Transition Town Fujino Goes for Local Energy Independence – Your Olive Branch


Your Olive Branch

Transition Town Fujino Goes for Local Energy Independence
Your Olive Branch
As we have explained before on Our World 2.0, the Transition Town Movement is an international network of grassroots groups that form to apply the theory of permaculture to community revitalization. The concept of permaculture, which originated in

Farmers help tiger conservation efforts in India – Forests Blog, Center for International Forestry Research (blog)

Farmers help tiger conservation efforts in India
Forests Blog, Center for International Forestry Research (blog)
An innovative agroforestry programme has brought Indian farmers renewed ownership of a wealth of tree genetic resources. Neil Palmer (CIAT). HYDERABAD, India (31 October, 2012)_Smallholder farmers living on the fringes of a tiger sanctuary in southern

Salon Event Featuring Orin and Stephanie Martin

Title: Salon Event Featuring Orin and Stephanie Martin
Location: Gabriella Café, 910 Cedar Street, Santa Cruz
Description: On Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 pm, enjoy a $35 4-course dinner at Gabriella Café. Orin Martin, manager of UCSC’s Alan Chadwick Garden, will discuss the history of peppers, kale and apples and offer a tasting of these popular local crops. Stephanie Martin’s artwork will be on display, and she’ll talk about her techniques as a painter and printmaker. For reservations call 831.457-1677
Start Time: 19:30
Date: 2012-11-08

An Urban Orchard in Phoenix: Grow Everything from Blood Oranges to Bonanza … – Phoenix New Times (blog)


Phoenix New Times (blog)

An Urban Orchard in Phoenix: Grow Everything from Blood Oranges to Bonanza
Phoenix New Times (blog)
Think you can't grow your own fruit? Think again. Urban orcharding is gaining ground (pun intended). Bryan White often teaches about urban orcharding and soil building for the Valley Permaculture Alliance and he let us in some secrets for a fruitful

Transition Town Fujino Goes For Local Energy Independence – CounterCurrents.org

Transition Town Fujino Goes For Local Energy Independence
CounterCurrents.org
As we have explained before on Our World 2.0, the Transition Town Movement is an international network of grassroots groups that form to apply the theory of permaculture to community revitalization. The concept of permaculture, which originated in

Brand New Issue of Permaculture and The Moneyless Manifesto Now Available! – Permaculture Magazine


Permaculture Magazine

Brand New Issue of Permaculture and The Moneyless Manifesto Now Available!
Permaculture Magazine
The new Permaculture magazine is out today! Issue 74 also coincides with the release of Mark Boyle's long awaited The Moneyless Manifesto. pcm74.jpg. In this issue, Mark Boyle describes how we can free ourselves from that ravenous beast – The Economy

Sustainable Agriculture Symposium set for Nov. 1 and 2 – Syracuse.com (blog)

Sustainable Agriculture Symposium set for Nov. 1 and 2
Syracuse.com (blog)
Discussions will focus on developments in agroecology, biopesticides, biofertilizers, green chemistry, and related technologies, and their impact on water quality, the environment, soil productivity, food production and sustainable agriculture. The

Prop 37’s Impact on Food Prices Uncertain | Latest News | Earth Island Journal … – Earth Island Journal

Prop 37's Impact on Food Prices Uncertain | Latest News | Earth Island Journal
Earth Island Journal
the package, says Miguel Altieri, agroecology professor at University of California, Berkeley. But it's the claim by opponents of the measure, including large manufacturers and agribusinesses, that food prices would skyrocket if the proposition passes

and more »

New Durham Planning Board to discuss permaculture concepts – Foster’s Daily Democrat

New Durham Planning Board to discuss permaculture concepts
Foster’s Daily Democrat
NEW DURHAM — The New Durham Planning Board will have a a presentation and discussion describing the concepts of permaculture and how they can be applied at the municipal level. It will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 pm at the New Durham Fire

Ubay Agro Forest maintains 1-hectare of coffee plantations – Philippine Information Agency

