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Payments for environmental services and market-based instruments: next of kin or false friends? The emergence of market-based instruments (MBIs) in the field of ecosystem services has been spectacular but still lacks a clear conceptualization. Terms are overused and abused in discourses, and contrasted policy instruments are referred to as market-oriented albeit with few characteristics in common. Realities on the ground differ substantially from attractive yet misleading propositions supported by public and private discourses. Both advocates and opponents to these approaches thus propose arguments poorly relying on facts and fueling confusion. Payments for environmental services (PES) have flourished and constitute the emblematic and perfect example of a policy instrument that proves more complex and polymorphous than usually acknowledged. Born from the promises of […]

Residential Proximity to Methyl Bromide Use and Birth Outcomes in an Agricultural Population in California

Background: Methyl bromide, a fungicide often used in strawberry cultivation, is of concern for residents who live near agricultural applications because of its toxicity and potential for drift. Little is known about the effects of methyl bromide exposure during pregnancy. Objective: We investigated the relationship between residential proximity to methyl bromide use and birth outcomes. Methods: Participants were from the CHAMACOS (Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas) study (n = 442), a longitudinal cohort study examining the health effects of environmental exposures on pregnant women and their children in an agricultural community in northern California. Using data from the California Pesticide Use Reporting system, we employed a geographic information […]

Wake up before it is too late: Make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate Developing and developed countries alike need a paradigm shift in agricultural development: from a “green revolution” to a “truly ecological intensification” approach. This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high external-input-dependent industrial production towards mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers. We need to see a move from a linear to a holistic approach in agricultural management, which recognizes that a farmer is not only a producer of agricultural goods, but also a manager of an agro-ecological system that provides quite a number of public goods and services (e.g. water, soil, landscape, energy, biodiversity, and recreation) UNCTAD’s […]

Land grabbing: is conservation part of the problem or the solution?

Large-scale land acquisitions are increasing in pace and scale, in particular across parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Weak governance and poor land use planning mean that commercial ‘land grabs’ often damage biodiversity as well as dispossessing people from customary rights and livelihoods. Land can also be ‘grabbed’ for ‘green’ purposes, triggering conflicts that undermine potential synergies. Expanded state protected areas, land for carbon offset markets and REDD, and for private conservation projects all potentially conflict with community rights. Such conflict is counterproductive because secure customary and communal land tenure helps enable sustainable natural resource management by local communities. This briefing presents the experience of international development, wildlife and […]

Food waste harms climate, water, land and biodiversity – new FAO report

Direct economic costs of $750 billion annually – Better policies required, and “success stories” need to be scaled up and replicated   In France, food waste waits to be converted into methane and biogas. 11 September 2013, Rome – The waste of a staggering 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year is not only causing major economic losses but also wreaking significant harm on the natural resources that humanity relies upon to feed itself, says a new FAO report. Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources is the first study to analyze the impacts of global food wastage from an environmental perspective, looking specifically at its consequences for the climate, water and […]

Evolving an Operational Framework for Rainfed Farming Systems Program under the 12th Five Year Plan

Proceedings of the National Workshop – “Evolving an Operational Framework for Rainfed Farming Systems Program under the 12th Five Year Plan”, held at CRIDA, Hyderabad on 14th – 15th, May 2013. ABOUT THE WORKSHOP: The Working Group on “NRM and Rainfed Farming” constituted by the Planning Commission evolved a framework for integrated and convergent development of rainfed agriculture after several consultations. The 12th Five Year Plan document subsequently suggested initiating a National Program on Rainfed Farming under the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture. The proposed program is expected to make a significant departure from the conventional input-subsidy centric crop production improvement in favour of a decentralized, location specific, integrated and […]

More than 75% of the milk in India comes from indigenous and buffaloes

Report shows more than 75% of the milk comes from indigenous and buffaloes UP and Rajastan are two largest milk producing states in India ( ranking No.1 & 2 respectively) they in fact get more  milk from Ind breeds than from exotic. 4. Part I Milk-BAHS 2012

Draft National Land Reforms Policy – Ministry of Rural Development,d.bmk&cad=rja Draft for Discussion Purposes and Comments. Draft National Land Reforms. Policy. 18th July 2013. DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION PURPOSES AND COMMENTS.

Investing in smallholder agriculture for food security: FAO

In case you need some more “ammunition” for your policy-dialogue activities – also with a view to 2014 International Year of Family Farming: The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), the science-policy interface of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), aims to improve the robustness of policymaking by providing independent, evidence-based analysis and advice at the request of CFS. A report launched this week by the HLPE is focused on the potentials of smallholder agriculture (defined in a broad sense): Investing in smallholder agriculture for food security It stresses the importance of research for further development of agro-ecological approaches and states: “Research that involves smallholders […]

Small-scale farmers in China in the face of modernisation and globalisation

Small-scale farmers in China in the face of modernisation and globalisation Jikun Huang, Xiaobing Wang and Huanguang Qiu

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