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November 4, 2008

EcoAgriculture Partners Newsletter

Table of Contents

EcoAgriculture Partners Updates In the Scene Resources Call for Papers, Partners, and Proposals Upcoming Events



EcoAgriculture Partners Updates

Spanish version of Ecoagriculture book launched in Costa Rica

On 24 September 2008, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) hosted a book launch at their headquarters in San Jose, Costa Rica, for the Spanish language translation of the book on "Ecoagriculture: Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity," written by Jeff McNeely and Sara Scherr. The translation was jointly published by IICA and Ecoagriculture Partners, as "Ecoagricultura: Estrategias para Alimentar el Mundo y Proteger la Biodiversidad Silvestre."

At the launch, Sara Scherr presented an overview of the book, followed by comments from Pascal Girot of IUCN, Byron Miranda of IICA  on the relevance of the ecoagriculture landscape approach in Mesoamerica, and general discussion and reception.  The launch event was shared via web-cam with IICA offices throughout the Latin America region.  

Mesoamerica Strategy Meeting, San Jose, Costa Rica

Ecoagriculture Partners convened, organized and facilitated, with significant support from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Costa Rica, a Mesoamerica regional meeting on September 25 and 26 in San Jose, Costa Rica, to engage with partners in “institutional mapping” and coordination of initiatives over the next five years.  There were 22 participants from 12 organizations – IICA, Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), The Small Producers Association of Talamanca (APPTA), Association ANAI , Fundación Programa Salvadoreño de Investigación sobre Desarrollo y Medio Ambiente (PRISMA), Centro de Inteligencia sobre Mercados Sostenibles (CIM/INCAE), Forest Trends, Ecoagriculture Partners, Programa de Desarrollo Rural/ Ministry of Agriculture (PDR/MAG), the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD), Consejo Agropecuario Centro-Americano (CAC), and the National University of Costa Rica, Herdia (UNA), including the Director General of CATIE, Jose Joaquin Campos.  Campos presented MAP: Mesoamerica Agroenvironmental Program, CATIE’s ambitious regional program, very much allied with the goals of Ecoagriculture Partners, and recently funded by the Norwegian, Swedish  and Finnish governments ($25 million). 

A “Memoria” was prepared by Kathia Acuna with full notes from the meeting and a list of participants as well as the results of the institutional mapping exercise and plenary and small group discussions that followed.  The Memoria is available in Spanish (http://www.ecoagriculture.org/documents/index.php?pubID) and will be translated into English soon. All organizations had an opportunity to present their priority outcomes, geographical regions, activities, challenges and needs for partnership/collaboration.  In small groups, by geographic area, participants discussed potential areas for joint action to increase their effectiveness.  The main areas identified were: development of local leadership and networking among leaders; strengthening the capacity of communities to influence policy; identifying and coordinating actions for development and access to alternative markets; joint research, planning, financing and implementation of landscapes and rural territories; participatory research on small farmer technologies (ecoag); promoting ecoagriculture concept in political and technological dialogues/policies; strengthening entrepreneurial and business capacities of rural communities and their organizations/enterprises; and adaptating and mitigating vulnerability to climate change through development of risk management strategies. 

For each of these priority themes, there was discussion on specific actions for partnership collaboration that would fill gaps in expertise and support (listed in the “Memoria”).  Meeting follow-up will concentrate on these suggested actions with specific partners in priority landscapes/rural territories.

USDA Higher Education Challenge grant awarded to explore real-world ecoagriculture scenarios in the classroom and beyond

Cornell University, together with Ecoagriculture Partners and University of California at Berkeley, have been awarded a three-year grant by USDA’s Higher Education Challenge program entitled "Agriculture Bridge: Connecting Students and Practitioners to Enhance Multidisciplinary Experiential Learning and Collaborative Problem-solving." The project will allow for the development of 10 multi-media case studies on ecoagriculture - five in developing countries and five in the US – that will convey information about ecoagriculture in practice to students and teachers in classrooms.

