Drough threatens forests

 

 

Forests worldwide threatened by drought

Date:
February 21, 2017
Source:
University of Stirling
Summary:
Forests around the world are at risk of death due to widespread drought, researchers have found. An analysis suggests that forests are at risk globally from the increased frequency and severity of droughts.

An analysis, published in the journal Ecology Letters, suggests that forests are at risk globally from the increased frequency and severity of droughts.

The study found a similar response in trees across the world, where death increases consistently with increases in drought severity.

Dr Sarah Greenwood, Postdoctoral Researcher in Stirling’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, said: “We can see that the death of trees caused by drought is consistent across different environments around the world. So, a thirsty tree growing in a tropical forest and one in a temperate forest, such as those we find throughout Europe, will have largely the same response to drought and will inevitably suffer as a result of rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns on Earth.”

The biological and environmental scientists did find specific, varying features in different tree types can alter their resistance to drought. Species with denser wood and smaller, thicker leaves tend to fare better during prolonged, unusually-dry periods.

Read the full article: Science Daily

Need to increase agricultural productivity

 

Photo credit: FAO

A farmer taking cuttings from cassava plants. The FAO report stresses the need to increase production and productivity of staple food crops.

Food insecurity and poverty pose major challenge to goal of ending hunger by 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa

Some 153 million people, representing about 26 percent of the population above 15 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa, suffered from severe food insecurity in 2014-15, according to a new FAO report.

The second edition of the Regional Overview of Food Insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa (2016) underscores how severe food insecurity and poverty pose a major challenge to the region’s ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger by 2030.

“What it means is that, around one out of four individuals above 15 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa was hungry,  meaning they did not eat or went without eating for a whole day for lack of money or other resources for food,” Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, said commenting on the findings of the report.

“This assessment underlines the significance of the challenge facing the region in meeting SDGs’ target 2.1 and the relevance of sustainable and substantial support to food security and nutrition policies and programmes in the region,” he added.

At the aggregate level, sub-Saharan Africa achieved adequate food availability, in terms od dietary energy supply, over the 2014-2016 period. However, several countries in the region remain highly dependent on food imports to ensure adequate food supplies, with some sub-regions depending on imports for up to a third of their cereal needs.

This indicates that substantial demand for food exists for these countries, and there is a need to increase agricultural productivity, food production and value addition, among other things.

Read the full article: FAO

“Major transformations” are needed to make food production sustainable

 

Photo credit: FAO

Empowering small-scale farmers and providing them better access to information, markets and technologies is key to ensuring future food security. Photo: FAO

Business-as-usual not an option with future global food security in jeopardy, cautions UN agency

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsId=56221

Warning that diminishing natural resources and a changing climate have put humankind’s future ability to feed itself “in jeopardy,” the United Nations underlined today that while the planet still has the potential to produce enough food, “major transformations” are needed to make production sustainable and to ensure that all of humanity benefits.

In The Future of Food and Agriculture: Trends and Challenges report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlights that while “very real and significant” progress in reducing hunger has been achieved over the past 30 years, these have often come at a heavy cost to nature.

“Almost half of the forests that once covered the Earth are now gone. Groundwater sources are being depleted rapidly. Biodiversity has been deeply eroded,” noted the report.

“[As a result,] planetary boundaries may well be surpassed, if current trends continue,” added FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, underlining the gravity of the situation.

With global population estimated to reach 10 billion by 2050, world-wide demand for agricultural products could be pushed by as much as 50 per cent above current levels, intensifying pressures on already-strained natural resources.

At the same time, the report argues, greater numbers of people will be eating fewer cereals and larger amounts of meat, fruits, vegetables and processed food – a result of an ongoing global dietary transition that will further add to those pressures, driving more deforestation, land degradation and greenhouse gas emissions.

Failure to act now will compromise future food production, sabotage 2030 development agenda

 

Photo credit: FAO

Members of an Indian farmers group measure local groundwater levels at an observation well.

FAO Director-General urges more support to help small farmers adapt to a changing climate

Failure to act now to make our food systems more resilient to climate change will “seriously compromise” food production in many regions and could doom to failure international efforts to end hunger and extreme poverty by 2030, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva warned today.

“Agriculture holds the key to solving two of the greatest problems now facing humanity: eradicating poverty and hunger, and contributing to maintaining the stable climatic conditions in which civilization can thrive,” he told participants at a roundtable on climate change during the World Government Summit in Dubai.

The FAO Director-General stressed in particular the need to support smallholder farmers in the developing world adapt to climate change.

