January 2008: Vol.5 No.1
  EP Update   |   In the Scene   |    Resources   |   Call for Papers, Partners & Proposals   |   Upcoming Events

Table of Contents

ECOAGRICULTURE PARTNERS UPDATE:

  1. Testing Landscape Measures tools in East Africa
  2. Launch of the Community Knowledge Service in Sri Lanka, 14 December 2007
  3. Ecoagriculture Leadership Course for Mesoamerica convened in Costa Rica
  4. Ecoagriculture Partners Staff participate in Knowledge Management Workshop

IN THE SCENE:

  1. Ecoagriculture at the Science Forum of the CGIAR, Beijing, China
  2. Global Natural Resource Forum, Oaxaca City, Mexico
  3. Katoomba Group launches new website
  4. BBC-PRI’s “The World” addresses carbon and environmental services in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, Mexico
  5. Conference on Population, Health, and Environment: Integrated Development for East Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  6. 5th Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
  7. Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership participates in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 13, Bali, Indonesia

RESOURCES:

  1. BIO-City magazine publishes article about ecoagriculture
  2. Book: No-Till Farming Systems
  3. Online tools for practitioners: Population, Health, and Environment
  4. Report from IFPRI: World Food Situation 2007
  5. Working papers: collective action for small scale producers and marketing
  6. Book: Environmental Benefits of Conservation on Cropland - The Status of Our Knowledge
  7. Technical review: Fish and Wildlife Response to US Farm Bill Conservation Practices
  8. Report: Agriculture’s Role in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation
  9. Study: Opportunities for Avoided Deforestation with Sustainable Benefits
  10. Report: IPCC Assessment of Climate Change 2007
  11. FAO focuses on Payments for Ecosystem Services

CALL FOR PAPERS, PARTNERS, AND PROPOSALS:

  1. Call for proposals on biodiversity: BIODIVERSA (Eranet)
  2. Call for papers: Applying Ecological Economics for Social and Environmental Responsibility
  3. Call for applications: Fellowships in Sustainability Science, Center for International Development, Harvard University
  4. Launch of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development

UPCOMING EVENTS:

  1. Second international Conference on Health and Biodiversity (COHAB), Galway, Ireland, 25-29 February 2008
  2. Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program, University of California, Berkeley, United States, 27 June-19 July 2008
  3. Conference: Applying Ecological Economics for Social and Environmental Sustainability, Nairobi, Kenya, 7-11 August 2008
  4. International conference: Using Evaluation to Enhance the Rural Development Value of Agri-environmental Measures, Pärnu, Estonia, 17-19 June 2008

Events announced in previous newsletters can be found on our website at http://www.ecoagriculturepartners.org/events/other.htm

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Ecoagriculture Partners' Updates
  1. Testing Landscape Measures tools in East Africa

    In November 2007, Louise Buck, Coordinator of EP's Landscape Measures Initiative, and Cosmas Ochieng, EP's Policy and Markets Director for Africa, met with leaders of Kijabe Environmental Volunteers (KENVO) in Kenya and with members of the Uganda Ecoagriculture Working Group to field-test two landscape measurement tools. Some 25 residents of the Kijabe landscape northwest of Nairobi where KENVO is active participated in a day-long exercise in applying the Landscape Performance Scorecard (LPS) and the companion Institutional Performance Scorecard (IPS). The LPS creates insight into how a landscape is performing relative to a combination of conservation, production, and livelihood criteria, while the IPS indicates the strengths and weaknesses of organizational capacity for landscape level service delivery and natural resource management.

    The IPS data was analyzed and then discussed by KENVO. In Uganda, the EP team discussed findings from the Kijabe landscape exercises with members of the working group and considered ways of further enhancing the use of the tools. The field-testing demonstrated that the tools were engaging, user-friendly and potentially helpful in landscape planning and management. They are being incorporated into EP's web-based Landscape Measures Resource Center (LMRC), which will be available in February 2008 for prototype testing by other organizations.

    For more information contact Louise Buck at leb3@cornell.edu.


