farming

Biofuels and biofools

Molly Scott Cato MEP
| 2nd October 2017
European politicians are enthralled to the biofuels lobby - they are living a fantasy and it’s time to wake up to the reality of an industry driving deforestation, land grabbing and poverty, says MOLLY SCOTT CATO MEP

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Climate change drives Indian farmer suicides says new study

G.B.S.N.P Varma
| 7th August 2017
There is no more heartbreaking indicator of human hardship than suicide says the author of a new report that shows the devastating impact of Global Warming on struggling Indian farmers, thousands of whom have taken their own lives over the last 30 years. G.B.S.N.P VARMA reports

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Securing a Future With Water Along Peru's Rimac River Valley

Forest Ray
| 20th July 2017



Along the Rimac River Valley of Peru, local farmers have taken the problem of water security into their own hands and embarked on a combined reforestation and water storage project, which not only provides safe water but has empowered the local community and, thanks to improving the mountainside soil stability, has reduced the risk of devastating landslides. FOREST RAY reports

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Wendell Berry - poet, essayist, farmer, activist, rural philosopher

Harriet Griffey
Cultural Editor
| 10th July 2017
How do you define a man who has been at the forefront of the environmental movement of America for over 50 years - poet, essayist, environmentalist, farmer, activist, philosopher? Wendell Berry is all these and now his life's work sits at the heart, writes HARRIET GRIFFEY, of Look and See - a newly-released film about his life and philosophy

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A People's Food Policy - grassroot food and farming groups call for a more just food system

26th June 2017

As the Brexit negotiations begin, a coalition of grassroots food and farming organisations today launch ‘A People's Food Policy' calling for England to develop a more progressive food policy in advance of leaving the EU. Scotland is already in the process of adopting national food policies and is currently developing a ‘Good Food Nation Bill', while England has yet to make any progress

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How planting bioenergy crops could help stop Britain's brown hare from becoming extinct

Laura Briggs
| 6th June 2017

If you live or spend time in the UK countryside it may have been some time since you spotted the native brown hare - if you've ever seen one at all. That's because the hare relies on an increasingly disappearing biodiverse landscape for its food. LAURA BRIGGS talks to the scientists behind a new study investigating what type of planting - including bioenergy crops - will help stop hare populations from continuing to decline

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Trump's decision to leave the Paris Agreement is unconscionable

The Conversation
| 2nd June 2017
President Donald Trump stunned the world yesterday (June 1, 2017) by announcing his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord - a landmark global agreement to lower greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the harm from climate change. The Conversation has assembled a panel of American academics and scientists to analyse what this dramatic move means for the planet, U.S. businesses and the world's poor...

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No more jaguars here: a worker picks up African palm fruit for processing into palm oil from a young tree in Minas, Colombia, April 25, 2016. Photo: Carlos Villalon / Solidarity Center via Flickr (CC BY).

Palm oil engulfs Colombia's 'mountains of the jaguar'

Paula Álvarez
Forest Peoples Programme
| 23rd May 2017
Thousands of small farmers were forced from their lands and homes by paramilitaries in Colombia's Santa Maria mountains, writes Paula Álvarez. But now as a welcome peace allows their return from involuntary exile, they find a new enemy that has come to stay - huge plantations of oil palm that have obliterated the mixed, patchwork landscape of small fields, villages, and swathes of forest on steep-sided hills that they used to inhabit.

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Greenham Farm smallholders. Photo: Abbie Trayler Smith / ELC.

Ecological agriculture: investing today in tomorrow's farms

Phil Moore
| 22nd May 2017
Ecological farming has taken root in the UK, writes Phil Moore: drawing inspiration from the past while employing the latest ideas and techniques from organic, no-dig, permaculture, agroecology and agroforestry methods. But with agricultural fields selling for up to £10,000 an acre, there's a big difficultly for many would-be eco-farmers: access to land. Now, with public support, that's a problem the Ecological Land Cooperative is determined to solve.

