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La solution au changement climatique passe par nos terres

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Notre meilleur espoir pour faire face au changement climatique et nourrir la population croissante de la planète est d’engager un effort mondial visant à donner aux petits agriculteurs et aux communautés autochtones un contrôle sur les terres.

Au moment où les gouvernements se réunissent à Lima pour la Conférence des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques, le meurtre brutal de la militante indigène péruvienne Edwin Chota et de trois hommes de l’ethnie Ashaninka en septembre dernier jette une lumière crue sur le lien entre déforestation et droits fonciers des autochtones. La vérité toute simple apparaît clairement : la manière la plus juste et efficace d’empêcher la déforestation et ses impacts sur le climat est de reconnaître et de respecter la souveraineté des peuples autochtones sur leurs territoires.

Les conflits fonciers violents au Pérou mettent également en lumière une autre question d’égale importance pour le changement climatique et qui ne peut plus être ignorée : la concentration des terres agricoles entre les mains d’une petite minorité.

Les petites exploitations de moins de 5 hectares représentent 78 % du total des exploitations au Pérou, mais disposent de moins de 6 % des terres agricoles. Ce chiffre inquiétant est représentatif de la situation mondiale. Au niveau mondial, les petites exploitations représentent 90 % du total des exploitations mais occupent moins d’un quart des terres agricoles. Cette situation n’est pas bonne pour le climat.

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La Solución al Cambio Climático Está en Nuestras Tierras

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Es imprescindible reconocerle a los campesinos y a las comunidades indígenas el control sobre sus territorios. Sólo así podremos enfrentar la crisis climática y alimentar a la creciente población mundial.

En el momento en que los gobiernos convergen en la Conferencia sobre Cambio Climático de la ONU en Lima, Perú, el brutal asesinato del activista indígena peruano Edwin Chota y otros tres hombres del pueblo ashaninka el pasado septiembre arroja luz sobre la conexión entre la deforestación y los derechos indígenas al territorio. La verdad es muy llana y está a la vista: la forma más efectiva de evitar la deforestación y los impactos en el clima es reconocer y respetar la soberanía de los pueblos indígenas sobre sus territorios.

Los violentos conflictos agrarios en Perú también arrojan luz sobre otro asunto de igual importancia para la crisis climática, y que ya no puede ignorarse: la concentración de la tierra en las manos de unos cuántos.

En Perú, las fincas pequeñas, de menos de 5 hectáreas, representan el 78% de todas las fincas del país, pero ocupan menos del 6% de las tierras agrícolas. Esta perturbadora cifra refleja la situación global. A nivel mundial, las fincas pequeñas son el 90% de todas las fincas, pero ocupan menos de la cuarta parte de la tierra agrícola. Éstas son muy malas noticias para la crisis climática.

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The Solution to Climate Change is in Our Lands

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A global effort to give small farmers and indigenous communities control over lands is the best hope we have to deal with climate change and feed the world’s growing population.

As governments converge on Lima for the UN Climate Change Conference, the brutal killing of Peruvian indigenous activist Edwin Chota and three other Ashaninka men this past September is shining a spotlight on the connection between deforestation and indigenous land rights. The simple truth is plain to see: the most effective and just way to prevent deforestation and its impacts on the climate is to recognise and respect the sovereignty of indigenous peoples’ over their territories.

Peru’s violent land conflicts also bring into focus another issue of equal importance to climate change that can no longer be ignored: the concentration of farmland in the hands of a few.

Small farms of less than 5 hectares represent 78% of all farms in Peru, but occupy a mere 6% of the country’s agricultural lands. This disturbing figure mirrors the global situation. Worldwide, small farms account for 90% of all farms yet occupy less than a quarter of the agricultural land. This is bad news for the climate.

Just as the dispossession of indigenous peoples of their territories has opened the door to destructive, unsustainable resource extraction, the dispossession of peasants of their lands has laid the basis for an industrial food system that, amongst its many negative effects, is responsible for 44-57% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

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Solos saudáveis são a base para a produção de alimentos saudáveis

De fato, a qualidade do solo está diretamente ligada à qualidade e à quantidade de alimentos. Solos saudáveis são a base de nosso sistema alimentício, já que são a base para a agricultura e o meio em que quase todas as plantas que consumimos crescem. Solos saudáveis produzem colheitas saudáveis, tanto para a nutrição de pessoas quanto de animais.

Solos fornecem os nutrientes essenciais, água oxigênio, suporte para as raízes, tudo que as plantas precisam para crescerem e florescerem. Eles também servem para proteger as delicadas raízes das drásticas mudanças de temperatura.