  2. Launch of the Community Knowledge Service in Sri Lanka, 14 December 2007

    In follow-up to the Community Knowledge Service's (CKS) Asia launch in October in Bangalore, preparations were immediately initiated to develop a national CKS process in Sri Lanka. As a first step, a one-day orientation workshop was hosted by Sri Lanka-based CKS partners on 14 December in Colombo. The workshop focused on national needs with respect to community-led documentation, assessment, and promotion of community knowledge in agriculture, health, natural resource management and livelihood related activities. The event engaged a broad range of Sri Lankan community leaders, representatives of national ministries, and agencies, including United Nations Development Programme and the Biodiversity Secretariat of Sri Lanka's Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources, as well as capturing the attention of Sri Lanka's national press. Following the workshop, a ceremonial lighting of the lamp formally launched CKS Sri Lanka. Next steps include the first Strategic Planning Meeting of the CKS Sri Lanka National Steering Committee, to be hosted by the Rush and Reed Conservation and Diversification initiative in Horana on 5-6 January.

    See this video clip from a Sri Lankan news service that covered the event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr-M-92-0PI.


  3. Ecoagriculture Leadership Course for Mesoamerica convened in Costa Rica

    Ecoagriculture Partners co-organized this leadership course for Ecoagriculture on Strengthening the Capacity of Participatory Landscape Planning in Central America (Liderazgo para el Desarrollo de la Ecoagricultura: Gestion Integrada de Territorios Rurales en Centroamerica) in Boca Arenal, San Carlos, Costa Rica, from 8–19 November 2007. The course was sponsored by the Interamerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Ecoagriculture Partners, the Center for Sustainable Resource Development at UC Berkeley, the World Agrofestry Center, the Ministry of Agriculture in Costa Rica, the Center for Tropical Agriculture Research and the Training and the National University of Costa Rica. There were 28 participants from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico. They were representatives of farmer organizations, applied research and training institutions, local and regional government agencies, international NGOs, and marketing associations.

    The course contributed a unique perspective by integrating three basic and related concepts and skills: leadership, ecoagriculture, and territorial development. Four case studies were presented by course participants: corporate/small-scale pineapple development in Northern Costa Rica; organic cacao and indigenous women's organizations in Talamanca, Costa Rica; trinational territorial development in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala (Trifinio); and silvopastoral landscapes and payments for ecosystem services in Matiguas, Nicaragua. The last module of the course, Policy and Markets, featured guest speakers on fair trade, payments for ecosystem services, the Costa Rican Organic Movement, and tools/strategies for influencing policy at all levels. A fund has been established to support course participants to pursue inter-institutional innovative initiatives in participatory landscape/territorial development.

    For more information see: http://www.ecoagriculturepartners.org/other/announcement.php?id=47
    or contact Robin Marsh, director of the EP Leadership Development Program, at rmarsh@nature.berkeley.edu or Byron Miranda from IICA at byron.miranda@iica.ac.cr.

    for further information.


  4. Ecoagriculture Partners Staff participate in Knowledge Management Workshop

    Ecoagriculture Partners staff participated in a Knowledge Management Workshop from the 17-18 of December in Ballston, Virginia, USA. Knowledge developmet and management is an essential part of Ecoagriculture Partners' programs, both in interacting with our partners and stakeholders as well as managing integration across projects.

    The knowledge management workshop was facilitated by Maura Fulton of Training Resources Group and enriched by the input of several outside experts, including Anthony Cavalieri (formerly of The Nature Conservancy), Ellen Look, Byron Miranda of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture Elissa Perry of Leadership Learning Communities, Paul Treadwell of Cornell University, and Steve Waddell of Global Action Network Net.


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In the Scene
  1. Ecoagriculture at the Science Forum of the CGIAR, Beijing, China

    Jeffrey A. McNeely, the Chief Scientist of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and Board Chair of Ecoagriculture Partners spoke about ecoagriculture at the Science Forum on “Harnessing Advances in Science for Sustainable Agriculture” sponsored by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The forum was held on 4 December 2007 in Beijing, China. Jeffrey was the keynote speaker in the session on agroecology moderated by Dennis Garrity, Director General of the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi. His presentation focused on the design of agricultural production systems, landscape management, and institutions to support Ecoagriculture landscapes. He concluded by identifying the knowledge gaps that could be addressed by the CGIAR, such as developing a better understanding of the relationship between agricultural diversity and ecosystem services, relating below-ground biodiversity with that above ground, assessing the benefits and costs of landscape diversification of vegetative cover, analyzing market impacts on biodiversity and enhancing effectiveness and adaptability of certification systems. Bernard Hubert from Agricultural Research for Developing Countries and Richard Thomas, Senior Scientist from the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, provided commentary after the presentation.


