Forestry and farming can deliver food security, says new report

A report published earlier this week by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) suggests that improving co-operation between the forestry and agricultural sectors could help to improve food security as well as reducing deforestation, highlighting the successful efforts of Chile, Costa Rica, Georgia, Ghana, Vietnam, Tunisia and the Gambia. According to the FAO,…
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Nuclear and isotopic techniques help the fight against land degradation

Land degradation is the result of a number of largely human-induced factors, such as poor soil and water management practices, deforestation, overgrazing, improper crop rotation and unsustainable land use. In turn, these can significantly affect soil fertility, resulting in diminished crop yields and food insecurity.  Traditional methods of modelling and monitoring soil erosion usually require…
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Ambitious landscape restoration target may be within reach

In September 2011, at a high-level meeting of world leaders, the Bonn Challenge was launched, with an ambitious goal to restore 150 million hectares of the world‚Äôs degraded and deforested land by 2020. This target was recently supplemented by the New York Declaration on Forests, which added an further 200 million hectares to be restored…
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Indonesia’s mangroves key to climate change mitigation, says study

Mangrove forests in Indonesia store approximately 3.14 billion tonnes of carbon, therefore protection of these ecosystems should be considered a major priority in terms of global climate change mitigation, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. 
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New report highlights link between forests, farms and food security

With the global population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050, there has been much debate around the issues of nutrition and food security. Amid these concerns, a report published on May 6 by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), calls for greater consideration of the use of forests as a food source as…
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New study produces biofuel and animal feed from the same crop

‚ÄėFirst generation‚Äô bioethanol is produced directly from food crops such as corn and sugarcane.  Global production of bioethanol has been increasing in recent years due to policies in many countries that consider biofuel as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. While it is widely recognised as means to improve future energy security, the rapid expansion…
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Using lasers to map forest carbon

Forests cover approximately 4 billion hectares of the Earth's surface, equivalent to a third of it's total land area.  According to the WWF, between 12-15 million hectares of forests are lost every year due to human impacts, such as deforestation.  It is estimated that forest loss is responsible for around 15% of global carbon emissions.…
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Insecticide threat to aquatic biodiversity highlighted in new study

Insecticides can be beneficial to humans in many ways, such as providing crop protection from disease and defoliation and as a tool used in the reduction of mosquitoes and other insects that can transmit diseases such as malaria, to humans.  However, once they enter an aquatic system, the environmental costs can be very high.  Just…
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Changing attitudes to wood

Wood has many different uses, including shelter, fuel and paper to write on, as well as having a key role in maintaining a healthy planet.  More recently however, the development of engineered wood for use in the construction of tall buildings has led to a new generation of ‚Äėply-scrapers‚Äô.  So is our attitude to wood…
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World Water Monitoring Day 2014

World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) is observed each year on September 18.  It was initially chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the US Clean Water Act on October 18, but was changed to encourage participation in regions of the world where temperatures reach freezing point at that time of the year.  WWMD was established…
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