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All Africa Synthetic Pesticide Congress and the Eastern Africa Conference on Scaling up Agroecology and Ecological Organic Trade Mutually Merge

The “1st All Africa Synthetic Pesticide Congress” organized by the World Food Preservation CenterÒLLC merges with the Eastern Africa conference on “Scaling up Agroecology and Ecological Organic Trade” organized by Biovision Africa Trust, IFOAM Organics International and their Partners to become the 1st International Conference on Agroecology Transforming Agriculture & Food Systems in Africa”.

 

Photo credit: Unsplash

The “1st All Africa Congress on Synthetic Pesticides, Environment, Human and Animal Health” has expanded its goals by the recognition of Agroecology as a means of combatting synthetic pesticide and fertilizers contamination in the African continent and ensuring actions towards true sustainable agriculture and food systems. The “Agroecology and Ecological Organic Trade” equally see the need to address threats to sustainable agriculture and food systems.

The conference has attracted world leading scientists on both the impact of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers on the African people, their animals, and environment and advocates for Agroecology as a means of producing food without the need for synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. This rare consortium of leading world scientists, practitioners and other players will chart a course to substantially and sustainably reduce synthetic pesticide and fertilizer contamination in Africa. We invite you to participate in and contribute to this seminal event. https://www.worldfoodpreservationcenterpesticidecongress.com/

 

Among the keynote speakers at the conference are Professor Hans Herren, the first Swiss to receive the 1995 World Food Prize and the 2013 Right Livelihood Award (alternate Nobel Prize) for leading a major biological control effort. Also, Professor Tyrone Hayes, UC Berkley, who has pioneered in establishing that the herbicide atrazine is an endocrine disruptor that demasculinizes and feminizes male frogs. Other keynote speakers at the congress are on the forefront of research on the impact of synthetic pesticides and GMOs on the health of humans, animals, and the environment. Also, world leading scientists will be speaking on regenerative agriculture and food sovereignty.

 

The “1st International Conference on Agroecology Transforming Agriculture & Food Systems in Africa: Reducing Synthetic Pesticides and Fertilizers by Scaling Up Agroecology and Promoting Ecological Organic Trade ” will be held at the Safari Park Hotel & Casino, Nairobi, Kenya on June 18-21, 2019.

 

You can register here.

CONTACTS:

Charles L. Wilson, Ph.D., Founder World Food Preservation CenterÒLLC, Charles Town, WV, USA

Worldfoodpreservationcenter@gmail.com

David Amudavi, Ph.D., Director, Bivision Trust, Nairobi, Kenya

damudavi@biovisionafricatrust.org

 

About World Food Preservation Center:

To feed the world’s exploding population, we MUST save substantially more of the food that we already produce. Up until now we have invested a disproportionate amount of our resources in the production of food (95%) while only (5%) in the postharvest preservation of food. This has left us with tremendous postharvest “Skill Gaps” and “Technology Gaps” in developing countries. ​The World Food Preservation Center® LLC is filling these gaps by: (1) promoting the education (M.S. and Ph.D.) of young student/scientists from developing countries; (2) having young student/scientists from developing countries conduct research on much needed new postharvest technologies adaptable to their native countries; (3) organize continent-wide postharvest congresses and exhibitions for developing countries; (4) publish much needed new texts/reference books on postharvest technologies/methods for developing countries; and (5) develop a comprehensive database on all postharvest knowledge relative to developing countries with access portals for researchers, students, administrators, industry, businesses, and farmers.

 

About Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT):

Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) is a not-for-profit organization established in Kenya in 2009 by the Biovision Foundation for ecological development in Switzerland and supported by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi. The Trust’s goal is to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Kenya and other African countries through supporting dissemination of information and knowledge on appropriate technology to improve human, animal, plant, and environmental health. Agricultural output and food supply are however hindered by various environmental factors and lack of information and relevant training for the African smallholder farmers. Plant pests, for instance, are responsible for up to 80% of crop losses. Ecologically sustainable solutions are a practical alternative for African farmers to achieve good crop yields without relying on expensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides. What is lacking, however, are effective dissemination pathways to deliver relevant information to the farmers.

 

UN Declares 2021 to 2030 ‘Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’

The United Nations has issued a massive global ‘call to action’ to mobilize the political and financial support necessary to restore the world’s deforested and degraded ecosystems over the coming decade to support the wellbeing of 3.2 billion people around the globe. More than 2 billion hectares – an area larger than the South American continent – stand to be restored.

Photo credit: Pixabay

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, approved by the General Assembly on 1 March, will run from 2021 to 2030 and emphasize scaling-up of restoration work to address the severe degradation of landscapes, including wetlands and aquatic ecosystems, worldwide. It will likely boost landscape restoration work to the top of national agendas, building on a public demand for action on issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and the resulting impacts on economies and livelihoods.

“I think there are many stars that are aligning now,” said UN Environment’s Tim Christophersen.