  2. Global Natural Resource Forum, Oaxaca City, Mexico

    The Global Natural Resource Forum for senior leadership was held from the 3-7 December 2007 in Oaxaca, Mexico. Organized by the International Programs Office of the US Forest Service in partnership (USFS)with Forest Trends and the Training Resource Group, the forum framed the current US situation in respect to natural resource management in a worldwide context increasingly dominated by institutional investment, community ownership of natural resources, the increase of plantation agroforestry, and emerging markets for environmental services. There were 34 participants, drawn primarily from the USFS, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and other agencies. Participants were involved in cross cultural learning through the web and community agriculture related visits as well as a trip to Oacaca's famous ethnobotanical garden.

    The forum explored many of the most critical common issues in agriculture and forest management worldwide, including:


    • The tradeoffs between production and protection of productive land
    • The evolving role of agriculture and forest dependant communities in sustainable natural resource managementThe dynamics and tradeoffs of government versus public involvement in decision making
    • The implications of the radical restructuring of many national agriculture and forest institutions worldwide
    • Payments for ecosystem services

    Sara J. Scherr and Louise Buck of Ecoagriculture Partners participated as resource persons for ecoagriculture. For more information see: http://www.fs.fed.us/global/forum/.


  3. Katoomba Group launches new website

    The Katoomba Group, a network of individuals working to promote the use and improve capacity for developing payments for ecosystem services (PES) deals, has launched a new website to reflect the new regional working structure of the Group. It is a much more interactive space intended to connect group members with others working on markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES), share and build ideas together via a Discussion Forum and Regional Initiatives, seek help from others in developing PES deals and agreements by searching partner profiles, make available individual expertise in PES to others and further disseminate information and tools.

    The site hosts portals for each regional group. For the Tropical America Katoomba Group, there is also a discussion space. If you are interested in having a hosted discussion on a particular topic with colleagues in the Katoomba Group, write to TA-Katoomba@forest-trends.org with a brief description of the idea and specific outputs you seek. To join the network or participate in a Rapid Response Mechanism for members which puts your expertise to work helping other Katoomba Group partner’s projects, visit http://www.katoombagroup.org/.


  4. BBC-PRI’s “The World” addresses carbon and environmental services in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

    In this radio newscast from the British Broadcasting Corperation, Public Radio International (available online), The World's Jason Margolis reports on the Sierra Gorda Biosphere in central Mexico. The biosphere was set up with the goal of preserving the forests that local farmers were cutting down for sale as timber. Now the biosphere's leaders are hoping Americans will pay to encourage local farmers to leave their trees standing, as part of a carbon offset program.

    The program is available at: http://www.theworld.org/?q=node/14559 under the titles “Sierra Gorda I: An Environmentally Connected World” and “Sierra Gorda II: Keeping Jobs in Mexico.”


  5. Conference on Population, Health, and Environment: Integrated Development for East Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Field practitioners, policymakers, researchers, the media, community leaders, and advocates from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and other countries around the world met for discussions on population, health, and environment initiatives, and to explore strategies and opportunities for advancing population-health-environment integration in East Africa from 14–16 November 2007. The population-health-environment (PHE) approach to development recognizes the interconnectedness between people and their environment, and supports multisectoral collaboration and coordination. underlying philosophy is fundamentally one of integration. The underlying philosophy can accommodate other sectors and be successfully applied to achieve a range of development goals, from poverty reduction to food security to gender equity.

    Outputs from the conference included the release of PHE country level assessments for Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. Assessment teams for Rwanda and Uganda were formed to undertake similar studies in 2008. Participants also launched a regional network of PHE experts, journalists, decisionmakers, and advocates in East Africa. Louise Buck of Ecoagriculture Partners gave a kenote address on ‘An ecoagriculture landscape perspective on integrative programming: applications and implications in East Africa.’

    For more information see:
    http://shrinkurl.us/wtE.


