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March 25, 2011

EcoAgriculture Partners Newsletter

Japan was all over the news this past week—for the horrific earthquake they endured and the remarkable organization and fortitude with which the Japanese people and government responded. I experienced the earthquake personally, but from Nagoya, a city well southwest of Tokyo, where the impact was small. Our hearts go out to all of the Japanese who suffered from this tragedy.

But there was also very good news out of Japan this week for the global movement towards ecoagriculture landscapes. You may recall that in October 2010, the International Partnership for Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) was launched at the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 10th Conference of the Parties in Nagoya. The Japanese term “satoyama" referred originally to traditional farming landscapes in which farmers cared for the natural resources in their communities; “satochi” referred to dynamic landscape mosaics of farming, human settlements, forests, wetlands and other resources. The term has evolved to mean “socio-ecological production landscapes”—what we refer to as ‘ecoagriculture landscapes’. The satoyama concept especially highlights the cultural, psychological and spiritual dimensions of landscapes as powerful motivators for stewardship, and the contributions that traditional knowledge and practices can make, in synergy with modern science. EcoAgriculture Partners was one of the founding members of IPSI; it now has more than 120 institutional members, including farmer and community organizations, international agencies, government agencies, NGOs, academic institutions, businesses, and other stakeholders.  The United Nations University in Tokyo serves as the Secretariat, and the group is governed by a Steering Committee elected by the Members.

IPSI held its first Members’ Assembly and Global Conference on 10-11 March in Nagoya. The meeting showcased numerous traditional landscape management systems, as well as new landscape initiatives from around the world. Collaborative initiatives of knowledge-sharing, capacity-building, indicator development, policy, and on the ground projects are being developed among members. The program, conference summary, meeting documents and presentations, as well as the abstracts of presentations from the Public Forum, are now available at http://satoyama-initiative.org/en/event/the-first-global-conference-of-ipsi.

Sara J. Scherr, President and CEO, EcoAgriculture Partners


Table of Contents

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



EcoAgriculture Partners Updates

Ecoagriculture highlighted at Worldwatch Symposium on "Nourishing the Planet”

The Worldwatch Institute held their 15th Annual State of the World Symposium on 19 January 2011 around the theme of Nourishing the Planet.  In addition to keynote speakers Kathleen Merrigan of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, David Beckmann of Bread for the World, and Hans Herren of the Millennium Institute, Sara J. Scherr, EcoAgriculture’s President and CEO, was a panelist.  Worldwatch launched its 2011 State of the World Report, and Sara presented the findings from the chapter she co-authored with Louise Buck (Moving Ecoagriculture into the Mainstream), and gave her thoughts on how many forkfuls of the world’s food would be produced sustainably in 2021.  Our coverage of the event, with links to Worldwatch, is available here: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/announcements.php?id=497.  The report is available for purchase at: http://www.worldwatch.org/sow11.

RRI/EcoAgriculture Policy Brief on harmonizing agriculture, forests and rights in the design of REDD+

Global attention to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanisms provides an opportunity for climate protection and enhancing the livelihoods of farming and forest communities, and it has become increasingly apparent that an understanding of the agricultural context of REDD+ projects is critical to success.  The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and EcoAgriculture recently published a policy brief to shine some light on the key REDD+, agriculture and rights linkages that require deeper thinking as well as recommend policy approaches on how to address and advance mutually reinforcing climate goals.  Find the brief on our website here: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/publication_details.php?publicationID=344.

Agriculture and Climate Roundtable on Agriculture and REDD+

EcoAgriculture and FAO convened the sixth in their bi-monthly series of Roundtable discussions on Agriculture and Climate Change on 2 February 2011. This topic was the relationship between agriculture and forestry.  Seth Shames and RRI's Jeff Hatcher briefly presented findings from our recent jointly-published Policy Brief (see previous article) about strengthening the role of agriculture in REDD+ projects.  Christine Negra of the Heinz Foundation gave a presentation on her recent report and brief with Lini Wollenberg of CCAFS on lessons that the agriculture sector can learn from REDD. The group of 30 had very lively discussions, including recommendations on priority action that is needed during 2011 to be ready for productive negotiations at the next Climate COP in Durban. For more information, contact Rachel Friedman, rfriedman@ecoagriculture.org.

