Agroforestry boosts rice and biodiversity in India

first_imgAgroforestry is an ancient agricultural method covering 1 billion hectares globally; it combines trees and woody shrubs with crops to increase food security, mitigate the effects of climate change, and boost biodiversity.India has set a goal to increase its tree cover from the present 24 percent to 33 percent of its total area, primarily by promoting agroforestry in croplands.In West Bengal, the adoption of useful trees into paddy fields has boosted crop yields and crop diversity, and has also sparked a movement that champions organic cultivation methods.Agroforestry has been hailed as one of the top solutions to climate change because it sequesters much carbon dioxide above and below the soil surface. WEST BENGAL, India — For the tough, weather-beaten farmers in the rural heartland of West Bengal, agroforestry is an age-old tradition that even finds mention in their folklore.In the remote village of Bhattadighi, a group of women farmers observes a unique ritual, known as Paakh Pakhali or “welcoming birds,” in which they fill an earthen urn with water and top it with mango leaves and green coconut. Placed under a freshly planted neem tree sapling, it symbolizes the goddess of farming, Bhumi Lakshmi, whose mythical mount is a barn owl. The holy site is adorned with facsimiles of owls, painted storks, herons, egrets and other birds, all painted on white terracotta plates.Villagers adorn a sacred site with terra cotta birds beneath a freshly planted neem tree, beckoning them to the fields. Photo by Sudipto Mukherjee.“Our paddy plants are set to bloom within the next few days. We pray to the Goddess not just for a bountiful harvest, but also to send many owls and birds [to] our fields, to eat away the insects and rats,” says Malati Burman.The neem tree (Azadirachta indica) is also revered by the farmers during the festival for its strong pest-repellant properties. “The bitter leaves of the plant are added to our locally prepared insecticide and its branches are perfect for birds,” Burman says.For the farmers of this village within the Raiganj block of North Dinajpur district, paddy cultivation is not about modern industrialized monoculture farming, but developing multi-crop diversity. Here, miles of tender rice plant seedlings stretch out amid a maze of sprawling trees, shrubs and vines that conjure the appearance of a forest: Dhaan Bagan, or paddy garden, as locals call it.But the trees aren’t there just as scenic dressing. “With forest covers dwindling and giving way to agricultural lands, such landscapes can largely compensate for environmental loss and mitigate climate change impacts,” says Om Prakash Chaturvedi, director of the Central Agroforestry Research Institute. Trees also help retain moisture in the soil and put a check on erosion from storms and gales, he says.Paddy ponds surrounded by trees in Ramchandrapur village of South Dinajpur. Photo by Moushumi Basu for Mongabay.India has set a high target for increasing its tree cover from the present 24 percent to 33 percent of its total area, primarily by promoting agroforestry in croplands, says Chaturvedi. Some 174,500 square kilometers (67,375 square miles) of land in India is cultivated through agroforestry, according to the latest remote sensing data from the Central Agroforestry Research Institute. In West Bengal alone, agroforestry is practiced across 1,800 square kilometers (695 square miles) of the state, according to Pratap Kumar Dhara of the Bidhan Chandra Agricultural University.The benefits of agroforestry are widely acknowledged, including by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In its manual “Agroforestry in rice-production landscapes in Southeast Asia” (pdf) it states: “Integrating trees into rice-production landscapes [helps] reduce temperatures and improve infiltration of water into the soil, store more carbon and diversify farm production, which lowers both climate and market risks. This adds up to greater adaptability and resilience not only for individual farmers and communities but also their environments.”Boon for biodiversityBiodiversity also flourishes in these diverse croplands. In West Bengal in October, golden yellow butterflies could be seen, while a fork-tailed black drongo bird (Dicrurus macrocercus) made its presence felt with raucous calls from atop miniature scaffolds supporting gourd vines. Nearby, egrets strutted around the watery fields, occasionally popping their heads in and out of the paddy seedlings, the young rice plants that haven’t sprouted grain yet, as a group of black-and-white myna birds hopped merrily on Sesbania pea plants.Edging the fields were trees like papaya, mango and banana, which provide nesting sites for migratory avian guests from the nearby Kulik Bird Sanctuary — Asian openbill storks (Anastomus oscitans), cormorants, herons and egrets, which also forage in the ponds.Black drongo perched on dried Sesbania pea plant above paddy. Photo courtesy of Chinmoy Das.“Birds, insects and butterflies seem to love our fields as there is no trace of chemical fertilizers or pesticides in them. Our paddy is of indigenous, folk variety,” says Chinmoy Das, a farmer from Hatia village in North Dinajpur. The trees and shrubs planted in and around the fields form an essential ecosystem developed with the right mix of multi-utility plants that also provide excellent perches for predatory birds, Das says.