Ubay Agro Forest maintains 1-hectare of coffee plantations
Philippine Information Agency
The project is in line with the DENR Agro Forestry Development Project with the help of UFTAI aims to benefit the communities consistent to the objectives of the National Greening Program (NGP). The San Pascual Agro Forest in Ubay is part of the

Parable of the Mushroom, November in the Garden & Calendar of North State … – A News Cafe

Parable of the Mushroom, November in the Garden & Calendar of North State
A News Cafe
Wyntour Gardens, 8026 Airport Rd (1 mi. South of the Redding Airport, next to Kents Mkt). 365-2256 www.wyntourgardens.com. Oct 27 – Chico: Chico Permaculture Guild Permablitz Gathering, Potluck and Surplus Swap 3 pm – 6 pm. 1926 Salem St. Chico, CA

Farmers speak out for GE labeling

Speaking at farmers' markets Wednesday in honor of international Food Week,  California farmers — conventional and organic alike — declared their support for labeling genetically engineered food.

Challenging a series of misleading advertisements that claim otherwise, this new coalition, Farmers for Truth in Labeling, is making it explicity clear that they support Proposition 37 and the honest conversations with consumers it will create.

read more

Farmer v. Monsanto goes to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced last week that an Indiana farmer who was sued by Monsanto will get another day in court.

Vernon Hugh Bowman was forced to pay Monsanto $84,000 for planting seeds containing patented RoundUp Ready genes without paying technology fees to the chemical and seed giant. If the Supreme Court overturns this decision when it hears Bowman's appeal, its ruling could drastically change the biotech seed industry. 

read more

At EPA’s front door: “Protect bees from pesticides”

Standing outside EPA headquarters in Washington DC yesterday, beekeepers — flanked by Center for Food Safety, PAN and Beyond Pesticides — called for immediate action to protect bees from hazardous pesticides.

It’s not the first time EPA has been asked to take action. Far from it. For the past two years beekeepers, PAN and allies — including more than a million people across the country — have submitted numerous public and legal petitions urging the Agency to move more quickly in its evaluation of bee-harming pesticides, and fix the flawed process for allowing them on the market in the first place.

read more

Seeds of Inspiration: California’s Prop 37 – Hyphen Magazine (blog)


Hyphen Magazine (blog)

Seeds of Inspiration: California's Prop 37
Hyphen Magazine (blog)
Aileen Suzara is a Filipina/American educator, cook, food justice advocate, and graduate of the U.C. Santa Cruz agroecology apprenticeship. Her writing has appeared in Earth Island Journal, The Colors of Nature, Growing Up Filipino, and her blog

and more »

Students get unique environmental research experience in Spain

Several students from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences recently studied the potential effects of global climate change in Spain. For the last two years, eight students journeyed from central Pennsylvania to Madrid to conduct research in the field of global climate change ecology. Enrolled in the Ecological Research in Spain course, at …

‘Arbor Dawn Festival’ features live music, promotes permaculture – Valley Breeze


Valley Breeze

'Arbor Dawn Festival' features live music, promotes permaculture
Valley Breeze
SMITHFIELD – The young farmers who have leased 16 acres of town property off Farnum Pike for development as an agricultural and education center are inviting the community to a nine-hour festival there Saturday, Oct. 27, featuring farm-related

Pick Up Day for Winter Produce Box

Title: Pick Up Day for Winter Produce Box
Location: CSA Barn, UCSC Farm
Link out: Click here
Description: Reserve your special “Winter Box” of UCSC produce by November 16 for pick up on November 30 at the UCSC Farm from 12 noon – 5:30 pm. The $40 box includes a variety of organic produce from the UCSC Farm and Garden, including persimmons, apples, kiwis, greens, squash, broccoli and more. See the “Link out” for a link to the Winter Box order form.
Start Time: 12:00
Date: 2012-11-30
End Time: 17:30

