Nigeria: Opuntia Sap to Eradicate Mosquitoes (Google / allAfrica / Daily Trust)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification

Nigeria: Professor Reveals Latest Plant That Eradicates Mosquito

Abubakar Yakubu

The economic value of a plant called Cactus Opuntia (Opuntia ficus-indica) was over the weekend in Abuja disclosed by Professor IK Aduba, who said it can fight the scourge of malaria as well as combat desertification, alleviate poverty, hunger and enhance better livelihood for man and livestock. The professor also called on frontline buffer states of Nigeria to combat desertification and global warming through the plant.  From the numerous pads being produced by this plant, the sap from the pads was used in 1911 by an American, Luther Burbank in Central Africa to smother the mosquito larvae found in exposed stagnant water bodies and environment,” he stated.  He said the effect lasted for 12 months, adding that the research report can be expanded and developed for commercial uses in Nigeria to fight the scourge of malaria.  “This bio- technology based on the cactus Opuntia is effective for the remedial impacts of the degraded landscapes of the frontline states, so as to revive agricultural and other socio- economic activities to create development, alleviate poverty and enhance better living conditions for the people,” he added. He said the plant has other potentialities apart from combating desertification, adding that the pads are of superior biomass for livestock feed, medicaments and biogas for cooking when dried. Continue reading “Nigeria: Opuntia Sap to Eradicate Mosquitoes (Google / allAfrica / Daily Trust)”

Combating desertification with homestead gardening (Willem)

Today, we have read with great interest an article published by the Bangladesh’s Independent News Source THE NEW NATION :

Homestead gardening becoming popular in Barind area by BSS, Rajshah

Let us have a quick look at some of the salient points :

  1. Marginal farmers and the poor people in the vast region are mostly engaged in gardening around their homesteads in both summer and winter seasons by making the best use of spaces around their homes with production of different fruits and vegetables.
  2. The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) have been providing all-out cooperation with necessary training and required inputs to the farmers to grow fruits and vegetables for their own consumption and extra earning by selling those.
  3. Use of vacant spaces for producing fruits and vegetables has been seen as potential means for gradual development in the life of downtrodden in the region.
  4. Implementation of various types of need-based programmes offers the farmers possibilities to produce traditional fruits and vegetables round the year.
  5. The On-Farm Research Division (OFRD) of BARI has established crop museums at different areas in the region, which have created a positive impact, encouraging a large number of farmers to grow such fruits and vegetables as well as other crops by using the modern method.
  6. BARI is providing required inputs and quality seeds to the growers of different types of vegetables.
  7. The farmers are also planting different fruit-bearing trees.
  8. The method of growing these fruits and vegetables has increased resource utilisation side by side with enhancing use of modern varieties of vegetable crops and quality seeds in the farming ground.
  9. Women of farmers’ families are increasingly getting involved in the respective productive ventures.——————-

    2008-03 : India/Tamil Nadu : SCAD-project : Preparation of family gardens around the house. (Photo SCAD).

    2008-05 : India/Tamil Nadu : SCAD-project : The first remarkable successes. (Photo SCAD).

    2008-04 : India/Tamil Nadu : SCAD-project : Training and capacity building of farmers by SCAD/KVK engineers. (Photo SCAD).

    2008-05 : India/Tamil Nadu : SCAD-project : Field preparation with soil conditioning. (Photo SCAD).


    I am really impressed! The Bangladesh article above is confirming my deepest conviction that homestead gardening (the creation of family gardens and school gardens) is one of the best tools to combat desertification and to alleviate poverty, in particular for the poor rural people in the drylands.  Therefore, let me invite all potential donors, development banks, United Nations Agencies, service clubs and private investors to consider application of these success stories at the largest scale. Many pearls make a nice necklace!

    The “miracle” of seeing small family gardens and school gardens already flourishing a few months after their creation with a minimal investment should be the clearest signal for anyone of us that this is “not a miracle”, but pure logic. These small “green pearls” do not have the well-known inconveniences of the huge, and extremely costly big projects and programmes. They can be managed by the local people themselves and do never become a “ruin” after the donor has left.

    Why do we recognize that some methods are “the best practices”, if we do not apply them at the largest scale? Why, dear ladies and gentlemen? Silence is never a symphony!

Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research (IISD)

Read at : Ben Cashore <>

Forest Policy Info Mailing List <>

Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research

This is a new journal designed to foster learning across social science disciplines regarding natural resource policy and research. As our brochure indicates, “Our goal is to foster productive dialog among the disparate sectors in the broad field of natural resources and among various social science perspectives leading to an improved understanding of institutional and economic dynamics and informed policy making”.

Introducing the Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research starting publication in January 2009.

Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research publishing original policy-oriented papers addressing a broad range of natural resource fields including water, minerals, energy, fisheries, and forestry in a synthesizing fashion, rather than as stand-alone specialty areas. The journal will also publish papers on the natural resource implications of climate change, natural disasters, and biodiversity loss, among others. The papers, ideally, will be based on both conceptual and empirical studies and will be primarily policy-focused. Continue reading “Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research (IISD)”

Wageningen : Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) – (IISD)

Read at : “Koopmanschap, Esther” <>

Forest Policy Info Mailing List <>


We would like to focus your attention to a selection of courses that Wageningen International offers in the field of Natural Resource Management in 2008. Did you know that the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) has scholarships available to attend those courses at Wageningen International?

The NFP scholarship covers the following costs:
*    Tuition fees
*    Travel costs
*    Full-board accommodation
*    Health insurance
*    Allowance for personal expenses
Fellowships are available for candidates from the following Asian countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao), India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

This is a last call for applications with NFP scholarship to the following Wageningen International courses in 2008:
·         Fisheries data collection and analysis, 29 September – 17 October
·         Towards participatory fisheries management, 20 October – 7 November
·         Landscape functions and people: applying strategic planning approaches for good natural resource governance, 27 October – 7 November
·         Governance for forests, nature and people: managing multi-stakeholder learning in sector programmes and policy processes, 24 November – 5 December


More information on:
*    Netherlands Fellowship Programmes
*    Application procedures Wageningen International

Marriott : US$ 2 Million Program to Help Save Brazil’s Amazon (Brazzil Mag)

Read at : Brazzil Mag

Marriott Starts US$ 2 Million Program to Help Save Brazil’s Amazon

Written by Newsroom
Tuesday, 08 April 2008

Brazil’s Amazonas state and Marriott have signed an agreement to support a plan to help protect 1.4 million acres of endangered Brazilian rainforest. The accord is believed to be the first of its kind. The government-private partnership is one of the first in the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. Marriott has committed US$ 2 million to fund an environmental management plan administered by the newly created Amazonas Sustainable Foundation. By year end, Marriott guests and group customers will also be able to offset the greenhouse gas emissions generated from their hotel stays by contributing to this rainforest fund. In addition to offering this carbon offset, Marriott says that it is taking new steps to reduce the company’s water, waste and energy consumption; green its supply chain; build greener hotels; and engage employees and guests to take action. Continue reading “Marriott : US$ 2 Million Program to Help Save Brazil’s Amazon (Brazzil Mag)”

CSD-16 : HOW TO HELP AFRICA (Google / Appablog)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification


With many African economies heavily dependent on agriculture — a climate-sensitive sector highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks — the Commission on Sustainable Development today began an in-depth consideration of ways to help the continent strengthen the management of its natural resources, boost agricultural productivity, and modernize its transportation and energy infrastructure.

Africa is one of the themes of the Commission’s current cycle alongside agriculture, rural development, land, drought and desertification.  Those issues, taken up during expert panel discussions today and throughout the week, are of particular relevance to Africa, where farming remains the basis of much of the continent’s survival and food self-sufficiency, and where poverty eradication depends on increasing agricultural productivity and boosting the rural economy.

Along with pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, ongoing armed conflicts and pockets of political instability, the recent headline-grabbing surge in global food prices has proved to be yet another obstacle on Africa’s road to sustainable development.  As local food prices have skyrocketed, the continent has been particularly exposed, since the cost of food makes up a large proportion of household budgets and many African countries rely heavily on imports.  Participants in today’s panels repeatedly stressed that diversification into higher-value crops and agro-industries could help reduce the vulnerability of African economies to erratic commodity prices. Continue reading “CSD-16 : HOW TO HELP AFRICA (Google / Appablog)”

Global warming, hunger and poverty (Willem)


Dear Sirs,

Today I have been reading your article

entitled : Global Warming Batters Nigerian Ecosystems.

I found it most interesting and I agree fully with the conclusions on the Nigerian contribution to global warming.

However, the most important paragraph in the text for me is :

Rainfall in the Sahel has been declining steadily since the 1960’s. The result has been the loss of farmlands and conflicts between farmers and herdsmen over ever decreasing land. Many different communities, including fishermen, farmers and herdsmen, are now confronted with difficulties arising from climatic changes. Peoples’ livelihoods are being harmed, and people who are already poor are becoming even more impoverished. Climate refugees are being created, as the changes make some land unlivable and affect water supplies.

Indeed, recognizing the importance of the discussion on global warming, one should be aware that the more “immediate” problems are :

Loss of farmlands.
Conflicts over ever decreasing land.
Climate refugees.
Unlivable land.
Poor water supplies.

It will take an extremely long time to change national and international attitudes and behavior concerning industrial (economic) exploitation of  natural resources, like oil and gas, not only in Nigeria !  On the contrary, urgent solutions for the above mentioned basic problems of land degradation, food security, migration and poverty are badly needed.

Therefore, one should take into account that successful application of a cost-effective combination of traditional agricultural methods with modern technologies has shown that within the shortest time the combat of desertification and the alleviation of poverty can be won.  Let me refer to a number of “best practices” documented by some international institutes and organizations and to successes booked with small-scale development programs, like the one of UNICEF ALGERIA on the creation of family gardens and school gardens in the Sahara desert in S.W. Algeria.

