Climate conference COP22 calls for action on land restoration, coordination, financing

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Marrakesh, at the foot of the Atlas Mountains

The 22nd UN climate conference (COP 22) held in November in Marrakech, Morocco’s ‘Ochre City,’ was all about action.

Action not only to reshape the path of development in order to curb global temperature rise as a result of climate change, but also to sustainably feed and provide for a growing global population. The actions are part of countries’ commitments of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, which came into force on 4 November 2016, just days before the Marrakesh conference kicked off on 7 November.

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Private companies partner with small producers to create sustainable supply chains of the future

Leveraging their buying power and financial resources, companies are working to create the sustainable supply chains we need in a changing climate. Ones in which farmers and companies prosper together. Where farmers will produce more using ecologically sound practices, and earn decent incomes for their production.

An estimated half a billion smallholder farmers produce 70% of the world’s raw materials and are the pillar of the food industry. Their sustainability is tied together with that of the companies—large and small— that buy this produce, process and market foods and natural products. Read more. . .

Rainfall: a new way to look at trees for climate mitigation

A side event at the UN climate change conference now underway in Paris (COP21

'Alone', a photo by Yudha Lesmana, was finalist in the XIV World Forestry Congress photo competition. http://bit.ly/1OjlqSp
‘Alone’, a photo by Yudha Lesmana, was finalist in the XIV World Forestry Congress photo competition. http://bit.ly/1OjlqSp

) urged a new, easier-to-understand way to discuss trees and climate change mitigation: Rainfall.

Rainfall made through evapotranspiration from plant matter cools

the air around, since plants use heat energy to release water into the atmosphere.  And a tree is more cooling than short vegetation; it uses 100–200 mm more water per year.

But the story is much more interesting, thanks to air currents that transport moisture from one place to another.

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“It’s time to stop talking and start acting” : Agroecological farming for people and the planet

Back in 2009, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) issued a clarion call for a deep reform of agriculture globally.

“Business as usual is not an option,” the comprehensive, evidence-based global series titled Agriculture at Crossroads, stated boldly.

The IAASTD report urged, among other things, for global agriculture to respect the agroecological principles that had served farmers and nature well since the dawn of farming; practices such as organic farming and agroforestry which supply the nutritional needs of people without harming the natural resource base on which all life depends. Read  more. . .

Why food waste is a concern for tropical forest conservation

Does wasting food lead to the loss of tropical forests?

Sacred wood in Cote d'Ivoire. Photo by Emilie Smith/ICRAF
Sacred wood in Cote d’Ivoire. Photo by Emilie Smith/ICRAF

Though not obvious at first glance, researchers say clear links exist between food loss and wastage, and deforestation. This is because clearing intact forests to produce both commodity crops and subsistence crops is one of the main factors (or drivers) that lead to their depletion, particularly in the tropics and subtropics.

“If food waste is not abated, then the land required to produce food is going to increase, especially in view of a sharply increasing global population,” warned Lalisa Duguma, scientist, Sustainable Landscapes and Integrated Climate Actions, at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins. Lalisa was presenting at a well attended side event of the XIV World Forestry Congress, Durban, 7-11 September 2015. Read more. . .

The right tree for the right place: vegetationmap4africa v2 includes smartphone app

Tree enthusiasts on the move can now identify species as they go, and at the same time gain a deeper understanding of their natural environment, thanks to a new version of vegetationmap4africa (www.vegetationmap4africa.org).

Field testing of the new vegetationmap4Africa App. Photo by Roeland Kindt/ICRAF
Field testing of the new vegetationmap4Africa App. Photo by Roeland Kindt/ICRAF

The new version of the map (ver. 2.0), which has been developed by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the University of Copenhagen and partners, was launched on 7 September 2015 at the XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban. The map is expected to help those involved in landscape restoration to make better decisions on suitable tree and shrub species to.. Read more…

Forests and society a major theme at the XIV World Forestry Congress

Forest give food and oxygen, stabilize land, improve water quality and availability, reduce the effects of climate change, and provide spaces for cultural activities, reflection and enjoyment.

Convened by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and hosted in Durban by the Government of South Africa, the XIV World Forestry Congress (#Forests2015 on twitter) 7-11 September 2015, will have a strong focus on young people, women and local communities in defining a vision for a sustainable future of forests and forestry. Read more. . .

‘Don’t throw money at farmers’, and other lessons in sustainable multi-functional agriculture

To overcome poverty, hunger and malnutrition as well as their close bedfellow environmental degradation, we would all do well to heed the dozen principles discussed in a new article by Roger B. Leakey. Instead of giving farmers cash handouts, for instance, we would empower them with skills and knowledge. And instead of telling them what to do, we would ask them what it was they needed.

The 12 principles are distilled from the operations of a long-term, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)-led project in Cameroon, West Africa. Initiated in 1998, the project revolves around training communities in agroforestry for the rehabilitation of degraded land, and participatory domestication and commercialization of fruits and nuts from indigenous trees. The project won the prestigious Equator prize in 2012.Read more. . .