  6. 5th Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia

    The 5th Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil, titled "Promoting the growth, trade in and use of sustainable palm oil"
    was held from 20-22 November 2007 in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. The objective of the roundtable was to develop, implement, and verify credible standards for sustainable palm oil production and engagement of stakeholders along the supply chain to achieve this aim. Attendees included oil palm growers, processors and traders, retailers, investors, NGOs, research and development organizations, and government agencies.

    The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil is one of the industry initiatives that support the Biodiversity in Agricultural Commodities Program (BACP) of the International Finance Corporation. Ecoagriculture Partners is managing the monitoring and evaluation component within the BACP. Thomas Oberthur, the Ecoagriculture Partners Director of Markets, attended the 5th RSPO and is working with both the BACP and the RSPO to address the challenges of ongoing management, generating new business opportunities, and developing industry expertise in biodiversity within the sustainable palm oil industry.

    For more information on the RSPO see: http://www.rspo.org/.


  7. Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership participates in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 13, Bali, Indonesia

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties from 3–14 December 2007 was a pivotal step for those working on climate change and forestry, and in particular for the Alternatives to Slash and Burn (ASB) Partnership. Highlights for the ASB Partnership were the first ever Forest Day, organized by the Center for International Forestry Research and the Collaborative Partnership for Forests and attended by over 700 people in Bali, Indonesia. For more information on Forest Day see http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/. The ASB Global Steering Group also agreed at the conference that they would frame most of their work around climate change for the next three years. For the schedule and outputs of the conference, see: http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_13/items/4049.php.

    Many influential figures – such as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Al Gore, and representatives of the World Bank – who spoke at the conference mentioned the importance of reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries. Participants approved a resolution to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). Considerable skepticism and concern remain, however, in terms of the ability of the program to deal with problems of corruption and disenfranchisement of the poor.

    For more information see the MongaBay’s coverage of REDD at http://news.mongabay.com/2007/1215-redd.html.


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Resources

  1. BIO-City magazine publishes article about ecoagriculture

    BIO-City, a Japanese publication subtitled “The Magazine for a Sustainable Future” recently published an article on ecoagriculture by Sara Scherr and Seth Shames in issue No. 38. The article, titled “Ecoagriculture: Reconciling Biodiversity and Rural Development” argues that ecoagriculture is urgently needed at a time when most of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their survival. While land conversion to agriculture is one of the most important drivers of habitat loss around the world, many rural people are driven to use their resource base unsustainably through a cycle of ecological poverty driven by resource pollution, an increasing population and a lack of better options. Through landscape scale planning which emphasizes the livelihoods of the rural poor along with the goals of biodiversity conservation and agricultural production, landscape managers can promote the synergies which result in “win-win” ecoagriculture scenarios and minimize conflicts.

    The authors suggest six basic strategies of resource management, three of which focus on the agricultural part of the landscape and three of which focus on the conservation areas. They also discuss a set of case summaries including transboundary co-management in Costa Rica and Panama, indigenous honeybee conservation in the Hindu Kush Himalayas and community water harvesting in Rajasthan, India. Issue No. 38 of BIO-City also features an interview with Jeffrey McNeely, Chief Scientist of IUCN and a board member of Ecoagriculture Partners, exploring the concept of ecoagriculture. Bio-City has a circulation of about 3000.

    To download the full text, available only in Japanese, see: www.biocity.co.jp/05Backnumber/no.38contents.htm.


  2. Book: No-Till Farming Systems

    The World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWC) has released a special publication, edited by T. Goddard, M. Zoebisch, Y. Gan, W. Ellis, A. Watson and S. Sombatpanit, which addresses no-tillage farming. No tillage farming has been shown to substantially reduce dependence on fossil fuels, farm expenses, CO2 emissions, soil erosion and forest encroachment and can greatly enhance biodiversity.

    Thirty-four contributions from authors around the world provide a comprehensive review of the rapid growth of no-till, the barriers that have been overcome and the challenges still lie ahead. Chapters cover current research and new directions as well as policy needs, adoption and extension. Chapters have been divided into 5 parts: Introduction; No-Tillage and Soil Fertility; Impact, Adoption, Policy and Future Prospects; Research, Development and Implementation; Conclusion. Five other new books on the topic are also reviewed.