College level course instruction will be organized around the case studies and student activity in the classroom will be oriented toward aiding field practitioners in real-world problem-solving.  An Internet-based platform will link undergraduates, graduate students, professors and practitioners in the field to examine a variety of topics and issues related to ecoagriculture. The case studies will be designed to illustrate, using high quality video technology, the complex relationships between food systems, livelihood security and the environment in diverse agroecological systems. 

For more information contact co-PI, Dr. Louise Buck at: leb3@cornell.edu

Arborvitae issue on "Learning from Landscapes"

IUCN’s newsletter, Arborvitae has published a special issue entitled "Learning from Landscapes" that is based upon work conducted through Ecoagriculture Partner’s Landscape Measures Initiative in collaboration with IUCN’s Livelihoods and Landscapes Initiative under a grant from the Program on Forests (PROFOR).  The special issue features a collection of articles that highlight approaches and tools that the two initiatives have created and/or applied in a variety of landscapes where goals for conservation, production and livelihood security are being pursued.  The emphasis is on tools that support social learning by multiple stakeholders in negotiating how to manage landscapes to generate multiple desired outcomes.  

Download a copy of the 16-page newsletter at: http://www.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/forest/fp_resources/fp_resources_publications/fp_resources_specials/index.cfm

Conference held on lessons learned for ecoagriculture in East Africa, Naivasha, Kenya

More than 80 people participated in an ecoagriculture conference on ”Challenges and opportunities for integrating agricultural production, biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction strategies in East Africa,” held in Naivasha, Kenya, 25-28 August 2008. The conference was co-hosted by Ecoagriculture Partners, the Kenya Ecoagriculture Working Group, and the Uganda Ecoagriculture Working Group, with support from TerrAfrica, the Government of the Netherlands, the Generative Change Community, Rhino Arc and UNDP Uganda. The conference highlighted the experiences from more than a dozen ecoagriculture landscapes in Kenya and Uganda, and discussed the visions, innovations, policies and tools needed to respond to the integration of agricultural, environmental and poverty reduction objectives in national development and local community landscape levels, and to enhance multi-sectoral partnerships, networks and platforms for ecoagriculture. Farmer and community based organizations working in ecoagriculture landscapes also showcased their work, and participants discussed how best to support grassroots initiatives.

Key themes included:
* Markets for ecosystem services in East Africa: opportunities and challenges
* Policy and institutional constraints to integration of agricultural production, environmental conservation and poverty reduction in East Africa
* Innovative community programs towards sustainable land management
* Public-private partnerships and agriculture, environment and rural development
* Science, innovation and technologies in the integration of agricultural production, environmental conservation and poverty reduction
* Climate change, ecoagriculture and sustainable land management in East Africa, and
* Lessons learned about implementing ecoagriculture in East African landscapes.

Materials presented at the conference are available on a CD, and a conference report on “Lessons Learned” is being prepared. A video featuring the conference participants can be found at: http://www.timthomasphoto.com/Africa%20Flash%20Oct%202008/786K%2015fps%20400%20px.html.  For more information contact: cochieng@ecoagriculture.org.

Ecoagriculture Partners participates in IUCN's World Conservation Congress, Barcelona, Spain

More than 8,000 of the world’s leading decision makers in sustainable development from governments, NGOs, business, the UN and academia gathered in Barcelona, Spain from October 5-14 2008 to debate, share, network, learn, commit, vote and decide. The meeting was organized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  The objective: ideas, action and solutions for a diverse and sustainable world. As a new member of IUCN, with four staff members in attendance, Ecoagriculture Partners organized and participated in a series of highly successful events at the Congress, while  also catching up with old friends and making new ones.

• Sara Scherr gave a keynote presentation in the Opening Plenary in the Stream “Healthy environments, healthy people”

• Louise Buck of EP and Cornell University led a packed Learning Opportunity session on “Assessing the performance of ecoagriculture landscapes: Plan for the future.” It included hands-on training for applications of the recently launched Landscape Measures Resource Center. (www.landscapemeasures.org), which assists multi-stakeholder groups in agricultural landscapes to assess, plan and track biodiversity conservation, production and rural livelihoods at farm, community and landscape scales.

