From Defaunation to Desertification


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Defaunation Leads to Desertification



The word ‘Defaunation‘ is a merely new term used by scientists in a recent article published in the Journal Nature Communications. According to the team of scientists ” large animals important for the carbon storage in tropical forests. Defaunation is used for the declination of the fauna from the forests.


In short ‘global decline in the population of several wild animal species is among the most widespread drivers of Earth’s biodiversity crisis. The study highlights the importance of conserving large wild animals in the tropical forests as part of forest protection strategy for storing carbon and reducing emissions. This will ultimately help us to mitigate climate change.

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From teepees to a shelter-temple.




Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM (Ghent University, Belgium)

One can start with one or more separate teepees (easier to achieve), and then, on the basis of the successes booked, go for the bigger constructions (living rooms), like the one shown in this article:

It would be an enormous advantage, particularly for nomadic populations, to find similar “refuges” (places or situations providing safety or shelter) here and there along the roads. A task for the local authorities with national (and international) support.

Impossible ? Come on, give it a try in some African, Asian and South American countries, and you will see: IT WORKS !

Just like it worked for the small teepee (“tipi”) I constructed in my own garden in Belgium, planting some poles of the drought-tolerant Navajo willow (Salix matsudana var. Navajo).

No more plastic greenhouses or tunnels needed : grow your own live greenhouse (a tipi or a tunnel) with branches of the drought-tolerant Navajo willow, also globe willow, or the Chinese willow (Salix matsudana). One can grow these willows with a minimum of water in the drylands, even in the desert.

Such a live greenhouse offers remarkable advantages : natural shade and higher air humidity inside because of the transpiration by the leaves.

In drylands or deserts people can easily grow plants, e.g. young fruit trees and vegetables, inside the greenhouse, which can also offer shelter against the sun heat.

Outgrowing branches of the willow can be pruned to construct progressively new greenhouses.

That is the best way to alleviate malnutrition


Photo credit : TAALUMA

Our partner Maria with the children of Golda Mayers school in Hohoe, Ghana where we built a few sack gardens to help them farm vegetables to feed the school children.

TAALUMA, an example that merits to be copied all over the world

We are working on building self-sustained farming facilities in poor neighborhoods in Ghana and Togo.

The images you shared earlier is from our first major project in Shah Hill region of Accra in Ghana, were we build an education center with Aquaponics, Sack Gardens, Compost and raised bed to help them feed the children in their school (mostly saved from child slavery) and to educate students, their families, their volunteers and the villagers on how to farm efficiently.

The image bellow is from another one of our (smaller) activities where we made several sack gardens in primary school in the volta region of Ghana, most of the children in the image receive their only hot meal in school and our goal is to expand our operation there next year and build a larger farming facility there to help them lower their operational cost and at the same time add fruits and vegetables to their diet.

HyperSolar to produce hydrogen and clean water from polluted water


Photo credit: Treehugger

Video screen capture HyperSolar

Prototype uses solar energy to produce hydrogen and clean water from polluted water

Derek Markham

Solar and nanoparticles and hydrogen, oh my!

The promised hydrogen economy keeps getting pushed back farther into the future, it seems, as producing hydrogen sustainably and at a low cost is always just around the bend in time, and while hydrogen has its share of opponents, it also has its boosters, such as HyperSolar, which looks to bring a breakthrough to scalable renewable hydrogen production.

Although this element is one of the most abundant in the universe, and the third most abundant on Earth, it’s also the lightest, which makes it rare in our atmosphere (meaning we can’t just hoover it up from the air). Hydrogen isn’t exactly known for its energy-density, but it is one potential storage solution for building a more sustainable energy system, if it can be produced efficiently with renewable energy, and then stored and distributed efficiently, as opposed to the current major source of hydrogen, which is steam-reformed natural gas.

Those are some big ‘ifs’ that won’t be solved overnight in the clean hydrogen quest, but HyperSolar believes it has the next step for producing low-cost, scalable, renewable hydrogen, with the source being polluted or dirty water, and the energy from the sun. Instead of using electricity from a separate solar array to power
an electrolyzer, this prototype has its solar energy component directly submerged in the water, with its “Self-contained Photoelectrochemical Nanosystem” technology that is “designed to mimic photosynthesis.” According to the company, this nanoparticle-based system enables a much more efficient electrolysis process than one powered by a separate solar input, which would have higher losses of transmission between the sun and the actual hydrogen production, and it says its system could “significantly” lower the cost of hydrogen electrolysis.

HyperSolar calls it the H2 Generator, and so far, it’s a lab-scale prototype, but the company believes it can be scaled up effectively, with the technology put to work turning wastewater or other non-potable water into hydrogen, “at or near the point of distribution.”

