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This New Denim Label Is Paving the Way for Sustainable Fashion in Copenhagen

Author: Brooke Bobb | Published: February 1, 2018

While the word organic has become commonplace in American dialogue—whether it’s used to describe vegetables, face creams, or cotton—surprisingly, it’s a relatively up-and-coming stamp of approval in Denmark. The city of Copenhagen is suddenly bursting with new organic restaurants, skincare companies, and now, fashion labels. One such brand leading the charge is Blanche, a new line of eco-conscious denim that was launched in August 2017 by fashion natives Mette Fredin and Melissa Bech. Fredin is the creative director, and Bech, the commercial director, but they work in tandem on everything, including design, marketing, and branding. While Blanche does include ready-to-wear and some cool logo merch, the jeans are the sweet spot. Everything is made locally in Copenhagen using Global Organic Textile Standard–approved fabric and deadstock fabric. Prices for the wide range of denim run from around $150 to $216, and, at the moment, Blanche is only available in select Scandinavian retailers. Bech and Fredin are expanding quickly, however, and they say expansion into the U.S. and the rest of Europe will come soon.

KEEP READING ON VOGUE

Regeneration of Soils and Ecosystems: The Opportunity to Prevent Climate Change: Basis for a Necessary Climate and Agricultural Policy

[ Deutsch | English | Español | Italiano ]

Author: Íñigo Álvarez de Toledo, MSc

SUMMARY

We are probably at the most crucial crossroad of Humanity’s history. We are changing the Earth’s climate as a result of accelerated human-made Greenhouse Gases Emissions (GHG) and biodiversity loss, provoking other effects that increase the complexity of the problem and will multiply the speed with which we approach climate chaos1, and social too:

We explain and justify scientifically the need to give absolute priority to the regeneration of soils and ecosystems. The sustainability concept has driven positive changes but has failed on two levels: it has been easy to manipulate because of its inherent laxness, and because of the fact that since the Earth Summit (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) indicators show much worsening and certainly no improvement. Global emissions increase and soil erosion is every year hitting new negative records.

Ecological and agrosystem regeneration necessarily implies a change for the better, a positive attitude and the joy of generating benefits for all living beings, human or not. For all, because it is the way to not only reduce emissions to the atmosphere but to allow natural, agricultural and livestock soils to act as Carbon sinks, reducing the threat of an all too sudden increasing Climate Change.Regeneration improves products’ quality, thereby increasing their market value. It improves the properties not just sustaining but carrying them into a future of permanent virtuous processes, in the long and short run. In this way it tackles the increasing intergenerational justice problems. By means of increasing the resilience of the agrosystems, it also substantially contributes to Climate Change adaptation.

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John D. Liu Interview: “It is possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems.”

Author: Riccardo Tucci

John D. Liu participated in the Permaculture Design Certificate Course conducted last May/June by the World Permaculture Association in Pisa (Tuscany, Italy) with Rhamis Kent as the lead teacher.

This event was convened in order to implement & initiate the World Permaculture Association mission: to mobilize and inspire people to achieve food security by improving human management of natural living systems through the use and application of permaculture principles.

At the moment the World Permaculture Association is mainly focused on building & developing international partnerships in order to augment efforts aimed towards the rehabilitation of large-scale damaged ecosystems as shown by documentarian John D. Liu in his acclaimed films.

The visit to Italy by Mr. Liu, organized in conjunction with the World Permaculture Association, was an opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge pertaining to the promotion of ecological restoration and permaculture design. Let’s join in on the conversation:

Italian Agronomist Riccardo Tucci (tucci@world-permaculture.org), along with WPA Executive Director Rhamis Kent, interviewed him.

Interview

Riccardo Tucci & Rhamis Kent: It has been a great pleasure having you in Italy, John.

Do you think that this land, particularly affected by hydrogeological dysfunction due to degradation from long-term mismanagement, can provide a valuable testing ground for ecological restoration activities that you often show us in your films? What did you see that made an impression on you?

John D. Liu: Thank you – it was a great pleasure to be in Tuscany again and to share close communication with people striving to understand life and the Earth systems that life depends on.

KEEP READING ON THE PERMACULTURE RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Misgivings About How a Weed Killer Affects the Soil

Author: Stephanie Storm

ALTON, Iowa — The puny, yellow corn stalks stand like weary sentries on one boundary of Dennis Von Arb’s field here.

