Category: Biodiversity

Food Forests and Natural Pest Control – Observations

Hearing Geoff Lawton speak about the effectiveness of natural pest control in food forests during my PDC studies is what originally prompted me to design and build a backyard food forest garden. Nature taking care of pests in the garden? It sounded too good to believe, and coming from a science background, I just had to test the concept out. After all, any good science can be replicated! Four years […]

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Bee Friendly – a Planting Guide for European Honeybees and Australian Native Pollinators

Bee Friendly Planting Guide (8mb PDF) I just came across an excellent new resource for beekeepers. It is published by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and entitled Bee Friendly — a planting guide for European honey bees and Australian native pollinators. It contains over 300 pages of information on bee forage plants for Australia, for urban open space, private gardens and farms with a climate specific plant selection. […]

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Overfishing Threatens Critical Link in the Food Chain

by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute The fish near the bottom of the aquatic food chain are often overlooked, but they are vital to healthy oceans and estuaries. Collectively known as forage fish, these species—including sardines, anchovies, herrings, and shrimp-like crustaceans called krill—feed on plankton and become food themselves for larger fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. Historically, people have eaten many of these fish, too, of course. But as […]

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Betting on Extinction

Ladbroke’s is offering odds on fish populations collapsing; the government is shortening them. by George Monbiot I’ve come across some odd ways to make a living, but few as strange as this. The gambling company Ladbrokes has been offering odds on the conservation status of various fish species. Until last night it was taking bets on mackerel; recently it has encouraged people to punt on the survival prospects of stocks […]

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Dr. Vandana Shiva on Just Food

This is a good summary of what Vandana Shiva talks about lately. Even if you think you’ve heard it all before, I think this is a excellent one to watch and share. Forbes Magazine called Vandana Shiva one of the seven most influential women in the world. A noted philosopher, scientist and author, Dr. Shiva addressed a full house at Coady International Institute at StFX University on the theme of […]

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Life is Elsewhere

In both Russia and Canada a bloodbath of wolves is now taking place. by George Monbiot If, as she has threatened, Brigitte Bardot moves to Russia in protest at the treatment of animals in France, she’s in for a major shock.

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Field Notes From Amazonia

by Noah Sabich, Eco-Ola The placement of your feet on the wooden boards is essential; frequent use and infrequent maintenance have rendered the steep stairwell a treacherous walkway down to the docks. This is the port of Iquitos, Peru. It is a central location that gives access to the tributaries of the Amazon River. Its odor betrays its neglect. Interfluvial commerce and a growing population in the city of Iquitos […]

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Bombing Cairo With Seeds

Last October, in the run-up towards World Food Day, a seed bombing event was co-organized in Cairo in collaboration with Nawaya. Nawaya is a start-up social enterprise focusing on agriculture as a core driver for rural development — but not just any agricultural system. Nawaya specifically promotes ecological farming practices whereby Egyptian rural communities become stewards of their local environment and agro-ecological resources. This is a long process of awareness-raising […]

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China’s Rising Soybean Consumption Reshaping Western Agriculture

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute Where was once pristine Amazon rainforest, soybean harvesters march across the landscape instead Global demand for soybeans has soared in recent decades, with China leading the race. Nearly 60 percent of all soybeans entering international trade today go to China, making it far and away the world’s largest importer. The soybean was domesticated some 3,000 years ago by farmers in eastern China. But […]

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The Shifting Baseline (TED video)

The more I learn about permaculture, the more I learn about the potential for not only stability in our food and water systems, but abundance. When I see the sharp difference between the future that permaculture offers and the future of scarcity that our current path seems to lead to, I have to wonder what is wrong with society’s perspective in general that it wouldn’t be searching desperately for an […]

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Food MythBusters – Do We Really Need Industrial Agriculture to Feed the World? (video)

Further Reading: A Farm for the Future (BBC video) The Rodale Institute’s 30-Year Farming Systems Trial Report Biodiverse Systems are More Productive The Food Crisis: “A Perfect Storm” – and How to Turn the Tide Orchestrating Famine – a Must-Read Backgrounder on the Food Crisis Food Futures Now – Feeding People & Place Without Fossil Fuels The Looming Food Crisis and the ‘Food 2030′ Report The Story of Soil A […]

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Annus Horribilis

2012 was the worst year for the environment in living memory. by George Monbiot It was the year of living dangerously. In 2012 governments turned their backs on the living planet, demonstrating that no chronic problem, however grave, will take priority over an immediate concern, however trivial. I believe there has been no worse year for the natural world in the past half century.

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