Reserve Your Winter Produce Box

Title: Reserve Your Winter Produce Box
Location: UCSC Farm
Link out: Click here
Description: Reserve your special “Winter Box” of UCSC produce by November 16 for pick up on November 30 at the UCSC Farm. The $40 box includes a variety of organic produce from the UCSC Farm and Garden, including persimmons, apples, kiwis, greens, squash, broccoli and more. See the “Link out” for more information and a link to the downloadable order form. Questions? Call 831.459-3240 or email casfs@ucsc.edu.
Date: 2012-11-16

Reserve Your Winter Produce Box by November 16

Reserve your special “Winter Box” of UCSC produce by November 16 for pick up on November 30 at the UCSC Farm. The $40 box includes a variety of organic produce from the UCSC Farm and Garden, including persimmons, apples, kiwis, greens, squash, broccoli and more. Click here to download the order form for printing and mailing.
Questions? Call 831.459-3240 or email casfs@ucsc.edu.

Saul teacher receives honor for work with school’s agricultural program – Philadelphia Public School Notebook (blog)


Philadelphia Public School Notebook (blog)

Saul teacher receives honor for work with school's agricultural program
Philadelphia Public School Notebook (blog)
McAtamney, an environmental science and agro-ecology teacher, was recognized for helping to establish a Community Supported Agriculture Project (CSA) at Saul, and for her efforts in establishing a school-based recycling initiative. On Oct. 9, she

Pediatricians enter the organic debate. Media miss the boat.

Yesterday the American Academy of Pediatrics weighed in on organic food. They found that "an organic diet reduces children's exposure to pesticides," and highlighted studies linking pesticides with many of the childhood health harms included in PAN's recent report, A Generation in Jeopardy.

Unfortunately, media coverage of the report has been all over the map. And given the power of headlines to shape public debate in ways that directly impact policymakers' appetite for taking on tough issues, this failure on the part of news desks and editors to report the substance of the science accurately is a serious problem.

read more

CASFS Co-Hosts Fair Trade Event November 6

On Tuesday, November 6, from 4 pm-6 pm CASFS will co-host an educational event on direct trade chocolate focused onkallari flier the Kichwa community in Ecuador. The event will take place at the Alumni Room at the University Center (College 9/10). Please RSVP for this event.

Kallari is a farmers’ cooperative comprised of 850 indigenous Kichwa families in the Ecuadorian Amazon. They produce organic, endemic varietals of cacao on family-owned Kichwa farms which is turned into a rich, single source, artisanal chocolate bar. In addition to having a chocolate tasting, Kallari will talk about how they foster sustainable livelihoods, prevent rainforest degradation, and engage in direct and fair trade to negotiate better prices. Please join us in this tasting discussion and share the opportunity with your peers!

Please RSVP to this event. For more information contact Catherine Huffman at (925) 247-4338 or focancoordinator@canunite.org

This event is sponsored by: Community Agroecology Network (CAN), Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), El Centro, Latin American and Latino Studies, Center for Tropical Research in Ecology, Agriculture and Development (CenTREAD), and the UCSC Food Systems Working Group

UCSC Kallari Chocolate Tasting Event

Title: UCSC Kallari Chocolate Tasting Event
Location: Alumni Room, University Center (College 9/10)
Link out: Click here
Description: On Tuesday, November 6 from 4 pm – 6 pm, join us for a direct trade chocolate educational event. Please RSVP using the Link out.
Kallari is a farmers’ cooperative comprised of 850 indigenous Kichwa families in the Ecuadorian Amazon. They produce organic, endemic varietals of cacao on family-owned Kichwa farms, which is turned into a rich, single-source, artisanal chocolate bar. In addition to having a chocolate tasting, Kallari will talk about how they foster sustainable livelihoods, prevent rainforest degradation, and engage in direct and fair trade to negotiate better prices. Please join us in this tasting discussion and share the opportunity with your peers!
Start Time: 16:00
Date: 2012-11-06
End Time: 18:00

Bringing sustainability to the table – N.C. State University Technician Online

Bringing sustainability to the table
N.C. State University Technician Online
“There were a lot of various efforts in sustainable agriculture around the University, and we wanted to bring everybody together first so everybody knows what each other are doing,” Michelle Schroeder-Moreno, director of the agroecology program and the