 

KEEP READING ON LANDSCAPE NEWS

Press Release: Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019 Announced

The recognition highlights outstanding practices advancing the transition towards agroecology from the global South. Out of 77 nominations from 44 countries, 15 receive recognitions, including practices from across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Berlin, 17 January 2019 – 15 outstanding projects, programmes, social enterprises and non-governmental organisations from the Global South promoting sustainable food systems are  receiving the first recognition Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019, beating 77 nominations from 44 countries. The recognition is organised by the World Future Council (WFC), in collaboration with the start-up Technology for Agroecology in the Global South (TAGS).

Photo credit: Pixabay

On the basis of a World Future Council evaluation report, an international panel of renowned experts decided upon the following 15 best practices to be recognised in Berlin on Friday 18 January, 2019 at the occasion of the International Green Week and the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2019:

Africa: Regeneration Through Connecting Seeds with Culture and Nature in Africa 

KEEP READING ON WORLD FUTURE COUNCIL

Landscapes That Work for Biodiversity and People

BACKGROUND

Biodiversity is under siege, with greatly enhanced rates of local and global extinction and the decline of once-abundant species. Current rates of human-induced climate change and land use forecast the Anthropocene as one of the most devastating epochs for life on earth. How do we handle the Anthropocene’s triple challenge of preventing biodiversity loss, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and sustainably providing resources for a growing human population? The answer is in how we manage Earth’s “working lands”; that is, farms, forests, and rangelands. These lands must be managed both to complement the biodiversity conservation goals of protected areas and to maintain the diverse communities of organisms, from microbes to mammals, that contribute to producing food, materials, clean water, and healthy soils; sequestering greenhouse gases; and buffering extreme weather events, functions that are essential for all life on Earth.

Photo credit: Pexels

ADVANCES

Protected areas are the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation.

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Brent Preston is Farming Sustainably for the Next Generation

In his book ‘The New Farm,’ Preston shares his experience and wisdom for successful organic farming.

Author: Lela Nargi | Published: August 2, 2018

In 2003, Brent Preston and his wife, Gillian Flies, packed up their two kids and moved to a rural town about 100 miles northwest of Toronto. Their initial aim was to live less chaotically and to raise some of their own food. But this morphed into a plan to make a living farming organically.

The inevitable years of mistakes, false starts, financial hardship, emotional and physical exhaustion, scorn from local conventional farmers, perseverance and—at very long last—success, are documented with candor and humor in Preston’s book, The New Farm: Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution, released in the U.S. earlier this year.

Civil Eats talked to Preston about the lessons he and Flies learned from their first decade of rural experience, advice for other well-intentioned (and sometimes naïve) aspiring farmers, and what it might take to bridge the seemingly unbridgeable gap between conventional and organic farming.

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Can Farming Save Puerto Rico’s Future?

As climate change alters how and where food is grown, Puerto Rico’s agro-ecology brigades serve as a model for sustainable farming.

Author: Audrea Lim | Published: June 11, 2018

Our climate is changing, and our approaches to politics and activism have to change with it. That’s why The Nation, in partnership with the Food & Environment Reporting Network, is launching Taking Heat, a series of dispatches from the front lines of the climate-justice movement, by journalist Audrea Lim.

In Taking Heat, Lim will explore the ways in which the communities that stand to lose the most from climate change are also becoming leaders in the climate resistance. From the farms of Puerto Rico to the tar sands of Canada, from the streets of Los Angeles to Kentucky’s coal country, communities are coming together to fight for a just transition to a greener and more equitable economy. At a time when extreme-weather events and climate-policy impasse are increasingly dominating environmental news, Taking Heat will focus on the intersection of climate change with other social and political issues, showcasing the ingenious and inventive ways in which people are already reworking our economy and society. There will be new dispatches every few weeks (follow along here).

KEEP READING ON THE NATION

A Well-Balanced Agro-Ecological System Is Needed

Author: Bryan Simon, Land Stewardship Project | Published: May 22, 2018

It’s not the cow or the sow, but the how. I hate to break it to all the conscientious consumers who have bought into the idea that completely avoiding meat is the answer to our planet’s environmental woes, but they’ve been misled. That’s right, I’m calling you out, Beyonce, Brad Pitt, Al Gore and others who are coaching fans to become vegan to save the planet. Such a message, while well-intentioned, misses the mark. Animals are not the problem; the problem is how they are managed.

Animals provide valuable goods and services, like nutrient cycling, habitat diversity, clean water and soil health, but only when integrated with the land.

Unfortunately, confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have removed animals from the land, and the consequences are evident: a rapidly changing climate, polluted water, soil loss, rampant pest problems, and barren landscapes devoid of wildlife. Then there are the social costs: CAFOs are highly extractive and exploitative. They put small- and mid-sized farms out of business, and leave rural communities diminished.