EcoAgriculture and IFAD scope new opportunities to link agricultural development, ecosystem management and climate adaptation

EcoAgriculture has begun working with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to review its new Environment and Natural Resources (ENRM) Strategy, and a selection of its projects, to explore opportunities to strengthen the links between agricultural development, environmental management and climate adaptation in its portfolio.   The study will highlight prospective synergies between ENRM and agriculture in IFAD projects and opportunities for scaling up successful integrated initiatives.  The brief study is being conducted in concert with IFAD leadership at headquarters and field levels to ensure its relevance and enhance its learning value throughout the organization.  For more information, contact Courtney Wallace, cwallace@ecoagriculture.org.

New report: Conservation Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa

EcoAgriculture Partners was recently commissioned by the WWF-CARE Alliance—an exciting collaboration between two leading global NGOs to address rural poverty, conserve biodiversity, and combat climate change and its effects on the world’s poor—to assess the impacts and potential of conservation agriculture in Africa. Conservation agriculture (CA) is a farming approach that fosters natural ecological processes to increase agricultural yields and sustainability by minimizing soil disturbance, maintaining permanent soil cover, and diversifying crop rotations. The report, Performance and Potential of Conservation Agriculture for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Sub-Saharan Africa, reviews evidence on the practices, outcomes, and future potential of CA as an approach to increasing food security, alleviating poverty, conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services, and supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation at local to global scales.

The authors found that CA is a particularly timely strategy for rural development and conservation in Africa, with on-the-ground benefits already documented, particularly for food security and sustainable rural livelihoods. In addition, there is much potential for practicing CA within a context of landscape-scale management to increase its benefits for climate change mitigation and landscape restoration. These benefits may be realized through new project and program designs and by addressing key barriers related to the policy environment, extension and technical assistance, and donor investment priorities. In addition to guiding the WWF-CARE Alliance, the study will be published shortly for free download as an EcoAgriculture Partners Discussion Paper. For more information, or to receive a copy of the study when it is available, please contact lead author Jeffrey Milder, jmilder@ecoagriculture.org.

EcoAgriculture joins policy dialogue on PES for agricultural landscapes in Japan

EcoAgriculture Partners’ President, Sara J. Scherr, was invited by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to visit the country in early March to meet with government, academic and farmer leaders developing Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) in agricultural landscapes. She participated in an expert consultation and was a keynote speaker in a Ministry Symposium looking at opportunities for private sector-led PES. Dr. Scherr also visited a number of PES field projects in Shiga Prefecture (State), and met with Governor Yukiko Kada, who is promoting PES to protect ecosystems and endangered species around Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake.  Professor Mikitaro Shobayashi of Gakushuin Women’s College and senior advisor to the Ministry coordinated the visit. Unlike other OECD nations, Japan only began making national agri-environmental payments to farmers about three years ago, with a payment program to those willing to reduce agrochemical use by at least 50%. A new phase of the program will begin soon, with payments going to farmers who not only reduce agrochemical use, but also implement various management options to enhance biodiversity.  Prefecture (state) government programs, like those in Shiga, have sprung up around the country. More than 30 eco-labeling schemes for rice production are underway that benefit biodiversity, such as charismatic birds like stork. Some of these Japanese PES systems will be described in more detail in the upcoming issue of the EcoAgriculturePES Newsletter.  For more information, contact Sara Scherr, sscherr@ecoagriculture.org.

Ecoagriculture in Mark Hertsgaard's "Hot"

A new book for the general population by journalist Mark Hertsgaard, entitled Hot: Living Through the Next 50 Years on Earth was published earlier this year by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and is being actively promoted around the country. The book devotes a chapter to agriculture and climate change in which Sara Scherr is liberally quoted, and many of the projects that EcoAgriculture has endorsed, such as farmer-led natural regeneration in the Sahel, are showcased.  Visit Mark’s website here: http://markhertsgaard.com/hot-living-through-the-next-fifty-years-on-earth/.

Jeff McNeely's "New Idealism"

Jeffrey McNeely, former chief scientist for the IUCN and current EcoAgriculture Board Member and former chair, recently published an article entitled A New Idealism in IUCN's magazine. In line with the UN’s Year of Biodiversity, McNeely writes that “governments may have done the right thing in Nagoya but we can only save biodiversity if the world at large connects with nature." Find the article here: http://www.iucn.org/knowledge/publications_doc/world_conservation/?6769.