• Ecoagriculture Partners and the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) co-organized a workshop on “Conservation organizations and agriculture:  Who’s doing what and how?” which included panelists from WWF, The Nature Conservancy and the Kijabe Environmental Volunteers (Kenya).

• Bioversity International and Ecoagriculture Partners co-organized a workshop on “Bridging the gap between agriculture and nature conservation.”

• IUCN organized a Global Thematic Workshop on “Ecosystems and food: What role for conservation in enhancing food security for the rural poor”. Ecoagriculture Partner’s Board Chair and IUCN Chief Scientist, Jeffrey McNeely, moderated the panel.

• EP Collaboration in the Community Poble (see article in ‘On the Scene’).

For general information on the World Conservation Congress, visit http://www.iucn.org/news_events/events/congress/index.cfm.

Ecoagriculture Partners hires Director of Finance and program support staff

Ecoagriculture Partners has hired three additional staff members since September of 2008. Lola Ogunremi joined us on October 1st as the Director of Finance and is based in the Washington DC office. She leads financial management for the organization, providing financial reports and audit management. She also develops and implements various financial processes of the organization. Lola has held Accounting and Research positions at Howard University, City University of New York Research Foundation as well as the Small Business Administration Small Business Development Center (DCSBDC) in Washington DC.

Sajal Sthapit, who has interned with us for over a year, joined us as a Program Associate on September 15th. He works in the DC office writing and editing outreach and academic publications, while providing day-to-day technical and IT problem-solving. Sajal is a Nepali national with experience in agrobiodiversity conservation and a recently earned M.S. in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland. His key interests are in conservation, environmental ethics and photography.

Jenny Correa joins us as the Administrative Assistant to the Market Program on a half time basis, beginning on October 1st. She is based in Cali, Columbia, and will work with Meike Andersson on the Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Program initiative, as well as managing the markets program webpage, and providing general administrative support for the markets program.

We extend a warm welcome to our new staff.


In the Scene

Community Poble dialogue space held at World Conservation Congress, Barcelona

The Community Poble dialogue space, held from 6-9 October 2008, provided a central venue for local community and indigenous leaders to raise and debate key issues being addressed at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. Co-organized by the UNDP Equator Initiative, Ecoagriculture Partners and other partners, the Poble hosted a range of sessions highlighting community leadership in conservation and poverty reduction, including on Community Conserved Areas, pro-poor Reduced Emissions from Avoided Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) schemes, climate change adaptation, marine and agricultural biodiversity conservation, and community knowledge-sharing. The Poble also provided an opportunity for representatives of the 25 Equator Prize 2008 winning communities to present their work, share experiences, articulate shared challenges and identify opportunities for collaboration.

For more details on the Poble program, please see: http://www.equatorinitiative.org/index.php?option.

Equator Prize 2008 winners announced at World Conservation Congress, Barcelona

Events at the Poble were complemented by the 2008 Equator Prize Award Ceremony, held in Barcelona on 6 October 2008. The evening honored the 25 Equator Prize 2008 winners  and gave special recognition to the following five community initiatives: The Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary (WCHS) of Ghana; The Community Development Centre (CDC) of Sri Lanka; The Artisans Association of Arbolsol and Huaca de Barro of the Morrope District of Peru; The Indonesian Community-Based Marine Management Foundation (PLKL) of Indonesia for work in contribution to climate change adaptation, and the Union of Farming and Indigenous Organizations of Cotacachi (UNORCAC) of Ecuador for outstanding efforts in Agricultural Biodiversity Conservation. Community winners were joined by distinguished guests including Ted Turner, Founder and Chairman of the United Nations Foundation and representatives of each of the other Equator Initiative Partners. Sara Scherr of EP presented the award for Agricultural Biodiversity. As the ceremony concluded, a statement from the 25 winning communities called for World Conservation Congress to enhance attention on the capacity of local and traditional communities to develop concrete solutions and strategies to address many of the global conservation challenges currently being faced.