Talking POPs in Geneva

PAN and our partners have been on the ground in Geneva this week, participating in the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC8)

Here at this annual gathering of scientists and policymakers from around the world, chemicals are considered for addition to the Stockholm Convention. This international treaty bans or restricts use of chemicals deemed to be "persistent organic pollutants" (POPs) due to their harmful impacts on health and their long-lasting presence in the environment.

read more

Course focuses on the science, art of making cheese

Cheese making is a complex process involving many factors that must be considered — it’s not as easy as simply looking up a recipe on the Internet. If you are serious about making fine cheese, you likely need some help. A short course, The Science and Art of Cheese Making, will be held today through Oct. 24 in the Food Science Building….

Fruit Tree Question & Answer Session

Title: Fruit Tree Question & Answer Session
Location: ProBuild Garden Center, 235 River Street, Santa Cruz
Description: On Sunday, January 13 from 10 am to 12 noon join fruit tree experts Orin Martin of the Alan Chadwick Garden and Matthew Sutton of Orchard Keepers for a free question and answer session. Learn about varieties that perform well on the Central Coast, along with fruit tree care tips. Friends of the Farm & Garden members receive a 10% discount on plant purchases.
Start Time: 10:00
Date: 2013-01-13
End Time: 12:00

Fruit Trees 101: Basic Fruit Tree Care

Title: Fruit Trees 101: Basic Fruit Tree Care
Location: Louise Cain Gatehouse, UCSC Farm
Description: On Saturday, January 5 from 10 am – 1 pm learn the basics of fruit tree planting, irrigation, fertility, pest management, and winter pruning. Orchard Care founder Matthew Sutton will lead this workshop. Wear warm clothes and bring a snack; heavy rain cancels. $20 for Friends of the Farm & Garden members, $30 for general public, $5 for UCSC students, payable the day of the workshop. Note: a workshops that focuses on winter pruning will be offered on February 9 at the UCSC Farm. For more information, contact 831.459-3240 or casfs@ucsc.edu.
Rainout = Saturday, January 12

Start Time: 10:00
Date: 2013-01-05
End Time: 13:00

Last Day of Market Cart

Title: Last Day of Market Cart
Location: Corner of Bay and High Streets, UCSC
Description: Friday, November 2 is the last day of the UCSC Farm and Garden Market Cart season. Stock up on seasonal veggies, fruits and flowers from 12 noon – 6 pm. The Market Cart will open again in spring 2013.
Start Time: 12:00
Date: 2012-11-02
End Time: 18:00

Food Day Celebration

Title: Food Day Celebration
Location: Louise Cain Gatehouse, UCSC Farm
Link out: Click here
Description: On Wednesday, October 24, UCSC students are invited to the UCSC Farm from 7-9 pm to enjoy pumpkin painting and some short films as part of the Food Week activities. See the link for more information about Food Week or call 831.459-3675.
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2012-10-24
End Time: 21:00

“Food, What?!” Hosts Harvest Festival

The youth empowerment program “Food, What?!”, founded by CASFS Apprenticeship grad Doron Comerchero, hosted more than 300 middle school and high school youth for its annual Harvest Festival at the UCSC Farm. Students enjoyed healthy treats like kale and spinach pizza while learning about food justice and the local and global food industry. “Food,What?!” is part of the Life Lab garden-based science and nutrition program. Read more about the festival.

A Hub Of World-Changing Education, In The Heart Of Orange County – Co.Exist


Co.Exist

A Hub Of World-Changing Education, In The Heart Of Orange County
Co.Exist
"I think the design challenge coming to Orange County was to create something that was accessible and inviting to everyone at every level within their journey for sustainability," says founder and executive director Evan Marks, who studied agroecology

School lunches: A tool for better health?

Do school lunches bring back memories of massive ladels of gravy piled onto heaps of mashed potatoes, processed chicken nuggets and canned fruit?

