Thursday, 20 July 2017

Vegetables and health special issue (journal)

Special Issue: Vegetables and Health July 2017

Adult cooking classes, school gardens, university dining halls, farmers' markets, women's health, cooking in schools, gardening enjoyment and supermarkets in low income neighbourhoods all feature in this special collection of articles in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour. And all the articles are open access.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Urban green infrastructure briefing (online)

Urban Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services

This brief provides an overview of the ecosystem service contributions of urban biodiversity and green infrastructure and the challenges for improving their provision. Strategic improvement of urban geen infrastructure has been proposed as a cost effective public health measure. Urban green infrastructure is not just open spaces such as parks and private gardens, but also green roofs and walls, street trees, ponds, rivers and canals. However, existing urban green infrastructure in the UK has not been strategically planned to deliver ecosystem services. This brief provides an overview of the ecosystem service contributions of urban green infrastructure and the challenges for improving the provision of these services.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Intro to sustainable agriculture (report)

Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture

Agricultural practices can reduce water quality, degrade soils and cause biodiversity loss. This in turn can disrupt natural processes that support food production.

Environmentally sustainable agriculture seeks to reduce environmental damage and restore such processes. This POSTnote summarises associated land management options, agricultural policies and the constraints imposed by a new trading environment.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

PhD studentships in energy and people (opportunity)

Interdisciplinary PhD Studentships in Energy, People and Sustainable Living
Institution: University of Southampton, UK
Closing Date:   Friday 15 September 2017
Project Themes: Energy and Climate Change

Applications are invited for three fully-funded PhD studentships to be based in the Energy & Climate Change Division (ECCD) of the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment. The research students will be based in ECCD’s Sustainable Energy Research Group but we have additional funding to support one or two of the PhD candidates for a research visit of up to 12 months at the University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainability. Applicants will need to review the research programmes of the two groups and propose a research topic which either:

·  Intersects with the on-going interdisciplinary research activities of both groups or

· Develops new areas of joint interest to both groups in ways that integrate the engineering and social sciences.

Post-Brexit Agriculture Policy in the UK (report)

Landworkers' Alliance: Recommendations for Post-Brexit Agricultural Policy in the UK

2017-05-08 LWA report.jpgUK currently produces less than 60% of the food it consumes. It relies on the EU for nearly 30% of its food imports and hold only 3-5 days of food supplies in reserve. Simultaneously, UK is also moving towards highly mechanized corporate farms as family farms are abandoned. It has lost 33,500 commercial holdings between 2005 and 2015, more than 9 farms a day.
Post-Brexit increases in the price of imports, shortages of farm labour and market volatility are likely to further undermine the national food security. Yet, successive governments have pursued policies that have led to farm consolidation, a reduction in agricultural jobs, and increased rural-urban migration.
It is in this context that the Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA) - a union of small scale ecological producers and traditional family farmers - have put forth a set of recommendations for a Post-Brexit agricultural policy. 

Scaling up peasant agroecology in India (#journal)

Taking agroecology to scale: the Zero Budget Natural Farming peasant movement in Karnataka, India

This paper analyzes how peasant movements scale up agroecology. It specifically examines Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), a grassroots peasant agroecology movement in Karnataka, India. ZBNF ends reliance on purchased inputs and loans for farming, positioning itself as a solution to extreme indebtedness and suicides among Indian farmers. The ZBNF movement has achieved massive scale not only because of effective farming practices, but because of a social movement dynamic – motivating members through discourse, mobilizing resources from allies, self-organized pedagogical activities, charismatic and local leadership, and generating a spirit of volunteerism among its members. This paper was produced as part of a self-study process in La Via Campesina, the global peasant movement.

The CAP and soil carbon sequestration (journal)

The Impact of Soil Carbon Sequestration on Adaptation in Europe's Agricultural Sector and the Potential Role of Regulatory Instruments

This paper assesses current and proposed EU climate law and the legal instruments associated to the common agricultural policy to see how far soil carbon sequestration and associated adaptation can be promoted through the use of these current or proposed instruments. The assessment shows that current and proposed policies and instruments are completely inadequate to stimulate large scale adoption of soil carbon projects across Europe. An alternative approach needs to be developed. The first element of this new approach is focused on EU climate policy: the inclusion of agriculture in the EU ETS through allowing regulated industries to buy offsets from the agricultural sector, following the examples set by Australia and others. The second element of a new approach is aimed at the CAP, which needs to be much more focused on the specific requirements of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Such stronger focus does not take away the need to open up a new income stream for farmers from offsets under the ETS, as the CAP will never have sufficient funds for the deep and full transition of Europe’s agriculture sector.