Gender and desertification (Google / UGent)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

Gender and desertification: what role for international law and policy?

Nicky Broeckhoven UGent

(2014) Conference of the U4 cluster Social sciences, economics and law, Proceedings.

Posted in Desertification, gender

Demonstrating how we can reintroduce renewable resources (Google / The National UAE)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

The house in Al Ain that history is building


To passers-by, the curious structures that have started to appear on a patch of waste ground in downtown Al Ain are something of a mystery.

Handmade by a team of master craftsmen from the historic environment department at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), the dome-like structures consist of arches built from bundles of palm fronds neatly bound together with rope.

At first sight, the structure looks like it might be a new extension of the small heritage village that greets visitors to the neighbouring Al Ain National Museum, just a few metres away on the far side of the Eastern Fort.

But appearances are deceptive. Rather than a reconstruction of Al Ain’s past, the domes, or gridshells as they are known, look to a future where millennia-old skills and construction techniques are fused with modern engineering to create what could be one of the UAE’s most innovative architectural and humanitarian exports.

“We want to demonstrate how we can reintroduce renewable resources – date palm leaves in this case – back into the mainstream construction industry,” explains Sandra Piesik, the UK-based architect who is the driving force behind the Food Shelter.


Posted in Desertification, UNCCD

Soils – UN Challenge Badge (Google / FAO / Yunga)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification


This booklet is intended as a guide for teachers and youth leaders.
These individuals are responsible for the development of programmes and
activities which are suitable for their group and provide the required supervision
and safety precautions to ensure all participants are safe and sound.

Posted in Desertification, Soil

How to access knowledge on desertification through a central platform ? (Google / Digital Journal)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

Search Technologies Assists the United Nations in Building a New Scientific Portal

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

Search Technologies, the leading IT services firm specializing in the design and implementation of enterprise search and search-enabled big data applications, announced today that it has been working with the Bonn-based United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification since January 2014, to build a new public portal.

There are many sustainable land management practices available at the international and regional levels. However, there are still limited mechanisms made available to enable people to access this knowledge through a central platform.

The Scientific Knowledge Brokering Portal (SKBP) Pilot, “the Pilot,” will bridge existing knowledge repositories on land degradation, and create a shared resource to promote positive sustainable land management practices. The Pilot will provides access to six databases, both from within the UN and from other authoritative sources on desertification and land degradation neutrality.

Longer term, it is expected to index content from many other databases. The Pilot will be presented at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’s biannual conference, known as the Conference of the Parties (COP) in fall 2015. At the COP, country delegates representing 195 countries will convene to make many decisions, including a decision as to how the Pilot will be further developed.

Rita M. Benitez, Knowledge Management Officer at the UNCCD says, “Search plays a pivotal role in ensuring that scientific knowledge and best practices are easily shared. Delivering relevant search results, while providing search navigation options related to geography, language, and causes of land degradation, are key focus points for our project.”


Posted in Desertification, UNCCD

To launch a green revolution by planting a tree in The Gambia (allAfrica)

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Gambia: A Great Concern

14 OCTOBER 2014


The Gambia as we all know is a Sahelian country; this implies that the country lies within the sub-tropical savanna belt and prone to desertification. The encroaching desert would have the better of our land if adequate attention is not given to the environment. It is however unfortunate that despite this reality, some damage is still being done to our environment. We therefore deem it prudent to once more call on all stakeholders to intensify efforts to protect our environment.

The reality is that many species of plants and animals are already extinct, while some animals are in danger of extinction due to loss of habitat. There is also the loss of essential medicinal herbs. Furthermore and very importantly, the degradation of the forest results to the decrease in the amount of rainfall we receive. Rainfall is the only way of replenishing our natural water resources, and trees determine the rainfall in a particular region. If they no longer exist, drought sets in, bringing with it its own set of problems. In fact, we should pay greater attention to this reality as our country is agriculture-dependent and lies in the Sahel region.

Conservation and protection of our environment should therefore be the concern of all. We urge every citizen of this country to launch a green revolution by planting a tree so that we can collectively save the country from the double menace of deforestation and desertification.This is fundamental because the role of trees in making this planet a safe and better place fit for human habitation cannot be overemphasised.


Posted in afforestation, Desertification, reforestation

Small farmers can look to options without necessarily turning to climate-smart agriculture (IPS)

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Family Farmers Don’t Need Climate-Smart Agriculture

“There are two approaches to grow production, intensification of conventional agriculture and agroecology. In the last 20 years food production has doubled, but problems like poverty aren’t solved only with that.” — Alison Power

The 11th International Media Forum on the Protection of Nature has drawn journalists, academics and experts from some 50 countries to Naples, Italy Oc. 8-11 to discuss food, agriculture and the environment in the world.

Small farmers can look to options like agroecological intensification and innovation, without necessarily turning to climate-smart agriculture, which is promoted by the United Nations but has awakened doubts among global experts meeting in this Italian city.

Alison Power, a professor at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Cornell University in New York state, said the concept is an umbrella that can encompass too many different factors.

“There are two approaches to grow production, intensification of conventional agriculture and agroecology. In the last 20 years food production has doubled, but problems like poverty aren’t solved only with that,” Power told IPS.

“So what is needed then is adaptation by small farmers with innovations based on agroecology,” said the expert, one of the participants in the11th International Media Forum on the Protection of Nature organised Oct. 8-11 by the Italian NGO Greenaccord in the southwestern Italian city of Naples.

Family farmers produce nearly 80 percent of the world’s food. And although more food is being produced worldwide than at any other time in history, the United Nations estimates that over 800 million people are hungry.

The United Nations launched the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture on Sept. 24 in New York, during the U.N. Climate Summit. The alliance brings together governments, non-governmental organisations and large corporations.

Posted in Agriculture, agroecology, Climate / climate change, food / food security

The increase in urban temperatures in Greater São Paulo attracts rain away from water sources (IPS)

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Drought Plagues Brazil’s Richest Metropolis

By Mario Osava

The heat island generated by São Paulo draws rainfall away from the water sources the city depends on.

Agricultural losses are no longer the most visible effect of the drought plaguing Brazil’s most developed region. Now the energy crisis and the threat of water shortages in the city of São Paulo are painful reminders of just how dependent Brazilians are on regular rainfall.

Nine million of the 21 million inhabitants of Greater São Paulo are waiting for the completion of the upgrading of the Cantareira system, made up of six reservoirs linked by 48 km of tunnels and canals, which can no longer supply enough water.

For the past four months, the water that has reached the taps of nine million residents of Brazil’s biggest city has come from the “dead” or inactive storage water in the Cantareira system – the water that cannot be drained from a reservoir by gravity and can only be pumped out. These supplies will last until Mar. 15, 2015, according to the state government.

“If rainfall in the [upcoming southern hemisphere] summer is only average, we will have another complicated autumn; and if it rains less it will mean a collapse,” architect Marussia Whately, a water resource specialist with the non-governmental Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA), told Tierramérica.

There is no possible replacement system, she said, because Cantareira supplies water to 45 percent of the metropolitan area, distributed by Sao Paulo’s state water utility Sabesp, while other water sources are also low due to drought and pollution.

Whately said the intensification of extreme weather events, such as this year’s drought in southeast Brazil, preceded by two years of below normal rainfall, is one of the causes of the water crisis in the state.


Posted in Desertification, drought