With these family gardens, it was clearly shown that with minimal investment maximal results were booked within the shortest time, e.g. 6 months, whereby families in refugee camps (migrants) were enabled to grow their own food with a minimum of irrigation water.  A very simple soil conditioning method offered a maximum of chances to grow vegetables and fruit trees in two different seasons : a milder autumn-winter period and a hot spring-summer season.

Being aware of the necessity to take care of the global warming problem (a long-term task), the international community should FIRST provide short-term ways and means to solve the food problem in all the drylands of this world.  The solutions are known.

Poor rural people in the drylands, climate refugees, drought and political migrants, they all may show some concern over climate change and global warming. However, their most urgent wishes, their basic priorities are not directly related to the climate, but to their empty stomach and poverty.  If there is any option for us, then let us first take care of their water and food problems.  For no one can be fully active with an empty stomach !  And let us not forget : the cost-effective solutions are well-known.  Is the bell ringing ?

Food Security : 16 new items (dgAlert)

Read at : <>

Food Security : 16 new items

Content update – Food Security on the Development Gateway

1. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries(REDD)
By MaríaJ. Sanz UNFCCC Secretariat – Global deforestation was estimated at 13 million ha/yr for 1990-2005(FAO 2005).Deforestation and forest degradation result in substantial reductions in forest carbon stocks and increase in emissions.The…
Contributed by Giulia D’Amico on 17 Apr , 2008

2. The Impact of Rising Global Food Prices
by Homi Kharas, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution – International food prices are rising globally, prompting many countries to adjust tariffs to attract or keep more food domestically. Homi Kharas, Senior Fellow, Wolfensohn Center for Development,…
Contributed by Carla dal Cais on 16 Apr , 2008

3. A Brief Report about the Variation in Prices of Major Oils in Different Centres around India
In this report (revised and corrected), which was earlier submitted to Development Gateway’s Knowledge Sharing Platform, the author analyses the variation in prices of oil of various major trading centers (March 2006). Only spot market prices were…
Contributed by Shambhu Ghatak on 16 Apr , 2008

…………………. Continue reading “Food Security : 16 new items (dgAlert)”

Law and Soil Protection and Land Improvement by TEMA (Drynet)

Read at : drynet / Success stories

Enforcement of Law and Soil Protection and Land Improvement by TEMA
Environmental Law, Policy, Law on soil protection and management, land management, prevention of soil degradation

For the first time in Turkish history, a law on conservation of soil and land management is issued by the efforts of an NGO; which is the The Law on Soil Protection and Land Improvement”. TEMA Foundation together with its volunteers from all parts of the society actively lobbied for the approval of this law by the parliament. These activities include a petition campaign with over 1 million signatories, communication efforts to raise public awareness on the issue through media, seminars, and visits. TEMA was not only active in the lobbying activities, but also leaded the process by drafting this law through it’s volunteers and experts. Enforcement of this law has been a long and severe process and all levels of organizations actively involved in this process. The participation of universities, chambers and NGOs in the decision making process of the conservation, expansion and improvement of soil by building up the Soil Conservation Councils hastened the process in the local governmental level. Based on the gathered information, an action plan is developed with the objective to include all levels of organizations and TEMA representatives in the process. Continue reading “Law and Soil Protection and Land Improvement by TEMA (Drynet)”

Nigeria: The Menace of Bush Burning (Google / allAfrica / Daily Trust)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification

Nigeria: The Menace of Bush Burning

Hassan Idris

More than half of bush burning throughout Nigeria is deliberately lit, costing millions of naira damages annually. The questions which need answers are, what motivates an arsonist and what do they feel when the bush is burning? This feature proffers solutions to the problems. The negative impact of bush burning need not to be over emphasised especially during the hot season in northern Nigeria as apart from environmental pollution and health hazards, bush burning obviously causes immense catastrophes in many quarters. They include bush burning as public nuisance, the suffocating experience felt by people due to the huge smoke soaring in the air during the heat, and the pollution of the ozone layer of the environment. In this regard, the menace is of double tragedy in the sense that while the heat is unbearable, bush burning fires also heat up the soil thereby blazing up its nutrients including the fertilizer elements. Furthermore, the fire is smouldering and all the proponents of the plants as well as the grasses that are useful in conserving the forest, Wildlife and small animals are being destroyed in large proportion. Continue reading “Nigeria: The Menace of Bush Burning (Google / allAfrica / Daily Trust)”

IUCN vacancy

Please find attached a

Vacancy Announcement
for an
IUCN Regional Drylands Coordinator for Eastern and Southern Africa, based in Nairobi.
The deadline is already end of March 2008. For more information, please visit
Best wishes,

Caterina Wolfangel
Programme Officer Drylands

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Eastern Africa
Tel: ++254 (0) 20 890605 /12

vacancy IUCN

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