Earth Hour 2016

Earth-Hour-2016“As the world stands at a climate crossroads, it is powerful yet humbling to think that our actions today will decide what tomorrow will look like for generations to come.” Saturday 19th March at 08:30 pm local time is Earth Hour, a worldwide grassroots movement organised by WWF, which originally began as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then this annual global celebration where people switch off their lights for one hour has become a symbolic display of how much we care for and want to protect the planet. Last year a record number of people from across 172 countries celebrated Earth Hour.

A recent article from WWF outlining climate events of 2015, makes it clear that Earth Hour this year is crucial to continued progress on climate change. Firstly changes in our climate continue to be worrying: 2015 became the official hottest year on record, winter sea ice in the Arctic reached a record low and the haze crisis brought about by illegal slash-and-burn methods to clear land for palm oil and paper production hit Southeast Asia. But there is also significant progress being made in policy that needs to be celebrated but also built upon: the “Well-being of Future Generations” bill passed by Wales, the 114 companies who committed to reduce emissions on the sidelines of COP21, the 1000 mayors who committed to 100% renewable energy and of course the Paris Climate Agreement. [Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories, reports and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

The Science of Designing Food for the World’s Poor, The Atlantic

Food’s big picture guy, The New York Times

The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. A Coup for Corporate Capital, Transnational Justice

EU diplomats agree to 7% biofuels cap, EurActive

Is There Such a Thing As Sustainable Corn?, Modern Farmer

Warrior queens battle for Africa’s food future, This is Africa

Can we develop a ‘stress test’ for national food systems?, Simon Maxwell

A farm is greater than the sum of its parts, CCAFS

Super foods: from the lab to the table, The Guardian

GM crops: No gain for small farmers, SciDev.Net [Read more…]

Nutrition-sensitive agriculture: a collection of case studies

ID-10025468A new report recently released by the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition, entitled, The Nutrition Sensitivity of Agriculture and Food Policies, investigates, through eight country case studies, current understanding of effective nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food policies, and the development of food-based solutions that help countries to scale up nutrition.

Recognition of the links between agriculture and nutrition is growing, and both countries and institutions are working towards making agricultural policies more nutrition sensitive. The report discusses the work of Brazil, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Thailand to make agriculture, a sector important for both economic development and livelihoods in many developing countries, more able to address issues of nutrition insecurity, gender inequality and resilience.

The links between agriculture and nutrition are complex, and not well understood. In particular our knowledge of how agricultural programmes or policies can impact nutritional outcomes and consumption patterns have only recently begun to be investigated. As agricultural systems become more complex and global in nature, the links to nutrition, experienced at an individual or household level, become harder to understand and manage. What is understood is that the current food systems are not well designed to provide nutrition security and, for those countries suffering a high burden of malnutrition, guidance and practical advice in making nutrition-sensitive policy decisions and measuring their impact is needed.

Addressing nutrition requires a multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary approach, which, through agriculture, attempts to reduce unintended consequences of agricultural policies on consumer welfare while maximising positive nutrition outcomes. The report states that food and nutrition security are a product of both dietary diversity and quality, as well as being able to access sufficient calories. As the country case studies show many countries are now thinking about the links between agriculture and food and nutrition security and are committing to achieving positive nutrition outcomes, although rarely across the whole sector or with any formal measurement of impact. Nutrition outcomes can also be seen as secondary to sector-specific objectives, particularly worrisome if this leads to negative consequences for nutrition. [Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories, reports and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

Weight of the world: 2.1 billion people obese or overweight, Reuters

Despite all the highs and lows around the world, our number one challenge is how to feed humanity with nutritious food!, African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development

Food, health and sustainability: we become what we eat, and so does Earth, The Guardian

12 Data visualizations that illustrate poverty’s biggest challenges, ONE

The Science of Inequality. What the numbers tell us, Science

3,000 rice genome sequences made publicly available on World Hunger Day, EurekAlert

UPDATE 2-EU member states back compromise to allow GM crops-diplomats, Reuters

EU biofuel targets need 70m ha of land, says report, Farmers Weekly [Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories, reports and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

Increasing cropping frequency offers opportunity to boost food supply, University of Minnesota

Climate-Smart Pearl Millet Variety May Be a Game Changer for Nutrition, Feed the Future

WTO chief says no chance of global trade deal, USA Today

Iowa in the Amazon, The New York Times

Science’s role in growing diverse, nutritious food, SciDev.Net

What have been the farm-level economic impacts of the global cultivation of GM crops?, Collaboration for Environmental Evidence Library

‘Total inaction’ at UN climate talks, Africa groups charge, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Eating Aliens, Jackson Landers

Crowdsourcing app fights food loss in Africa, University of Twente

Hunger Grains: Are EU policies undermining progress on development?, From Poverty to Power, Duncan Green

How Africa’s natural resources can drive industrial revolution, CNN [Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories, reports and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

Global map of seeds, food and biodiversity launched, SciDev.Net

CAADP 10 Years Out: How Have Countries Fared in Agricultural Development?, IFPRI

Next generation of biofuels is still years away, CTV News

Empowering people and shaping policies for resilient agriculture and food systems, Wilton Park

Transformation of food systems needed for better nutrition, FAO

Changing the Global Food Narrative, Ensia

No-till farming is on the rise. That’s actually a big deal, The Washington Post

What does ‘big business’ say about Africa when it’s off the record?, From Poverty to Power, Duncan Green

Emissions of CO2 driving rapid oceans ‘acid trip’, BBC

Environmental pressures driven by EU consumption but faced by other countries, EC Science for Environment Policy

An Accidental Cattle Ranch Points the Way in Sustainable Farming, The New York Times

Bringing perennial grain crops to Africa is aim of new Gates Foundation-funded project, Michigan State University

Warsaw climate talks expected to deliver loss and damage mechanism, Thomson Reuters Foundation

 

 

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories, reports and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

The global food fight: can agribusiness avert a crisis?, fDi Intelligence

While Global Bee Colonies Struggle, European Politicians Seem Determined To Kill Them Off, Forbes

Chief EU scientist backs damning report urging GMO ‘rethink’, EurActive

Is getting out of farming the best bet for smallholder farmers?, IRRI

Economic rewards of better land management: Estimated 2.3 billion tons of crops worth $1.4 trillion, EurekAlert

The Urgent Need for African Leadership in Science, Engineering and Technology to Transform African Agriculture into Agri-Food Value Chains, African Journal of food, agriculture, nutrition and development

Satisfy Your Curiosity with Our New E-Book, Can We Feed the World? The Future of Food, Scientific American

New technology and agriculture: A sluggish uptake, The Africa Report [Read more…]