KEEP READING ON ST. CLOUD TIMES

Industrial Agriculture Isn’t Feeding the World, Only Agroecology Can

A transition towards agroecology is needed to beat the diktats of a production model that is poisoning our Planet and our lives. The op-ed by Navdanya International.

Author: Ruchi Shroff | Published: April 27, 2018

Agroecology represents a solution to the interconnected crises of our time, not only in the agricultural sector, but also in the economic and social spheres. For over thirty years Navdanya, together with other civil society organizations from all over the world, has been promoting a regenerating and ecologic circular approach to contrast the rising environmental degradation, poverty, sanitary emergencies and malnutrition. Changing the current extractive agricultural paradigm, based on the one-way exploitation of nature’s resources and wealth, is to be considered a priority of our times.

The green revolution is no longer sustainable

A paradigm change of which, at last, the FAO has taken notice in the occasion of the Second Symposium on Agroecology held in Rome from 3 to 5 April. This is an important step in the right direction, considering that both the intervention of FAO Director General Graziano da Silva and the final document of the Symposium are denouncing the un-sustainability of the industrial agricultural model of the Green Revolution. In fact, they highlight how agroecology directly contributes to some of the most important SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), such as poverty and hunger eradication, guaranteeing the quality of education, the achievement of gender equality, increased efficiency in water use, the promotion of decent work conditions, guaranteeing sustainable consumption and production, consolidation of climate resilience, sustainable use of marine resources and stop the biodiversity loss.

KEEP READING ON LIFEGATE

Native Knowledge: What Ecologists Are Learning from Indigenous People

From Alaska to Australia, scientists are turning to the knowledge of traditional people for a deeper understanding of the natural world. What they are learning is helping them discover more about everything from melting Arctic ice, to protecting fish stocks, to controlling wildfires.

Author: Jim Robbins | Published: April 26, 2018

While he was interviewing Inuit elders in Alaska to find out more about their knowledge of beluga whales and how the mammals might respond to the changing Arctic, researcher Henry Huntington lost track of the conversation as the hunters suddenly switched from the subject of belugas to beavers.

It turned out though, that the hunters were still really talking about whales. There had been an increase in beaver populations, they explained, which had reduced spawning habitat for salmon and other fish, which meant less prey for the belugas and so fewer whales.

“It was a more holistic view of the ecosystem,” said Huntington. And an important tip for whale researchers. “It would be pretty rare for someone studying belugas to be thinking about freshwater ecology.”

Around the globe, researchers are turning to what is known as Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to fill out an understanding of the natural world. TEK is deep knowledge of a place that has been painstakingly discovered by those who have adapted to it over thousands of years. “People have relied on this detailed knowledge for their survival,” Huntington and a colleague wrote in an article on the subject. “They have literally staked their lives on its accuracy and repeatability.”

KEEP READING ON YALE360

Plant Diversity Enhances Productivity and Soil Carbon Storage

Author: Shiping Chen, et. al. | Published: April 16, 2018

Significance

Soil carbon sequestration plays an important role in mitigating anthropogenic increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Recent studies have shown that biodiversity increases soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in experimental grasslands. However, the effects of species diversity on SOC storage in natural ecosystems have rarely been studied, and the potential mechanisms are yet to be understood. The results presented here show that favorable climate conditions, particularly high precipitation, tend to increase both species richness and belowground biomass, which had a consistent positive effect on SOC storage in forests, shrublands, and grasslands. Nitrogen deposition and soil pH generally have a direct negative effect on SOC storage. Ecosystem management that maintains high levels of plant diversity can enhance SOC storage and other ecosystem services that depend on plant diversity.

Abstract

Despite evidence from experimental grasslands that plant diversity increases biomass production and soil organic carbon (SOC) storage, it remains unclear whether this is true in natural ecosystems, especially under climatic variations and human disturbances. Based on field observations from 6,098 forest, shrubland, and grassland sites across China and predictions from an integrative model combining multiple theories, we systematically examined the direct effects of climate, soils, and human impacts on SOC storage versus the indirect effects mediated by species richness (SR), aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), and belowground biomass (BB). We found that favorable climates (high temperature and precipitation) had a consistent negative effect on SOC storage in forests and shrublands, but not in grasslands. Climate favorability, particularly high precipitation, was associated with both higher SR and higher BB, which had consistent positive effects on SOC storage, thus offsetting the direct negative effect of favorable climate on SOC. The indirect effects of climate on SOC storage depended on the relationships of SR with ANPP and BB, which were consistently positive in all biome types. In addition, human disturbance and soil pH had both direct and indirect effects on SOC storage, with the indirect effects mediated by changes in SR, ANPP, and BB. High soil pH had a consistently negative effect on SOC storage. Our findings have important implications for improving global carbon cycling models and ecosystem management: Maintaining high levels of diversity can enhance soil carbon sequestration and help sustain the benefits of plant diversity and productivity.

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