“Our paddy ecosystem harbors varied birds such as kingfishers, storks, little green bee-eaters [Merops orientalis] and insects [such] as spiders, dragonfly and damselfly, which control grain-eating pests and aphids,” says Shourin Chatterjee, from Abhirampur village in Bardhaman district.Ancient rice varietiesLike Das, more than 1,000 farmers from across 11 districts of West Bengal have taken to organic cultivation of folk rice varieties (FRVs), spread over more than 1,180 square kilometers (456 square miles) of land, says Anupam Paul, director of the Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) at the West Bengal Agriculture Department. Unlike modern, high-yielding varieties of rice, FRVs can to a great extent withstand weather aberrations due to climate change, while also cutting down on costs. Paul has helped revive more than 420 indigenous varieties of rice from the brink of extinction, with nearly 300 varieties of FRVs now grown by farmers across the state. These include 40 strains of aromatic and red rice each, 25 kinds of fine paddy, 10 high-yielding indigenous types, and 12 deep-water paddy varieties, among others.“The success story of folk rice cultivation is, however, incomplete without our agroforestry practices,” says Das, noting the importance of having a tiered system of planting with trees that block winds while letting sunshine through to the paddy seedlings.Banana forms a windbreak for vegetables and paddy. Photo courtesy of Chinmoy Das.On his 5.7 hectares (14 acres) of land in Hatia village, Das displayed his four-tiered “paddy forests.” The first level includes pulses (peas, beans or lentils), carrots, potatoes, various kinds of spinach, tomatoes, onions and garlic, all of which grow to a maximum height of 60 centimeters (2 feet). The second tier includes bay leaf, turmeric, ginger, eggplant, mustard and vining vegetables that reach a maximum height of 1.5 meters (5 feet). The next step has taller plants growing above 1.8 meters (6 feet), such as Sesbania peas, maize, bamboo, bananas, papayas and sugarcane.Towering timber trees like mahogany and teak grow beside older mango, jackfruit, neem, drumstick (Moringa oleifera) and full-grown bamboo, making up the fourth tier. Das says such plantings are ideally grown on the western and northern side of croplands because hot and dry afternoon winds from the west reduce soil moisture and increase the rate of evapotranspiration from the plants. “Our plantings, while obstructing such winds, enable the paddy to enjoy ample sunshine for its growth,” he says.Other plants are interspersed among the paddy seedlings, says Gaurav Mandal, a farmer from Bamongola village in Malda district. Shrubs and vegetable-bearing vines on his 1.5 hectares (3.6 acres) are perched on mini scaffolds between rows of paddy. These scaffolds, initially erected with dry bamboo, are gradually replaced with grafts of such multi-utility trees as agati (Sesbania grandiflora) and betel nut (Areca catechu). This way, vegetable vines are then supported on the growing trees’ trunks.Fertilizers au naturelTo achieve a sustainable rice yield, local farmers make their own organic fertilizers. Madanmohan Aich, from Dewanhat village in Cooch Behar district, recounts the recipe for his liquid organic manure: soil, preferably from his agroforest; leaves from at least five pest-repellant plants he grows, such as custard apple (Annona reticulata) and neem; plus cow manure and more. Leguminous plants as Sesbania peas, pulses and azolla are thrown in to maintain the natural health of the soil.Madanmohan Aich displays maize amid climbing vegetables in his agroforestry plot. Photo courtesy of Rajat Chatterjee.Sesbania seedlings are planted at a regular distance of 60 to 90 centimeters (2 to 3 feet) from each other across the field, and 30 to 45 centimeters (1 to 1.5 feet) away from paddy seedlings. They can withstand waterlogged soil, growing rapidly, and their leaves form an excellent green compost that enriches the soil. They also serve as a “catch crop” whose bright yellow flowers attract insect pests away from the paddy plants.Quick stick (Gliricidia sepium) is another effective nitrogen-fixing tree grown here. Pest-repellant trees such as Chinese chastetree (Vitex negundo) and neem are also a part of Aich’s paddy forest. Banana trees, meanwhile, help enrich the soil with their succulent stem parts and fruit peels.A treasure trove of usesThese multi-layered agroforests are storehouses of many varieties of fruit and vegetable that can be sold. Chinmoy Das says he grows at least 36 types of brinjal eggplant along the edge of his paddy field, as well as eight types of okra and more than six varieties of pulses and even cherries. All of these provide food security and nutrition for his family, with the surplus sold at the market to supplement their income.Many of the trees grown in these agroforests provide firewood, livestock fodder and timber. Lumber from the rain tree (Albizia saman), for example, is used as a substitute for more expensive woods for building and household purposes.Betel nut forms mustard field boundary. Photo by Moushumi Basu for Mongabay.The bounty grown here also has medicinal benefits. The leaves of Sesbania, rubbed on a fresh wound, help clot blood, says Shantirani Burman, a farmer from Hatia village. Water clover (Marsilea quadrifolia), which abounds in the fields, is not only tasty and rich in beta-carotene, calcium, iron and phosphorus, but is also used to treat bone disorders, eye ailments, anemia and more, Burman says. Kadam (Neolamarckia cadamba) leaves provide snakebite anti-venom and are also useful for treating worms. Both of these latter ailments are common in the villages.In Pratappur village, Bardhaman district, the farmers also