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Showing posts with label International. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International. Show all posts

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Adopt Forest and Land-use policies to alleviate global hunger – IUFRO

International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), at a United Nations Forum on Forests in New York, called on countries with big forest-dependent population to adopt national policies and land-use strategies that support the planting of multi-functional trees to provide food, timber, fuel wood, medicine and a host of environmental services that could access safe nutritious food for all, NaijaAgroNet reports.
The Union, NaijaAgroNet gathered, estimates that some 805 million people – one in nine citizens of Earth – are undernourished, primarily in Africa and Asia. At the same time, between 1.2 and 1.5 billion people worldwide depend on forests for all or most of their diet and livelihood.  
Stepha Mcmullin, social scientist and member of the Union report’s Authors, also concurred that forests and tree-based farming systems such as agroforestry can complement agricultural production to ensure greater food security and better nutrition for some of the world's most vulnerable communities.
“If you're familiar with shade-grown coffee, then you have an idea of what agroforestry is all about. By planting fruit trees and other useful species, selectively weeding and otherwise managing the forests as intensively as any farmer might tend their fields and rotate their crops; people all over the world have created gardens that resemble natural forests in many ways, including providing suitable habitat for a diverse array of flora and fauna.” He said.
McMullin who, NaijaAgroNet gathered, advocated that forests and tree-based systems also benefit people indirectly, sited an instance in the Sahel region of Africa, noting that by planting trees, poor farmers have turned millions of acres of what had become semi-desert by the 1980s into more productive land, where trees now account for 80 per cent of average household incomes in the region, largely through shea-nut production.
Coordinator of IUFRO’s Global Forest Expert Panels initiative, Christoph Wildburger, told NaijaAgroNet that tree-based farming can help prevent climate change calamities, which is also a threat, not just to the productivity of agroforests but to conventional agricultural operations, as well.
“Large-scale crop production is highly vulnerable to extreme weather events, which may occur more frequently under climate change. Science shows that tree-based farming can adapt far more better to such calamities. We know that forest already play a key role in mitigating the effects of climate change. It should also be made very clear that they also play a key role in alleviating hunger and improving nutrition.” He said.

Ultimately, lack of community control over forests and, of course, deforestation could limit the abilities of forests to enhance food security. Forest management in most countries is fragmented across different governmental agencies and administrative jurisdictions.

Daniel Nsolibe /Ed, Ops.


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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

UN - 34 African nation’s soil endangered





The United Nations (UN) climate changes conference in Germany tagged “International Year of Soils” has come to an end with scientist and environmental advocates estimating that nearly a third of the world’s soil is degraded, with the figure closer to two-thirds in sub-Saharan Africa, NaijaAgroNet reports.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the one week-long conference reports that 34 of Africa’s 54 countries have over 20 percent in either the amount of land degraded or the amount of population affected by land degradation.

Emphasizing the importance of soil, NaijaAgroNet gathered that the experts view the soil as one of the most important resources obtainable, if not the most important. They further substantiate that it sustains all our agricultural and livestock food production, wood for fuel production, filters water so that we can drink it and fish can live in it, as well as useful for construction – therefore sustaining our homes and infrastructure. 

It further maintained as NaijaAgroNet learnt, that in Africa, the issue of land degradation (a decline in land quality caused by human activities) and soil fertility decline is deeply complex with intertwining and cyclical causes. These range from poverty, inadequate farming techniques, and poor inherent soil qualities to population pressure, to insecure land tenure and climate change, amongst other factors.
Stating also that if these are issues are not addressed, the cycle of poor land management will result in higher barriers to food security, agricultural development for smallholder farmers and wider economic growth for Africa.

According to Agriculture for Impact (A4I), an independent advocacy initiative, NaijaAgroNet gathered that the economic loss as a result of land degradation is estimated at approximately N13.5 trillion ($68 billion) per annum.

It further advocates that better land management practices could deliver approximately N279 trillion ($1.4 trillion) globally in increased crop production which is 35 times the losses.  
NaijaAgroNet also learnt that a 2008 report on the “Global Assessment of Land Degradation” by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and partners offered some shocking insights and surprises into the degree of soil degradation in some African countries. 

The African countries on the UN watch list as NaijaAgroNet gathered would be the dry land African countries around the Mediterranean and Middle East and relatively small areas in the Maghreb and the Nile delta. 

The conference NaijaAgroNet gathered, advocates that the rate of soil nutrient depletion is a factor that must be considered when ranking which countries should be on the soil watch list, as an important concern directly linked to food insecurity in developing countries due to the intensification of land use for agricultural production. 

NaijaAgroNet gathered that 650 people from 80 countries gathered in Germany for the conference that brought together scientists and environmental advocates to discuss climate change’s increasingly hottest topic - soil. 

Daniel Nsolibe /Ed,Ops.
  
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