Specialist Agencies of the UN
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Australia in push to outlaw Japan whale hunt

Australia in push to outlaw Japan whale hunt | Specialist Agencies of the UN | Scoop.it
Sydney (AFP) June 23, 2013 - Australia's Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said Sunday he was hopeful the government would win its case against Japan's scientific whaling which begins this week in the International Court of Justice.

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Large-scale edible insect farming needed to ensure future global food supply

Large-scale edible insect farming needed to ensure future global food supply | Specialist Agencies of the UN | Scoop.it

The large-scale production of edible insects is unavoidable in order to continue feeding the ever-increasing global population and providing them with enough animal protein. Insect farming can be compared with mini livestock farming. It is environmentally friendly, does not require much land and produces high-quality nutrients. Furthermore, as a new sector of the food industry, it will provide a livelihood for large groups of people. This is the basic message contained in the book Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security, written by researchers at Wageningen University and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO). The book will be launched in Rome the 13th of May.

 

At least two billion people currently consume insects on a regular basis. More than 1,900 edible insect species have been identified, including beetles (31 percent), caterpillars (18 percent) and bees, wasps and ants (14 percent).

 

Research has shown that insects are highly nutritious, healthy and full of proteins, and many species contain as many unsaturated fatty acids (such as omega 3 and 6) as fish. The environmental benefits of insect farming are manifold: insects are much more efficient at converting feed into edible body weight than chickens, pigs or cattle. Furthermore, they emit 50 times fewer emissions than traditional livestock and ten times less amonia. In addition, there is less risk of animal diseases being transmitted to humans.

 

Whether or not we eat insects ('entomophagy') is largely dictated by culture and religion. It is part of the staple diet in many regions. Here in the West, we tend to brand such behaviour as 'disgusting' and 'primitive'. The authors of the book think that a lot of effort will have to go into devising communication strategies to promote the consumption of insects.

 

Non-Western consumers will have to reinstate insects as a useful source of nutrition rather than copying Western eating habits. New processing methods must be developed to overcome the resistance on the part of Western consumers. These may include grinding the insects or extracting their proteins so that insects cannot be recognised as such anymore.

 

The scientists concerned envisage a lot of hard work before large-scale insect farming becomes a reality. There will be numerous challenges regarding industrial automated farming methods, processing and preserving techniques, conducive regulations and legislation, and gastronomy.

 

Despite the existing wealth of knowledge on the advantages of producing and eating insects, the authors want to see prompt, simultaneous answers to four serious questions. More documentation about the nutritional value of insects is needed in order to promote them as a healthy alternative. The effects on the environment must be clarified in order to compare this form of farming with conventional livestock production. There needs to be more certainty about the social-economic benefits of insect farming, particularly with regard to food security in the poorest sections of the population. And finally, a clear and comprehensive system of international regulations must be devised to smooth the path for investments to encourage this new branch of the industry and enable international trade in the sector to develop to its full potential.


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Ibisime Etela's curator insight, July 31, 2013 9:05 PM

This would be very helpful for providing a source of sustainable livelihood for landless farmers.

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Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany are UNESCO World Heritage

Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany are UNESCO World Heritage | Specialist Agencies of the UN | Scoop.it

Twelve villas and two pleasure gardens spread across the Tuscan country side make up this site which bears testimony to the influence the Medici family exerted over modern European culture through its patronage of the arts. Built between the 15th and 17th centuries, they represent an innovative system of rural construction in harmony with nature and dedicated to leisure, the arts and knowledge. The villas embody an innovative form and function, a new type of princely residence that differed from both the farms owned by rich Florentines of the period and from the military might of baronial castles. The Medici villas form the first example of the connection between habitat, gardens, and the environment and became an enduring reference for princely residences throughout Italy and Europe. Their gardens and integration into the natural environment helped develelop the appreciation of landscape characteristic Humanism and the Renaissance. [...]


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Mariano Pallottini's curator insight, August 5, 2013 5:56 AM

The list of Medici Villas and Gardens that are now UNESCO World Heritage:

  • Boboli Garden

  • Pratolino Garden

  • Seravezza Palace

  • Villa de Il Trebbio

  • Villa di Artimino

  • Villa di Cafaggiolo

  • Villa di Careggi

  • Villa di Castello

  • Villa di Cerreto Guidi

  • Villa di La Petraia

  • Villa di Poggio a Caiano

  • Villa di Poggio Imperiale

  • Villa La Magia

  • Villa Medici di Fiesole

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Water Technology: Nigeria and Other African Countries to face water shortage by 2025 – FAO | Technology News, Blog, Social Media, Startups, Gadget Reviews, Mobiles & More

Water Technology: Nigeria and Other African Countries to face water shortage by 2025 – FAO | Technology News, Blog, Social Media, Startups, Gadget Reviews, Mobiles & More | Specialist Agencies of the UN | Scoop.it
The Food and Agriculture Organisation on Thursday said that 48 countries, including Nigeria, would face water shortage by 2025.

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#noamnesty Death toll from new bird flu in China rises to 36: WHO

#noamnesty Death toll from new bird flu in China rises to 36: WHO | Specialist Agencies of the UN | Scoop.it
LONDON (REUTERS) - Four more people in China have died from a new strain of bird flu, bringing the death toll from the H7N9 virus to 36 from 131 confirmed cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.

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