A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Posted 7:36 PM by Tevita
UN calls for Green revolution to prevent food crisis
From : Food Navigator.com
By Sarah Hills, 19-Feb-2009
Related topics: Sustainability, Science & Nutrition
A major change is needed in the way food is produced, handled and disposed of in order to feed the world's rising population and protect the environment as prices are expected to remain volatile, according to a new UN report.
The factors blamed for the current food crisis - drought, biofuels, high oil prices, low grain stocks and in particular speculation in food stocks - may worsen substantially in the coming decades unless more intelligent and creative management is brought to the world's agricultural systems, said the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) study.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, said: “We need a Green revolution in a Green Economy but one with a capital G."
Green revolution, with a lower-case g, is a term that usually refers to the spread of new agricultural technologies since World War Two.
However Steiner has a different idea in mind:
“We need to deal with not only the way the world produces food but the way it is distributed, sold and consumed, and we need a revolution that can boost yields by working with rather than against nature.”
He added: “Over half of the food produced today is either lost, wasted or discarded as a result of inefficiency in the human-managed food chain.
“There is evidence within the report that the world could feed the entire projected population growth alone by becoming more efficient."
Last year food manufacturers faced soaring commodity costs, as prices for key raw materials such as corn and wheat reach unprecedented figures, putting intense pressure on company balance sheets.
The report called: “The Environmental Food crises: Environment's role in averting future food crises” warned that food prices may increase by 30-50 per cent within decades. At the same time, 25 per cent of the world’s food production may become lost due to 'environmental breakdowns' by 2050 unless action is taken.
To reduce the risk of hunger and rising food insecurity, it recommends a seven point plan
In the short-term it suggests re-organizing the food market infrastructure to regulate prices and generate food safety nets for those at risk. This would be backed by a global, micro-financing fund to boost small-scale farmer productivity in developing countries.
It also suggests the removal of agricultural subsidies and the promotion of second generation biofuels based on wastes rather than primary crops.
In the medium-term is recommends reducing trade barriers and improving infrastructure to increase trade and improve market access.
It also suggests replacing the use of cereals and food fish in animal feed with post-harvest losses and waste and offering support for more diversified and ecologically-friendly farming systems.
Long term recommendations include steps to limit global warming with climate-friendly agriculture production systems and raising awareness of the pressures that consumption and population trends put on sustainable ecosystems.
Opportunities and markets
Last week another UN report said that despite the economic crisis, the organic market will grow so countries such as Africa need to grow and export more organic produce to help tackle issues of food security and sustainability.
However, this latest UNEP report said that increasing growth and power of international food corporations is affecting the opportunities of small agricultural producers in developing countries.
It added: “While new opportunities are being created, the majority are not able to utilize them because of the stringent safety and quality standards of food retailers, hence barring market entry.”
Posted 7:26 PM by Tevita
Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting holds two panel discussions in consideration of agriculture, rural development
Source: United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
Date: 24 Feb 2009
From : Relief Web
Commission on Sustainable Development Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting 3rd & 4th Meetings (AM & PM)
The Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development today held two expert panel discussions on policy options to address barriers and constraints to agriculture and rural development.
Convened to lay the foundation for the Commission's seventeenth session, which is slated to take place from 4 to 15 May, the Meeting aims to highlight obstacles, best practices and lessons learned across six thematic priorities: agriculture, drought, desertification, land, rural development, Africa and interlinkages and cross-cutting issues.
Norman Uphoff, Professor of Government and International Agriculture at Cornell University, kicked off the morning's panel on agriculture by emphasizing that the present model of "modern agriculture" might not be sustainable in the twenty-first century. Among the reasons was that a projected 50 per cent growth in demand for food by 2050 faced several overwhelming constraints, including shrinking arable land, a general increase in adverse climate conditions and the likely rise in the costs of energy and petrochemical products.
As an alternative "post-modern" model, he suggested "agro-ecology" as a means to promote the growth of root systems while focusing on increasing the abundance of soil organisms. By taking a management-oriented approach, agro-ecology practices seek to capitalize on the existing genetic potential of soil and plants to produce higher yields at lower costs. Already available, those methods could make sustainable improvements in livelihoods and raise production levels at the same time.
Sara Scherr, President and Chief Executive Officer of ECOagriculture Partners, underlining the potential of ecologically oriented agriculture to enhance rural livelihoods, said "eco-agriculture" could also conserve or restore ecosystems and biodiversity. As a system of managing agricultural landscapes, it boosted ecosystem services by creating or expanding conservation areas and minimizing agricultural pollution in production areas. Farming systems could also be modified in ways that contributed to climate-change mitigation.
To protect agriculture sustainability in 2009, she said it was critically important to ensure that the agreements coming out of the climate change conference scheduled for Copenhagen in December placed high priority on land-use systems for mitigation and adaptation. A global summit to frame a long-term "green strategy for food security" should also be convened, while national facilities should be established to help farming communities plan for agriculture, the environment and climate resilience.
During the ensuing discussion, a number of speakers said that recent volatility in food prices had demonstrated the urgency of moving towards sustainable agriculture and rural development. Several delegates pointed out that direct partnerships provided critical targeted support in the absence of major changes to international trade agreements, and due to the failure to eliminate harmful agricultural subsidies in the developed world.
While some delegates emphasized the value of niche crops, particularly organic ones, a representative of the business and industry major group suggested that, while organic agriculture might open niche export markets to farmers, it could not feed 9 billion people in a sustainable way without incurring intolerable environmental costs. Meanwhile, India's representative said her country had learned that an optimal combination of organic cultivation and fertilizers was extremely useful in enhancing overall crop production.
Opening the afternoon panel on rural development, Tim Hanstad, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Development Institute (RDI), stressed that among the four elements of successful rural development -- basic health, basic education, infrastructure and pro-poor land policies -– the latter played an outsized role. Access to land largely determined food security, status, wealth and power in rural communities, and land policies should strive for relatively egalitarian access to and distribution of land, secure tenures and the empowerment of local communities and governments. Done right, the formalization of land rights increased the value of land, putting money in the pockets of its owners and encouraging investment by farmers. That in turn fostered higher economic growth in general across an entire society.
Representing Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN), panellist Rosalud de la Rosa said the challenge ahead was to create an integrated approach to sustainable rural development for all policymakers to follow. To do that, gender equity was vital in expediting sustainable development and a significant human right for women worldwide. Even though a high price was paid when gender issues were neglected, there was little political will to achieve gender equality in agriculture and rural development.
With women comprising a substantial majority of the agricultural workforce in many low-income countries, however, such attitudes were themselves unsustainable, she said. Women farmers must be at centre stage and partnerships must be formed to make that happen. Greater collective action among women was also needed. To that end, WOCAN had developed a rural women's leadership course and was collaborating with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Heifer International in an attempt to restore agricultural to the development agenda.
Responding to those presentations, some speakers underlined the importance of water systems and energy services in rural development and others called for the integration of rural development into national and international stimulus packages aimed at addressing the global economic and financial crises. Alongside developing countries like Namibia, developed ones such as the United States emphasized the need to address disparities between rural and urban areas with a view to reducing rural-to-urban migration, particularly among young people.
Several speakers suggested that empowering rural people and communities to manage their own social and economic destinies through strong institutions would enhance development efforts. Many delegates, like the representative Tonga, who spoke on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), also underlined the need to integrate traditional cultural knowledge and land-tenure systems into rural development strategies.