practice aquaculture in their paddy ponds, where they grow FRVs that require at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) of standing water. Enterprising farmers like Abhro Chakroborty make the most of the ponds to cultivate catfish. His 200 square meters of land, about 2,200 square feet, yields 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of paddy and almost as much catfish, he says.Edible crabs, mollusks and carp have also been introduced into these ponds, amid the floating edible water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) and the useful and sturdy mat grass (Cyperus tegetum Roxb.).Another interesting diversification is led by tribal women from Gangarampur block in South Dinajpur district, who are now cultivating mushrooms on paddy and wheat straw.Many varieties of brinjal (eggplant) are grown. Photo courtesy of Apoorva Sarkar.The future is organicMotivated by such agroforestry success stories, nearly 100 women and men from at least 20 villages have established the Forum for Indigenous Agricultural Movement (FIAM). Aimed at spreading organic farming and promoting the conservation of indigenous paddy, fruits and vegetables, its membership is fast increasing with young people, too.“The Green Revolution of the 1960s that led to cultivation of modern high-yielding varieties of paddy [compelled] our farmers to go for mono-cropping,” says Partha Das, 22, an English honors graduate from Palaibari village in North Dinajpur.This required the extensive use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, Das says, adding he was shocked by incidents of farmer suicide across the country as a result of debt from the rising cost of fertilizers, insecticides and seeds. At FIAM, he is joined by the likes of Anima Mandal, who, at 83, has also witnessed these changes and more, and now envisions an organic future.“Our forefathers practiced organic, low-cost, intensive and healthy farming,” agreed Bablu Barman from Bhattadighi village, another passionate organic farmer. “We believe this is sustainable and here to stay.” Healthy eating is the order of the day, he adds, and there is a growing demand for organically grown farm produce in the big cities.Given all of the environmental and social trends and challenges, agroforestry looks set to help deliver on that growing demand in this part of India.FIAM leader Anima Mandal (second from left) posing with members. Photo courtesy of Chinmoy Das.This article is from Mongabay’s series on global agroforestry, view all the features here.Banner image: Tipu Mandal (left) and Chinmoy Das (right) display diverse paddy varieties. Photo courtesy of Pintu Ghosh. Article published by Erik Hoffner Adaptation To Climate Change, Agriculture, Agroforestry, Archive, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Conservation Solutions, Featured, Natural Resources, Organic Farming, Soil Carbon center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Know your ESA: an online resource for Endangered Species Act docs and data

first_imgAnalysis, Conservation, data, Endangered, Endangered Species Act, Environmental Policy, Habitat, Law Enforcement, Technology, Wildlife, Wildtech The ever-increasing number of species needing protection, inadequate funding, and poor understanding of how and where the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been implemented have made it difficult to assess the law’s success.A free, online platform offers access to and analyses of troves of ESA-related documents and data—including otherwise unavailable materials—on species, agency consultations, decisions, and effectiveness.By making these data more accessible, the platform aims to help the conservation community better understand how the ESA is implemented and where it can improve. Do you know where your endangered species are?A new online tool offers access to and analyses of a wealth of documents and data related to the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA), included species distributions, land use decisions, and plans for habitat conservation and species recovery.45 years of endangered species conservationThe US established the ESA in 1973 to conserve endangered and threatened species and their habitats. It’s the country’s premier species conservation law, but the ever-increasing number of species needing protection, inadequate funding, and poor understanding of how and where it has been implemented have made assessing its success problematic, even for agency staff.The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) administer the ESA for terrestrial and freshwater species, and marine wildlife, respectively. These implementing agencies prioritize imperiled species, develop habitat conservation and species recovery plans, carry out recovery actions, and assess progress toward species’ recovery. Over 2,300 species (including 680 foreign species) are currently listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA.The black-footed ferret, found in six western US states, is threatened by loss of native grasslands and its main prey, prairie dogs, which are eliminated by ranchers in the American West. Photo credit: J. Michael Lockhart/USFWS CC.20The ESA protects imperiled species by prohibiting the “take” and the trade of listed animals and plants without a specific permit. “Take” applies to activities that harass, harm, pursue, trap, capture, or collect wildlife, including degradation of habitat sufficient to impair its breeding, feeding, or sheltering patterns.FWS offers extensive information about listed species on its website, but its data management systems