Well, luckily this picture’s starting to change. President Obama has declared this week National School Lunch Week to shine a light on the school lunch program that began under president Harry Truman — and how it's being moved in a healthier direction. As the mom of a daughter who recently started kindergarten, I'd say it's high time.

read more

GE labeling: The world wants it

What do over 60 countries in the world, representing over half the world’s population — including member nations of the European Union, Russia, China, Brazil, Australia, Turkey, Saudia Arabia, Indonesia and Japan — have in common? A national requirement for mandatory GE food labeling.

And the global movement continues to grow, with India’s GE labeling laws coming into full force in 2013. Last week, I heard more good news: one of our partners in South Africa, the African Centre for Biosafety, reports that GE labeling laws there are getting stronger.

read more

For Christians & food, the devil is in the details

This is a global Week of Food Action, and as part of the push, a broad alliance of Christians from around the world has released a set of recommendations for ending world hunger. 

Despite best attempts by the chemical industry to use "feeding the world" as moral justification to sell pesticides and proprietary, genetically engineered (GE) seeds to farmers worldwide, members of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance are calling instead for food and farming systems that embody Christian values of fairness, care for creation and sustenance for generations. Rather than pesticides and GE seeds, this global network of Christians calls for investment in agroecology. Why? Because it works.

read more

Nature’s matrix: Linking agriculture, conservation and food sovereignty – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Nature's matrix: Linking agriculture, conservation and food sovereignty
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
Nevertheless, experience and research show that a combination of traditional knowledge and the latest agro-ecological research can produce results that are biodiversity-friendly while producing as much food as high-input industrial farms. A new

PAN Partners launch nationwide report

Last week PAN released a new report, A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children's health & intelligence with events in 10 cities. The report has landed well, with media outlets across the country spotlighting the growing body of evidence that pesticides are one of the reasons that children are less healthy today.

We're excited this national conversation is underway — and we could not have made it happen without the support of our PAN Partners. Here in Minnesota we worked with doctors, moms and advocacy organizations who are also working in the state to keep kids safe from toxic chemicals.  

read more

Biggest opponents of labeling GE food? Pesticide corporations.

According to filings released by the California Secretary of State last week, the world’s six largest pesticide corporations are now the six largest funders of opposition to Proposition 37. Collectively the "Big 6"  have contributed more than $20 million to oppose the measure that would label genetically engineered food, including an intensive advertising campaign over the past two weeks.

read more

Blueberry Bushes, Grapevines, Citrus, Apple Trees and More for Sale Now from … – Phoenix New Times (blog)


Phoenix New Times (blog)

Blueberry Bushes, Grapevines, Citrus, Apple Trees and More for Sale Now from
Phoenix New Times (blog)
This is where the Valley Permaculture Alliance's annual fruit tree sale could come to the rescue. Not only are trees on sale til November 20, VPA is offering offering classes in tree and plant maintenance. See also: – Five Permaculture Tips for

Declaration highlights positive impact of rural co-ops – Co-Operative News


Co-Operative News

Declaration highlights positive impact of rural co-ops
Co-Operative News
FAO stands ready to work with other stakeholders to advance this important agenda.” The Dunsany Declaration was launched at an event to celebrate World Food Day at the UK Houses of Parliament for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology.

Image analysis may allow pathologists to expedite diagnoses

For pathologists, identifying damaged or diseased tissue is a time-consuming process of poring over samples under a microscope. But collaborative research between veterinarians and electrical engineers at Penn State could significantly speed up the process. Using image recognition technology similar to what powers photo-editing software and social …

$10M grant will fund research into biofuel-based economic development

The Northeast could help lead the way to a renewable-energy-based economy by utilizing marginal and abandoned land to grow energy crops such as perennial grasses and fast-growing woody plants. That’s the goal of a new research and education project led by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and supported by a $10 million grant from the …

Skyway’s pop-up allotment project in Hackney will promote permaculture – Hackney Gazette

Skyway's pop-up allotment project in Hackney will promote permaculture
Hackney Gazette
Grow SkyWay is the latest venture from youth engagement charity SkyWay, and it is hoped it will foster an entrepreneurial spirit, allowing young people to develop carpentry, gardening and retail skills, whilst learning about green principles like