Read the full article: Treehugger

“To bolster food security in a changing climate, countries must address food and agriculture in their climate action plans” – (Ban Ki-moon)


Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

Geothermal energy is converted into electricity and used to heat the Gourmet Mokai glasshouse in New Zealand which grows tomatoes and peppers. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Agriculture must transform to feed a hotter, more crowded planet, UN says on World Food Day

To mark World Food Day 2016, the United Nations is highlighting the close links between climate change, sustainable agriculture, and food and nutrition security, with the message: “The climate is changing. Food and agriculture must, too.”

“As the global population expands, we will need to satisfy an increasing demand for food,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message commemorating the Day.

“Yet, around the world, record-breaking temperatures, rising sea levels and more frequent and severe droughts and floods caused by climate change are already affecting ecosystems, agriculture and society’s ability to produce the food we need,” he added.

Mr. Ban pointed out that the most vulnerable people are world’s poorest, 70 per cent of whom depend on subsistence farming, fishing or pastoralism for income and food.

“Without concerted action, millions more people could fall into poverty and hunger, threatening to reverse hard-won gains and placing in jeopardy our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he emphasized.

To bolster food security in a changing climate, countries must address food and agriculture in their climate action plans – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

According to the UN chief, agriculture and food systems must become more resilient, productive, inclusive and sustainable.

“To bolster food security in a changing climate,” he continued “countries must address food and agriculture in their climate action plans and invest more in rural development.”

The Secretary-General explained that targeted investments in those sectors would build resilience and increase the incomes and productivity of small farmers – lifting millions from poverty. “They will help to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and safeguard the health and well-being of ecosystems and all people who depend on them, underscored Mr. Ban.

Read the full article: UN NEWS CENTRE

Climate-smart practices in agriculture


Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

Agriculture must adopt climate-smart practices to better help poverty reduction – UN report

The rapid transformation of farming and food systems to cope with a warmer world, such as adopting climate-smart practices, particularly to curb greenhouse gas emissions, is critical for hunger and poverty reduction, the United Nations agriculture agency said today in a new report.

“There is no doubt climate change affects food security,” said the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, as he presented The State of Food and Agriculture 2016 report at the agency’s headquarters in Rome.

“What climate change does is to bring back uncertainties from the time we were all hunter gatherers. We cannot assure any more that we will have the harvest we have planted,” headded.

That uncertainty also translates into volatile food prices, he noted. “Everybody is paying for that, not only those suffering from droughts,” Mr. Graziano da Silva said.

What climate change does is to bring back uncertainties from the time we were all hunter gatherers. We cannot assure any more that we will have the harvest we have planted

FAO warns that a ‘business as usual’ approach could put millions more people at risk of hunger, than in a future without climate change. Most affected would be populations in poor areas in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia, especially those who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Future food security in many countries will worsen if no action is taken today.

“The benefits of adaptation outweigh the costs of inaction by very wide margins,” emphasized Mr. Graziano da Silva.

Read the full article: UN NEWS CENTRE

More than half of the world population suffers from one or more forms of malnutrition, including hunger, micronutrient deficiency and obesity.


Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

An abundant lettuce crop in Serbia. Photo: FAO/Oliver Bunic

Sustainable food systems vital to achieving nutrition-related targets of 2030 Agenda – UN Rome-based agencies

Opening its 43rd plenary session in Rome today in the wake of major global agreements on sustainable development and climate change, the main United Nations body focused on food security and nutrition, called for an urgent transformation of the world’s food system and nutrition to eradicate all forms of extreme poverty, hunger, and malnutrition by 2030.

In her opening remarks, Amira Gornass, the Chair of the Committee on World Food Security(CFS), stressed the importance of establishing a “sustainable food systems is in essence working to achieve the food security and nutrition-related targets of the 2030 Agenda.”

According to José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), who also addressed the meeting, “there is a clear failure of food systems to deliver healthy diets to people,” as more than half of the world population suffers from one or more forms of malnutrition, including hunger, micronutrient deficiency and obesity.

As such, Mr. Graziano da Silva encouraged people to turn to CFS for answers, stating, however, that efforts to tackle nutrition and food systems will require extended partnership, including action from diverse stakeholders, as noted by Elisabeth Rasmusson, the Assistant Executive Director of the UN’s World Food Program (WFP).

“We must renew our efforts to build more sustainable food systems, which are better able to withstand changing weather patterns and extreme events and respond to nutritional needs — building resilience into our food systems, mitigating the risks, and ensuring we are more prepared for climate shocks in the future,” she added.

The key goals of the food system transformation must be achieved in “an increasingly adverse context where population growth, a shrinking resource base, climate change and urbanization will challenge our ability to find new ways of working and interacting,” added Mr. Graziano da Silva.

Read the full article: UN NEWS CENTRE