On a windy day this spring, his neighbor sprayed glyphosate on his fields, and some of the herbicide blew onto Mr. Von Arb’s conventionally grown corn, killing the first few rows.

He’s more concerned, though, about the soil. During heavy rains in the summer, the runoff from his neighbor’s farm soaked his fields with glyphosate-laden water.

“Anything you put on the land affects the chemistry and biology of the land, and that’s a powerful pesticide,” Mr. Von Arb said.

But 20 miles down the road, Brad Vermeer brushes aside such concerns.

He grows “traited,” or biotech, corn and soy on some 1,500 acres and estimates that his yield would fall by 20 percent if he switched to conventional crops and stopped using glyphosate, known by brand names like Roundup and Buccaneer.

In short, it is just too profitable to give up.

“Local agronomists are starting to say we have to get away from Roundup,” Mr. Vermeer said. “But they’re going to have to show me that conventional genetics can produce the same income.”

KEEP READING IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

Born to Rewild

Author: Eli Kintisch

In April 2011, Nikita Zimov climbed into a heavy duty truck with six elk in the back and set out from Novosibirsk, a major city in southern Siberia, on a 4000-kilometer trek to the edge of the world. Time was not on his side. He had to reach the Arctic town of Cher-sky, where he and his father, Sergey, run a hardscrabble research outpost called the Northeast Science Station (NESS), before the spring thaw melted the frozen rivers that serve as winter roads in northern Siberia. White wooden crosses marked spots along the winding road where unlucky drivers had perished. Two weeks into his journey, just 40 kilometers from home, Zimov hit a snowbank—his brakes were shot—and the truck tipped over. Unscathed, he phoned his father and spent the next 4 hours, cold and exhausted, leaning against a flimsy tarp hat covered the truck’s roof to keep the elk, also uninjured, from bolting. “I was miserable,” he says. “Almost literally insane.”

Sergey swooped in to rescue Nikita and the elk, and the animals finally reached their destination: Pleistocene Park, a 14,000-hectare reserve near Chersky founded by the elder Zimov 19 years ago. It’s a grand experiment to test whether large herbivores—elk, moose, reindeer, horses, and bison—can, simply by grazing, bring back a grass-dominated ecosystem called the mammoth steppe. That biome dominated the northern reaches of Eurasia and North America for 2 million years, until the end of the last glacial period some 13,000 years ago, when  the landscape turned to mossy tundra and sparsely forested taiga.

If the Zimovs are right, a brighter future for the entire globe may hinge on the experiment’s success. A decade ago, Sergey and colleagues estimated that permafrost encircling the upper Northern Hemisphere contains a whopping 1 trillion tons of carbon—twice earlier estimates—and that this vast pool may be on the brink of leaking into the atmosphere. The finding was a clarion call to climate scientists to take the arctic carbon threat seriously. “This is the most dangerous territory in the world in terms of climate change,” Zimov declares.

Keep Reading in Science Magazine

Scotland launches ambitious organic food plan to build farming resilience

Author: Philip Case

A bold new action plan for organic food production to help build a more sustainable farming future and regenerate the rural economy is being launched for Scotland.

“Organic Ambitions: An Action Plan for organic food and farming in Scotland 2016-2020” will be unveiled on 27 January.

The new plan will be officially launched on the first day of the Organic Research Centre’s annual conference, being held in Bristol.

Organic Ambitions is a major revision of Organic Futures, an organic action plan produced in 2011 and revised in 2013, which aimed to strengthen Scotland’s organic food sector.

Wendy Seel, chairman of the Scottish Organic Forum, who have built the new plan following an extensive consultation, said: “Organic Ambitions will aim to build knowledge about organics, strength in the organic supply chain and skills across the organic sector.”

Keep Reading in Farmers Weekly

Interview: Scientist, Author, Activist Vandana Shiva Leads Movement to Restore Sovereignty to Farmers

Acres U.S.A. is North America’s monthly magazine of ecological agriculture. Each month we conduct an in-depth interview with a thought leader. The following interview appeared in our January 2016 issue and was too important not to share widely.

