Humans

World seed banks get funds to tackle climate, other threats

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Alister Doyle
Reuters
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OSLO, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Scientists have agreed on a $109 million plan to strengthen the world's biggest seed banks of crops such as rice and wheat to help protect and develop new varieties resistant to climate change and other threats.

The Global Crop Diversity Trust and the CGIAR Consortium of agricultural researchers said on Thursday that a five-year plan would help secure storage of more than 700,000 samples of crops at 11 existing gene banks from the Philippines to Belgium. ... Read more about World seed banks get funds to tackle climate, other threats

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Europe 'has failed to learn from environmental disasters'

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John Vidal
The remains of Chernobyl nuclear power plant reactor number four. Europe has failed to learn the lessons from many environmental and health disasters like Chernobyl, the report warns. Photograph: Igor Kostin/Corbis
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Europe has failed to learn the lessons from many environmental and health disasters like Chernobyl, leaded petrol and DDT insecticides, and is now ignoring warnings about bee deaths, GM food and nanotechnology, according to an 800-page report by the European Environment Agency. ... Read more about Europe 'has failed to learn from environmental disasters'

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Environmental threats could push billions into extreme poverty, warns UN

Author: 

Claire Provost
A Filipino boy washes his face in murky waters in Manila. Inaction on the environment will accelerate global poverty, warns the UN. Photograph: Francis R Malasig/EPA
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The number of people living in extreme poverty could increase by up to 3 billion by 2050 unless urgent action is taken to tackle environmental challenges, a major UN report warned on Thursday.

The 2013 Human Development Report hails better than expected progress on health, wealth and education in dozens of developing countries but says inaction on climate change, deforestation, and air and water pollution could end gains in the world's poorest countries and communities. ... Read more about Environmental threats could push billions into extreme poverty, warns UN

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Energy poverty deprives 1 billion of adequate healthcare, says report

Author: 

Claire Provost
Young Guineans, without access to electricity, study under carpark lights at G'bessi airport in Conakry, Guinea. Photograph: Rebecca Blackwell/AP
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Energy poverty has left more than 1 billion people in developing countries without access to adequate healthcare, with staff forced to treat emergency patients in the dark, and health centres lacking the power they need to store vaccines or sterilise medical supplies, according to a report. ... Read more about Energy poverty deprives 1 billion of adequate healthcare, says report

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Counting the Vanishing Bees

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Dylan Walsh
A bumblebee gathering pollen from a sunflower. Reuters
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A new method for monitoring the decline in bee populations may prove a useful tool in much-needed conservation efforts. It requires only a few hundred pan traps: bright shallow bowls partly filled with soapy water or propylene glycol.

When United Nations experts noticed that crop production was flagging in seven countries around the world, from Brazil to Nepal, they contacted Gretchen LeBuhn, an associate professor at San Francisco State University who studies bees. ... Read more about Counting the Vanishing Bees

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Reduce food waste dramatically with simple acts, says UN

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Requesting smaller portions at restaurants, freezing leftovers and donating to food banks can help make a difference, says the UN-led Think, Eat, Save: Reduce Your Foodprint campaign. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA
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Small but simple actions by consumers and food retailers could dramatically cut the 1.3bn tonnes of food lost or wasted across the world each year, according to an unprecedented global campaign launched on Tuesday. ... Read more about Reduce food waste dramatically with simple acts, says UN

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Global food crisis will worsen as heatwaves damage crops, research finds

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Damian Carrington
Sprinklers water crops in Bakersfield, California, during a heatwave. Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images David McNew/Getty
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The world's food crisis, where 1 billion people are already going hungry and a further 2 billion people will be affected by 2050, is set to worsen as increasing heatwaves reverse the rising crop yields seen over the last 50 years, according to new research. ... Read more about Global food crisis will worsen as heatwaves damage crops, research finds

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Global Food - Waste Not, Want Not

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George Aggidis, Ian Arbon, Colin Brown, Charles Clarke, John Earp, Tim Fox, David Greenway, Alistair Smith, Bob Stannard, David Warriner, Simon Whatley, David Williams
Farmer tending rice paddy.
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Feeding the 9 Billion: The tragedy of waste

By 2075, the United Nations’ mid-range projection for global population growth predicts that human numbers will peak at about 9.5 billion people. This means that there could be an extra three billion mouths to feed by the end of the century, a period in which substantial changes are anticipated in the wealth, calorific intake and dietary preferences of people in developing countries across the world. ... Read more about Global Food - Waste Not, Want Not

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Aquatic agriculture offers a new solution to the problem of water scarcity

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Mark Tran
MDG Floating farms, Lake Nicaragua Photograph: Grand Challenges Canada
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Hunger and nutrition will feature prominently at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland in June, in keeping with the renewed interest in agriculture, especially in Africa, where investors are eyeing the potential of vast tracts of land.

But as experts note, water is the most severe impediment to increasing food production and security. ... Read more about Aquatic agriculture offers a new solution to the problem of water scarcity

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Will Climate Change Lead to Conflict or Cooperation?

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http://www.ipsnews.net
In conflict-prone regions such as Darfur, violence is sometimes blamed on climate change. Credit: UN Photo/Albert González Farran
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UNITED NATIONS, Aug 4 2014 (IPS) - The headline of every article about the relationship between climate change and conflict should be “It’s complicated,” according to Clionadh Raleigh.

Director of the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, Raleigh thinks that researchers and the media have put too simplistic a spin on the link between climate change and violence. ... Read more about Will Climate Change Lead to Conflict or Cooperation?

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