For further details on the 25 winning community initiatives, please see: http://www.equatorinitiative.org/index.php?option.

East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group Regional Meeting held in Tanzania

The third annual regional meeting of the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group was held in Tanzania from 16– 20 September 2008. The meeting brought together over 200 actors interested in markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES). About 180 of the participants were from African countries ranging from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the host Tanzania.

This year’s meeting provided participants with an opportunity to discuss REDD readiness strategies, including discussions around stakeholder engagement, pilot demonstration sites, and capacity building and training needs. A second major theme was Payment for Watershed Services (PWS), with discussions focused particularly on the challenges of design and implementation of equitable payments for PWS in Tanzania and the region, and on exploring projects and experience from around the world where PWS agreements are operational.

For more details on the field trips and recommendations from the meeting, please see the summary of proceedings, and presentations at http://www.katoombagroup.org/event_details.php?id or contact aruhweza@forest-trends.org.

World Bank Development Marketplace: Finalists in sustainable agriculture announced

The World Bank’s Development Marketplace (DM) is a competitive grant program supported by various partners that identifies and funds innovative, early-stage projects with high potential for development impact. DM competitions -- held at the global, regional and country level -- attract ideas from a range of innovators, including civil society groups, social entrepreneurs, academia and businesses. DM has awarded more than $46 million in grants, supporting projects through their proof of concept phase. Using DM funding as a launching pad, projects often go on to scale up or replicate elsewhere, winning prestigious awards within the sphere of social entrepreneurship.

The focus of this year’s competition was Sustainable Agriculture for Development, in three sub-themes:  linking small-scale farmers to input-output markets;   improving land access and tenure for the poor; and promoting the environmental services of agriculture in addressing climate change and biodiversity conservation. Over 1700 proposals were evaluated; Sara Scherr and Seth Shames of Ecoagriculture Partners participated in the assessment process. From 24-26 September 2008 the 100 finalists displayed their projects at the DM2008 Marketplace event in Washington, DC. At the close of the Marketplace, 22 projects were named winners, many of which contribute to ecoagriculture.

For more information on the winning projects see: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/OPPORTUNITIES/GRANTS/DEVMARKETPLACE/0,,contentMDK:21915020~isCURL:Y~menuPK:5265851~pagePK:180691~piPK:174492~theSitePK:205098,00.html.

For more information on the Development Marketplace, visit: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/OPPORTUNITIES/GRANTS/DEVMARKETPLACE/0,,contentMDK:21558214~menuPK:174568~pagePK:180691~piPK:174492~theSitePK:205098,00.html.

Alcoa Foundation’s Second Advancing Sustainability Conference

Alcoa Foundation’s Conservation and Sustainability Fellowship Program, launched in 2004, is a global initiative to advance the knowledge and support for work in the field of conservation and sustainability through fellowships to academics and practitioners. By bringing together the academic, non-governmental and business communities, Alcoa Foundation’s program is a new model of private philanthropic action to address urgent problems of global concern.

From 10-14 October 2008, Seth Shames of EP, a 2007-2008 Practitioner Fellow, participated in the Second Advancing Sustainability Conference in Barcelona, Spain which showcased the latest research from Program Fellows, the latest ideas from current leaders in conservation and sustainability, and provided an opportunity for networking among academics, practitioners, business, government and non-governmental organizations.

For more information on the Alcoa Foundation’s Conservation and Sustainability Fellowship Program, visit: http://www.alcoa.com/global/en/community/info_page/CS_Fellowship_Program.asp.

Jeffrey McNeely raises the profile of ecoagriculture at Cornell University

Jeffrey McNeely, Chief Conservation Scientist at IUCN and Chair of the Board of Ecoagriculture Partners, spent two days at Cornell University in September, 2008 as a guest of the Cornell Ecoagriculture Working Group. Dr. McNeely presented two seminars and met with faculty and graduate students from the nine departments and academic units that co-sponsored his visit.  To the Natural Resource Department seminar series on coupled systems he used ecoagriculture to illustrate the idea of linked socio-ecological systems in his presentation entitled: "Ecoagriculture: Origins, Development, Implementation and Challenges."