Are Agricultural Co-ops the solution to world hunger? – Permaculture Magazine


Permaculture Magazine

Are Agricultural Co-ops the solution to world hunger?
Permaculture Magazine
The last day of the Seed Freedom fortnight of action is upon us and at this same time, we raise awareness for World Food Day. The topic of Seed sovereignty is largely an effort to promote the independence of farmers and growers the world over. In this

31000 agro-forestry, native trees planted in Central Visayas – Philippine Information Agency

31000 agro-forestry, native trees planted in Central Visayas
Philippine Information Agency
CEBU CITY, Oct 15 (PIA) — A total of 31,466 agroforestry and native tree species were planted as of third quarter this year by mining firms as their contribution to the implementation of the national greening program (NGP) in Central Visayas. The

NYT Dot Earth | Los Meses Flacos | GMCR and CAN


The October 9, 2012 Dot Earth (Andrew Revkin) includes a “Your Dot” contribution from Mike Dupee, VP for corporate social responsibility at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) in Vermont. Dupee writes about Los Meses Flacos (the thin months), the prolonged period of hunger that occurs after the coffee harvest during the rainy season. He describes GMCR’s efforts to alleviate this phenomenon. According to Drupree, GMCR “… convened nonprofit partners and communities in its supply chain to understand the factors influencing food security in the region and, with the farmers and their families, develop potential solutions. What emerged was a new strategy that included crop and income diversification tactics.  Families that depended on coffee for all, or a substantial portion of their livelihood, had new choices that could help increase their economic security. Some were taught to farm fish, cultivate mushrooms and produce organic honey for personal consumption and to sell in local markets. They were educated on food preservation techniques to make the (literal) fruits of their labor stretch further. We have seen diets that once consisted of primarily beans and rice shifting to include nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Balanced nutrition is leading to improved energy levels, heightened productivity and stronger immune systems – and happier, healthier individuals mean stronger communities.

CAN is proud to be among the organizations working to help communities build a healthier and more sustainable future. To learn more about our food-security projects that are supported by GMDR, go to: Action Research Initiatives.

To support coffee farmers in Nicaragua and Mexico, buy AgroEco® Coffee!

Learn more about After the Harvest: Fighting Hunger in the Coffeelands

 

 

 

 

 

Research shows legume trees can fertilize and stabilize maize fields, generate … – Phys.Org

Research shows legume trees can fertilize and stabilize maize fields, generate
Phys.Org
Inserting rows of "fertilizer trees" into maize fields, known as agroforestry, can help farmers across sub-Saharan Africa cope with the impacts of drought and degraded soils, according to a 12-year-long study by researchers at the World Agroforestry

Saskatchewan group wants to save the shelterbelt program – News Talk 980 CJME

Saskatchewan group wants to save the shelterbelt program
News Talk 980 CJME
Shelterbelt trees are all over the place, you've seen them, but you probably never given them a second thought, but federal money has dried up, and now the shelterbelt program is in jeopardy. The Agroforestry Development Center near Indian Head has

and more »

Research shows legume trees can fertilize and stabilize maize fields, generate … – Science Codex

Research shows legume trees can fertilize and stabilize maize fields, generate
Science Codex
NAIROBI, KENYA (15 October 2012)—Inserting rows of "fertilizer trees" into maize fields, known as agroforestry, can help farmers across sub-Saharan Africa cope with the impacts of drought and degraded soils, according to a 12-year-long study by

and more »

Research shows legume trees can fertilize and stabilize maize fields, generate … – EurekAlert (press release)

Research shows legume trees can fertilize and stabilize maize fields, generate
EurekAlert (press release)
NAIROBI, KENYA (15 October 2012)—Inserting rows of "fertilizer trees" into maize fields, known as agroforestry, can help farmers across sub-Saharan Africa cope with the impacts of drought and degraded soils, according to a 12-year-long study by

WSU to dedicate Eggert Family Organic Farm – Mid Columbia Tri City Herald

WSU to dedicate Eggert Family Organic Farm
Mid Columbia Tri City Herald
"This is a game changer for the program," said John Reganold, WSU Regents Professor in soil science and agroecology who leads the university's organic agriculture major. "This investment by the Eggert family greatly expands the opportunities provided

and more »

City of Berkeley Honors CASFS by Proclaiming “CASFS Day”

On Sunday, October 7, the city of Berkeley honored CASFS by declaring it Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Day. The proclamation stated that “the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz, in the first UC effort to focus on sustainable agriculture, has a program that is essential in the Bay Area’s continual search for sustainable food systems.