AgricultureBridge in spring semester classrooms

The AgricultureBridge platform, previously piloted at Cornell University, University of California—Berkeley, and North Carolina, is being heavily used again this spring semester at Berkeley.  In her Population, Environment and Development course comprised of 67 juniors and seniors, Professor Robin Marsh is covering ecoagriculture and five AgBridge cases from Kenya, Uganda, China, Capay Valley and Zone Norte.  Professor Jim Lassoie at Cornell University is also using the Copan case in his sustainable food systems seminar this spring.   Learn more about AgBridge at: http://www.agriculturebridge.org.

Ecoagriculture Brief: Conserving Rare Domestic Livestock Breeds

Domestic livestock breeds are vital to our present and future food supply, but agriculture changes over the past century have threatened rare breeds.  This brief informative piece, developed by former EcoAgriculture intern Andrea Manes, presents the importance of maintaining genetic diversity in livestock systems.  Find the flyer on our website here: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/publication_details.php?publicationID=340.

Ecoagriculture in Indonesia

We are delighted to welcome Teddy Lesmana of Indonesia at the EcoAgriculture office in Washington D.C. as an intern for the period of January-March 2011. Teddy is a researcher at the Indonesian Institute for Science’s (LIPI) Centre for Economic Research and a USAID Forecast Indonesia Scholar at the University of Maryland, where he is currently completing his Masters degree on Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development.  Teddy will be providing input into our policy and PES/eco-certification work, and we will be assisting his analysis of ecoagriculture potentials in Indonesia.  Teddy recently published an  op-ed in The Jakarta Globe, an English-language Indonesian newspaper, on the potential for ecoagriculture in his home country.  Take a look at the article here: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/commentary/eco-agriculture-can-feed-the-world-and-help-save-the-environment/422237.

EcoAgriculture Field Volunteer

A Cornell University undergraduate student will spend several months this spring semester in Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and other countries to help characterize ecoagriculture in Latin America.  Stay tuned to our website for updates and photos from the field! www.ecoagriculture.org

In the Scene

Solutions from the Land initiative launched

In February, the Solutions from the Land (SFL) Initiative was officially launched to promote dialogue on ways that agricultural systems, forests and other land uses can be managed in a way that addresses the needs of a changing world.  The initiative will focus first on the United States. SFL is a collaborative initiative of the United Nations Foundation, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and the Farm Foundation—in addition to many other agriculture and forestry groups, conservation interests, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, universities, land users’ associations and bilateral and multilateral institutions.

The coalition seeks to provide a plan that will increase production on working lands, while offering a broad range of value-added goods and services, including ecosystem services. The coalition's work will be guided by principles that aim to protect and restore high-value conservation areas and conserve biodiversity, and utilize landscape-scale planning that balances production and conservation. The tools being developed through SFL can be applied on multiple scales, whether on the farm, across the landscape, regionally or globally. At the same time, solutions tailored to meet unique values, needs, assets and limitations of developed and developing countries will also be created. EcoAgriculture Partners is an active member of the initiative, and Sara Scherr is a Co-Director of the Communications Team and member of the Policy Team.

For more information on the Solutions from the Land initiative, visit: www.sfldialogue.net

Great Green Wall Ministerial Consultations

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) co-hosted consultations on the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI).  An experts meeting on 18 February, followed the next day by ministerial consultations, included representation from governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, international financial institutions and other organizations.  The GGWSSI is a regional initiative of cross-sectoral actions and interventions aimed at the conservation and protection of natural resources with a view to achieving development and alleviating poverty in the countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan.  One of the main issues at the February consultations was financing.  The GEF is expected to invest up to US$115 million through its various financing windows, including the preservation of Lake Chad under its international waters investment portfolio.  Pledges from other development partners could ultimately reach US$3 billion.  For further reading, visit the UNCCD website here: http://www.unccd.int/cop/cric9/menu.php.

Agriculture at the UN CSD PrepCom II

The second session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom II) for next year's United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Rio 2012) convened from 7-8 March 2011 at UN Headquarters in New York.  EcoAgriculture staff attended both days of the PrepCom, where delegates focused on building a global green economy for sustainable development and poverty eradication.  Other important themes included securing renewed political commitment and building a robust institutional framework for sustainable development.  Before the close of the meeting, delegates adopted by consensus a draft outcome document for the UNCSD.  Background documents, the agenda, and country statements are available here: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page. The Co-Chairs' summary of the PrepCom II will be made available shortly.  The next steps include a preparation by the Bureau of a zero draft outcome document, five regional preparatory meetings, and 10+ country events. 