Dr. McNeely also presented a well-attended and thought-provoking seminar on "Ecoagriculture Approaches to Bioenergy Development" in a weekly series entitled “Agroecological Perspectives in Sustainable Development.” The lectures as well as classroom presentations and numerous meetings in which he participated raised the profile of ecoagriculture on campus, and ensured that Dr. McNeely would be more than welcome to visit again!

To view Dr. McNeely’s presentation on bioenergy visit:   http://ciifad.cornell.edu/activities/seminars/agroecsem/sem08/semF08.cfm.

FAO hosts workshop on Conservation Agriculture

This technical workshop entitled “Investing in Sustainable Crop Intensification: The Case for Improving Soil Health” was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with technical support from Tropical Agricultural Association and held from 22-24 July 2008. It brought together 96 stakeholders from 40 countries representing government and inter-governmental institutions, the private sector, research organizations, farmers, and NGOs. The consensus of the workshop was that plough-based farming as it is now practiced has unsustainable elements, whose continued promotion and application undermines global capacity to respond to rising cereal and fuel prices, land degradation, water scarcity and greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information on conservation agriculture, a method of farming which maintains cover crops, minimizes soil disturbance by tillage, and diversifies crop rotations, sequences, and combinations, see the background document for the workshop, “Underpinning Conservation Agriculture’s Benefits: The Roots of Soil Health and Function” at http://www.fao.org/ag/ca/doc/SHW_MainDoc_0708.pdf

Results of the conference and direction for further action are available in the follow-up document, “Investing in Sustainable Agriculture Intensification: The Role of Conservation Agriculture” at http://www.fao.org/ag/ca/doc/proposed_framework.pdf. Comments on the framework are welcome, as well as expressions of interest in participating in the cluster of communities of practice that are expected to emerge in the coming months.

Contact Theodor.Friedrich@fao.org for more details.

Global Food Systems high-level event held at the Earth Institute, Columbia University

On 16 September 2008, a meeting on “Global Food Systems: Their Impact on Nutrition and Health for All” was held at the Earth Institute of Columbia University. Media guests included OnEarth magazine, Scientific American, Newsweek and The New York Times.  The Earth Institute’s Global Classroom tuned in from Kuala Lampur, Beijing, Kathmandu, Ibadan, Quito, Brandeis, Rensselaer, and Emory. 

Justin Gillis of the New York Times moderated a panel on “Environmental Sustainability and Food Supply and Distribution,”  which included Lester Brown, Earth Policy Institute; Niels Christiansen, Nestle SA; Cheryl Palm, Columbia University; Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA / Goddard Institute for Space Studies; and Sara Scherr, Ecoagriculture Partners.

Participant bios and agenda are available at: http://globalfoodforum.blogspot.com/2008/09/participant-bios.html.

A video of the event as well as a blog to continue ongoing discussions and related resources can be found at: http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2196.

Poverty Environment Partnership hosts policy dialogue on Environment, Climate Change, and the MDGs: Reshaping the Development Agenda

The Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP) hosted a policy dialogue in support of the UN high-level event on the Millennium Development Goals on 25 September 2008. The event highlighted progress on major 2005 commitments, including the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative and the Coalition for Rainforest Nations. Achievements and lessons learned from these initiatives provided world leaders with concrete evidence that investment in sound and equitable environmental management makes real economic sense and is critical to expanding opportunities for people in developing countries to lift themselves out of poverty.

The event was co-organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Stockholm Environment Institute, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, The World Bank and the World Resources Institute.