Gerda Verburg ( Netherlands), Commission Chairperson, chaired both the morning and afternoon panel discussions.
In the panel discussion on agriculture, the Commission also heard from representatives of Sudan (on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China), European Commission (on behalf of the European Union), Senegal (on behalf of the African Group), Jamaica (on behalf of AOSIS), Papua New Guinea (on behalf of the Pacific Islands Developing States), Oman (on behalf of the Arab Group), United States, Indonesia, Canada, China, Federated States of Micronesia, South Africa, Switzerland, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Netherlands, Norway, Malawi, Argentina, Algeria, Iran, Russian Federation, Nigeria, Japan, Chile, Libya, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Marshall Islands, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Barbados, Cambodia and Namibia.
The Permanent Observer for Palestine also made a statement.
Posted 7:23 PM by Tevita
SPC’s Land Resources Division creates helpdesk to assist Pacific Island Countries & Territories
24 FEBRUARY 2009 SUVA (Pacnews) --- The Secretariat of the Pacific Community Land Resources Division (LRD) has established an email based Helpdesk system to provide technical advisory support to Pacific Island Countries & Territories (PICTs).
Technical advisory will be provided in the areas of Animal Health & Production, Biosecurity & Trade Facilitation, Crop Production, Genetic Resources, Forests and Trees, Forestry & Agriculture Diversification, Information & Communication and Extension, Plant Health, and Agriculture & Forestry Policy Advice.
This email based facility receives processes and responds to queries from clients and stakeholders. It operates on a ticketing platform where incoming queries are tagged with a ticket number, and an auto-response message is sent to the requestor to confirm that the message has been received and opened.
Last year (2008) the LRD management decided to merge the SPC Biosecurity Helpdesk with the LRD helpdesk to centralize all incoming LRD queries. Messages sent to the Biosecurity Helpdesk will now be delivered at the LRD Helpdesk.
Query response turnaround is 24 hours and 2 weeks for those requiring research and technical staff input.
The LRD helpdesk can be contacted at email@example.com
SPC’s 26 member countries and territories include American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States of America, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna……PNS (ENDS)
Posted 1:29 PM by Tevita
Hamburgers are the Hummers of Food in Global Warming: Scientists
From : AFP
CHICAGO - When it comes to global warming, hamburgers are the Hummers of food, scientists say.
Simply switching from steak to salad could cut as much carbon as leaving the car at home a couple days a week.
That's because beef is such an incredibly inefficient food to produce and cows release so much harmful methane into the atmosphere, said Nathan Pelletier of Dalhousie University in Canada.
Pelletier is one of a growing number of scientists studying the environmental costs of food from field to plate.
By looking at everything from how much grain a cow eats before it is ready for slaughter to the emissions released by manure, they are getting a clearer idea of the true costs of food.
The livestock sector is estimated to account for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and beef is the biggest culprit.
Even though beef only accounts for 30 percent of meat consumption in the developed world it's responsible for 78 percent of the emissions, Pelletier said Sunday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
That's because a single kilogram of beef produces 16 kilograms carbon dioxide equivalent emissions: four times higher than pork and more than ten times as much as a kilogram of poultry, Pelletier said.
If people were to simply switch from beef to chicken, emissions would be cut by 70 percent, Pelletier said.
Another part of the problem is people are eating far more meat than they need to.
"Meat once was a luxury in our diet," Pelletier said. "We used to eat it once a week. Now we eat it every day."
If meat consumption in the developed world was cut from the current level of about 90 kilograms a year to the recommended level of 53 kilograms a year, livestock related emissions would fall by 44 percent.
"Given the projected doubling of (global) meat production by 2050, we're going to have to cut our emissions by half just to maintain current levels," Pelletier said.
"Technical improvements are not going to get us there."
That's why changing the kinds of food people eat is so important, said Chris Weber, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania.
Food is the third largest contributor to the average US household's carbon footprint after driving and utilities, and in Europe - where people drive less and have smaller homes - it has an even greater impact.
"Food is of particular importance to a consumer's impact because it's a daily choice that is, at least in theory, easy to change," Weber said.
"You make your choice every day about what to eat, but once you have a house and a car you're locked into that for a while."
The average US household contributes about five tons of carbon dioxide a year by driving and about 3.5 tons of equivalent emissions with what they eat, he said.
"Switching to no red meat and no dairy products is the equivalent of (cutting out) 8,100 miles driven in a car ... that gets 25 miles to the gallon," Weber said in an interview following the symposium.
Buying local meat and produce will not have nearly the same effect, he cautioned.
That's because only five percent of the emissions related to food come from transporting food to market.
"You can have a much bigger impact by shifting just one day a week from meat and dairy to anything else than going local every day of the year," Weber said.
For more information on how to eat a low carbon diet, visit www.eatlowcarbon.org.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Posted 1:53 PM by Tevita
REDD - hot topic for climate change [Posting 9]
Lead article for the topic: REDD
Can't see this article correctly? Go to: http://www.climatefrontlines.org/en-GB/node/169
Climate change is not only occurring, it is accelerating. Deforestation accounts for almost 20 % of greenhouse gas emissions according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Developing Countries Programme (UN-REDD) seeks to reduce this figure by giving forests a monetary value based on their capacity to store carbon and thus reduce greenhouse gases. REDD may eventually lead to developed countries paying developing ones to reduce emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation. According to a UNEP press release: “The UN-REDD Programme is aimed at tipping the economic balance in favour of sustainable management of forests so that their formidable economic, environmental and social goods and services benefit countries, communities and forest users while also contributing to important reductions in greenhouse gas emissions”.1
While there is general agreement that deforestation must be reduced, the recent UN Framework Convention on Climate Change discussions in Poznan, Poland, highlighted numerous concerns, including the implications of REDD schemes for forest-dependent communities, many of which are indigenous.
For some observers REDD offers a better alternative than current forest use and management: “Unless a mechanism is put into place that makes forests worth more alive than dead, deforestation will continue until the world’s tropical forests are completely destroyed. (…) In the absence of large-scale incentives for conservation, an enormous number of the world’s species of plants and animals and the resource base of millions of indigenous peoples and forest communities will ultimately go up in smoke”.2
REDD could provide political and financial support to indigenous peoples if governments decide that local forestry practices contribute to storing carbon: “If instituted in a manner consistent with indigenous interests, reduced deforestation could help to protect the biodiversity of plants and animals, help to secure indigenous lands and livelihoods, and provide for the ongoing culture and community of indigenous and forest-dwelling peoples”.3
But indigenous peoples and other observers have also expressed concern about possible negative impacts. If forests are given monetary value under REDD schemes, many fear that - where land tenure rights are unclear and decision-making remains top-down - new conflicts could arise among indigenous and local communities and between them and the state.4 REDD mechanisms might exclude local populations from implementation and benefit-sharing processes, and possibly even expel them from their own territories: “The increased monetary value placed on standing forest resources and new forest growth, opens the door for corruption in countries where this is already rife in the forest sector. Centralized planning (…) where the national government creates plans, receives payments and disburses the new funds only adds to the marginalisation of forest people”.5
These concerns are reinforced by the difficulties experienced by indigenous peoples in accessing international climate change debates, even though many REDD projects will take place within indigenous territories. In the Poznan negotiations, “indigenous peoples were shocked to see the final version of the draft conclusions on ‘REDD’. This Document removed any references to the rights of indigenous peoples and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”.6 Indigenous peoples and civil society representatives responded by declaring: “This is totally unacceptable (…) as the forests which are being targeted for REDD are those which indigenous peoples have sustained and protected for thousands of years”.7
It is widely recognized that REDD “(…) could contribute to strengthening and formalising the international forest regime” 8 and that this could represent “an opportunity to push for policy and legal reforms on forests and indigenous peoples' rights”.9 However, there is also growing concern that indigenous peoples and local communities are “unlikely to benefit from REDD where: they do not own their lands; there is no culture of free, prior and informed consent; their identities are not recognised; or they have no space to participate in political processes”.10
How do you think REDD might affect your community? Will REDD lead to new opportunities or negative impacts?