make accessing data and documentation on the implementation of the law difficult for the conservation community, the public, and even other agencies.Expanding access to ESA recordsThe Center for Conservation Innovation (CCI) at the US non-profit Defenders of Wildlife has launched a web platform that integrates a series of free, online tools, data, and publications on how the law is implemented. The tools complement FWS’s species-specific information by making the extensive ESA documentation and data more accessible to other agencies and the public.In an email interview with Mongabay-Wildtech, CCI Director Ya-Wei Li and data scientist Jacob Malcom explained the impetus to launch the CCI platform. “The ESA remains the most comprehensive law ever enacted to save endangered species, yet we often have very little information about how the law works in practice,” said Malcom and Li. “In the past, a lot of perceptions about the ESA were based on anecdotes and case studies. Using data and technology, we’re painting a far more accurate picture of how this law is implemented. And what we see is cause for real concern, because the conservation challenge is even greater than what many in the public believe.”The site’s home page lists (in unspecified order) the various apps, analyses, and papers, or you can select tools from the drop-down menus. Several tools are still in beta development, and new tools are in the works.A screenshot from CCI’s home page showing drop-down menus, brief instructions, and three of the available apps. Image credit: CCIHere’s a sampling of what’s currently available:1— ESAdocs Search app: The over-arching ESAdocs Search engine allows you to search roughly 15,000 ESA-related documents and data on the platform. You use this tool as you would use Google or Bing, by entering a search term—such as a species’ common or scientific name or a place—and the engine lists all the documents it has containing that term. A search for “pronghorn” produced 50 matches of PDF documents, most of which were consultations, communications regarding federal agency actions that could affect the pronghorn population.You can filter the search by the type of document, such as a report, recovery plan, five-year review, publication, map, or even an interagency letter. The tool makes the text of every document searchable (even the thousands of FWS’s image-format PDF documents).“Full-text search enables new insights that can’t be gained from FWS’s web resources,” said Malcom. “For example, the project that resulted in the first-ever map of recovery units (found here) was only feasible once we could search the recovery plans for >1,200 species that have completed plans.”You can also download a spreadsheet table of results of your search, many of which include links to the downloadable PDF documents. Nevertheless, CCI labels this tool as “beta” because some complex searches are still slow, and the team is still adding to it.Those unfamiliar with the ESA might begin with several “Intro” apps that provide brief overviews of the issue and lead the user to answers.2— ESA listings and occurrences apps: Several apps provide tabular, graphic, and map-based summaries of ESA species listings, including the occurrence of listed species by county or the listed species found only in a single state. You can also filter and download data on these “intrastate” species—Hawaii predictably has the highest percentage of these (99.2%), followed by California, Texas, and Florida.Map of states shaded by the number of intrastate (single-state) listed species, part of one of CCI’s “Intro” apps. Hawaii, not surprisingly, given its isolation, has the most intrastate listed species. Image credit: CCIThe information on the FWS ECOS website offers helpful reports on ESA-listed species—including five-year species review and single-state species data— on a species-by-species basis, said Malcom, but does not permit high-level views or big-picture inquiries, such as seeing where in the US all bird or amphibian species have been listed or how the number of endangered species changes through time.3— Analysis of ESA decisions app: Many imperiled species current wait years to be considered for listing, and producing a recovery plan that articulates actions needed to protect a given species can take several years. This app analyzes and presents data tables and graphs extracted from a PDF-formatted FWS workplan used to evaluate and prioritize the ESA listing of hundreds of species. The app enables users to search, filter and sort the information.“Deep-dive” apps, which present more detailed assessments or analysis, are designed for readers familiar with the ESA. Access to some of these requires permission.4— An ESA expenditure app displays data from 2008-2013 from FWS annual reports, with amounts spent on specific species. Currently, the lack of a system for prioritizing funding means that a few better-known species get most of the funding.5— The Section 7 Explorer app displays maps and graphs of data on the 100,000 consultations with FWS by federal and state agencies, as required under Section 7 of the ESA. Federal agencies must support the ESA and “consult” with FWS or NMFS to ensure the development activities they authorize or support (such as road building, drilling, or logging projects) are not likely to harm listed species or critical habitats.The Section 7 Explorer allows you to filter the data to explore consultations for particular species, places, years, agencies, or types of development project. The data include more than 4,000 consultation documents that FWS has not