Posts Tagged ‘State of the World’

Oct01

Ireland Takes Strides to Walk Its “Green” Talk

Share
Pin It

By Robert Engelman

True to its iconic national color—green—Ireland may be the first country whose government is taking steps to measure sustainability and to integrate the concept into its economy.

Poster and “sustainability extension agent” on government-funded research farm in Count Meath, Ireland. (Photo Credit: Robert Engelman)

They’re small steps, not remotely on a scale or schedule that can stop the world’s climate from heating up to well past 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial times. But Ireland is a small country, and (as Worldwatch has discovered working with small-island states in the Caribbean) small nations can act as beacons pointing the way to sustainable behavior—particularly when large nations refuse to lead.

Ireland’s “scheme” (the term, while pejorative in American English, means program or plan here) is called Origin Green. It’s an apt name that calls to mind both the deep history of the country’s people and the lush verdure of its land. Origin Green is the brainchild of Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, an independent agency funded largely by the government to promote Irish food exports to a globalized world. The board held a one-day conference last week on sustainable food production, and used the opportunity to educate some 800 attendees on the Origin Green program. (Full disclosure: the board covered my expenses to attend.)

Having written a chapter in Worldwatch’s State of the World 2013 called “Beyond Sustainababble,” I tend to apply a skeptical ear to the use of the words sustainable and sustainability, especially by corporations. As I note in the chapter, the S-words are often used without meaning or verification to pitch brands and products to consumers who want to help the planet through their purchasing power. And indeed, some of the corporate executives presenting at the meeting on their companies’ efforts did skirt past the tough question of what sustainability really means, particularly for their own operations.

Got sustainability? (Photo Credit: Robert Engelman)

There were plenty of PowerPoint slides showing reductions in the use of energy, water, and other resources. And there were some mentions of long-term targets and even a few goals of achieving zero waste or net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the future. These are healthy signs that these companies—ranging in this meeting from Irish firms like Errigal Seafood to multinationals like PepsiCo—are at least showing some leadership and are ahead of the many others that can’t be bothered to worry about their impact on the future of humanity.

But what was more interesting than the individual corporate efforts is the role that the Food Board—and thus indirectly the Irish government—is playing in trying to introduce real metrics of sustainability into the food industry, all the way to the farm itself.

(more…)

Mar21

Nourishing the Planet TV: Improving the Harvest, From the Soil to the Market

Share
Pin It

In this week’s episode, we discuss a program helping farmers in Tanzania work together to earn a sustainable living, while healing the land. CARE International’s Equitable Payment for Watershed Management (EPWM) program encourages, and works closely with, smallholder farmers to use intercropping and terraces to help restore—and hold in place—the soil.

Video: http://youtu.be/wGyTtJeuxkA

To read more about CARE International’s EPWM program, see: Innovation of the Week: Improving the Harvest, From the Soil to the Market.

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.

Jan11

Nourishing the Planet TV: World Neighbors, Communities, and Sustainable Agriculture

Share
Pin It

In this week’s episode, we discuss World Neighbors, a non-profit that works in farming communities around the world to teach sustainable agricultural practices, including drip irrigation and terracing techniques. With help from World Neighbors, these farmers are learning how to overcome challenges, including drought and poor soil, to feed their families, while conserving valuable natural resources.

Video: http://youtu.be/vhtMtOWmttw

To read more about World Neighbors work, see: Innovation of the Week: World Neighbors Relies on Community Participation for Sustainable Agriculture.

To purchase your own copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.

Dec21

Nourishing the Planet TV: Taking Farming to the Sea

Share
Pin It

In this week’s episode, Nourishing the Planet discusses farming seaweed, an environmentally friendly crop that holds promise of mitigating greenhouse gases while supplementing incomes, providing dietary protein, and offering a sustainable source of biofuel.

Video: http://youtu.be/tG3vV_p2DzU

To read more about seaweed farming, see: Innovation of the Week: Climate Smart Seaweed Farming.

Holiday offer: To purchase a copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet at a 50 percent discountplease click HERE and enter code SW1150. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.

Dec07

Nourishing the Planet TV: Making a Week’s Worth of Rain Last the Whole Year

Share
Pin It

In this week’s episode, we discuss how AquaPro‘s Groasis is working to improve reforestation efforts in arid climates by utilizing nature’s simple and most effective examples. The Groasis uses incubation to deliver water over a time-period in tune with a seedling’s demand for water.  Any precipitation from rainfall or evening condensation is collected from the fan-shaped roof of the device and stored in evaporation-proof containers.

Video: http://youtu.be/Pnq_tu0u8Eo

To read more about AquaPro’s Groasis, see: Innovation of the Week: Making a Week’s Worth of Rain Last the Whole Year.

To purchase your own copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.

 

 

Nov16

Nourishing the Planet TV: School Feeding Programs Improve Livelihoods, Diets, and Local Economies

Share
Pin It

In this week’s episode, we discuss school feeding programs that are helping children and their families in many parts of Africa, where 60 percent of children come to school in the morning without breakfast, if they attend school at all. But, programs such as the The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), are helping to provides school meals for about 20 million children in Africa.

Video: http://youtu.be/HZjiisyOGcc

To purchase your own copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.
Nov09

Nourishing the Planet TV: Locally Produced Crops for Locally Consumed Products

Share
Pin It

In this week’s episode, research intern Isaac Hopkins discusses a collaboration between farmers in Zambia and a local brewery that uses the sorghum they grow to make affordable lager.

Video: http://youtu.be/eWqvdjJKo7o

To read more about sorghum farmers in Zambia, see: Innovation of the Week: Locally Produced Crops for Locally Consumed Products

Oct12

Nourishing the Planet TV: Providing an Agricultural Answer to Nature’s Call

Share
Pin It

In this week’s episode, research intern Dana Drugmand discusses how using human waste as fertilizer provides a solution to crowded urban areas’ problems of lack of sanitation and food security. Innovations, such as composting toilets and a disposable bag called a Peepoo, are providing an agricultural answer to nature’s call.

Video: http://youtu.be/_A7shMHHUHc

To read more about the Peepoo and other innovations like it, see Innovation of the Week: Providing an Agricultural Answer to Nature’s Call

To purchase your own copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.

Oct05

Nourishing the Planet TV: Messages From One Rice Farmer to Another

Share
Pin It

In this week’s episode, Nourishing the Planet research intern Emily Gilbert discusses the Africa Rice Center‘s knowledge sharing, “Farmer to Farmer” videos, a video series that seeks to educate and instruct rice farmers on new production and storage techniques being developed by smallholder rice farmers around the world.

Video: http://youtu.be/BKKUKXBcFbo

To read about the Africa Rice Center’s “Farmer to Farmer” videos, see Innovation of the Week: Messages from One Rice Farmer to Another

To purchase your own copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.

Sep28

Nourishing the Planet TV: Fighting Global Malnutrition Locally

Share
Pin It

In this week’s episode, research intern Joseph Zaleski discusses the benefits of fighting malnutrition locally through the use of Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs).

Video: http://youtu.be/b6UWlDnXITE

To read more about RUTFs, see: Fighting Global Malnutrition Locally.

To purchase your own copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.