Recent News

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..

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

Course grains better than rice for health, environment

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[NEW DELHI] Shifting away from white, polished rice to a diet that includes more wheat and coarse grains can improve how Indians deal with micronutrient deficiencies, and reduce greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions associated with paddy cultivation, says a new study. Published in the March edition of the journal Global Environmental Change, the study’s findings are described by Narasimha Rao, the paper’s author and project leader of ‘Decent Energy Living’ at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, as the result of a “hypothetical (ideal case) scenario analysis”. India grows a variety of coarse grains — including sorghum, pearl millet, maize, barley, and finger millet — as well as many ‘small millets’ such as kodo millet, little millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, and barnyard millet. Continue reading..

Restoration of Degraded Ecosystem

World's biodiversity lost faster than it recovers

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[MEDELLÍN] The planet's biodiversity is being lost faster than it recovers, with developing regions expected to bear the brunt of future soil degradation, warns a global assessment report produced by hundreds of scientists, government officials and civil society. Forty per cent of the biodiversity in the Americas will be lost by 2050, according to figures released during the Sixth Plenary session of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which brought together some 550 researchers and officials from 129 countries this month (March 17-24) in Medellin, Colombia. Four regional assessment reports were approved at the meeting, covering biodiversity and ecosystem services in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Central Asia and Europe. Continue reading..

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

Genomic models predict shorter time for banana breeding

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[NAIROBI] Scientists have shown through genomic prediction models that it is possible to speed up banana breeding, giving hope to breeders and smallholders looking for improved varieties.   Banana is an important staple crop for millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially those in East Africa.   In a study published in The Plant Genome last month (2 March), researchers collected data on 15 key traits from 307 banana types that were grown in two fields in Uganda under low and high input field management conditions. Continue reading..

Restoration of Degraded Ecosystem

Study counts lives saved with push for 1.5°C climate target

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Speeding up progress on reducing carbon emissions would save millions of lives, mostly in metropolitan areas of Africa and Asia. To keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the world would need to cut the majority of fossil-fuel related carbon emissions this century – and because this would also reduce air pollution locally, it would prevent 150 million premature deaths, according to a paper published in Nature Climate Change. Continue reading..