made publicly available, many of which contain up-to-date information on species status, as well as background and glossary of terms for users with limited ESA experience.A screenshot from the Section 7 Explorer app, with statistics on agency consultations with the ESA implementing agencies. Image credit: CCI6— Analyses: Besides the apps, the platform presents analyses of ESA-related data, generated through ESA consultations and other findings, cover specific topics and are presented as reports and figures. Several of these analyses use data from FWS’s otherwise unavailable Tracking and Integrated Logging System (TAILS) database. For example, CCI analyzed how well the FWS tracks the amount of “take”—harming of a listed species—it authorizes. It found that the current amount of “take” is not well known. Despite the obvious importance of knowing how much harm to an endangered species has been authorized previously before permitting future take, these data were insufficient to do so.They also learned that roughly half of the inter-agency consultations reported the geographic coordinates of a project, and that certain regional offices were more likely to include coordinates in their reports. As the platform grows, CCI expects to expand the currently limited mapping/spatial data analysis component.Clearing of forest habitat, such as here in Oregon, in areas critical to a listed species would be an example of “take”. Photo credit: Calibas CC 3.07— Papers: CCI has published expanded versions of some analyses as papers. These include an assessment of species recovery plans that found nearly 25% of listed species lack recovery plans, plans take more than five years to finalize, and half are at least 19 years old. Another paper analyzed data on over 88,000 consultations and found they did not hinder economic development and took less time than conventional wisdom suggested.8— Working Papers are unpublished works in progress that describe ongoing projects, upcoming features, new ideas, and case studies. For example, a working paper on dynamic recovery provides several models to address the need to modernize species recovery plans. The ESA requires recovery plans for each listed species, but many plans are out of date.“Current recovery plans are static Adobe PDF documents that are rarely updated, making them less useful for conservation,” explained Malcom and Li. “We are…creating the first-ever web-based recovery plan that can be very easily updated, like how people update a Wikipedia page in a snap.”The modernized, online format has piqued the interest of both FWS and NMFS, as well as the US Department of Defense, which follows species plans on land it manages, and some of these plans are more than 30 years old. As it progresses, the CCI is writing up a brief analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the various dynamic recovery plan types.The palila honeycreeper, like many Hawaiian birds, is highly endangered by loss of habitat and avian malaria, to which they lack resistance from thousands of years of isolation. Brought by human-carried mosquitoes in the 1820s, the disease has already caused the extinction of multiple bird species. Photo credit: HarmonyonPlanetEarth-Flickr CC 2.0A tool for practitionersMany of the CCI tools target ESA practitioners with some understanding of how the law works.“Part of the issue was that FWS’s internal software doesn’t allow them run simple queries of their data and visualize the results,” said Malcom and Li. “We have stepped in and filled that void. That’s why FWS, other federal agencies, Congressional staff, and the regulated community use the [Section 7] Explorer regularly. For example, the US Forest Service has used the Section 7 Explorer to help answer Congressional inquiries about how the agency fulfills its duty to consult on the effects of their timber harvest and other projects.”Advocates have used the tools to answer questions relevant to current issues in Congress, such as the status of the required ESA-listed species five-year status reviews. “There are proposals in Congress to stop federal funding for species that are behind schedule on the reviews,” said Malcom and Li, “which would be very bad for ~54% of species that meet the criterion.”Learn more about the ESA in this helpful FWS introduction video: Article published by Sue Palmintericenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Duterte orders navy to fire on foreign poachers in Philippine waters

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Basten Gokkon Anti-poaching, Coral Reefs, Crime, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Policy, Fish, Fisheries, Illegal Fishing, Law Enforcement, Marine, Oceans, Overfishing, Poaching center_img Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has called on the navy to open fire at foreign vessels suspected of poaching or extracting natural resources in the Southeast Asian nation’s exclusive waters.Duterte made the decision to address concerns about territorial rights over Benham Rise, an undersea plateau off the country’s northeastern coast believed to be rich in oil, gas and fisheries.A number of Southeast Asian nations, notably Indonesia, have recently taken a tough stance against marine poaching in the region, which is home to some of the world’s richest underwater ecosystems and threatened by overfishing. President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has called on the navy to shoot at foreign ships suspected of extracting natural resources from his country’s exclusive maritime territory.Duterte made the statement Feb. 9 at a news conference where he addressed the Southeast Asian nation’s rights to Benham Rise, an undersea region off the country’s northeastern coast. The area is thought to hold oil and gas deposits as well as rich fishing sites.Philippine authorities recently flagged concerns about intrusions when a Chinese ship was monitored crisscrossing the waters early last year, drawing public attention to the territory.All foreign scientific groups, including from China, Japan, South Korea and the United States, have concluded their research work in the waters, and Duterte wants future research missions to be carried out by Philippine nationals.