    For more information, see the WASWC homepage at www.waswc.org/ or contact Samran Sombatpanit, WASWC Immediate Past President, at sombatpanit@yahoo.com.


  3. Online tools for practitioners: Population, Health, and Environment

    The United States Agency for International Development's Office of Population and Reproductive Health is launching four new on-line tools to help practitioners better understand how to design and implement successful community-based development programs that link interventions in population, health, and environment (PHE). PHE programs can play an important role in areas where demographic trends such as growth and migration place pressure on the environment; where degraded natural resources impact the health and livelihoods of local communities; and where a lack of effective health services, including reproductive health, threaten long-term prospects for sustainable development

    1. Population, Health and Environment Basics – An E-Learning Course
    In this free on-line course, which takes approximately 2.5 hours, you will explore the ways in which population, health, and the environment interact in people's lives: See: www.globalhealthlearning.org/.

    2. The Population, Health and Environment Website
    This website contains a description of current PHE initiatives and a clearinghouse of PHE specific documents, publications, and tools from projects from around the world.
    See: www.ehproject.org/phe/phe.html

    3. A Programming Manual: Integrating Population, Health and Environment Projects
    This manual outlines a strategic planning, multi-disciplinary approach to achieve environmentally-sustainable development in situations of surging population growth, declining biodiversity, and chronic poverty using evidence from programs in Madagascar, the Philippines, and other countries where integrated approaches to development have been explored and brought to scale over the past decade.
    Download a PDF of the guide at http://www.ehproject.org/PDF/phe/phe-usaid_programming_manual2007.pdf.

    4. A Guide for Monitoring and Evaluating Population, Health and Environment Programs
    MEASURE Evaluation’s PHE guide provides a series of evidence-based indicators for measuring progress and promoting evaluation of PHE programs in the field. The guide is available for download at www.cpc.unc.edu/measure/publications/index.php and will be available in hard-copy January 2008.


  4. Report from IFPRI: World Food Situation 2007

    The International Food Policy Research Institute has released its 2007 report on the World Food Situation. The main findings of the update are:


    • Strong economic growth in developing countries is a main driver of a changing world food demand toward high-value agricultural products and processed foods.
    • Slow-growing supply, low stocks, and supply shocks at a time of surging demand for feed, food, and fuel have led to drastic price increases, and these high prices do not appear likely to fall soon.
    • Biofuel production has contributed to the changing world food equation and currently adversely affects the poor through price-level and price-volatility effects.
    • Many small farmers would like to take advantage of the new income-generating opportunities presented by high-value products (meat, milk, vegetables, fruits, flowers). There are, however, high barriers to market entry. Therefore, improved capacity is needed to address safety and quality standards as well as the large scales required by food processors and retailers.
    • Poor households that are net sellers of food benefit from higher prices, but these are few. Households that are net buyers lose, and they represent the large majority of the poor.
    • A number of countries—including countries in Africa—have made good progress in reducing hunger and child malnutrition. But many of the poorest and hungry are still being left behind despite policies that aim to cut poverty and hunger in half by 2015 under the Millennium Development Goals.
    • Higher food prices will cause the poor to shift to even less-balanced diets, with adverse impacts on health in the short and long run.

    To read the full text, see: www.ifpri.org/pubs/agm07/jvbagm2007.asp.


  5. Working papers: collective action for small scale producers and marketing

    The CGIAR Systemwide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights has recently released a series of working papers dealing with small scale producers and agricultural marketing. Titles in the series are as follows:


    • CAPRi Working Paper No. 72: Farmer Groups Enterprises and the Marketing of Staple Food Commodities in Africa by Jonathan Coulter at http://www.capri.cgiar.org/wp/capriwp72.asp
    • CAPRi Working Paper No. 71: Collective Action for Small-Scale Producers of Agricultural Biodiversity Products by Froukje Kruijssen, Menno Keizer, and Alessandra Giuliani at http://www.capri.cgiar.org/wp/capriwp71.asp
    • CAPRi Working Paper No. 70: The Role of Public-Private Partnerships and Collective Action in Ensuring Smallholder Participation in High Value Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chains by Clare Narrod, Devesh Roy, Julius Okello, Belem Avendaño, Karl Rich at http://www.capri.cgiar.org/wp/capriwp70.asp
    • CAPRi Working Paper No 69: Collective Action and Marketing of Underutilized Plant Species: The Case of Minor Millets in Kolli Hills, Tamil Nadu, India by Guillaume P. Gruère, Latha Nagarajan, and E.D.I. Oliver King, www.capri.cgiar.org/wp/capriwp69.asp
    .
    For more information on CAPRi see: www.capri.cgiar.org/.


