Category: Biodiversity

Line in the Sand (Video)

We often only begin to understand the importance of nutrient- and water-cycling when they don’t — when they don’t cycle, that is. When ecosystems fail, when the hydrological cycle gets broken, when soils degrade faster than they build, the consequence is desertification. Already a full 25% of the planet’s land surface area (about 3.6 billion hectares) is desertified, and, worldwide, we’re adding to this enormous figure at a rate of […]

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Flow – For the Love of Water (Documentary)

As permaculturists, we have a great many solutions for the water crisis. From water harvesting to reed bed grey water systems, to watershed rehabilitation, there are common sense approaches to holistically restore eco-system services, rehydrate our landscapes and stabilise water flows and the climate. In the video above, however, we come face to face with forces that can undo the work of thousands of enthusiastic permaculturists with a few signatures […]

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The Unsung World

Biodiversity offsets threaten both the survival and the meaning of nature. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. Propose a get-out clause and – however many warnings and caveats you wrap round it – before long it will be used. This post is about the dangerous new concept the government has seeded in the minds of developers and planners. The idea is called biodiversity […]

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Let’s Talk About Soil

Further Reading: Soil – Our Financial Institution The Story of Soil

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Who Benefits from GM Crops – An Industry Built On Myths

Click to download (2.7mb PDF) At bottom of my article GM Crops, Pesticides and the Poor I had made four previous ‘Who Benefits from GM Crops‘ reports available for download. As you’ll see in the subtitle for each of the afore-linked reports, each of these excellent reports, created by Friends of the Earth International, have their own specific niche angle on the GMO issue. Today I publish (overdue I know) […]

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Consumer Choices

by William Park, Eco Ola, Peru Heritage varieties of Quinoa outside Alausí, Ecuador Can consumer choice be a driver of change? The answer is yes, provided that consumers make informed decisions based on awareness of how their purchases impact others and our planet. If, however, all the available products are produced by the same corporations using the same shortsighted and destructive methods and there is no meaningful labeling, then consumer […]

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Taking Stock: World Fish Catch Falls to 90 Million Tons in 2012

by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) projects that the world’s wild fish harvest will fall to 90 million tons in 2012, down 2 percent from 2011. This is close to 4 percent below the all-time peak haul of nearly 94 million tons in 1996. The wild fish catch per person has dropped even more dramatically, from 17 kilograms (37.5 pounds) per person […]

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Wolfbane

So much for Norway’s eco-friendly image. Image: State of the Environment, Norway One of the biggest political shocks of the past decade has been the transformation of Canada. Under the influence of the tar barons of Alberta, it has mutated from a country dominated by liberal, pacific, outward-looking values to a thuggish petro-state, ripping up both international treaties and the fabric of its own nation. Prepare to be shocked again. […]

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Rwanda – Emerging in a Changing Climate (video)

Filmmaker and environmentalist, John D. Liu from the Environmental Education Media Project team, takes us to Rwanda again (last time was here), showing us how the country is seeking to leapfrog the disastrous ‘development‘ route most of the countries of the North have gone down, to instead head more directly towards sustainability. Given the horrors this country were awash with during the 1990s, it’s certainly encouraging to see the nation […]

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Finding Sustainability in Ecosystem Restoration

Before (below) and after (above), Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabiliation Project A Breakthough of Worldwide Importance In 1995, as the Chinese government and people were beginning an ambitious effort to restore the cradle of Chinese civilization, I was asked by the World Bank to document the “Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabilitation Project”. Originally the Loess Plateau had been fully vegetated with massive forests and grasslands. Resources extracted from the giant forests, rushing […]

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Nature Resilience – Organizing Ecological Restoration by Partners in Business for Next Generations

I was recently invited to contribute to a concept paper (2.2mb PDF) authored and edited by Willem Ferwerda. Mr. Ferwerda, a tropical ecologist, was director of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) National Committee of The Netherlands from 2000 until March 2012. In his new role Ferwerda will support the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) in making businesses and investors work for ecosystem restoration and management. As […]

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Tony Lovell on Soil Carbon: Putting Carbon Back Where It Belongs – In the Earth (TEDx video)

I love the nice progression of logic in this presentation. Running the numbers like this shows not only how powerful a carbon sink our earth’s soils can be, under the right management, but also just how futile and what a goose-chasing diversion most contemporary technological ‘fixes’ for climate change really are.

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