For more information and a video of the event see: http://htc-01.media.qualitytech.com/COMP010026ARC1/20080923/session2.html



The Handbook of Tropical Soil Biology: Sampling and Characterization of Below-ground Biodiversity

This practical handbook describes sampling and laboratory assessment methods for the biodiversity of a number of key functional groups of soil organisms, including insects, earthworms, nematodes, fungi and bacteria. The methods outlined in the text provide a standardized basis for characterizing soil biodiversity and current land uses in terrestrial natural, semi-natural and agroecosystems in tropical forests and at forest margins. The aim is to assess soil biodiversity against current and historic land use practices both at plot and landscape scales and, further, to identify opportunities for improved sustainable land management through the introduction, management or remediation of soil biota, thus reducing the need for external inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides.

The methods have been assembled and the protocols drafted by a number of scientists associated with the UNEP-Global Environmental Facility funded Conservation and Sustainable Management of Below-Ground Biodiversity Project, executed by the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture. Book authors are Fatima M. S. Moreira, E. Jeroen Huising and David E. Bignell.

For more information and to order copies see: http://www.earthscan.co.uk/?TabId.

Guest Article on “Applying the Ecosystem Approach to Biodiversity Conservation in Agricultural Landscapes” featured in MEA bulletin

An article authored by Sara Scherr and Seth Shames of Ecoagriculture Partners was featured in the August MEA Bulletin, a publication created by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme’s Division of Environmental Law and Conventions. The article suggests guidelines for applying the ecosystem approach in agricultural landscapes, in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

This issue also includes reports on meetings of the 28th Open-Ended Working Group of the parties to the Montreal Protocol, and the 57th session of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), as well as another guest article by Christian Mersmann, Managing Director of the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD, titled “New Focus on Rural Development: Where does the UNCCD figure?”

To link to the July bulletin as well as past issues see: http://notesapps.unon.org/notesapps/unonbb.nsf/Search/EA042D2D66BBC92743257494004B4A27?OpenDocument.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) bulletin features issue on ecosystem services

Released on 15 July 2008, issue number 28 of the PNAS bulletin focuses on ecosystem services, valuation, management and governance. Articles explore incentives to jointly increase carbon sequestration and species conservation, a global mapping of ecosystem services and field evidence that ecosystem service projects support biodiversity and diversify options for the poor.

To see the full issue, go to: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/documents/index.php?pubID=124.

World Resources Institute publishes 2008 Report, "Roots of Resilience: Growing the Wealth of the Poor"

Three-quarters of the world’s poorest citizens – those living on less than $2 per day – are dependent on the environment for a significant part of their daily livelihoods. Climate change, therefore, adds a real urgency to the efforts of many institutions that work to improve the lives of the poor. World Resources 2008 argues that properly designed enterprise can create economic, social, and environmental resilience that cushion the impacts of climate change and help provide needed social stability. Increased resilience must be part of the response to the risks of climate change. The events that foster resilience chart the first steps on the path out of poverty. Many of the cases in the report use ecoagriculture approaches.

For the full report see: http://www.wri.org/publication/world-resources-2008-roots-of-resilience.

EcoLogic launches Spanish version of website

EcoLogic has successfully launched the Spanish version of its website at http://www.ecologic.org/es. The new Spanish website makes it easier for people in the countries where they work to learn more about their work in the field by either location or program area. The site will increase EcoLogic’s visibility in Latin America, expanding exposure of how their work is advancing conservation of critical natural resources and promoting their partners’ successes throughout the region.

"Marketing Conservation” by Sara Scherr featured in 0ur Planet, the magazine of the United Nations Environment Program

The September 2008 edition of "Our Planet: Living Legacy, the Future of Forests," features an article by Ecoagriculture Partners director Sara Scherr on voluntary markets for ecosystem services and carbon offsets, referencing examples from the Kikuyu Escarpment of Kenya to the Biosphere Reserve in Sierra Gorda, Mexico. Other articles are by the Environmental Minister of Brazil, Carlos Minc, who sets out a program for managing his county’s forests sustainably, and Nadia Johnson and Cate Owren, Program Coordinators for Economic and Social Justice and Sustainable Development at the Women’s Environment and Development Organization, who say that the forests — and the food, fuel and climate crises — must be seen from a gender perspective.

To download this issue of our planet as well as previous publications, visit: http://www.unep.org/ourplanet/2008/sept/en/.

