Food & Agriculture

Vanuatu Puts Indigenous Rights First in Land Reform

Stemming widespread corruption in the leasing of customary land to investors is the aim of bold land reform, introduced this year in the Southwest Pacific Island state of Vanuatu, which puts the rights of traditional landowners above the discretionary powers of politicians.

Reducing Hunger: More Than Just Access to Food

“We want healthy food, we want to produce according to our traditions,” farmers and activists demanded during an international forum of experts on agriculture and the environment in this southern Italian city.

Marine Litter: Plunging Deep, Spreading Wide

Imagine a black-footed albatross feeding its chick plastic pellets, a baby seal in the North Pole helplessly struggling with an open-ended plastic bag wrapped tight around its neck, or a fishing vessel stranded mid-sea, a length of discarded nylon net entangled in its propeller. Multiply these scenarios a thousand-fold, and you get a glimpse of the state of the world’s oceans.

Family Farmers Don’t Need Climate-Smart Agriculture

Small farmers can look to options like agroecological intensification and innovation, without necessarily turning to climate-smart agriculture, which is promoted by the United Nations but has awakened doubts among global experts meeting in this Italian city.

A Billion Tons of Food Wasted Yearly While Millions Still Go Hungry

In his parody of the Michael Jackson hit “Beat It”, the American satirist and singer Weird Al Yankovic has a parent urging his son to eat the food on his plate, warning that “other kids are starving in Japan”.

Acid Oceans Could Deal Heavy Blow to Fishing-Dependant Nations

Scientists here are warning Caribbean countries, where the fisheries sector is an important source of livelihoods and sustenance, that they should pay close attention to a new international report released Wednesday on ocean acidification.

Fracking Fractures Argentina’s Energy Development

Unconventional oil and gas reserves in Vaca Muerta in southwest Argentina hold out the promise of energy self-sufficiency and development for the country. But the fracking technique used to extract this treasure from underground rocks could be used at a huge cost.

Hotter Caribbean Poses Challenges for Livestock Farmers

Livestock farmers in the Caribbean are finding it increasingly difficult and expensive to rear healthy animals because of climate change, a situation that poses a significant threat to a region that is already too dependent on imports to feed its population.

Thirsty Land, Hungry People

Gazing out over the parched earth of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, one might think these farmlands have not seen water in years. In fact, this is not too far from the truth.

Floods Wash Away India’s MDG Progress

The northeastern Indian state of Assam is no stranger to devastating floods. Located just south of the eastern Himalayas, the lush, 30,000-square-km region comprises the Brahmaputra and Barak river valleys, and is accustomed to annual bouts of rain that swell the mighty rivers and spill over into villages and towns, inundating agricultural lands and washing homes, possessions and livestock away.

Synthetic Biology Could Open a Whole New Can of Worms

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is the world’s leading producer of vetiver. In the southwest of the country, vetiver production is hard to ignore.

U.S. Investigation into Illegal Timber Imports a “Sea Change”

A year after a U.S. company was accused of engaging in the systematic importing of flooring made from illegally harvested timber, pressure is mounting on federal agencies currently investigating the allegations.

Humanity Failing the Earth’s Ecosystems

In pure numbers, the past few decades have been marked by destruction: over the last 40 years, Earth has lost 52 percent of its wild animals; nearly 17 percent of the world’s forests have been felled in the last half-century; freshwater ecosystems have witnessed a 75-percent decline in animal populations since 1970; and nearly 95 percent of coral reefs are today threatened by pollution, coastal development and overfishing.

Thirsty Land, Hungry People

Gazing out over the parched earth of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, one might think these farmlands have not seen water in years. In fact, this is not too far from the truth.

OPINION: Less Hunger in the World and the Challenge for the Media

It is common belief that good news is less interesting for the general public than bad news; ­this is why media coverage tends to focus on catastrophic events and disasters, both natural and man-made.

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