Please send your views and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Also continue to send us your observations on Topic 1: Early impacts of climate change and Topic 2: Adapting. Your inputs will appear on the Forum website immediately.
REDD - Sujet brûlant pour le changement climatique [Message 9]
Article de référence relatif au thème : REDD
Si le texte ne s’affiche pas correctement allez à : http://www.climatefrontlines.org/fr/node/171
Le changement climatique n’est pas seulement en marche, il accélère. La déforestation contribue à quasiment 20% des émissions globales de gaz à effet de serre selon le Groupe d’experts intergouvernemental sur l’évolution du climat (GIEC). Le Programme des Nations unies sur la réduction des émissions résultant du déboisement et de la dégradation forestière dans les pays en développement (UN-REDD) vise à réduire ce chiffre en attribuant aux forêts une valeur financière basée sur leur capacité de stockage de carbone, et ainsi réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre. À terme, REDD conduirait les pays développés à payer les pays en développement dans le but de réduire les émissions causées par la déforestation et la dégradation des forêts. Selon un communiqué de presse du PNUE: « Le programme REDD vise à faire pencher la balance économique en faveur de la gestion durable des forêts afin que leur biens et services économiques, environnementaux et sociaux profitent aux pays, aux communautés et aux utilisateurs des forêts tout en contribuant aux réductions importantes des émissions de gaz à effet de serre.» 1
Bien que l’on s’accorde sur le fait que la déforestation doit être réduite, les récentes discussions de la Convention-Cadre des Nations unies sur les changements climatiques (CCNUCC) de Poznan, Pologne, ont soulevé de nombreuses préoccupations, y compris les implications du plan REDD pour les communautés dépendantes des forêts, dont beaucoup sont autochtones.
Pour certains observateurs, REDD offre une meilleure alternative que les actuels modes d’exploitation et de gestion des forêts: « A moins de mettre en place un mécanisme qui valorise davantage une forêt vivante que morte, la déforestation durera jusqu’à ce que les forêts tropicales soient entièrement détruites (…) En l’absence d’incitations à grande échelle pour la préservation, un nombre colossal d’espèces végétales et animales à travers le monde ainsi que les ressources de millions de peuples autochtones et de communautés forestières partiront en fumée».2
Si les gouvernements estiment que les pratiques forestières locales contribuent au stockage du carbone, le plan REDD pourrait offrir un soutien politique et financier aux peuples autochtones: « Si l’on aménage la réduction de la déforestation de manière cohérente avec les intérêts autochtones, celle-ci pourrait favoriser la préservation de la biodiversité végétale et animale, garantir la protection des terres et des moyens de subsistance autochtones et enfin servir les cultures et les communautés de peuples autochtones ou de ceux qui habitent les forêts ».3
Cependant, les peuples autochtones et d’autres observateurs ont aussi exprimé leurs inquiétudes envers d’éventuelles répercussions négatives. Si l’on attribue aux forêts une valeur financière sous le programme REDD, nombreux sont ceux qui redoutent l’émergence de nouveaux conflits parmi les communautés autochtones et locales autant qu’entre elles et l’Etat4 car les droits fonciers ne sont pas toujours clairement définis et le pouvoir de décision reste très hiérarchisé. Les mécanismes de REDD risquent d’écarter les populations locales des procédés de mise en œuvre et de partage des bénéfices, voire de les expulser de leurs propres territoires : « La valeur financière accrue accordée aux ressources des forêts existantes et nouvelles ouvre la voie à la corruption dans des pays où elle est chose commune dans le secteur forestier. La planification centralisée (…), par laquelle le gouvernement national crée des plans, reçoit des paiements et débourse les nouveaux fonds, ne fait qu’accroître la marginalisation des peuples de la forêt ».5
Les difficultés que rencontrent les peuples autochtones à accéder aux débats internationaux sur le changement climatique renforcent ces préoccupations, bien que de nombreux projets REDD devraient avoir lieu au sein même des territoires autochtones. Au cours des récentes négociations de Poznan, « les représentants des peuples autochtones ont été choqués devant la version finale du projet de conclusions concernant 'REDD'. Ce document exclut toute référence aux droits des peuples autochtones et à la Déclaration des Nations unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones.» 6 Les représentants des peuples autochtones et de la société civile ont répondu en déclarant: « Ceci est totalement inacceptable (…) car les forêts visées par REDD sont celles que les peuples autochtones ont entretenues et préservées depuis des milliers d’années.» 7
Il est largement reconnu que REDD « (…) pourrait contribuer à renforcer et réglementer le régime forestier international »8 et qu'il offre « une opportunité de réclamer la mise en place de réformes politiques et légales en faveur des forêts et des droits des peuples autochtones ».9 Cependant, une inquiétude persiste, à savoir que les peuples autochtones et les communautés locales « pourraient ne pas profiter des avantages de REDD s'ils ne sont pas propriétaires des terres qu'ils occupent; si le consentement libre, préalable et informé n'est pas respecté; si leurs identités ne sont pas reconnues ; ou bien encore si l'on ne leur permet pas de prendre part aux processus politiques ».10
Dans quelle mesure croyez-vous que REDD puisse toucher votre communauté ? Le programme REDD va-t-il introduire de nouvelles opportunités ou générer des impacts négatifs ?
Merci d’adresser vos points de vue et commentaires à email@example.com
Continuez aussi à nous envoyer vos observations sur les Thème 1 : Les premiers impacts sur la ligne de front et Thème 2 : Adaptation. Vos contributions apparaîtront immédiatement sur le site du forum.
Les références pour cet article figurent en bas de page de ce message.
Toutes vos réponses seront diffusées sur le site du forum au terme de la discussion 'REDD', rendez-vous sur : http://www.climatefrontlines.org
Pour s’inscrire au forum suivre ce lien : http://www.climatefrontlines.org/lists/?p=subscribe
Si vous souhaitez être retiré de la liste de diffusion, allez à : http://www.climatefrontlines.org/lists/?p=unsubscribe
References / Referencias / Références
1 UNEP (24/09/2008)
2 Nepstad et al. 2008. Getting REDD Right. WHRC-ED-IPAM
3 Barnsley, I. 2008. REDD : A guide for Indigenous Peoples. UNU-IAS
4 Ravels, S. 2008. REDD myths: a critical review of proposed mechanisms to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries. Friends of the Earth
5 Dooley et al. 2008. Cutting Corners: World Bank’s forest and carbon fund fails to forest and peoples. FERN-FPP
6 Press statement of Victoria Tauli-Corpuz on Human Rights Day
7 Indigenous peoples, local communities and NGOs outraged at the removal of rights from UNFCCC decision on REDD
8 Karsenty et al. 2008. Summary of the Proceedings of the International Workshop “The International Regime, Avoided Deforestation and the Evolution of Public and Private Policies Towards Forests in Developing Countries” held in Paris, 21-23rd November 2007
9 Global Indigenous Peoples Consultation on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) Baguio City, Philippines 12-14 November 2008
10 UNPFII-Statement Poznan
Posted 1:40 PM by Tevita
Workshop to Benefit Local Farmers
From : Solomon Times ONLINE
BY JOY BASI
A workshop to enhance skills and knowledge in the fields of production, processing and saving of vegetable seeds and floral biology of selected crops will benefit many local farmers of Solomon Islands.