Carbon Sequestration and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Forests featured in Global Environmental Change

This article by David O’Connor entitled “Governing the global commons: linking carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation in tropical forests” is featured in a special issue of Global Environment Change, titled, “Globalization and International Governance: Is Another World Possible?”

For the full article see: www.ecoagriculture.org/documents/index.php?pubID=122.

Pollinator diversity increases fruit production on Mexican coffee plantations: article in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment

This article by Carlos H. Vergara and Ernesto I. Badano focuses on the effects of insect pollinator diversity on coffee fruit production along a gradient of management systems in central Veracruz, Mexico. The authors found that low-impact management systems have a higher species richness and relative diversity of pollinators than high-impact management systems, as well as positively relating to fruit production.

For the full article see: www.ecoagriculture.org/documents/index.php?pubID=121.


Call for Papers, Partners, and Proposals

Xerces Society seeking applications for research into Lepidoptera conservation

The Xerces Society is seeking applicants for two $3,750 awards given to students who are engaged in research leading to a university degree related to Lepidoptera conservation and who intend to continue to work in this field. All proposals must be written by the student researcher. Proposed research should have a clear connection to Lepidoptera conservation and must be completed within one year from receiving funds. Applicants may be graduate or undergraduate students and those from countries outside the United States will be considered.

The submission deadline is Friday, December 19, 2008 at 5:00 PM PST. Award winners will be announced by March 31, 2009, with the awards given by May 2009. For full details of submission see: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/announcements.php?id.


Upcoming Events

FAO Biotechnology Forum hosting e-mail conference on the application of agricultural biotechnology to the production of bioenergy, 10 November - 7 December 2008

The FAO Biotechnology Forum (http://www.fao.org/biotech/forum.asp) will host its next e-mail conference exploring the role that application of agricultural biotechnologies may play for production of bioenergy in developing countries, with a major focus on liquid biofuels. It is being organized in collaboration with the FAO Working Group on Bioenergy. As part of the build up to the conference, an FAO seminar on the same subject was held in Rome on 12 October 2007. See http://www.fao.org/biotech/seminaroct2007.htm for papers and presentations.

The conference will cover issues such as the application of biotechnologies for first-generation and second-generation biofuels and, to a lesser degree, for biogas production and for biodiesel production from microalgae. It therefore encompasses the use of biotechnology tools to produce biomass for bioenergy purposes as well as to convert the biomass to biofuel.

As usual, the conference is open to everyone, is free and will be moderated. Any Forum Member may subscribe. To do so, please send an e-mail message to mailserv@mailserv.fao.org leaving the subject blank and entering the one-line text message as follows: subscribe biotech-room3

The 6th Annual Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Bali, Indonesia, 18-20 November 2008

With the theme “The Gathering Momentum,” the 6th annual Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) will be held in Bali, Indonesia from 18-20 November 2008. The purpose of this meeting is to preview the first few tons of palm oil produced according to comprehensive sustainability benchmarks, and strategize around what organizers foresee as increasing volumes of production in the coming years.

RT6 will focus on:
• Trading in RSPO certified sustainable palm oil and keeping track of it
• Promoting honest communications about RSPO certified sustainable palm oil
• Bringing smallholdsers more center stage in sustainable production
• Working more closely with governments

Government representatives of producing and consuming countries, large and small oil palm growers, palm oil processors, consumers goods processors, retailers, bankers and investors, environmental and social NGO’s, consumer groups and research and development organizations are all encouraged to attend.

Palm oil is the most produced and most widely used oil in the world. The RSPO is the global, equal rights, multi-stakeholder organization dedicated to the sustainable production of this oil. This is to be achieved by following comprehensive sustainable production criteria supported by the supply chain.

For more information and contacts see: www.ecoagriculture.org/documents/index.php?pubID=123.

The newsletter was compiled by Ecoagriculture Partners. For more information, please contact info@ecoagriculture.org. Information about Ecoagriculture Partners and related employment opportunities can be found at www.ecoagriculture.org.