Agriculture was featured most prominently at a side event Tuesday evening convened by the Government of Switzerland, the Millennium Institute, FAO (the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization), and UNCTAD (the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development).  In Swiss presenter Anita Maric Faisal's words, "agriculture needs a green economy, and a green economy needs agriculture."  Nadia Scialabba highlighted FAO's work on Greening the Economy with Agriculture, which aims to promote agriculture's role in building environmental integrity, economic resilience, social well being and good governance.  Visit FAO's new website dedicated to the Rio 2012 processs here: http://www.fao.org/rio20/fao-rio-20/en/.  We will announce a link on our website to presentations when they are made available online—stay tuned!

Experts call for integrated ecosystem management to address development and climate in World Resources Report

The World Resources Report recently asked several international experts their answer to the question: “How can countries effectively address both today’s development challenges and tomorrow’s climate risks?”.  In particular, Mohamed El-Ashry, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation, Chairman and CEO Emeritus of the Global  Environment Facility, asserts that the solution rests on ecosystem management and an approach that manages synergies between environment, development, and climate mitigation and adaptation:  http://www.worldresourcesreport.org/responses/adapting-climate-change-no-time-waste-1.  Johan Rockstrom, Executive Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute and Stockholm Resilience Centre emphasizes the need for agricultural practices and technologies that increase yields significantly, while also addressing poverty and turning agriculture from a carbon source to a carbon sink: www.worldresourcesreport.org/responses/win-win-solutions-new-green-revolution.  Read more at: www.worldresourcesreport.org.

Heinz Awards highlight work in ecoagriculture

Several prestigious Heinz Awards (given to outstanding individuals for their contributions in the areas of arts and humanities, the environment, the human condition, public policy and technology, economy and employment) were awarded to people working on ecoagriculture and more generally in agriculture.  Dr. Gretchen Daily, a professor at Stanford University, was acknowledged for her innovative work to calculate the financial benefits of preserving the environment.  Dr. Daily co-founded the Natural Capital Project that is developing InVEST, a computer software program that helps decision makers identify locations where conservation should be a top priority due to the high economic value provided by the area’s ecological resources.  Dr. Cary Fowler was recognized for his role in the creation of the Global Seed Bank, which is a crucial instrument in safeguarding crops against the negative impacts of global change. Read more at:  http://www.heinzawards.net/recipients.

Restoration targets set at Nagoya CBD

The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-10), held in Nagoya, Japan, in late 2010, established a set of 20 headline targets together known as the “Aichi Target”.  Through conservation and restoration, governments have committed to restore at least 15 percent of degraded areas.  Restoration of degraded watersheds and rangelands is an important ecoagriculture approach.  Systems of farmer-led managed regeneration of natural vegetation have already had documented impacts on ecosystem health, production and livelihoods in very large areas.  See the CBD Secretariat’s press release here: http://www.cbd.int/doc/press/2010/pr-2010-10-29-cop-10-en.pdf.


Ecoagriculture featured in Journal of Sustainable Development article

Dr. Charles Geisler, in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University, features the ecoagriculture framework and concept in his article, Must Biodiversity Hot-Spots Be Social Not-Spots? Win-Win Ecology as Sustainable Social Policy, published in late 2010 in Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development.  Download the PDF here: http://journals.cdrs.columbia.edu/consilience/index.php/consilience/article/download/81/50.

Foresight's 2011 Future of Food and Farming report

With the aim of investigating the pressures on the global food system between now and 2050, and identifying policy actions to alleviate some of those pressures, Foresight launched its Future of Food and Farming Project.  The recently released project report draws upon the latest scientific evidence from varied organizations as well as the 400 leading experts from a wide-array of disciplines and stakeholders from 35 countries worldwide engaged in the project. New economic modeling was commissioned to explore possible future trends in food prices.  The report emphasizes five key challenges for the future, including the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystem services while feeding the world, and highlights the win-wins of climate-smart agriculture.  Download the report here: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/bispartners/foresight/docs/food-and-farming/11-546-future-of-food-and-farming-report.pdf.

New book: The African Food System and its Interaction with Human Health and Nutrition

A diverse set of issues related to the food system profoundly affects human health and nutrition in Africa.  World Food Prize laureate and Cornell University Professor Per Pinstrup-Anderson edited a book that explores the barriers that exist between the food and health systems, and suggests ways to reconcile them through policy and program design.  This book features contributions by world-renowned experts in agriculture, health, food science, and demography, including Stanley Medical Research Institute’s E. Fuller Torrey on animal-sourced diseases, The World Bank’s Anna Herforth on nutrition and the environment, and Cornell University’s Christopher B. Barrett on poverty and ill-health traps.  You can buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Interactions-Nutrition-Published-Cooperation-University/dp/0801476925.