The Training Workshop on Vegetable Seed Production is being coordinated by Dr. Ravi Joshi who is Coordinator of the Asian Vegetable Resource Development Centre (AVRDC) in the Solomons.
AVRDC is one of the very prestigious international agricultural research institutions famous for research, development and improvement of tropical vegetable crops.
The training workshop includes members form the Ministry of Agriculture, NGO's and local farmers from the provinces.
Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), H.E. George Chan, said ROC (Taiwan) devote its efforts continuously to introduce advanced agricultural knowledge and skills to Solomon Islands in order to provide quality and continuity of food supply.
He said the achievement of "rich supplies of vegetables and fruits in the markets" are the achievements of hard work from government officials, donors, NGOs like AVRDC and local farmers.
The "week-long meaningful event" is part of a four-year project, Integrated Crop Management Package for Sustainable Smallholder Gardens, in Solomon Islands with the support of Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), AVRDC-SI.
This involves researchers and development specialists in the disciplines of crop and soil management, socio-economics, extension, plant protection and plant breeding.
The goal of the project is to increase the economic status and potential income generation opportunities for Solomon Islands' farmers by development and promoting integrated and improved crop management packages.
Posted 1:36 PM by Tevita
In Vanuatu, food self-sufficiency is founded on crop diversity\
From : CIRAD
12 February 2009
The root and tuber crop panel of ten villages in Vanuatu comprises more than 1000 varieties of thirteen species. the primary aim of farming in this volcanic archipelago in the South Pacific is to ensure food self-sufficiency.
In Vanuatu, a volcanic archipelago in the South Pacific, root and tuber crops ensure the subsistence and self-sufficiency of the islands' inhabitants. Be they taro (Colocasia esculenta) or the greater yam Dioscorea alata, which are traditional crops introduced by the first sailors to have travelled to the islands some 3500 years ago, or other plants that have been grown for some time or were introduced more recently, root and tuber crops, which are propagated vegetatively, replanted and propagated by cuttings, are the mainstay of the Melanesian diet. However, it is the maintenance of the diversity of these plants that lies behind the food security strategy adopted by the islands' inhabitants. Melanesian gardens are a prime example of this: by mixing crops, they provide protection against pathogens, ensure better use of soils and sunlight, make certain plants more drought-resistant, allow harvests to be spread over time, and provide a more varied diet.
The root and tuber species grown in Vanuatu were inventoried in ten villages representative of the communities in the archipelago. Five primarily grow taro, the other five yam, for both cultural and climatic reasons. With more than 1000 varieties of thirteen species, the inventory confirmed the varietal diversity of the crops grown. The archipelago's agro-biodiversity comprises three types of plants: plants that arrived naturally, for instance on the wind, those imported by the first immigrants - taro and greater yam in this case - and those introduced recently, also by man, in particular cassava.
In most of the villages, notably those attached to their traditions, ancestral crops are predominant. However, in villages subject to severe environmental constraints (acid rain or ash showers due to active volcanoes, cyclones, etc), there are more either local or newly introduced crops. These crops bolster food security by making the cropping systems more resilient.
In other Pacific archipelagos, such as New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands, the introduction by the Europeans of new root and tuber species, combined with the arrival of a market economy, has totally disrupted the existing systems. Ancestral species have disappeared and food crop production has become uniform, making the production systems more fragile and reducing the quality of the local diet. Conversely, in Vanuatu, while the local populations are increasingly accepting and growing new plants, those plants have had to fit into the existing agro-biodiverse systems without adversely affecting the other species grown. In the most fragile zones, they even help to overcome the shortages resulting from the seasonal nature of traditional crops. The food production strategy in Vanuatu is not yet under threat, as culturally speaking, owners set great store by their Melanesian gardens, which is continuing to maintain their characteristic agro-biodiversity, despite the growing role played by cash crops grown for export.
These results were obtained under a project on the agro-biodiversity of root and tuber crops in Vanuatu, joint-funded by the Fonds français pour l’environnement mondial (FFEM), CIRAD and the Ministry of Agriculture, Quarantine, Forestry and Fisheries in Vanuatu.
[ Contact ] Julie Sardos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie-France Duval, marie-France.email@example.com
Genetic Improvement of Vegetatively Propagated Crops Research Unit
[ For further information ] On the Internet
Root Crops Agrobiodiversity in Vanuatu Project website
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Posted 3:45 PM by Tevita
BOUGANVILLE – CLIMATE CHANGE REFUGEES:
From : PACNEWS 1: Fri 13 Feb 2009
First 40 families move to main Bougainville Island
13 FEBRUARY 2009 BUKA (Pacnews) --- The first batch of families from the Carterets Island in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville are soon to be moved to the mainland, reports Post Courier.
This is to be a test run. The success of the adaption of these families will pave the way for the moving of the rest of the islanders.
The Bougainville administration says the relocation of the first 40 families on the mainland will be watched closely.
If successfully, the Carterets islanders will have scored a world first.
The will have become the world’s first climate change batch of refugees to be permanently resettled outside their place of origin
The Bougainville administration is so quiet about the relocation plans and no comments could be solicited from officers in the administration.
But Regional MP Fidelis Semoso last week took the administration to task to explain where K2 million (US$741,000) earmarked for the Carterets relocation program had gone to or how it was spent
Mr Semoso said yesterday that he had just purchased K1 million (US$370,000) worth of housing materials, food supplies and clothes for the islanders who are now currently facing a food shortage.
Carterets Islanders have been hard hit by the current high tides which has hit many coastal parts of Papua New Guinea.
Mr Semoso said he had received reports that the islanders were hungry and de needed shelter and clothes.
He visited the Carterets Islands on Monday to see the status of the area and how the people were coping.
He stressed that these people were neglected and advised recently that he had also helped in cash and kind for more than 3000 people of Manouv village, North Bougainville, who were displaced by the recent high tides. Mr Semoso said he would make sure these islanders were accorded the respect and treatment they deserved in their time of need…..PNS (ENDS)
Posted 3:39 PM by Tevita
IFAD Prepares for Governing Council Meeting Against Backdrop of Food, Fuel and Financial Crises and Impacts of Climate Change
From : IFAD
12 February 2009: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is preparing for its 32rd Governing Council meeting, to be held from 18-19 February 2009, in Rome, Italy. The meeting will feature three roundtables on challenges for smallholder farmers focusing on: unpredictable markets and high price volatility; the risks and opportunities arising out of the growing demand for land; and research and innovation needs in the context of a rapidly changing climate.
The third roundtable will discuss how agricultural research can enhance the ability of smallholder farmers to cope with the challenges of climate change and how the research agenda can combine the objectives of resilience, adaptation to local changes, and higher productivity based on a discussion paper prepared by IFAD.
