's dairy farmers abandon indigenous breeds of cows

Goa's dairy farmers abandon indigenous breeds of cows | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
Panaji:  Goa's indigenous breed of cows seem to be facing the danger of going extinct, due to...

Via Nicolas Antoine-M., Raziq
diana buja's insight:

And yet again, we find the loose of diversity looming.

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Nicolas Antoine-M.'s curator insight, April 8, 2013 3:30 AM

Step by step... on the way towards extinction. A gloomy illustration of what is going on: no in-depth analysis by the journalist, no action from the politics and Livestock Services. Just "economics" at play. Is this neglect of local breed really economically sound? Why would particularly "local breed cows die eating plastic"?

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New grass hybrid could help reduce the likelihood of flooding

Collaboration of BBSRC-funded scientists use hybridized forage grass to combine fast root growth and efficient soil water retention.


Via Luigi Guarino, Raziq
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PLOS ONE: Robustness and Strategies of Adaptation among Farmer Varieties of African Rice (Oryza glaberrima) and Asian Rice (Oryza sativa) across West Africa

PLOS ONE: Robustness and Strategies of Adaptation among Farmer Varieties of African Rice (Oryza glaberrima) and Asian Rice (Oryza sativa) across West Africa | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

This study offers evidence of the robustness of farmer rice varieties (Oryza glaberrima and O. sativa) in West Africa. Our experiments in five West African countries showed that farmer varieties were tolerant of sub-optimal conditions, but employed a range of strategies to cope with stress. Varieties belonging to the species Oryza glaberrima – solely the product of farmer agency – were the most successful in adapting to a range of adverse conditions. Some of the farmer selections from within the indica and japonica subspecies of O. sativa also performed well in a range of conditions, but other farmer selections from within these two subspecies were mainly limited to more specific niches. The results contradict the rather common belief that farmer varieties are only of local value. Farmer varieties should be considered by breeding programmes and used (alongside improved varieties) in dissemination projects for rural food security.


Via Dorian Q Fuller
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Food Aid as Industrial Policy - Cato Institute (blog)

Food Aid as Industrial Policy - Cato Institute (blog) | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
Food Aid as Industrial Policy
Cato Institute (blog)
In practice, after becoming a government program, the idea of giving food to poor people has been turned into an industrial policy tool.

Via Jeremy Cherfas, diana buja
diana buja's insight:
Jeremy Cherfas's insight: absolutely nothing unexpected here. The big win will be if the change in US aid policy actually has some impact on the ground, stimulating local producers and markets. And will there be any effort to stimulate nutrition rather than just calories?
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Jeremy Cherfas's curator insight, April 22, 2013 2:43 AM

absolutely nothing unexpected here. The big win will be if the change in US aid policy actually has some impact on the ground, stimulating local producers and markets. And will there be any effort to stimulate nutrition rather than just calories?

diana buja's curator insight, April 24, 2013 9:44 AM
Jeremy Cherfas's insight:

absolutely nothing unexpected here. The big win will be if the change in US aid policy actually has some impact on the ground, stimulating local producers and markets. And will there be any effort to stimulate nutrition rather than just calories?

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Global warming has not stalled, insists world's best-known climate scientist

Global warming has not stalled, insists world's best-known climate scientist | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
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
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Fake Food Fight

Fake Food Fight | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

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.

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As the cooking pot turns: Staple crop and animal foods are being ‘recalibrated’ for a warmer world » ILRI news

As the cooking pot turns: Staple crop and animal foods are being ‘recalibrated’ for a warmer world » ILRI news | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

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.)

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Why Rituals Work: Scientific American

Why Rituals Work: Scientific American | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

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. 

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Analysis: Indonesia renews moratorium on logging, palm plantations

Analysis: Indonesia renews moratorium on logging, palm plantations | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

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.

 

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U.S. loses nearly a third of its honey bees this season

U.S. loses nearly a third of its honey bees this season | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
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.
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Returns: Becoming Indigenous in the Twenty-First Century: James Clifford: 9780674724921: Amazon.com: Books

Returns: Becoming Indigenous in the Twenty-First Century

~ James Clifford (author) More about this product
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It was once widely assumed that native, or tribal, societies were destined to disappear. Sooner or later, irresistible economic and political forces would complete the work of destruction set in motion by culture contact and colonialism. But many aboriginal groups persist, a reality that complicates familiar narratives of modernization and progress. History, Clifford invites us to observe, is a multidirectional process, and the word "indigenous," long associated with primitivism and localism, is taking on new, unexpected meanings.

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Innovative grassland management systems for environmental and livelihood benefits

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World’s Gene Pool Crucial for Survival

World’s Gene Pool Crucial for Survival | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
“On 30th anniversary of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, FAO underlines the urgency of safeguarding key genes that will help weather the shocks of climate change.

Via Raziq
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Could a traditional breed of Irish cattle become another weapon in the farmer’s arsenal?

Could a traditional breed of Irish cattle become another weapon in the farmer’s arsenal? | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
RESULTS from an initial experiment on land at Oxford Island on the shores of Lough Neagh suggest that the ancient breed of Irish moiled cattle could be used to help control the spread of the soft rush (Juncus effusus) in wet pastures.

Via Nicolas Antoine-M., Raziq
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Nicolas Antoine-M.'s curator insight, April 8, 2013 3:13 AM

A traditional cattle breed as an alternative to herbicide spraying. A good illustration of the value of animal genetic resources diversity.

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Llama meat turns haute cuisine in Bolivia

Llama meat turns haute cuisine in Bolivia | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

Llama meat, a traditional part of Andean indigenous cuisine, has recently made the leap into the most prestigious kitchens in Bolivia, and its high protein, low-fat content could soon make it into a prominent dish on menus of Bolivia around the world.


Via Nicolas Antoine-M., Raziq
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Nicolas Antoine-M.'s curator insight, April 28, 2013 9:02 PM

Adding value to genetic and cultural diversity...

Raziq's curator insight, April 29, 2013 1:40 AM
Adding value to the products of the eco-friendly and well adapted indigenous/native genetic resources for food and agriculture is a great vision and heart touching idea. In this way, we not only conserve breeds but can provide safe and nutritionally rich food to the people. We composed a short book through a write shop on this subject; http://www.fao.org/docrep/012/i1283e/i1283e00.pdf
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Burundi set to embrace hybrid maize seeds - SciDev.Net

Burundi set to embrace hybrid maize seeds - SciDev.Net | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
Food security in Burundi could be improved by new hybrid maize seeds, but only if the seeds are affordable to farmers, say researchers.

Via Bioversity Library, diana buja
diana buja's insight:
Burundian scientists at both ISABU (nat.res.inst.) and local FAO are involved.
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diana buja's curator insight, April 24, 2013 9:45 AM

Burundian scientists at both ISABU (nat.res.inst.) and local FAO are involved.