mongabay

Karla Mendes on Brazil’s For-Profit Fire Disaster

Multimedia with summary

The Amazon is burning. And we’re not talking about the ubiquitous online store, although profit and commerce are just as involved. According to preliminary data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE),  deforestation of the Amazon rose 92 percent in the past year to 2,472 square miles – an area larger than the state of Delaware. And these fires, while posing a grave risk for wildfires, are not naturally-occurring. These are for-profit fires, intentionally set and on the rise, fueled by a right-wing government hostile to environmental interests.

Jeremy Hance: From Bottleneck to Breakthrough

Multimedia with summary

How do you usually react to the stream of dire warnings about climate change and wildlife extinction? Does it motivate you to do more to make a difference, or does it submerge you into depressed inertia? This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with environmental journalist Jeremy Hance about his ongoing series for Mongabay which shines an encouraging light on the  future of our planet’s flora and fauna. Hance outlines the Bottleneck-to-Breakthrough theory and looks at the driving factors that may save our species and others from extinction.

Mongabay: Why Keep Africa’s Dryland Forests Alive?

Summary: 
  • Small holder farmers from 6,000 Malian households have restored 320 hectares of land through a combination of on-farm natural tree regeneration, water harvesting, moisture retention technologies, improved soil filtration, and enhanced soil humus.
  • This is just one of many efforts currently underway to restore Africa’s dryland forests. There are many obstacles left to overcome, but as the Mali example clearly shows, there are successes to celebrate and build upon, as well.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, 80 percent of charcoal and firewood used by about 2.4 million people is harvested in woodlands found in the dryland areas. Experts say it’s time to start packaging these fragile yet rich and highly adaptive ecosystems into investment opportunities.
Blog
  • Small holder farmers from 6,000 Malian households have restored 320 hectares of land through a combination of on-farm natural tree regeneration, water harvesting, moisture retention technologies, improved soil filtration, and enhanced soil humus.
  • This is just one of many efforts currently underway to restore Africa’s dryland forests. There are many obstacles left to overcome, but as the Mali example clearly shows, there are successes to celebrate and build upon, as well.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, 80 percent of charcoal and firewood used by about 2.4 million people is harvested in woodlands found in the dryland areas. Experts say it’s time to start packaging these fragile yet rich and highly adaptive ecosystems into investment opportunities.

Agroforestry Gives Kenyan Indigenous Community a Lifeline

Summary: 
  • The Cherangani people of Kenya were for generations reliant on the forest for hunting, gathering and agroforestry — a way of life that was curtailed by the colonial government.
  • Today, Cherangani communities living on the edge of the forest have returned to their traditions, intercropping avocado, bean and coffee plants among trees that help reduce water runoff and soil erosion, and improve nutrient cycling.
  • The return to agroforestry has had wide-ranging benefits, from helping the communities improve their livelihoods, to minimizing human-animal conflicts by providing a buffer of fruit trees between the farms and forest.
  • The project has received $5 million in funding, which is expected to provide training to more than 2,000 households on forest conservation and agroforestry techniques.
Article
  • The Cherangani people of Kenya were for generations reliant on the forest for hunting, gathering and agroforestry — a way of life that was curtailed by the colonial government.
  • Today, Cherangani communities living on the edge of the forest have returned to their traditions, intercropping avocado, bean and coffee plants among trees that help reduce water runoff and soil erosion, and improve nutrient cycling.
  • The return to agroforestry has had wide-ranging benefits, from helping the communities improve their livelihoods, to minimizing human-animal conflicts by providing a buffer of fruit trees between the farms and forest.
  • The project has received $5 million in funding, which is expected to provide training to more than 2,000 households on forest conservation and agroforestry techniques.

Topical Tropical Dilemmas

Multimedia with summary

Monoculture. It displaces native plant and animal species, it leads to long-term soil quality degradation, and, in tropical areas, it often means the razing of those beautifully bio-diverse, carbon-capturing rain forests. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Rhett Butler, the founder of the popular non-profit environmental science and conservation website, Mongabay. When we checked in last with Butler he talked about the rapid expansion of palm oil cultivation and its ripple effect on ecosystems all over the tropics.

Rhett Butler on the Palm Oil Industry

Multimedia with summary

The global expansion of the palm oil industry is one of the largest upheavals in modern agricultural history – and one that many Americans know nothing about. And yet palm oil is now everywhere in this country – in our food, our cosmetics and someday soon maybe even in our gas tanks.

Subscribe to mongabay