The paper outlines the effects of climate change on resource-poor farmers and pastoralists, and discusses the role of agricultural research for smallholder farmer adaptation to climate change, including the potential of improved varieties, animal breeds and aquatic varieties, and integrated farming systems and management of natural resources. The paper also describes opportunities for smallholder farmers to benefit from carbon trading by mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and lays out the organizational and financial challenges for increasing investment in international research and sharpening its focus on the challenges faced by those most vulnerable to climate change.
Discussion Paper on Agricultural Research
Governing Council delegates will also elect a successor to IFAD President Lennart Båge, who is concluding his second and final four-year term as IFAD’s President. [IFAD Press Release] [32rd Governing Council Documentation
Posted 3:28 PM by Tevita
Green Revolution turns brown
From : Land and People
The UN agencies have finally admitted that the traditional agricultural knowledge and practices were sustainable as well as environment and farmers friendly. According to the below mentioned UN report, often argued need to follow the agro-industrial “Green Revolution” model using crops that require chemical fertilizer, pesticides and irrigation for increased yields have actually damaged the environment, caused dramatic loss of agrobiodiversity and associated traditional knowledge, favored wealthier farmers and left some poorer ones deeper in debt.
Please find below a link to a new policy brief by UNCTAD which is quite vocal against the “Green revolution” rhetoric and advocates in favor of organic agriculture. It is also attached for your assistance:
Policy Brief No. 6 - "Sustaining African Agriculture - Organic Production"
Posted by Rami Zurayk at 6:44 PM
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Posted 7:25 PM by Tevita
Climate resilience at Africa’s grassroots
From : ASNS News
Sunday, 08 February 2009
Rural Africans are observing clear trends in local climate across a range of environments from humid to semi-arid.
They are already adapting to climate change with or without external support.
This information is contained in a paper written by Sonja Vermuelen and Duncan Macqueen of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Everhart Nangoma (EU), Krystel Dossou, Organisation des Femmes pour la gestion de l’Energie, de l’Environnement et la promotion du Développement Intégré (OFEDI-Benin) and Dominic Walubengo (Forest Action Network-Kenya).
They say that for communities dependent on natural resources, adaptation involves a mix of technical solutions (such as different crops or planting patterns) and institutional solutions (such as new means of sharing information).
Local adaptations include responses to specific trends (such as fishing with finer-meshed nets), but also building of capacity and resilience say through savings groups and diversified agriculture to cope with future uncertainties.
Supporting local initiatives and institutions may be the most effective way to support climate change adaptation.
Climate change is often seen as a global problem demanding global solutions. But for poor people hit hard by the impacts, climate change is a not a boardroom abstraction, but day-to-day reality.
Faced with local shifts in weather patterns and natural resources, they are forced to find ways of coping that are locally relevant.
This kind of experience, gained at the grassroots, boosts resilience as no top-down initiative can. Three case studies from rural communities in Benin, Kenya and Malawi show how it is done.
“For communities that cope across Africa, climate change could herald lean and thirsty times. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that by 2020, yields from rain-fed agriculture in some countries could halve, and agricultural production and access to food may be severely compromised. Up to 250 million Africans could face water shortages,” the authors write. In the face of such shifts, what builds resilience and capacity to cope?
Three case studies from rural communities in very different ecological contexts — in Benin, Kenya and Malawi — reveal a range of responses.
But generally, all these communities have adjusted to an increasingly volatile environment with a two-pronged approach: using available natural resources more efficiently and raising capacity to cope with unpredictable future changes.
People in the three communities have observed significant changes in their local climates — in particular, more variability in the intensity and seasonality of rainfall.
Data from local meteorological offices partially support these observations, but have yet to demonstrate statistically significant trends.
In all the case studies, growing seasons were found to be less predictable and available surface water less abundant than two or three decades ago.
These changes are partly due to changing local climates. Meanwhile, growing human populations and large-scale land use change, such as the spread of industrial plantations, add to environmental pressures that could, for instance, affect water availability.
People’s adaptations to environmental change combine technical fixes (such as faster-maturing crop species and varieties) with institutional support, via social networks and more formal organisations.
"For some years, when rains begin, rains suddenly interrupt for more than two weeks; seeds are unearthed by rats, and consumed by bugs. Some years, seeds germinate and with the irregular rains, small plants can’t grow.’
During a field visit to Benin in July last year that was sponsored by Media21 of Geneva, Switzerland, farmers observed that climate change appeared about 20 years ago, when after three relatively stable decades, weather patterns shifted and the rains began to come later.
In most of Benin, people’s livelihoods depend on careful management of agricultural biodiversity.
For many generations people have fished, harvested wild produce from forests and mangroves, kept pigs, and grown crops of maize, cassava, beans, peanuts, leafy vegetables, palm and coconuts.
Some of the swamp forests have dried out. At the same time there have been other major changes in the country, such as significant expansion in large-scale plantations.
How have people been responding to perceived changes in rainfall and natural resources? The authors of the publication report that fishers reported using finer-meshed nets in the drier rivers, while acknowledging that the practice exacerbates local fish shortages.
People have also started to plant fast-growing crops in the dried-out areas of swamp forest to ensure they gain a harvest within the shorter reliable growing season.
Many have switched from building with local afitin logs to using concrete pylons as a way of cutting down on wood use while simultaneously building flood resistance.
To boost people’s environmental capacity and resilience, local organisations have drawn on cultural traditions.
They have adopted the local practice of using songs and dance, proverbs and riddles to share knowledge about sustainable management of agrobiodiversity in the face of today’s threats.
It was also observed during the field trip in Julyby this writer that many farmers have switched to growing bio-diesel plants like Jatropha curcas.
They said that they can get two crops of the plant in a year where they can get only one of maize “These days we do not know what is happening. Either there is too much rain or none at all. This is not useful to us. When there is too much rain, the floods that result cause us harm. When there is not enough rain, the dry conditions do us harm,” says Mama Fatuma, a butcher and long-term resident of Njoro Division in Rift valley, Kenya.
The semi-arid forest of Njoro Division lies on the eastern edge of the Mau Complex, Kenya’s largest wooded area that is at the centre of a major controversy following a decision by the Kenya Government to evict people from the forest after years of severe deforestation and encroachment
Until about 10 years ago, the people of Njoro depended on saw-milling, farming and cattle. Now they have diversified into selling firewood, charcoal and water.
The population has grown during this time, and agriculture has expanded into the forest.Njoro’s people observe that rainfall has become much more unpredictable.
Water resources have changed dramatically: perennial rivers have become seasonal and boreholes have dried up or become saline.
Echoing Mama Fatuma’s remarks, university lecturer Geoffrey Tunya, who has lived in Njoro for over 30 years, said, ‘Rain does not come regularly and when it does, it comes in torrents. There are extended droughts. Rivers are drying.’
“The change in climate is confusing farmers in Njoro, but they have formulated an array of adaptive strategies. They are switching from wheat and potatoes to quick-maturing crops such as beans and maize, and planting any time it rains because there is no longer a regular growing season. People plant fewer live hedges, because they grow too slowly, but are planting more trees on their farms in the hope that these will ‘attract rain’. Cattle keepers who used to rely on farm-grown fodder now take their livestock to remote pastures,” says Walubengo.
He adds that community groups have built rain-harvesting tanks and set up savings groups. Local government agencies are restricted by their top-down policy remits, but nonetheless have proven helpful to farmers and foresters in recommending new species and new cultivation techniques to cope with the new climate.
