Category: Deforestation

Healthy Planet and the Law of Ecocide – an Interview with Polly Higgins

The disappearing Amazon rainforest Photo: Cifor Marcin Gerwin: You propose introducing a new international law of ecocide as an amendment to the Rome Statute. Ecocide is defined as “an extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished.” […]

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Carbon-Sequestering Perennial Industrial Crops

Carbon-Sequestering Perennial Industrial Crops

This article is an excerpt from my forthcoming book Carbon Farming: A Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices, and is part of a series promoting my kickstarter campaign to raise funds with which to complete the book. Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) is a common perennial industrial crop, though typically grown in problematic monocultures. Photo Wikimedia Commons. Industrial crops produce materials, chemicals, and energy. Some, […]

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Working With Principles for Creating More Efficient Cooking Stoves (Ethiopia)

In rural Africa it’s pretty hard to come by fuel sources which are a good alternative to wood. Gas is too expensive. Kerosene is also pretty expensive and quite a dirty fuel anyway. Wood also has the advantage that it burns quite slowly so that you can slow cook over a fire for several hours just feeding it occasionally. If you did this with gas it would cost a fortune. […]

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

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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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Permaculture Forest Garden, Badagry, Lagos State, Nigeria

Since 2011 the Adunni Susanne Wenger Foundation in Nigeria, in Cooperation with the German NGO SONED Brandenburg e.V., built up the Environmental Education Centre called Permaculture Forest Garden at Gberefu Island, in Badagry, Lagos State. Beside the sustainability of the local environment, the project’s focus is on health care, food security, nonviolent communication and the support of democratic processes. Permaculture Forest Garden is supported by the German Federal Ministry for […]

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Flow – For the Love of Water (Documentary)

https://youtube.com/watch?v=zmWdco0glEA 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 […]

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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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