The honor was promoted by Apprenticeship alumni Joy Moore, who, along with Herman Yee, also organized a reunion of Bay Area alumni to coincide with CASFS Day. You can read the full proclamation here. Many thanks to Joy and Herman for their efforts on behalf of CASFS and their work in pursuit of a more sustainable food system.

Creative Time’s $25000 Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change Goes to … – GalleristNY


GalleristNY

Creative Time's $25000 Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change Goes to
GalleristNY
Driven by a belief that art must be “proactive, not just reactive action,” García-Dory has become a leader in the field of socially engaged art and a pioneer of a new field connecting art and agroecology. Beginning with his 2004 project, The Shepherd's

For Afghanistan, a $6M climate initiative – Devex


Environment News Service

For Afghanistan, a $6M climate initiative
Devex
Other projects are community-based watershed management; improved terracing, agroforestry and agrosilvo pastoral systems; climate-related research and early warning systems; improved food security; and rangeland management. The initiative will be
UN environmental agency to help Afghanistan combat effects of climate change UN News Centre



all 7 news articles »

Importance of habitat structure as a determinant of the taxonomic and functional composition of lentic macroinvertebrate assemblages

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 42, Issue 1
Ralf C.M. Verdonschot, Karin Didderen, Piet F.M. Verdonschot
Variation in habitat structure provided by macrophytes is regarded as one of the determinants of macroinvertebrate species composition in lentic ecosystems, but mechanisms underlying this relationship appear to be confounded with site-specific factors, such as physicochemical factors, epiphyton and composition of the vegetation. To better understand the relationship between structural complexity of a macrophyte stand and its macroinvertebrate assemblage composition, it is essential to determine the ecological role of different components of habitat structure for the phytomacrofauna. Using artificial structures as macrophyte mimics, representing three growth forms (stems, broad-leaved, finely dissected) and three structure surface areas (0.1, 0.2, 0.3 m2), a full factorial field experiment was conducted in a series of drainage ditches. We investigated if macroinvertebrate assemblages colonizing the structures were affected by an increase in macrophyte structure surface area, structural complexity, or by a combination of both, and if the observed patterns were consistent among sites differing in physicochemical and habitat characteristics. Assemblages were characterized both in terms of taxonomic and functional composition, because we expected that non-taxonomic aggregation of species into functional categories would give a different insight in habitat complexity–macroinvertebrate relationships in comparison to approaches based on the taxonomic assemblage composition. Ditch intrinsic factors, in part reflected in the periphyton on the structures, explained the major proportion of the variance in both the taxonomical macroinvertebrate assemblages and functional groups among structures. Contrary to our expectation, patterns in the taxon-based and functional dataset resembled each other. Only a minor contribution of growth form to the explained variance was observed in the taxonomical dataset, whilst differences in functional composition were unrelated to habitat structure. In conclusion, processes operating on larger spatial scales overrode the micro-scale effects of habitat structural complexity and surface area on macroinvertebrates.