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Jeremy Corbyn at a political rally in North London, 15th August 2016. Photo: Steve Eason via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Corbyn's green vision wins: leaked manifesto promises huge environmental gains

Oliver Tickell
| 11th May 2017
A huge raft of environmental reforms is promised in the Labour Party's draft manifesto, writes Oliver Tickell. Among the highlights: a ban on fracking; a clean energy policy based on renewables and efficiency; no commitment to new nuclear power; to meet our Paris Agreement obligations on climate; to give companies a legal obligation to protect the environment; to retain all EU environment laws post-Brexit; and multilateral nuclear disarmament.

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Spot the difference: Monsanto's new 'Glyphosate-free' Roundup product, now on sale in Germany, and a bottle of vinegar. Photo: Dr Helmut Burtscher / GMWatch.

Monsanto's new 'glyphosate-free' Roundup is vinegar!

Claire Robinson
GMWatch
| 8th May 2017
Has Monsanto, dubbed the 'world's most evil corporation', turned a new leaf? It has taken the 'probably carcinogenic' glyphosate out of a new version of its market leading 'Roundup' herbicide, and replaced it with vinegar. The bad news is it's only available in Austria. That, and it may still contain toxic 'adjuvants' to increase its effectiveness.

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Seen here in 2008, this uncontacted indigenous community in Brazil's Amazon may be fierce in defence of its lands. But they don't stand a chance in the face of bulldozers, chainsaws, automatic weapons, and the new diseases brought by loggers, miners and f

Brazil: Government to abandon tribes to 'genocide' by loggers and ranchers

Oliver Tickell
| 26th April 2017
Brazil's extreme right wing government is preparing to open up the rainforest territories of dozens of uncontacted indigenous tribes to 'free for all' development by defunding the protection they currently receive, according to information received by Survival International, which warns: 'The reality is these cuts could sanction genocide.'

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How it all began: Monsanto Tribunal Opening day, 14th October 2016. Photo: Monsanto Tribunal via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Tribunal judges: Monsanto isn't feeding the world - it's undermining food security

Claire Robinson
GMWatch
| 24th April 2017
Five international judges say Monsanto's activities have negatively affected individuals, communities and biodiversity, writes Claire Robinson. The Monsanto Tribunal's damning ruling denounces the company's harmful impacts on food sovereignty, agricultural production, access to nutrition, the natural environment, seed diversity, climate change, pollution and traditional cultural practices.

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Another 100,000 English badgers could be shot because of fake science and faker statistics. Photo: Tom Langton. Note that no badgers died or suffered to produce this photograph!

Lies, damned lies and twisted statistics - fake science set to kill 100,000 English badgers

Tom Langton
| 13th April 2017
The government / NFU badger culling policy is based on a single study, the Randomised Badger Culling Trials (RBCT), which found that area-wide badger killing reduced TB 'breakdowns' in cattle herds. But a robust reanalysis of the RBCT data reveals that culling is entirely ineffective, writes Tom Langton. The only scientifically valid conclusion is that culling badgers has no effect on TB in cattle. Defra and Natural England must think again!

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The rich, deep color of this soil and high organic content shows exactly what healthy soil looks like. A diverse blend of crops, grasses, and cover crops creates a protective blanket that feeds and nurtures the soil. Photo: USDA-NRCS photo by Catherine Ul

How to feed the world? The answer lies in healthy soils

David R. Montgomery
University of Washington
| 7th April 2017
There's only one real faultline in farming, writes David R. Montgomery, and it's not the one between organic and 'conventional'. What really matters is whether farming systems are building, improving and nurturing soils - or exploiting them for short term gain. And if we want to keep humans well fed and healthy for the long term, there's only one choice to make.

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Photo: Tom Langton.

Bovine TB summit: science-based policy, or policy-based science?

Tom Langton
| 7th April 2017
The Bovine TB conference in London last week was disrupted by media reporting of scientific conflict over badger culling studies, writes ecologist Tom Langton. But the real story is the collapse of confidence in the Randomised Badger Culling Trials, used to justify the mass killing of badgers; and the emergence of reliable new TB tests. The simple solution: stop the cull, and spend the money on gamma interferon cattle TB testing.

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