Thursday, 18 January 2018

Climate and tech: biggest global risks (online)

Climate and tech pose the biggest risks to our world in 2018

We live in an era of unprecedented technological, scientific and financial resources. I remain optimistic about the future, yet the risks to our world are increasing not reducing. They are systemic in nature and require a collective will to address them. Unfortunately, this is happening at exactly the time that nationalism, protectionism and populism are rising, and rules-based multilateralism is declining. I fear we may squander the opportunity to move towards a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive future. We must act together and we must act now.

 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

GMO food labelling laws in the USA (online)

Many people are concerned about GMOs and tend to select food products with labels that are non-GMO certified in an effort to make healthier choices. If you are a food manufacturer or plan to sell your home-grown products to a mass market, you should be aware of the laws of labeling foods GMO or non-GMO in your country or state. If you work to produce certified organic food products, your products are already non-GMO. This is a result of certifications that require manufacturers to abstain from using any genetically modified ingredients. Manufacturers producing organic food can therefore use non-GMO labeling, such as:
· GMO free
· Made with non-GMO ingredients
· Always non-GMO
· Non-GMO certified

If you have a food business or are a manufacturer in the USA, there are other GMO labeling laws you should know to ensure that your products are marketed and sold to customers with correct, true information.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Anti-harrassment policies in permaculture

The World Needs an Anti-Harassment Movement: So Does Permaculture.

The past few weeks have been flooded with the news about Harvey Weinstein sexually harassing women he worked with. And millions of women have come forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment and sexual violence with the hashtag #metoo. Clearly, the implementation and enforcement of anti-harassment policies is overdue in the world. This is also true in permaculture. Here’s why... read the full article

Monday, 25 December 2017

15 new research fellowships (Opportunity)



15 Early Career Research Fellowships
 
RECOMS – Building Resourceful and Resilient Communities through Adaptive and Transformative Environmental Practice – H2020 MSCA-ITN
 
Please find below links to the pre-announcement for the 15 Early Stage Researcher Fellows. I would be grateful if you could assist with publicising this announcement amongst your respective networks. The positions will be open for applications from mid-January 2018.
 
 

Research theme cluster 1: Unlocking and Empowering

Research theme cluster 2: Adapting and Transforming

Research theme cluster 3: Connecting and Collaborating

 

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Effectiveness of a permaculture education project in Butula, Kenya  

In the 1980s, agricultural development organizations began promoting permaculture through training programmes in the developing world. Few assessments have measured the effectiveness of such projects. Here we surveyed and interviewed small-scale farmers to assess the perceived impacts of a Canadian permaculture project in Butula, Western Kenya. Two types of projects are evaluated and compared: community projects (CPs) at six primary schools, and an intensive two-week permaculture design certification (PDC) programme. Our results suggest that both PDC and CP participants felt that they had benefited from the projects. However, PDC participants developed a more comprehensive understanding of permaculture, felt empowered and frequently related permaculture to their own traditional cultural values whereas CP participants often misunderstood permaculture, felt frustrated by the limited immediate economic benefits and frequently contrasted permaculture against traditional cultural values. This study emphasizes the importance of direct, reciprocal communication between NGOs and project participants for fostering feelings of autonomy and competence.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Permaculture fungi boost phosphorous uptake (journal)

Application of Mycorrhiza and Soil from a Permaculture System Improved Phosphorus Acquisition in Naranjilla

Naranjilla (Solanum quitoense) is a perennial shrub plant mainly cultivated in Ecuador, Colombia, and Central America where it represents an important cash crop. Current cultivation practices not only cause deforestation and large-scale soil degradation but also make plants highly susceptible to pests and diseases. The use of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can offer a possibility to overcome these problems. In this study, the impact of AMF inoculation on growth and nutrition parameters of naranjilla has been assessed. For inoculation three European reference AMF strains and soils originating from three differently managed naranjilla plantations in Ecuador (conventional, organic, and permaculture) have been used. The growth response experiment has shown that two of the three reference AMF strains, a mixture of the three and soil from a permaculture site led to significantly better acquisition of phosphorus (up to 104%) compared to uninoculated controls. These results suggest that the use of AMF strains and local soils as inoculants represent a valid approach to improve nutrient uptake efficiency of naranjilla and consequently to reduce inputs of mineral fertilizers.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Sustainable World Radio: Soil Food Web (podcast)

Sustainable World Radio: The Universe Beneath Our Feet: The Soil Food Web

Episode 128: Dr. Elaine Ingham of Soil Foodweb Inc. guides us on this podcast journey into the world of soil. The meeting place of atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere, soil contains vast numbers of species. Like most places where edges of different worlds meet, the soil is a dynamic interface. Fertile soil is alive with the biodiversity of a thriving forest; complex ecosystems connecting, growing, living, co-existing, and dying. In this episode we learn about the cast of creatures that comprise the Soil Food Web, including Bacteria, Fungi, Nematodes, Protozoa, and Arthropods; and the many ecosystem services that they provide