Recent News

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

New Dwarf Trees Set to Revolutionize Palm Oil Market

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The dwarf trees at a government research center in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor are clones of a new variety bred to be 30 percent smaller than regular oil palms when they mature. That’s a significant advantage for farmers harvesting the red and orange fruit that can grow between thorny fronds up to five stories high. Seedlings of the Clonal Palm Series 2, or CPS2, variety -- which can cost up to two times more than conventional plants -- are being rolled out by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, the agency responsible for promoting and developing the country’s most valuable agricultural export. Continue reading..

Conservation and Sustainable Use of Unique Ecosystems/Landscapes of High Biodiversity

Reliance on natural healing cultivates respect for nature in Indonesian village

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PAKULI INDUK, Indonesia — In a remote village on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi lies a small garden of near-mythic repute — a place whose stewards grow not mere plants, but hopes and cures that have served the community for generations. Packed into a single hectare (2.5 acres) in Pakuli Induk village, in Central Sulawesi province, are 400 different types of herbal plants, first collected and grown by Sahlan, a shaman, or sando, from the Kaili tribe. Continue reading..

Conservation and Sustainable Use of Unique Ecosystems/Landscapes of High Biodiversity

Deforestation-linked palm oil still finding its way into top consumer brands: report

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JAKARTA — Pledges by major brands to stop buying palm oil from companies known to destroy rainforests have failed to stop the clearance of a total area of forest the size of Los Angeles in just the last three years. That’s the finding from a new report by Greenpeace, which sought to gauge the progress made by leading consumer brands and palm oil firms in making good on their promises to break the link between the palm oil they buy and the destruction of rainforests and other ills. The report found that palm oil suppliers to these top brands had cleared more than 1,300 square kilometers (500 square miles) of rainforest in Southeast Asia since the end of 2015, despite a growing number of commitments by most major refiners, traders and end users of palm oil to stop doing business with deforesters and land grabbers. Continue reading..

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

In Indonesia, commuters pay for the bus with plastic waste

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RESIDENTS of Indonesia’s second largest city Surabaya can now pay for the bus in a novel way – by trading in used plastic. The city’s mayor Tri “Risma” Rismaharini last month announced the roll out of the new Suroboyo Bus, comfortable, air-conditioned buses which are, importantly, accessible for disabled, elderly and pregnant passengers. While the buses might be shiny and new, passengers are invited to pay for their rides not just with money, but with plastic they turn in at designated bus stops and recycling stations around the city. Continue reading..

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

Intensified farming 'rarely' aids wellbeing, environment

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[NAIROBI] Agricultural intensification rarely leads to simultaneous benefits for ecosystem services such as biodiversity and human wellbeing, researchers say.   In a study published in Nature Sustainability journal, which involved analysis of 60 case studies from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, they found that fewer than 20 per cent of cases had benefits across both these outcomes.   Agricultural intensification — activities that aim to increase either the productivity or profitability of agricultural land — tends to get high priority as a strategy for sustainable food production. Continue reading..

Conservation and Sustainable Use of Unique Ecosystems/Landscapes of High Biodiversity

Global warming to increase water in South Asian rivers

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[ISLAMABAD] A wetter future awaits South Asia, says a new study based on global climate change models that informed the fifth assessment report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The South Asia region will see a 20–30 per cent increase in mean annual runoff for the period 2046–2075 relative to the study baseline period of 1976–2005, says Hongxing Zheng, corresponding author of the study published this month (August) in the Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies. The study was carried out by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia. Continue reading..

Restoration of Degraded Ecosystem

New study: Up to 7 billion tonnes of Carbon Dioxide can be removed from the atmosphere each year through better soil management on farm land

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By better managing farmland soil, the amount of carbon stored in the top 30 centimeters of the soil could increase an extra 0.9 to 1.85 gigatons each year, say authors of a new study published today in Scientific Reports. Continue reading..

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

Software helps cut Indian cows’ methane emissions

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[NEW DELHI] A software tool developed by India’s National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) is helping balance the diets of 2.4 million heads of Indian cattle leading to increased milk output and reduced methane emissions, an international livestock conference heard. The software tool, called Information Network on Animal Productivity and Health (INAPH), was presented at the annual Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock Meeting held at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia this month (11—15 June) by Vinod Ahuja, a policy officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization. Continue reading..

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

Egyptian invention cuts rice irrigation water by half

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[Cairo] Experts and stakeholders in Egypt warn of imminent water poverty as a result of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is about to become operational. Meanwhile, agricultural production consumes about 85 per cent of the country’s water resources, half of which goes towards rice irrigation. Rice cultivation consumes more than 10 billion cubic meters of water annually, or more than one-sixth of Egypt's share of Nile water, Khaled Ghanem, professor of Organic Farming in Al-Azhar University, told SciDev. Continue reading..

Restoration of Degraded Ecosystem, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Unique Ecosystems/Landscapes of High Biodiversity

FAO and UNHCR launch new tool to save forests in displacement-affected areas

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20 June 2018, Rome/Geneva - The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Refugee Agency (UNHCR) launched today a new handbook to help restore forests in displacement-affected areas, where heavy reliance on woodfuel puts forests and woodlands in jeopardy. An estimated 2.4 billion people - about a quarter of the global population - depend on wood as their main energy source for cooking. Continue reading..