  6. Book: Environmental Benefits of Conservation on Cropland - The Status of Our Knowledge

    The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) recently released "Environmental Benefits of Conservation on Cropland: The Status of Our Knowledge" edited by Max Schnepf and Craig Cox. This book explores current knowledge about cropland conservation and includes chapters by leading experts on soil management, water management, nutrient management, pest management, and landscape management practices. It addresses the environmental effects of conservation practices related to water quality, soil quality, water conservation, and air quality and provides guidance for conservationists who provide technical assistance to farmers. It offers important input for policymakers, especially with regard to Farm Bill policy. Finally, it presents the scientific foundation for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), outlines a framework for future research, and serves as an educational reference and sourcebook.

    The book is available from the SWCS store at store.swcs.org/.


  7. Technical review: Fish and Wildlife Response to US Farm Bill Conservation Practices

    This paper presents a literature review of commonly applied cropland soil and water conservation practices in the US and their impact on fish and wildlife habitat. The authors report that agriculture has had the most extensive effect on wildlife habitat of any human-induced factor in the United States. Any practice that improves runoff water quality and/or reduces sediment delivery will have beneficial effects to aquatic ecosystems. Many soil and water conservation practices have additional benefits to wildlife when applied in a habitat-friendly manner, but may have little or no benefit when used otherwise. Lastly, wildlife and agriculture can coexist if land is managed to conserve sufficient biological integrity in the form of plant communities and habitat elements compatible with the surrounding landscape.

    For more information and to download the full report see: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/full_report.pdf.


  8. Report: Agriculture’s Role in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

    The Pew Center on Global Climate Change recently released this publication by Keith Paustian, John M. Antle, John Sheehan, and Eldor A. Paul. In the report, the authors make the case for "suitable payments" to encourage farmers to adopt new management practices to store carbon in agricultural soils and reduce agricultural emissions of methane and nitrous oxide. Policy incentives also are needed to reduce the costs of producing biofuels and accelerate key technologies. The report notes that climate mitigation could potentially become a source of new income and cost reductions for farmers. However, access to financing, changes in economic conditions, technologies, and policies will be key factors that will affect farmers’ willingness to play a part in climate solutions.

    For the executive summery, press release, and to download the complete report see: www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-in-depth/all_reports/agriculture_s_role_mitigation.


  9. Study: Opportunities for Avoided Deforestation with Sustainable Benefits

    The Alternatives to Slash and Burn partnership (ASB) launched the publication of "Opportunities for Avoided Deforestation with Sustainable Benefits" at a side event during Forest Day at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia. The study, produced by an international consortium of researchers, compared the financial gains generated by deforestation over the last 10 to 20 years in areas of Southeast Asia, Central Africa, and the Amazon Basin—most of it driven by a desire for farm land or timber—to the amount of carbon that was released by the destruction.

    To download the complete PDF see: http://www.asb.cgiar.org/PDFwebdocs/Report-on-Opportunities-for-Avoided-Deforestation-Sustainable-Benefits-web-low.pdf


  10. Report: IPCC Assessment of Climate Change 2007

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its fourth annual report on climate change at COP13 in Bali, Indonesia. In relation to agriculture, the authors suggest the following practices to mitigate the effects of climate change in the medium to short term: Improved crop and grazing land management to increase soil carbon storage; restoration of cultivated peaty soils and degraded lands; improved rice cultivation techniques and livestock and manure management to reduce CH4 emissions; improved nitrogen fertilizer application techniques to reduce N2O emissions; dedicated energy crops to replace fossil fuel use and improved energy efficiency. The report is released in four distinct sections:


    • Working Group I Report: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis
    • Working Group II Report: Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
    • Working Group III Report: Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change
    • The Synthesis Report

    For each section, the IPCC will release the main report and a summary version, known as the Summary for Policymakers. The full report is available at: http://www.ipcc.ch/#.