Biodiversity for a greener revolution

A paper was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on agrobiodiversity and ecosystem services in Malawi. In Biodiversity can support a greener revolution in Africa, Sieglinde Snapp of Michigan State University and co-authors describe ten years of on-farm research and the first country-wide test of the multiple benefits from inclusion of more diverse, shrubby legume crops along with participatory education on nutrition and action research approaches. 

Snapp, S. S. M.J. Blackie, R.A. Gilbert, R. Bezner-Kerr, and G.Y. Kanyama-Phiri. 2010. Biodiversity can support a greener revolution in Africa. PNAS.  Find the early addition in press here: www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1007199107. Also see an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition here: http://www.npr.org/2010/12/01/131675409/in-malawi-a-greener-revolution-aligns-diet-and-land.

Capacity development for environmental management in agriculture

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published Environmental Working Paper Number 26 earlier this year, entitled Capacity Development for Environmental Management in the Agricultural Sector in Developing Countries. The report was written by Constance Neely of the World Agroforestry Centre and FAO, with collaborative support from EcoAgriculture Partners.  The paper highlights the importance of environmental management and governance in the agricultural sector, identifying goals, requirements, entry points and different strategies for capacity-building in this area.  It recognizes that capacity development for the environment in the agricultural sector must be part of an endogenous process of change, and must operate at multiple levels: the enabling environment, the organization, and the individual.  Neely suggests that the focus should be on sustainable production and the provision of sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that simultaneously builds and reinforces ecosystem resilience, leading to equitable and economically viable livelihoods at adequate scale. Download the paper at the OECD library here:  http://www.oecd.org/document/56/0,3343,en_2649_33713_39718712_1_1_1_1,00.html.

New book: Collaborative Governance of Tropical Landscapes

Edited by Carol J. Pierce Colfer and Jean-Laurent Pfund of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), this book presents a new approach to the governance of biodiversity and human well-being in complex tropical landscapes, such as forests and protected areas.  Illustrative single country and cross-site analyses from Cameroon, Indonesia, Laos, Madagascar and Tanzania show how a more adaptive and collaborative approach benefits both the environment and local communities.  Monitoring and assessment tools are discussed, and guidance provided for village and district level governance, which is likely to grow in importance as the world addresses climate change. 

To order, email orders@earthscan.co.uk, and mention voucher code AF20 to receive a 20% discount.   People from developing countries can obtain a copy gratis from CIFOR, by contacting Titin Suhartini t.suhartini@cgiar.org.

UNEP's Africa Water Atlas

The United Nations Environment Programme’s Africa Water Atlas is a stunning visual account of Africa’s water resources.  Over 220 maps, 100 satellite images, 500 graphics and hundreds of photos compose a compelling case for the importance of water in Africa’s economy, health, food security, politics and environment. While the opportunities for managing water for food security are somewhat limited, focusing on irrigation, there are some references to agroforestry.  The data in the Atlas will be helpful in further promoting soil and water conservation practices.  Download the Atlas at http://na.unep.net/atlas/africaWater/book.php.

SAN Climate Module: Criteria for Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change

The Sustainable Agriculture Network’s (SAN) Criteria for Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change enables certified farms to apply voluntarily for verification to the SAN Climate Module, which consists of 15 voluntary criteria, and can be combined with any audit of the certification cycle. The module was developed via a public consultation process from July to October 2010 in which more than 160 organizations from 41 countries posted their comments and more than 170 people participated in different events. Next steps include publishing an accompanying Verification Policy and the development of the Interpretation Guidance document, which will be key for auditors, technical advisors and producers in order to understand and interpret the module’s criteria and how they can be implemented in the field. The SAN Climate Module in its English, Spanish and Portuguese versions as well as the Climate Module Public Consultation Report are now available online at http://www.sanstandards.org.

New and re-designed features on SANREM CRSP

The Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP) has recently launched a re-designed website.  New features of the site include updated information on SANREM’s conservation agriculture research, new articles, and a directory of common acronyms.  Visit the site here: http://www.oired.vt.edu/sanremcrsp/.  The SANREM Knowledgebase (SKB)—a collection of information resources for practitioners—also has a new look: http://apps.cals.vt.edu/cgi-bin/WebObjects/SANREM.woa/wa/advancedSearch

SustainableFocus: new online science and environment magazine and community

SustainableFocus.org recently launched as a new web community and online magazine for the visual communication about science and the environment. With a primary goal of empowering members and challenging peers to engage with broader audiences using visual media, SustainableFocus.org also hopes to foster new collaborations between experts in different fields (e.g. between scientists/conservationists and visual media professionals).