Americans who visit India often come back more or less overwhelmed by its vast size and complexity, and if they are not stunned into silence they are at least much less willing to engage in generalities. Timeless beauty, explosive economic growth, persistent poverty and about a billion people all make for an intense experience if you’re used to the predictable movements of cars and shoppers. One thing that does emerge from the ancient nation’s recent history, though, is the way societies that seem chaotic and disorganized to outsiders actually offer opportunities for their citizens who are willing to act with boldness, imagination and fierce resolve. Gandhi was one such actor, and Vandana Shiva may well be another. Increasingly well-known here as an author and lecturer, her popularity makes her a pain in the neck to proponents of industrial agriculture. (Corporate ag apologist Michael Specter recently honored her with an attack in The New Yorker.) It’s a whole other story back in India, however — there Shiva is a force for change not only among the commentariat but also on the ground. She agitates for legislation and political change at one end of society while leading a movement to empower farmers at the other. Shiva is that rarity in modern life, an intellectual who sees possibilities for action in the world outside her study and moves to set them in motion, working with fellow sojourners to build and sustain a counterforce opposing the corporate status quo over the long haul. On a recent trip to California, Shiva spoke with Acres U.S.A., covering an amazing amount of ground. Readers who need a little context are advised to consult Wikipedia on the Bhopal disaster — a 9/11-scale tragedy linked to agricultural chemicals — in particular and modern Indian history in general.

Read the Interview on EcoFarmingDaily.com (PDF)

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Green Gold

“It’s possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems.” Environmental film maker John D. Liu documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China, Africa, South America and the Middle East, highlighting the enormous benefits for people and planet of undertaking these efforts globally.

Watch More Videos on Permaculture Day’s Youtube Channel

世界化するアグロエコロジー運動

年におけるアグロエコロジーの世界化は特筆すべきものとなったと言えるのではないか?

アグロエコロジーの定義

まずどうしてもアグロエコロジーとはなにかを説明しておかなければならないが、アグロエコロジーは生態系を守るエコロジーの原則を農業に適用したものとされる。それは同時に科学であり、農業の実践であり、そして社会運動であると定義される。

Summary for Decision Makers of the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Report 9ページから

アグロエコロジーはコンセプトとしては科学として発達し、その後、農業実践の中で鍛えられ、食の運動の中で再定義されていくという歴史を経ているため、現在は科学であると同時に実践であり、社会運動でもあると定義される。それゆえ定義は多岐にわたる。

アグロエコロジーとは伝統的な小農民や先住民族の持っている知恵と科学的知識との対話である、という定義も重要な定義である。

そして、現在の食のモデル(小規模生産者をのけものにする大量生産と大量廃棄、農薬、保存料などの化学物質まみれの食品など)の問題を問いなおすこ と、オルタナティブな食のシステムを提案する、その際に、小規模生産者や消費者の主体的役割を強調する点も重要な要素と言うことができる。

収奪型大規模農業による土壌の破壊、水資源の崩壊、気候変動、小農民追い出しによる飢餓の拡大に対して、アグロエコロジーによる小規模家族農業がいかに有効であるかは、その運動の世界的な広がりによって証明されるだろう。その広がり方を見てみたい。

読書をしてください

La salute dei suoli rappresenta la base per una produzione alimentare sana

[ English ]

La funzione maggiormente riconosciuta al suolo è quella di supporto alla produzione alimentare. È la base dell’agricoltura e il mezzo in cui crescono quasi tutte le colture alimentari. Si stima che il 95% del nostro cibo viene prodotto direttamente o indirettamente sui nostri suoli. Un suolo in salute fornisce i nutrienti essenziali, l’acqua, l’ossigeno e il supporto per le radici di cui le nostre colture alimentari hanno bisogno per crescere e prosperare. Il suolo funge anche da protezione, per le radici delicate, contro forti oscillazioni di temperatura.

Cos’è un suelo sano?

Per “salute del suolo” si intende la sua capacità di funzionare come un sistema vivente. Un suolo sano mantiene una comunità diversificata di organismi che contribuiscono a controllare le malattie delle piante, gli insetti e le erbe infestanti, a formare utili associazioni simbiotiche con le radici, a riciclare nutrienti essenziali, a migliorare la struttura del suolo con effetti benefici sulle capacità di quest’ultimo di trattenere acqua e nutrienti e, in ultima analisi, a migliorare la produzione agricola. Un suolo sano, inoltre, contribuisce a mitigare gli effetti del cambiamento climatico, mantenendo o aumentando il proprio contenuto di carbonio.

Scaricare la relazione della FAO