Why a global insect decline affects us all

Insects crucial for ecosystem functioning and food production


A comprehensive review of insect declines around the world gives a stark picture of the scale of the declines and the consequences both for ecology and human welfare. The paper, published in Biological Conservation, warns that 40% of the world’s insect species could become extinct within a few decades under current trends. And the loss of this diversity could lead to dramatic increases in pest insects which harm food production and human health.

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Could Climate Change threaten the future of the Winter Olympics?

As Russia prepares to host the 22nd Olympic Winter Games, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has begun to release the findings of its Fifth Assessment Report.  If the climate projections of the IPCC report prove accurate, only six of the previous 19 host cities will be cold enough to host a reliable Games by the end of the century, according to a new study1 published this month by the University of Waterloo and the Management Centre Innsbruck.

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Reconciling Modern Animal Production Systems and Sustainability

By M Djuric, DVM

A consortium of 22 research partners from 11 countries has received a £10.6m grant from the European Union (EU) to improve pig and poultry production. This is the largest EU grant awarded in this field. The project aims at investigating ways to increase animal production quality, whilst limiting environmental impact and preserving profitability for the farming and animal food production sectors.

Pig-dThe research will be carried out by the Prohealth consortium, consisting of 10 academic partners, one European association, four industry partners, and seven small and medium-sized enterprises. The consortium has expertise in animal physiology and immunology, genetics and nutrition, veterinary science and epidemiology, socioeconomics, as well as welfare and production science of pigs and poultry. The consortium members come from Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and UK. The project was launched in Newcastle upon Tyne on 17 December and  will be co-ordinated by Newcastle University.

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The Environmental Impact of NutritionandFoodSciences…dot org

We’ve explored obesity in many different forms during the course of this year
and if you’re a regular Handpicked reader (enter your email in the box on the
left and click on ‘subscribe’ to become one if you’re not already), you’ll by
now be well aware of a recurring theme in our nutrition posts. Energy. This
thread will doubtless also run through the imminent new CABI product
Environmental Impact
(plug, plug), where I hope the loose ends help the experts
tie the information in nice, concise and user-friendly packages as opposed to a
confused mess of knots.

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The sound of despondent Handpicked bloggers rang through the air at CABI this morning. The corridors were reverberating in despair at the New Zealand Herald‘s frightening headline ‘Climate change could see pubs run dry‘. Streuth!

Pedants among you who have checked the link will have noted that the story appeared in last week’s Herald, but what with the time difference with the UK and a weekend spent in the pub, it was a little late in catching our attention. But this makes it all the more worrying. We are one week nearer to running dry!

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