  11. FAO focuses on Payments for Ecosystem Services

    The Food and Agriculture Organization recently released its annual report, which focuses on payments for ecosystem services worldwide. The report says that carefully targeted payments to farmers could serve as an approach to protect the environment and address growing concerns about climate change, biodiversity loss, and water supply. The authors caution, however, that payments for environmental services are not the best solution in all situations, and that there are still significant challenges to implementation. Hundreds of payment programs for environmental services are currently being implemented around the world, mainly as part of forest conservation initiatives, but relatively few of them have targeted farmers and agricultural lands in developing countries. Ecoagriculture Partners contributed to the analysis for the report.

    To download the report or order a hard copy see: http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2007/1000698/index.html.


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Call for Papers, Partners, and Proposals
  1. Call for proposals on biodiversity: BIODIVERSA (Eranet)

    The European partners in the BiodivERsA network have joined efforts to organize and fund a pan-European call for international research projects on biodiversity linking scientific advancement to policy and practice. The call is open to research on all ecosystems and organisms addressing at least one of three thematic areas: Global change and biodiversity dynamics, Ecosystem functioning, and Ecosystem services. Both science and policy aspects must be addressed within the proposal. Biodiversa is an ERA-net (European Research Area) project where 19 European research funding agencies seek best practice as a basis for cooperation in order to strengthen European research.
    The call is open for proposals for international scientific research projects that:


    • link scientific advancement to challenges in biodiversity policy and conservation management;
    • generate new knowledge and insights with the eventual goal of use in policy and management;
    • and generate added value to national research projects across Europe by linking expertise and efforts across national teams.

    Applicants are required to contact the national contact persons (NCP) to obtain the general requirements of national organizations participating in the call, (with regard to eligibility of research groups, eligible costs, and other country-specific aspects of the call). Bioversity International can help identify the NCP if anyone intends to submit a proposal. The deadline for submissions is 3 March 2008.

    For more information see: www.eurobiodiversa.org/.


  2. Call for papers: Applying Ecological Economics for Social and Environmental Responsibility

    The International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) is calling for papers to be presented at the conference 'Applying Ecological Economics for Social and Environmental Responsibility" in Nairobi, Kenya from 7-11 August 2008. Papers should correspond to the following six themes:


    • Ecosystem Services and Climate Change
    • Ecological Economics for Development strategies
    • Evolution, Innovation, and Transitions
    • Alternative Institutions and Perspectives
    • Agroecology, Conservation and Resource Management
    • Analytical Tools and Decision Processes

    Expanded abstracts must be submitted by 31 March 2008 through the conference website, in Word or PDF format. Abstracts should include: paper title, thematic area, author, institutional affiliation, country of origin, e-mail and an abstract from 500 to 1000 words, including conceptual and methodological approach and a summary of results and implications for ecological economics. On acceptance, to be announced by 30 April 2008, full papers must be submitted by 15 June 2008 to be included in the conference proceedings.

    For further information and abstract submission, visit the ISEE website at www.ecoeco.org or send an e-mail to secretariat@ecoeco.org.


  3. Call for applications: Fellowships in Sustainability Science, Center for International Development, Harvard University

    The Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University’s Center for International Development is inviting applications for resident fellowships in sustainability science for the University’s academic year beginning in September 2008. The fellowship competition is open to advanced doctoral and post-doctoral students, and to professionals engaged in the practice of harnessing science and technology to promote sustainable development. Applicants should describe how their work would contribute to "sustainability science," the emerging field of use-inspired research seeking understanding of the interactions between human and environmental systems as well as the application of such knowledge to sustainability challenges relating to advancing development of agriculture, habitation, energy and materials, health, and water while conserving the earth’s life support systems. This year some preference will be given to applicants who address the challenges related to meeting human needs for water in the context of sustainable development.

    In addition to general funds available to support this fellowship offering, special funding for the Giorgio Ruffolo Fellowships in Sustainability Science is available to support citizens of Italy or developing countries who are therefore especially encouraged to apply.