“From January to June every year, there were heavy rains in Mulanje and the hot dry season lasted from August till October, when the first rains, known as chizimalupsya [the fire extinguisher], started.
Chizimalupsya no longer precedes the main rains since the rainy season starts late, sometimes as late as December. June and July were extremely cold months with frequent fogs, but it is now difficult to tell between the cold and hot seasons. Many rivers that rise from Mount Mulanje never dried up, most of them with large pools; they are frequently drying now as early as June,” says R. Seveni, long-term resident, Mulanje District Malawi’s Mulanje District borders the conservation area of the Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve.
In this region of montane forest, locals make a living from cultivating tiny plots of land, typically smaller than 0.1 hectare.
They supplement this by selling forest produce. Local population growth, however, is increasing pressure on the land and natural resources.
Fields are encroaching on the forest reserve, and rivers are silting up due to high run-off from the new agricultural plots.
The people of Mulanje have noted major changes in recent decades, particularly in the seasonality of rainfall and temperature, as pointed out by Seveni.
Local meteorological data are not sufficiently detailed to back up these observations, but do suggest an upward trend in mean annual temperature in recent decades. The late rainy season has meant changes in the agricultural calendar.
Farmers have switched to fast-maturing cultivars of favoured crops. These are expensive, and also represent a threat to local landraces. But there is a positive side to the adaptations.
Farmers are now planting a minimum of two crops in their gardens, mixing cereals with pulses and tubers, often intercropping with nitrogen-fixing pigeon peas.
Diverse crops and relay-cropping through the rainy season are effective means of ensuring at least some harvest.
Community organisations have also developed partnerships with the local tea industry and development NGOs to manage wetlands, construct small-scale irrigation and experiment with wood-efficient stoves.
For further information see also;
Community Based Adaptation Exchange (www.cba-exchange.org)The Coordination Unit for the Rehabilitation of the Environment (Malawi) (www.mca.edu.mw/enviro/ ngo/cure/index.html) Forest Action Network (Kenya) (www.fankenya.org)Organisation des Femmes pour la gestion de l’Energie, de l’Environnement et la promotion du Développement Intégré (Benin) (www.benin.africa-web.org)Further reading:Full country studies at www.iied.org/NR/forestry/forestsandclimatechange.html IPCC (2007) Fourth Assessment Report (see www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-syr.htm).
Posted 12:33 PM by Tevita
FAO encourages Pacific root crop flour production
From : Radio New Zealand International
Posted at 03:25 on 05 February, 2009 UTC
The United Nations Food Agriculture Organisation says it is encouraging more Pacific states to manufacture their own flour from traditional root crops, instead of importing it.
A company in Samoa, Natural Foods International Limited, is now exploring the possibility of producing flour for the domestic and international market.
The FAO’s Food and Nutrition Officer in Apia, Dirk Schulz, says it’s an ideal product for Pacific countries to develop.
He says certification shouldn’t be difficult given many staple crops are grown organically in the islands, and that root crops can be utilised in so many ways and turning them into flour is catching on.
“Root crops grow very well in the islands. And there is one small setback to root crops that is, after they are harvested, their shelf life is very short so they tend to spoil very quickly and you need to eat them shortly after harvest. So one of the methods of overcoming that, is to dry them and turn them into flour which of course is very popular at the moment because of the rising prices of imported flour and rice, so its certainly one way you can add value.”
Mr Schulz says apart from Samoa and the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu has been exploring the use of cassava to make flour and Kiribati is experimenting with breadfruit.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International
PO Box 123, Wellington, New Zealand
Posted 12:26 PM by Tevita
Only sustainable farming will help meet growing food demand, says UN expert
Friday, February 6, 2009
From : http://worldunreality.blogspot.com/
4 February 2009 – Only by switching to more sustainable farming methods will the world’s farmers be able to grow enough food to meet the demands of a growing population and respond to climate change, the top crop expert with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.
An essential part of that change is moving away from conventional intensive farming methods to what is known as conservation agriculture, Shivaji Pandey, Director of FAO’s Plant Production and Protection Division, said in a keynote speech at the Fourth World Congress on Conservation Agriculture in New Delhi, India.
Introduced some 25 years ago, conservation agriculture is a farming system that does not use regular ploughing and tillage but promotes permanent soil cover and diversified crop rotation to ensure optimal soil health and productivity.
“The world has no alternative to pursuing sustainable crop production intensification to meet the growing food and feed demand, to alleviate poverty and to protect its natural resources,” Mr. Pandey told the 1,000 participants at the Congress. “Conservation agriculture is an essential element of that intensification.”
Conventional intensive farming methods have often resulted in environmental damage, leading to lower agricultural productivity rates, said Mr. Pandey.
According to current trends, agricultural productivity rates are expected to fall to 1.5 per cent between now and 2030 and further to 0.9 per cent between 2030 and 2050, compared with 2.3 per cent per year since 1961.
However, the world needs to double its food production to feed nine billion people by 2050.
“In the name of intensification in many places around the world, farmers over-ploughed, over-fertilized, over-irrigated, over-applied pesticides,” he said. “But in so doing we also affected all aspects of the soil, water, land, biodiversity and the services provided by an intact ecosystem. That began to bring yield growth rates down.”
He stressed that conservation agriculture could not only help increase yields but also help the environment, including by restoring soil health, saving water and energy use and reducing the footprint of a sector which currently accounts for some 30 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The four-day Congress, hosted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), is the largest gathering of the conservation agriculture community, bringing together farmers, experts, and policymakers from all over the world. FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other organizations are among the sponsors and co-organizers of the event. UN News Centre
Posted 11:46 AM by Tevita
Company opens door for veggie farmers
Story by the Ministry of Agriculture
Saturday, February 07, 2009
From: Fiji Times
While hundreds of farmers around the country are still coming to terms over the loss of their income caused by the recent floods, the story is different for Navua farmers.
They are full of joy following an announcement that a local company was willing to buy their vegetables for export.
The Navua-based Company Kaiming Agro Processing Limited (KAPL), has successfully established overseas markets for local chillies and is calling on farmers to produce more to fulfil the export demand.
KAPL managing director Kaiming Qiu said there was a huge demand for local crops in the overseas market and farmers should take advantage of the opportunity by increasing their local production.
Mr Qiu said farmers should grow more cassava, dalo, ginger and also chillies for export.
The company needs about one tonne of chillies a month for export, around 800 tonnes of cassava, 300 tonnes of dalo and 50,000 dozen bundles of rourou in a year.
The company is offering $0.45-$0.50 for a kilogram of cassava, $4 a kg for red fire and bongo chillies, $0.90-$1 a kg for dalo and $5 for a dozen bundle of rourou.
"I prefer farmers to supply me with pink and yellow skin cassava since they are of good quality and optimum for export," Qiu said.
Currently KAPL buys most of its cassava from Rakiraki and Tailevu but he insisted the farmers of Navua to take advantage since a market was at the doorstep.
"In an acre a farmer can produce 18 tonnes of cassava and for every tonne he or she can earn up to $450 per year or $8100 per acre in one year.
He said chillies should be picked at matured stage since it would be exported frozen.
"It is very easy to cultivate these crops whereby it has very low production cost and it is advisable for farmers to use poultry manure during land preparation," said Mr Qiu.
Kaiming said it is essential for farmers to maintain and manage the farm in order to obtain a good harvest.