“If you get something there from the economic zone, I will order the navy to fire,” Duterte said as reported by the Associated Press.He was referring to the country’s 200-nautical-mile (370-kilometer) exclusive economic zone, where coastal states are granted special rights to exploit natural resources under a 1982 UN treaty. Foreign ships are allowed to sail through those waters.The president did not elaborate on the protocol for such action, such as whether suspect boats would be fired on with crew members on board.Facing the Pacific Ocean, the underwater plateau stretches about 240,000 square kilometers (about 92,700 square miles) and a large part of it is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. The remainder was granted by the United Nations as part of the Philippines’ extended continental shelf. In an attempt to strengthen its claim on the region, Duterte last year officially renamed the plateau Philippine Rise.“I’m putting notice to the world that the Philippine Rise, which we call Benham Rise, is ours … and the economic zone is ours,” Duterte said.“I said and ordered the Philippine Navy and Air Force to do regular patrols,” he added as quoted by CNN Philippines.Indonesian fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti been seizing illegal foreign fishing vessels like this one and blowing them up at sea. Photo courtesy of Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.Such drastic measures are not unprecedented in the hotly contested waters of Southeast Asia, where some of the world’s richest marine ecosystems are routinely plundered by poachers and threatened by overfishing. The region is also home to the Pacific Coral Triangle, one of the most important global centers of marine biodiversity.Duterte’s decision was warmly praised by Indonesia’s fisheries minister, Susi Pudjiastuti, who has led her own campaign of seizing and blowing up illegal foreign fishing vessels caught poaching in Indonesia’s waters.“It’s good, they understand that theft isn’t just about fish,” Susi told reporters in Jakarta, as quoted by local media outlet Kompas. “There are other motives, other crimes, and they’re not playing around.”She added that transnational organized crime such as illegal fishing was carried out “in many countries by several nations, creating a massive integrated [fisheries] business.”Under Susi’s command — and with the blessing of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the firepower of the navy — Indonesia in 2014 began a campaign of vacating and blowing up foreign fishing vessels seized in its waters. The campaign is part of Jokowi’s pledge to revive the country’s maritime sector, which for decades was plagued by illegal, unreported and undocumented (IUU) fishing.Indonesia has since scuttled more than 320 foreign fishing boats.Malaysia announced in July 2016 it would also start sinking poaching boats in a way that would encourage the growth of artificial reefs.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Keeping carbon in the ground can cut emissions and boost food security, study finds

first_imgAgriculture, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Sequestration, Climate Change, Environment, food security, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Interns, Land Use Change, Research, Soil Carbon Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Maria Salazarcenter_img A new paper finds that a carbon tax meant to shift agricultural policies could raise food prices and threaten food security.However, improvements in storing carbon in the world’s soils could lessen the potential for worsening food security.The researchers suggest a globally coordinated effort on climate-friendly agriculture and land use would likely result in the best outcome for all. A new study in Environmental Research Letters shows that applying a theoretic carbon tax — one aimed at stimulating changes to farming and land-use practices that minimize emissions —could have a major impact on food security, resulting in as many as 300 million more people suffering food deprivation. But add soil carbon-friendly farming into the mix, and you could limit the impact on food security and reduce calorie loss by 65 percent while at the same time sequestering more carbon in the ground.