Um solo saudável é um solo vivo

Um solo saudável é um vivo e dinâmico ecossistema, repleto de pequenos e microscópicos organismos que realizam diversas funções vitais, inclusive a conversão da matéria morta e apodrecida em nutrientes para as plantas. Entre suas funções também estão o controle de doenças, insetos, pragas e ervas-daninhas, a melhoria da estrutura do solo (que tem efeitos positivos na absorção da água e na capacidade de retenção de nutrientes) e, finalmente, na melhoria geral da produção agrícola. Um solo saudável também ajuda a mitigar as mudanças climáticas por manter ou aumentar os teores de carbono naturais.

Por que a matéria orgânica do solo é tão importante?

O produto da decomposição biológica, ou seja, a matéria orgânica, afeta as propriedades físicas e químicas do solo, sendo responsável por sua saúde geral. A composição e a taxa de degradação afetam a estrutura do solo e a porosidade, a taxa de infiltração das água e a capacidade de retenção do solo, a atividade e a diversidade biológica dos organismos do solo e, por fim, a quantidade e a qualidade dos nutrientes nas plantas.

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Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands of Mexico

Outreach video to ranchers in northern Mexico. Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory collaborates with private landowners there to support working ranches and improve grassland habitat for birds and other wildlife.

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Why The Keyword In Farming Startups Is ‘Regenerative’

Author: Charlotte Parker

Home to leopards, zebras, hippos and elephants, Zambia’s Luangwa Valley is known for its sprawling wildlife sanctuaries. But it’s also where Dale Lewis, founder of Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO), helps transform hungry farmers — who poach on the side to supplement their income — into wildlife protectors. In exchange for honoring a “conservation pledge” to stop killing certain animals for money and use sustainable farming practices, the company’s 61,000 farmers, all of whom work on a small scale, receive up to 20 percent more than the standard market price for their corn, soy and honey, which are then used to create a line of food products that are flying off Zambian supermarket shelves.

As it turns out, COMACO is just one of a growing number of both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises that are taking a new look at the agricultural sector and finding that farmers can renew the land they use — and their livelihood that they draw from it. There’s Honey Care Africa, a for-profit franchise that works with farmers across East Africa to supplement their income through honey production while increasing crop yield with pollination help from their honey bees, as well as the Timbaktu Collective, which helps farmers in a drought-prone region of India sell products grown with traditional water conservation practices. Oh, and don’t forget Peepoo — yep, you read that right — a system that converts sanitation waste from poor urban neighborhoods, refugee camps and disaster relief sites around the globe into nutrient-rich fertilizer for farmers with poor soil quality.

These regenerative agricultural practices, as they’re known, have been developed in response to a growing list of problems plaguing farmers and rural workers around the world: land degradation, drought, crop disease and unpredictable market prices, to name a few. Of course, climate change isn’t helping on any of these fronts. But the trend is also being driven by the growth of B Corps — think of them as certified do-gooder businesses — and other companies that are under pressure to show responsibility for the planet, says Daniela Ibarra-Howell, co-founder and CEO of the Savory Institute, a nonprofit that promotes large-scale restoration of the world’s grasslands through a regenerative practice known as holistic management.

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Las Pilas Ranch: A Tale of Restoration

Author: Seth Itzkan

Las Pilas Ranch: Restored

The Las Pilas Ranch in Coahuila, Mexico, is a model of ecological restoration using Holistic Planned Grazing. Over a twenty five year period from 1978 to 2003, the barren landscape was completely revived. The images below show the transformation. Although the first picture is from 1963, the restoration with Holistic Management didn’t actually start until 1978. During the restoration period, the livestock population was doubled and grazing was done according to a plan that paid close attention to grass health.

1963. Photo by Guillermo Osuna Las Pilas Restored, 20032003. Photo by Guillermo Osuna

Which picture has more water?

Both images above are taken from the same location. Guillermo Osuna, the proprietor of the land, explains that when he began to manage the land, it was common to have dirt dams to capture the runoff – as there was no grass cover. A one-inch rain could fill the trough (pictured above, from 1963). After the land was restored, they could have a six-inch rain, and still no standing water (it’s all absorbed). There is no need for the dirt dams and artificial troughs now. Those have grown over with vegetation and the springs are running year-round. Livestock is now watered via gravity fed pools from streams that run throughout the dry season.  Mr. Osuna says there is twice as much surface water now as there once was, and he has also doubled the herd density.

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