KAPL exports frozen root crops and brined ginger to New Zealand.
Posted 11:43 AM by Tevita
Plant your own
Saturday, February 07, 2009
From : Fiji Times
TO avoid buying high-priced vegetables, the Agriculture Ministry has advised people to start their own backyard gardens.
The rising cost of living has forced many homeowners to plant small pieces of land around their houses with vegetables and root crops.
Dhurup Ram Sharma, who is also a pundit by profession has utilised only a small piece of land around his house to grow fruits, vegetables and root crops.
Mr Sharma hails from Tavua and has spent his whole life as a vegetable and sugarcane farmer.
With good planning, pure determination and hard work Mr Sharma has proven farming can also be done in urban areas which secures families with good supply of fresh vegetables and root crops.
In his backyard are a few rows of amaranthus, a few rows of beans, some eggplants, cucumber, chillies which are enough to feed his family.
Mr Sharma said their food garden was a constant source of fresh and nutritious food for his family.
"People should grow food crops of their choice since food garden is accessible and available to the family at all times whether one has or does not have money," said Mr Sharma.
He added home gardens also helped save money that would otherwise be spent on buying food from other sources like the super markets, local markets and shops.
"We ensure that the food crops are free from chemicals used for pest and disease control whilst our spare time is spent in a productive way," Mr Sharma added.
He said sometimes they also sold their excess vegetables along the roadside.
Mr Sharma said maintaining and managing the crops was the most essential step in home gardening.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Posted 7:31 PM by Tevita
Marshall Islands copra soars with high prices, good shipping
PACNEWS 1: Fri 06 Feb 2009
06 FEBRUARY 2009 MAJURO (Pacnews) ---- Marshall Islands copra makers nearly set a record with production in 2008, making it the second best year in this western Pacific nation’s history since records began being kept in 1951, reports Marianas Variety.
According to statistics provided Wednesday by Tobolar Copra Processing Authority, 7,641.25 tons of copra was produced from January to December 2008. This was topped only in 1995, when 7,728 tons was processed by Tobolar.
Copra is dried coconut meat that is used to produce coconut oil World market prices soared in 2008, with the price paid to producers in the Marshall Islands nearly doubling to 22 cents per pound on the remote outer islands and 23.5 cents in the capital, Majuro, where the processing plant is located. Coupled with the dramatically increased price has been the privatization of government shipping since 2007, which regularized and stabilized ship schedules to the outer islands after years of haphazard service.
Showing that the continuing high price paid for copra in Majuro is having an impact, Majuro copra makers from October to December produced 67.9 tons of copra — nearly half of the total they produced in the previous 12 months.
But it wasn’t only Majuro hustling up copra. Likiep Atoll, which from October 2007 to September 2008 produced only 103 tons, produced 96.7 tons from October to December 2008. Another usually modest copra producer — Utrik — also outdid itself. For the previous 12 months, Utrik had only accounted for about 82 tons. But from October to December it produced 63 tons, or nearly 80 percent of the annual total in just three months. ……PNS (ENDS)
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Posted 9:39 PM by Tevita
Billions Face Food Shortages, Study Warns
Climate change may ruin farming in tropics by 2100 • Record temperatures to become normal in Europe
by Ian Sample
Half of the world's population could face severe food shortages by the end of the century as rising temperatures take their toll on farmers' crops, scientists have warned.
Harvests of staple food crops such as rice and maize could fall by between 20% and 40% as a result of higher temperatures during the growing season in the tropics and subtropics. Warmer temperatures in the region are also expected to increase the risk of drought, cutting crop losses further, according to a new study.
The worst of the food shortages are expected to hit the poor, densely inhabited regions of the equatorial belt, where demand for food is already soaring because of a rapid growth in population.
A study in the US journal Science found there was a 90% chance that by the end of the century, the coolest temperatures in the tropics during the crop growing season would exceed the hottest temperatures recorded between 1900 and 2006.
More temperate regions such as Europe could expect to see previous record temperatures become the norm by 2100.
"The stress on global food production from temperatures alone is going to be huge, and that doesn't take into account water supplies stressed by the higher temperatures," said David Battisti, at the University of Washington, who led the study.
Battisti and Rosamond Naylor, at Stanford University in California, combined climate models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and historical examples of the impact of heatwaves on agriculture, and found severe food shortages were likely to become more common.
Among the periods they examined was the record heatwave across western Europe in 2003, which killed an estimated 52,000 people and also cut yields of wheat and fodder by a third. In 1972, a prolonged hot summer in south-east Ukraine and south-west Russia saw temperatures rise by between 2C and 4C above the norm, driving down wheat and coarse grain yields for the whole of the USSR by 13%. The disruption affected the global cereal market for two years.
Naylor, who is director of food security and the environment at Stanford, said the study emphasised the need for countries to invest in adapting to a changing climate. To develop new crops to withstand higher temperatures could take decades, she added.
"When we looked at our historical examples there were ways to address the problem within a given year," Naylor said. "People could always turn somewhere else to find food. But in the future there's not going to be any place to turn unless we rethink our food supplies."
The tropics and subtropics, which stretch from the southern US to northern Argentina and southern Brazil, from northern India and southern China to southern Australia, and cover all of Africa, are currently home to 3 billion people. Future temperature rises are expected to have a greater impact in the tropics because the crops grown there are less resilient to changes in climate.
According to the study, many local populations now live on less than £1.30 a day and depend on agriculture. The need for food is due to become more urgent as populations are expected to nearly double by the end of the century.
"When all the signs point in the same direction, and in this case it's a bad direction, you pretty much know what's going to happen," Battisti said. "You're talking about hundreds of millions of additional people looking for food because they won't be able to find it where they find it now.
"You can let it happen and painfully adapt, or you can plan for it. You could also mitigate [climate change] and not let it happen in the first place, but we're not doing a very good job of that."
Naylor added: "We have to be rethinking agriculture systems as a whole, not only thinking about new varieties [of crops], but also recognising that many people will just move out of agriculture, and even move from the lands where they live now."
In many countries, a combination of poor farming practices and deforestation, exacerbated by climate change, may steadily degrade soil fertility, leaving vast areas unsuitable for crops or grazing. In 2007, scientists warned that poor soil fertility meant a global food crisis was likely in the next half-century.
© 2009 Guardian News and Media Limited 2009
The problem is most of these studies show us problems we already know they exists instead of searching for a suitable solution.Post a Comment
Posted 5:29 PM by Tevita
New regional programme supports adaptation to climate change
From : SPC
Wednesday, 4 February 2009, Secretariat of the Pacific Community – A new regional project will help three Pacific island countries, Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu, cope with the effects of climate change.
The Euro 4.2 million project is being funded by GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) and will be based at SPC’s (Secretariat of the Pacific Community) Land Resources Division in Suva. For some time now, SPC has been systematically integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies into its policy, technical and advisory services.
In the Pacific, climate change is likely to cause saline intrusion in atolls, coral bleaching, increased coastal erosion, changes in rainfall patterns, and shifts in tuna stocks.
In addition, more extreme weather events may severely damage food crops and infrastructure, impacting on food security, water resources and even tourism. Climate sensitive diseases may be worsened by climate change.
Pacific island countries therefore need to strengthen their capacity to adapt to climate change and to protect their natural resources against its effects, for example, through such strategies as avoiding deforestation.