    For more information on the fellowships application process, see http://www.cid.harvard.edu/sustsci/grants/fellows/08ellows_RFP.htm.

    The due date for applications is 1 February 2008.


  4. Launch of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development

    The Gender and Diversity program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research has launched a new program to fast-track the careers of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). The program is being funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation for US $13 million over 4 years. It will directly benefit 360 women in agricultural research and development along with some 40 institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. Another 580 women and men will benefit through AWARD’s mentoring activities. Participating countries will include Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

    The first round of AWARD Fellowships is expected to be announced in June 2008.

    For more information see: AWARD Press Release: www.genderdiversity.cgiar.org/resource/AWARDPressRelease.doc.
    AWARD Factsheet: www.genderdiversity.cgiar.org/resource/AWARDFactsheet.pdf.


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Upcoming Events
  1. Second international Conference on Health and Biodiversity (COHAB), Galway, Ireland, 25-29 February 2008

    This conference will aim to advance dialogue and collaboration across sectors on issues linking biodiversity with human health and well-being, and highlight practical cross-sectoral and holistic approaches to addressing the issues. The second International Conference on Health and Biodiversity (COHAB 2) will review research and action on the links between health and biodiversity since the first COHAB conference in 2005, and highlight relevant developments in international and regional policies on biodiversity, public health and the Millennium Development Goals. The conference will mix broad discussions with presentations of individual case studies, highlighting examples where ecosystem approaches have been taken to address community health and welfare needs. Participants will help produce a series of evidence-based reports on key issues, for consideration at subsequent multilateral meetings on the environment, health, and development.

    For more information including a detailed agenda, resources, registration, partners, and logistics, see: www.cohabnet.org/cohab2008. Registration will close on 8 February 2008.


  2. Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program, University of California, Berkeley, United States, 27 June-19 July 2008

    The Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) links the complex local and global environmental challenges of practitioners and decision-makers around the world with interdisciplinary perspectives in environmental and natural resource science, policy and leadership at U.C. Berkeley. The core component of the ELP is an annual three-week summer course in Sustainable Environmental Management held on the Berkeley campus. Course graduates become members of the Berkeley ELP Alumni Network that supports on-going learning, peer exchange, and collaborative research and policy projects through the Small Grants Initiative.

    A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Application review begins January 1 and applications must be received no later than 1 February 2008. Please contact Program Representative, Leslie Correll, or Program Co-directors, Robin Marsh and David Zilberman, for more information at BeahrsELP@nature.berkeley.edu.

    For more information and an application see: nature.berkeley.edu/BeahrsELP.


  3. Conference: Applying Ecological Economics for Social and Environmental Sustainability, Nairobi, Kenya, 7-11 August 2008

    The International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) is co-hosting its 10th Biennial Conference, along with African Society for Ecological Economics and the United Nations Environment Program. The conference will highlight the vision, methods, and policy adjustments needed to enable ecological economics principles be applied to the design and management of environmentally and socially sustainable development processes in the face of increasing global change and interdependence. More information about the conference will follow on the conference’s official website.

    For more information, see: www.ecoeco.org/.


  4. International conference: Using Evaluation to Enhance the Rural Development Value of Agri-environmental Measures, Pärnu, Estonia, 17-19 June 2008

    The aim of this conference is to bring together a range of stakeholders with an active interest in the evaluation of agri-environment measures, including governmental officials and independent evaluators and experts. The conference will be jointly organized by Estonia (Agricultural Research Centre, the Ministry of Agriculture) and Finland (the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Environment, University of Helsinki).

    The objectives of the conference will be to improve understanding of the linkages between rural policies, farm practices and environmental outcomes; review and analyze the tools and methods available for the evaluation of agri-environment measures; and to identify those evaluation tools most useful for improving the integration of biodiversity conservation into agri-environment measures, particularly for the support of High Nature Value farming systems in the context of the 2007-2013 programming period.

    Participants are invited to pre-register and to submit a presentation or workshop proposal addressing any of the themes of the conference at the conference website: pmk.agri.ee/conference or by e-mail atconference@pmk.agri.ee. The call for pre-registrations, presentation, and workshop proposals closes 1 February 2008. The detailed program will be available soon after and call for registrations opens in March 2008.


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