Urban farmer Margaret Gauti Mpofu would do anything to protect the productivity of her land. Healthy soil means she is assured of harvest and enough food and income to look after her family.
In Meghalaya, India’s northeastern biodiversity hotspot, all three major tribes are matrilineal. Children take the mother’s family name, while daughters inherit the family lands.
Too hungry to play, hundreds of starving children in Tiaty Constituency of Baringo County instead sit by the fire, watching the pot boil, in the hope that it is only a matter of minutes before their next meal.
The warnings are stark, the instructions, for a change, clear.Sri Lanka is heading into one of its worst droughts in recent history, and according some estimates the worst in 30 years. The reservoirs are running on empty, at 30 percent or less capacity. Only 12 percent of the island’s power generation is currently from hydropower and 85 percent comes from thermal, with a staggering 41 percent from coal.
Land degradation already affects millions of people, bringing biodiversity loss, reduced availability of clean water, food insecurity and greater vulnerability to the harsh impacts of climate change.
The world loses 23 hectares to land degradation each and every minute, adding up to the disappearance of 12 million hectares worldwide – an area half the size of the UK.
By 2050, we will be a world of nine billion people. Not only does this mean there’ll be two million more mouths to feed than there are at present, it also means these mouths will be consuming more – in the next 20 years, for instance, an estimated three billion people will enter the middle class, in addition to the 1.8 billion estimated to be within that income bracket today.
Women are not only the world’s primary food producers. They are hardworking and innovative and, they invest far more of their earnings in their families than men. But most lack the single most important asset for accessing investment resources – land rights.
A report published last month by the Montpellier Panel - an eminent group of agriculture, ecology and trade experts from Africa and Europe - says about 65 percent of Africa's arable land is too damaged to sustain viable food production.
Tugging at the root of a thorny shrub known as ‘juliflora’, which now dots the village of Chirmiyala in the Medak District of southern India’s Telangana state, a 28-year-old farmer named Ailamma Arutta tells IPS, “This is a curse that destroyed my land.”
Twenty-year-old Wani Lo Keji stares at the sky as his herd of cattle drink water from the eastern bank of the Nile River, just opposite South Sudan’s capital, Juba.