Department heads and senior officials from the environment, agriculture and forestry sectors in Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu will meet in Suva this week to set directions and plan national activities for the four-year regional project. The meeting, which will start on Thursday, 5 February, at the Tradewinds Convention Centre, Lami, will be opened by Fiji’s Director of Environment, Mr Epeli Nasoma.
At the regional level, the project is aligned with the Pacific Island Framework for Action on Climate Change 2006–2015. It will support Vanuatu’s implementation of its National Adaptation Programme for Action and will also assist Fiji and Tonga in preparing their national communications (or reports) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The workshop will introduce the impact monitoring planning process that is followed by GTZ and other major development agencies. Results-based monitoring, a standard procedure for GTZ, will be applied to steering the project and reporting on activities.
A feature of this type of monitoring is that observation does not focus solely on completed activities, but on the changes resulting from activities.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
SPC’s 26 member countries and territories include American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States of America, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Posted 2:47 PM by Tevita
Recent CTAHR Publications
From : Jim Hollyer [email@example.com]
*** Free Publications ***
The publications listed below by their subject category are now available for downloading from the CTAHR free publications webpage, http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/freepubs
Unless a publication is indicated to be Web only, printed copies, when available, are circulated to departments and Hawaii libraries, and copies for starter inventories are sent to CES offices.
Place orders for additional quantities of printed copies of free publications by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Safety and Technology
Good Food Safety Practices:
Managing risks to reduce or avoid legal liability
Elizabeth Haws Connally, FST-32, 6 p.
Making chocolate from scratch
Skip Bittenbender, Erik Kling, FST-33, 5 p. Web only
Pest management systems to control rodents in and
around packing sheds
Jim Hollyer, Luisa Castro, Albert Louie, Lynn Nakamura-Tengan,
Vanessa Troegner, FST-34, 2 p.
Kent Kobayashi, Richard Criley, Andrew Kaufman, Stephanie
Tsugawa1, Alberto Ricordi, Patti Clifford, L-20, 12 p.
Scot Nelson, PD-61, 6 p., Web only
Hawaiian mistletoes (Korthalsella species)
Scot Nelson, J. B. Friday, PD-62, 9 p., Web only
Achieving sustainable tourism in Hawaii using a sustainability
Linda Cox, Melanie Saucier, John Cusick, Harold Richins,
Bixler McClure, RM-17, 6 p.
Posted 2:39 PM by Tevita
Food Summit – Concern Yes, Concrete Steps No
From : IPS
By Tito Drago
MADRID, Jan 27 (IPS) - A "High Level Meeting on Food Security for All" convened by the United Nations and the Spanish government ended Tuesday without approving concrete measures but with a commitment to redoubling efforts to bolster official development aid (ODA).
Representatives of national governments, civil society, trade unions, the private sector, academia, multilateral organisations and donor agencies from around 100 countries took part in the two-day meeting, in which the closing speeches were given by Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The problem of hunger suffered by one billion people around the world – nearly all of them in the developing South – was discussed in-depth throughout the meeting, and the progress achieved since the June 2008 high level conference in Rome was reviewed, in order to establish mechanisms for better coordination.
Although concrete resolutions were not adopted, the conference issued strong statements on the need to act with respect to questions like funding. The final declaration urges governments and international institutions to make good on their previous pledges of aid.
The participants also expressed "the urgent need to strive even harder to achieve international commitments of increasing substantially financial resources and ODA, particularly in relation to nutrition, food, agriculture and hunger-related programmes and policies."
One positive aspect, according to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), was the conference’s call to "eliminat(e) all forms of competition-distorting subsidies, in order to stimulate and conduct agricultural trade in a fair way."
Referring to the global food crisis, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) chief Jacques Diouf, who is vice-chairman of the Secretary-General's High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, said "This crisis is not only still with us, but could still worsen."
To confront the crisis, he said that in his congratulatory message to U.S. President Barack Obama, he "proposed the convening, at the level of Heads of State and Government, of a World Summit on Food Security in 2009 to forge a broad consensus on the final and rapid eradication of hunger in the world."
He also said that "Proposals have focused on establishing a High-Level Panel of Experts on food and agriculture, charged with conducting scientific analyses and a Global Partnership to enhance dialogue with all partners and thus facilitate coordination and implementation of the action plans."
"I am convinced, and this has often been said and repeated, that there is no need to create new bodies. The need is to improve, reinforce, coordinate, in other words to reform what exists so as to render our action more effective," he added.
With respect to compliance with earlier commitments, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos told IPS that Spain would like all governments in the industrialised North to live up to their pledge to earmark 0.7 percent of GDP to ODA, by 2012.
Spain has already committed itself to that goal, and Zapatero announced Tuesday that his administration would increase ODA by one billion euros.
Another 15 countries have joined Spain in that commitment, promising 5.5 billion euros over the next five years, as well as the 1.3 billion euros pledged by the European Union several weeks ago.
"The countries of the North have resources and means, we know what the solutions are, and we can and must apply them," said Moratinos, who has broad experience in development aid in Spain and the European Union.
At one of the panels in the Madrid meeting, the representative of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), which groups 65 million workers globally, said one solution to increasing ODA is clear: by reducing the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) budget by a mere 10 percent, 100 billion dollars would be raised.
Speaking of funding, representatives of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières and Action against Hunger complained that transnational corporations seek to use the theme of the fight against hunger to their own benefit.
Lidia Senra with Vía Campesina Europa agreed, saying "there is a strong interest in using the money to help address the problem of hunger in such a way that companies can sell their own seeds and fertilisers."
International meetings on hunger are important, she added, but "food sovereignty must be respected, and each country must be allowed to decide on its own agricultural policies, protecting the production of each country and region and fighting speculation."
Lennart Båge, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), told IPS that one problem is that although prices have plunged, the food crisis continues.
But, he said, if small and medium farmers, who number around 450 million worldwide, are assisted, their production will be very important to enable them to pull out of poverty and contribute to feeding the rest of the world.
Four NGOs – Caritas, Engineers Without Borders, La Suma de Todos and Prosalud – launched the campaign "The Right to Food: Urgent".
In a public statement, they argued that the conditions are in place to overcome hunger, and that the fight must be based on respect for human rights, in a context in which states assume their obligations and develop political frameworks on agriculture aimed at guaranteeing the right to food.
The groups also added that agriculture based on the right to food must be at the centre of the public agenda, that civil society as a whole should participate, and that no single formula can be offered, because although the crisis has common underlying causes, it takes on different characteristics in each country.
Furthermore, they said, governments must make it clear that the private sector shares the responsibility to fight hunger by means of the creation of a code of conduct for companies that work with agricultural inputs, which is based on the principle of the right to food.
The campaign congratulated Zapatero for the economic agreements achieved, and expressed hope that his government will assume an effective global leadership role in the effort to come up with new ways of fighting hunger.
In the final declaration approved at the High Level Meeting, participants "reaffirmed the conclusions of the World Food Summit in 1996…to achieve food security for all through an ongoing effort to eradicate hunger in all countries, with an immediate view to reducing by half the number of undernourished people by no later than 2015, as well as their commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)."
The first of the MDGs, which were adopted by the international community in 2000, is to halve the number of hungry people in the world by 2015, from 1990 levels.
They also expressed deep concern over "the unacceptable global food security situation that affects over 960 million undernourished people" and "the negative impact on food access and availability fluctuations exacerbated by the current financial crisis on the livelihoods of the poorest, most vulnerable in the world." (END/2009)
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