Category: Deforestation

Food Feudalism and the Invention of the Wilderness

Humans, in this current form, have been around for about 100,000 years. Until agriculture went mainstream about 10,000 years ago, most cultures lived as hunter-gatherers, only making minor modifications to the plant communities growing around them. They relied predominantly on native, perennial plants and animals. The development of agriculture is typically referred to as the “Dawn of Civilization”, while Anglo-European folk history paints a narrative of life “in the bush” […]

Read More >

The Benefits Claimants the Government Loves

Corrupt, irrational, destructive, counter-productive: this scarcely begins to describe our farming policy. Soil erosion in a maize field. Photo: Defra Just as mad cow disease exposed us to horrors – feeding cattle on the carcasses of infected cattle – previously hidden in plain sight, so the recent floods have lifted the lid on the equally irrational treatment of the land. Just as BSE exposed dangerous levels of collusion between government […]

Read More >

Permaculture in the Islamic World: The Dire Need to Get Involved!

A Dead Sea Valley family home with their typical front ‘lawn’ (Photo © Craig Mackintosh) Looking at the state of the Islamic World these days, it seems like Muslims don’t really care much about the environment. Canals which carry Nile water to irrigate farmlands in Egypt are so full of rubbish they frequently get blocked up, stagnate and spread disease. The once-mighty river Jordan has been so diminished in these […]

Read More >

Help Neil Young and the ACFN Draw a Line in the (Tar) Sand(s)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5wueetIZn0 The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations and other communities live at the front lines of the largest industrial project on earth. Much of ACFN’s traditional territories are home to tar sands rich deposits eyed by industry for exploitation. Tar sands extraction methods cause large scale and irreversible harm to our health, land, water, wildlife, and the global climate system that supports all life. Canadian and Albertan environmental protection laws have […]

Read More >

Wake up Before it is Too Late – Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate

Click to download (5mb PDF) In late September of last year (2013) the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) put out the latest in their Trade and Environment Review series — titled Wake up Before it is Too Late: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate. Alert readers may already be aware of this document — as it was the springboard for a […]

Read More >

Drowning in Money

The hidden and remarkable story of why devastating floods keep happening. by George Monbiot We all know what’s gone wrong, or we think we do: not enough spending on flood defences. It’s true that the government’s cuts have exposed thousands of homes to greater risk, and that the cuts will become more dangerous as climate change kicks in(1).  But too little public spending is a small part of problem. It […]

Read More >

My Story, in Contribution to Our Story of Hope (Zimbabwe)

by Mugove Walter Nyika I grew up with my grandparents in a village 200 km south of the capital Harare, in Zimbabwe. From an early age I learned from my Grandfather, who passed on when I was six, to plant trees, to collect seeds and seedlings and put them into the earth. There were many sacred sites, where it was a taboo to cut down any tree. When I fell […]

Read More >

India’s Dangerous ‘Food Bubble’

Editor’s Note: As is often the case with the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), crucial solutions are largely missing from the article below. I personally believe India’s population is not the problem, but land mismanagement and the prioritising of extractive short-term economic policies. The author, Lester Brown, only touches on solutions (a surface-level mention of water harvesting), instead of bringing it, and a wholesale restoration of the hydrological cycle, to front […]

Read More >

Addressing the Causes of Land Degradation, Food/Nutritional Insecurity and Poverty: a New Approach to Agricultural Intensification in the Tropics and Subtropics

by Roger RB Leakey, Agroforestry and Novel Crops Unit, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. Photo 1: A multifunctional agriculture landscape in Viet Nam with many income-generating tree-based production systems on hillsides surrounding an area of intensive food production on the most fertile soils. Abstract The shortage of new land for agriculture and the poverty of smallholder farmers in the tropics are serious constraints on […]

Read More >

UNCCD Land for Life Award Winners for 2013 (India, Mexico, Africa): Practical, Doable, Magic

Educating small-holder farmers in India Every year the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) presents awards and supportive prize-money to projects that have had a positive impact on combating desertification and restoring watersheds and the hydrological cycle. This year’s awards went to excellent projects in India, Mexico and Africa. Watch the fantastic videos below, from John D. Liu and the rest of the EEMP team, to find our more […]

Read More >

Ecology From the Air (video)

What are our forests really made of? From the air, ecologist Greg Asner uses a spectrometer and high-powered lasers to map nature in meticulous kaleidoscopic 3D detail — what he calls “a very high-tech accounting system” of carbon. In this fascinating talk, Asner gives a clear message: To save our ecosystems, we need more data, gathered in new ways.

Read More >

China and the Soybean Challenge

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute Some 3,000 years ago, farmers in eastern China domesticated the soybean. In 1765, the first soybeans arrived in North America, but they did not soon catch on as a crop. For 150 years or so the soybean languished as a curiosity in gardens. 1 Then in the late 1920s, a market for soybean oil began to develop, moving the soybean from the garden […]

Read More >