Comparing long term sediment records to current biological quality element data – Implications for bioassessment and management of a eutrophic lake

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 42, Issue 1
Tommi Kauppila, Antti Kanninen, Matias Viitasalo, Johanna Räsänen, Kristian Meissner, Jukka Mattila
Defining reference conditions for lakes situated in areas of human settlement and agriculture is rarely straightforward, and is especially difficult within easily eroding and nutrient rich watersheds. We used diatoms, cyanobaterial akinetes, remains of green algae and chironomid head capsules from sediment samples of Lake Kirmanjärvi, Finland, to assess its deviation from the initial ecological status. These site-specific records of change were compared to current type-specific ecological status assessment. All paleolimnological data indicated deviation from natural conditions and mirrored the current, monitoring-based assessment of “moderate” ecological lake status. However, the sediment data showed that the lake should be re-typified as a naturally eutrophic lake. Sediment records as well as current monitoring data indicated temporary improvement in water quality in response to extensive fish manipulation. Our results suggest that paleolimnological records can be used to derive site-specific reference conditions and that extensive restoration efforts can result in gradual, observable improvements of water quality and ecological status.

Hydrodynamic-phytoplankton model for short-term forecasts of phytoplankton in Lake Taihu, China

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 42, Issue 1
Jiacong Huang, Junfeng Gao, Georg Hörmann
Phytoplankton biomass is an important factor for short-term forecasts of algal blooms. Our new hydrodynamic-phytoplankton model is primarily intended for simulating the spatial and temporal distribution of phytoplankton in Lake Taihu within a time frame of 1–5 days. The model combines two modules: a simple phytoplankton kinetics module for growth and loss; and a mass-transport module, which defines phytoplankton transport horizontally with a two dimensional hydrodynamic model. To adapt field data for model input and calibration, we introduce two simplifications: (a) exclusion of some processes related to phytoplankton dynamics like nutrient dynamics, sediment resuspension, mineralization and nitrification, and (b) use of monthly measured data of the nutrient state. Chlorophyll-α concentration, representing phytoplankton biomass, is the only state variable in the model. A sensitivity analysis was carried out to identify the most sensitive parameter set in the phytoplankton kinetics module. The model was calibrated with field data collected in 2008 and validated with additional data obtained in 2009. A comparison of simulated and observed chlorophyll-α concentration for 33 grid cells achieved an accuracy of 78.7%. However, mean percent error and mean absolute percent error were 13.4% and 58.2%, respectively, which implies that further improvement is necessary, e.g. by reducing uncertainty of the model input and by an improved parameter calibration.

What is groundwater and what does this mean to fauna? – An opinion

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 42, Issue 1
Susanne I. Schmidt, Hans Jürgen Hahn
Many subsurface waters are considered groundwater but are influenced in shallow depths by hyporheic, parafluvial and/or soil interception water to such a degree that groundwater fauna (stygofauna) communities may be significantly altered. Recharge, even if spatially and temporally distinct, delivers input of dissolved oxygen, organic matter (OM), and nutrients that caters sustainably for ubiquists such as stygophiles and hyporheic fauna, but renders the life of uncompetitive stygobites difficult or impossible. The impact of recharge at shallow groundwater thus needs to be taken into account when determining groundwater fauna reference communities and when evaluating monitoring studies. One of the main characteristics of groundwater is low OM concentration. In contrast, high OM concentrations are typical of hyporheic or parafluvial waters, which are enriched by OM from the river, the riparian soils and from interflow, and which contribute significantly to river OM balance. Consequently, for ecological studies on subsurface waters, both the origin of the water and OM, and the intensity of surface water interactions should be considered. Here, we discuss how groundwater spatial and temporal heterogeneity translates into faunal distribution patterns. In terms of the origin of water and OM, and from an ecological point of view, we need to distinguish between (i) shallow groundwater characterized by infiltrating precipitation and soil recharge, (ii) shallow groundwater interacting with surface water bodies such as continuously flowing and ephemeral streams and rivers, and (iii) “old” groundwater which has no recent connections to the surface and is thus largely secluded from input of nutrients and carbon. Water in the first two groups is characterized by high amounts of OM of varying quality, while water in the third group is characterized by low amounts of low quality OM. Consequently, stygophiles dominate in groups 1 and 2, with hyporheic fauna taking up a considerable proportion in group 2, while stygobites only dominate in group 3. Thus, for studies aiming to assess impacts on groundwater, only sampling sites of the third group should be used for reference sites as these are the most likely sites to have little surface impact and a stygofauna representative of the deeper aquifer.