There are many ways to engage online, for example by contributing to the community blog, participating in discussion and critique forum, or simply by enjoying original expert articles. The site also offers a member-editable directory of online resources on visual communication and sustainability, as well as an event calendar that highlights workshops, science and environmental film festivals, and photo competitions, professional meetings, grant proposal deadlines and more. There is a Professional Connections forum with a resource list of experts in visual communication.  Registration and all content is free.  www.sustainablefocus.org

NCSE new website: Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing World

In light of the United Nations declaring 2011-2020 the International Decade of Biodiversity, the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) launched a new website: Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing World.  The website brings together reports, presentations and background materials related to NCSE’s ongoing efforts to advance science and public understanding of the rapid and catastrophic loss of biodiversity and Life on Earth. Visit the site at: www.NCSEonline.org/biodiversity.  For more information, contact Dr. David Blockstein, David@NCSEonline.org or Lyle Birkey, lbirkey@NCSEonline.org.

Journey of the Universe links the cosmos and environmental responsibility

The Journey of the Universe project, a collaboration between Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Swimme, draws on the latest scientific knowledge to tell the story of cosmic and Earth evolution.  This project involves a website as well as a film, a book and an educational DVD series, which will be available later this year.  The goal is to inspire a new and closer relationship with Earth in a period of growing environmental and social crisis, evoking a profound sense of responsibility for the future of the Earth community amidst the growing challenge of environmental degradation.  Visit the project website here: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org.

Call for Papers, Partners, and Proposals

World Association for Sustainable Development: Call for Papers

The World Association for Sustainable Development (WASD) will hold their 9th International Conference 26-28 October 2011 in New Jersey, USA, on the theme of Sharing Knowledge Making a Difference: The Role of International Scientific Cooperation.  Deadline for abstract submissions is 30 March 2011, and deadline for papers is 30 April 2011.  For more information on the conference, visit: http://www.worldsustainable.org/index.php/theme.

Pre-Doctoral Fellowships in African Climate Change and Political Stability

The Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program at the LBJ School for Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin is offering three pre-doctoral fellowships to eligible doctoral students for the 2011-2012 academic year.  This program aims to stimulate the development of the next generation of researchers and thought leaders on the topic.  The deadline is 31 March 2011.  U.S. and international PhD students are encouraged to apply.  For details about the fellowship and the application guidelines, visit: http://ccaps.strausscenter.org/fellowship.

Upcoming Events

ICRAF/IUCN/PROFOR Landscape Investment Forum, 25-27 May 2011, Nairobi, Kenya

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), IUCN, the Program on Forests (PROFOR) and EcoAgriculture Partners are currently planning a conference to explore investment opportunities, constraints and solutions in landscape management.  The focus is on mobilizing private investment in tree and forest production and markets as part of strategies for economic development, improved livelihoods and restoration of ecosystem services in African landscapes.  International experts and commissioned papers promise cutting-edge knowledge sharing.  Stay tuned for details at: http://ww.profor.info/profor/events/investment-forum-mobilizing-private-investment-trees-and-landscape-restoration-africa.

E-Forum on Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agricultural Systems, NOW through 25 March 2011

FAO is hosting an online forum through the end of March with the aim of developing a set of international guidelines, based on existing practices, to further promote sustainability in the food chain.  This forum is part of the preparatory process for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio 2012).  FAO has prepared a concept note with draft indicators based on a review of corporate responsibility and sustainability reports, which it hopes will spur a lively and collaborative platform.  To learn more about the e-forum, register, and participate, please visit: http://www.fao.org/rio20/e-forum/en/.

Ecosystem Markets: Making Them Work conference, 28 June – 1 July 2011, Madison, Wisconsin

The 4th Annual Ecosystem Markets Conference brings together the world’s top thought and policy leaders to determine how to drive ecosystem service markets forward.  The conference is run in a World Café format to provide extensive opportunity for audience interaction with renowned experts and speakers.  The sponsors are World Resources Institute and the American Forest Foundation.  Details and registration will be available soon; for more information on last year’s conference, visit: http://www.forestfoundation.org/3rd_annual_eco_markets.html.
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.