“Soil carbon sequestration can help to address climate change, and because it also helps to increase productivity, can also help to address food security,” said study co-author Peter Smith, an expert in soils and climate change from Aberdeen University in the U.K. Agriculture is responsible for 10 to 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Given the growing global population, experts expect agricultural emissions to continue to rise.Not all farming practices contribute to emissions equally, however. In fact, there is a growing awareness of farming techniques that remove carbon from the atmosphere, a process known as carbon sequestration, storing it in plant material and soils.Locking carbon on the farmDuring photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide. As they grow, the carbon is stored in their stems, leaves and roots. Once the plant dies or its leaves drop, soil microbes break down the material they leave behind. Some carbon is then re-released into the atmosphere, but a percentage can become stabilized and locked in the soil.Scientists have found that certain farming practices can increase the amount of carbon sequestered in the soil. These include zero tillage, in which the soil isn’t disturbed by being cultivated or turned over; crop rotation, or growing different types of crops over several seasons on the same land; and cover cropping, where certain plants are grown primarily to benefit the soil rather than as a crop. As an added bonus, these practices that increase carbon sequestration often reduce soil erosion and help to retain important nutrients in the soil. The result is healthier soil and increased yields. A Colombian cornfield. Agricultural practises such as crop rotation, over cropping and zero tillage can minimize carbon loss and increase soil carbon sequestration. Photo credit: Rhett ButlerIt was these potential “win-win” benefits that led a team of researchers headed by Stefan Frank, from the Austria-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), to model the potential benefits of implementing carbon-sequestering farming practices. Using the Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM) developed by IIASA, the team found that storing carbon in soil could play an important role in reducing agricultural emissions. Combining a widespread change to carbon-sequestering farming practices with a carbon tax, GLOBIOM predicted a potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture of 11.4 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. That’s 44 percent higher than the 7.9 gigatons achievable with only a carbon tax. That difference of 3.5 gigatons of CO2e would be roughly the same as taking just over half the world’s cars, 583 million, off the roads. There are caveats to the findings, though. Like any model, the accuracy of GLOBIOM’s output is ultimately determined by the assumptions underpinning it. As the study’s authors note, the reason predictive models have not previously included soil carbon sequestration is that it’s incredibly complex. One of the key issues is the difficulty in measuring changes in soil carbon. “Across a field … a change in 0.1 percent is a huge amount of carbon either being stored or released, but it’s really difficult to measure that change sensitively and accurately,” said Vanessa Bailey, a soil carbon expert from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in Washington state, who was not involved in the study. There is a great amount of variation in the soil carbon across a field, Bailey said. “If you take a sample in a depression there might be 1.1 percent carbon there just because we’ve had runoff there,” she said. A peat bog being drained in Kalimantan. The lack of oxygen due to wet conditions in peat bogs prevents the peat from breaking down. When peat bogs dry out they start to decompose and large quantities of stored carbon are released to the atmosphere. Photo credit: Rhett ButlerThe soil carbon cycle is also a two-way street. Under certain conditions, such as when peat is exposed and allowed to dry out, the soil becomes a major emitter of carbon. Another issue is that soil can only capture so much carbon before it becomes saturated, a point known as soil carbon equilibrium.This means that soil carbon sequestration may not be a long-term solution, but, according to Smith, could contribute “to a medium term solution while we fully decarbonise all sectors.”Research has so far mainly focused on how to stabilize carbon in soil, but there is still a lot to learn about what destabilizes carbon in soil. “We don’t have a good way of assessing how long this new carbon … persists in soils,” Bailey said. “That’s the other side of the coin we don’t understand.”Because soil carbon sequestration is such a complex subject, scientists continue to debate exactly how much carbon could be stored in soils. Certainly no one believes soil carbon sequestration can mitigate all manmade emissions. Soil could potentially sequester 1.5 gigatons to 2.6 gigatons CO2e per year — about 5 percent of manmade greenhouse gas emissions, Smith said. David Powlson, a leading soil scientist at Rothamsted Research in the U.K., who wasn’t involved in the study, was more cautious. “I am concerned that many colleagues seem over optimistic about the amount of carbon that can be locked up this way,” he said.In a recent study, Powlson evaluated the potential of the French government’s “4 per 1,000” initiative to increase global soil carbon stocks by 0.4 percent per year. Based on his research, Powlson said he believed agricultural practices that increase carbon sequestration “are limited by practical and economic factors.” “[M]any ‘good practices’ are already being applied in many places, so scope for [expanding carbon-sequestering farming practices] is further limited,” he said.Deforestation in Belize for cattle ranching. Land use change is one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Photo credit: Rhett ButlerThe food security wrenchAnother important area that the team was keen to investigate was the impact on food security of tax measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Land-use change and agriculture, as major emitters, have long been the focus of much mitigation research. However, with the global population expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, scientists are faced with the difficult proposition of simultaneously reducing emissions even as the human population looks to continue growing. A carbon tax would theoretically increase the cost of farming practices that produce high greenhouse gas emissions. This cost would then be passed on to consumers as higher food prices. As prices rise, producers and consumers will, in theory, alter their behavior and switch to products and practices with lower greenhouse gas emissions because they are cheaper. At first glance this would seem like an ideal solution. But the GLOBIOM model highlights an important problem: If global warming is to be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, the aspirational target set in the Paris Agreement, then major changes will be required from the agriculture and land-use sector. Potential changes range from technical solutions such as the use of anaerobic digesters (which break down waste to produce fuel) to broader structural solutions, such as shifting production across regions. According to Frank’s predictions, a carbon tax sufficient to stimulate this change in behavior would increase the cost of food so much that, theoretically, every person would consume on average 285 kilocalories less per day. GLOBIOM predicts that over the next 20 years, economic development will reduce chronic undernourishment from its current level of 850 million to 200 million. However, with a carbon tax in place, the higher cost of food could reverse some of that progress, resulting in an additional 300 million people unable to meet their calorie requirements.GLOBIOM’s predictions suggest that sequestering more carbon in soils could reduce the carbon tax required, cutting calorie loss by 65 percent while still hitting the 1.5-degree target.It’s important to note, however, that when predicting scenarios without a carbon tax, GLOBIOM does not model the impact of climate change on food security. As Smith says, the food security consequences if we do not act on climate change will certainly be far worse than if we do.“Massive losses of productivity for crops and livestock, mostly in countries already at risk of food insecurity,” he said, “so there is no option to just let it happen.” Unequal risk, unequal rewardsAs is so often the case with climate change, the impacts would be far from evenly distributed. For those in developed countries, where food costs a relatively small percentage of income, a hypothetical rise in price is not likely to greatly affect consumption. In the developing world, where food can cost a large proportion of people’s income, a rise in food costs could prove devastating. There is also a major imbalance in the mitigation potential available to different countries depending on the type of agriculture and how much standing forest remains. In land-rich countries like Brazil, where a large proportion of emissions stem from converting rainforest to cropland or for grazing, targets can be met by limiting deforestation and forest degradation with little impact on food cost. “Reducing emissions from land use change is a very cost-efficient and important strategy,” Frank said. However, in densely populated countries like India, most agricultural emissions come from food production. The carbon tax required to stimulate agricultural change could have a major impact on the cost of food there. With such stark regional differences, the authors emphasize the importance of a globally coordinated strategy. The GLOBIOM model predicts that any scenario without full global buy-in would result in a worse impact to food security than a globally coordinated approach. For Frank, the show of global support for the Paris Agreement offers a glimmer of hope.“Personally I hope that the momentum of the Paris Agreement will be maintained and even further strengthen[ed] so that we can achieve this tremendous challenge,” he said.Cattle ranching in Colombia. Livestock production produces a large quantity of greenhouse gas emissions. The methane produced by cows is 30 times more heat trapping than carbon dioxide. Photo credit: Rhett ButlerNo simple answersPromoting farming practices that help store carbon in the soil could help offset the side effects of carbon tax policies, but more must be done to tackle climate change on a wider scale, Smith said. “It’s not a climate solution in itself — but makes a valuable contribution toward addressing climate change,” he said.“We really have to balance sequestration with mitigation with adaption to new conditions,” Bailey added. “That’s the three legs of a stool we all have to be aware of.” For Powlson, changes in human consumption patterns and behavior are also key. “It’s almost certainly necessary that we reduce food consumption and eat less meat,” he said. Although the exact findings of any model can be open to debate, this study emphasizes the important relationship between soil carbon, food security and tackling climate change.“There are no magic bullets,” Smith said. “It will be tough, but it has to be done.” References:Frank, S., Havlík, P., Soussana, J. F., Levesque, A., Valin, H., Wollenberg, E., … & Smith, P. (2017). Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture without compromising food security?. Environmental Research Letters, 12(10), 105004.Poulton, P., Johnston, J., MacDonald, A., White, R., & Powlson, D. Major limitations to achieving “4 per 1000 ″increases in soil organic carbon stock in temperate regions: evidence from long‐term experiments at Rothamsted Research, UK. Global Change Biology.last_img read more