“The vast majority of the extremely poor and hungry depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, he said, adding: “They are the most vulnerable to the impacts of global warming and an unstable climate.”

Innovative approaches exist that can help them improve yields and build their resilience, he said, such as green manuring, greater use of nitrogen-fixing cover crops, improving sustainable soil management, agroforestry techniques, and integrating animal production into cropping systems.

“But farmers face major barriers, such as the lack of access to credit and markets, lack of knowledge and information, insecurity about land tenure, and high transaction costs of moving away from existing practices,” the Director-General noted.

He pointed to the fact that 70 countries do not have established meteorological services as an example. FAO is working with the World Meteorological Organization to develop low-cost, farmer friendly services to address this need.

To withstand the vagaries of a harsher, less predictable climate, small farmers will also need better access to other sorts of technologies and to markets, information and finance — as well as better land tenure and improved agriculture infrastructure, added Graziano da Silva.

Ultimately, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, he argued.

Read the full article: FAO

How to FERTILIZE DRY AND BARREN SOIL IN AGRICULTURE

 

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Fruitful curly red chili trees on fine soil. Photo by: http://www.hallogarden.comhttp://www.hallogarden.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/FB_IMG_14866445679861.jpg

4 WAYS TO FERTILIZE DRY AND BARREN SOIL IN AGRICULTURE

http://www.hallogarden.com/2017/02/4-ways-fertilize-dry-barren-soil-agriculture/

Soil is a media most frequently used by farmers to plant various types of crops. However, there are other kinds of farming that doesn’t use as their media for example hydroponic farming, aquaponics farming, etc.

In soil, we can find a lot of important nutrients to protect so they can be beneficial for plants around the area. Most of the times, dry, barren soil tend to get left as it is, dry and barren. This causes the nutrients in it to diminish due to the lack of proper care and optimized use. So, if you find land around you with dry and barren soil, it is best for you to optimize it by planting various vegetables and fruits and making your own garden.

“Our land. Our home. Our Future”: the World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June 2017

 

Photo credit: Africa Science News

UN launches campaign to invest in degraded lands to create jobs, boost incomes and food security

“Our land. Our home. Our Future,” is the rallying call for this year’s celebration of the World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June 2017. The slogan draws global attention to the central role productive land can play in turning the growing tide of migrants abandoning unproductive land into communities and nations that are stable, secure and sustainable, into the future.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has also released the campaign logo for use by any group, organization, government or entity that will organize a celebratory event for the Day.

“Migration is high on the political agenda all over the world as some rural communities feel left behind and others flee their lands. The problem signals a growing sense of hopelessness due to the lack of choice or loss of livelihoods. And yet productive land is a timeless tool for creating wealth. This year, let us engage in a campaign to re-invest in rural lands and unleash their massive job-creating potential, from Burkina Faso, Chile and China, to Italy, Mexico, Ukraine and St. Lucia,” says Ms. Monique Barbut, the United Nations top advisor on combatting desertification and drought.

“The possibility for success today is greater than ever before. More than 100 of the 169 countries affected by desertification or drought are setting national targets to curb a run-away land degradation by the year 2030. Investing in the land will create local jobs and give households and communities a fighting chance to live, which will, in turn, strengthen national security and our future prospects for sustainability,” Ms. Barbut added.

Read the full article: Africa Science News

To change the mentality of the producers and empower the role of the women

 

Photo credit: Cadena Agramonte

Cuba develops program for the sustainable use of the land

Specialists from Operation 15 Program whose objective is to stop processes that leads to drought and desertification in four countries among them Cuba and Namibia has created a communication strategy for the sustainable management of the land.

The objective of the program is to change the mentality of the producers and empower the role of the women, said a team from the School of Communications of the University of Havana.

They toured on Wednesday two cooperatives where the OP-15 is being executed and which are supervised by the World Environmental Fund in support of the national Program in the Fight against Desertification and Drought.

The students from the University of Havana exchanged with private farmers and agricultural workers from the Enrique Campos Credit and Services Cooperative on the outskirts of Havana and the Los Cerezos Basic Unit of Cooperative Production in Imias, one of the five municipalities hard hit by Hurricane Matthew.

The hypothesis was demonstrated, in the areas visited, located in the only semi-desert in Cuba that if organic material is used in a highly mineralized land, its humidity retention properties are multiplied 60 times, benefiting the cultivations.

The program has five projects, the first paid special attention to the semi-arid strip in the south, some one thousand 752 square kilometers in extension, fragile ecosystem with high rates of aridity and degradation for its salinity and erosion and only of its type in Cuba.

Read the full article: Cadena Agramonte