Tag Archives: Sustainability

Research for More Sustainable Food Production

46The Meat Site – Safer food, less waste, more efficient food production and better use of natural resources are just some of the goals inspiring the work of a new research group at the University of Lincoln in the UK.

The Agri-Food Technology Research Group aims to develop new technological solutions for all stages of food production including cultivation, harvest, processing and packaging.

Agri-food is the largest industry in Lincolnshire and food security is also one of the major challenges identified by the UK Research Councils.

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Microalgal biofuels: Flexible bioenergies for sustainable development

aaaaaa11111Abstract - To confront energy shortage, global warming and climate changes, biofuels derived from biomass have received increasing attention from the industry, academia and governments. Of the potential sources of biofuels a most promising one is the simple photosynthetic microalgae, which can be grown in open ponds, photobioreactors and fermenters. The advantages to produce biofuels from microalgae include easy adaption to environmental conditions, high photosynthesis efficiency, high lipid content and noncompetition for farmlands. Nonetheless, the real hallmark of microalgae is the fact that these microscopic organisms can provide the biomass feedstock for the flexible production of several different types of renewable and sustainable biofuels such as biodiesel, bioethanol, biogas, biohydrogen among others via thermochemical and biochemical conversion processes. Amazingly, from a sustainability perspective the integrated algal biofuels production, where biodiesel, bioethanol and biogas are continuously produced from one biomass source, can evidently lead to an increase in the energetic productivity of the microalgal biomass, thus improving the economics of this algal biorefinery approach. Developments in several areas, such as genetic and metabolic engineering, are expected to further improve the costeffectiveness of the biofuels from microalgae in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Source: ScienceDirect, December 2, 2013
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The success of sugarcane is the fruit of pioneering science and technology, study concludes

canaBy Elton Alisson

Agência FAPESP – Brazil is recognized as the country with the world’s most efficient biofuel production, which is principally based on sugarcane. The success that the country has enjoyed in transforming this plant into a bioenergy source, however, is due more to a pioneering initiative to create an industrial system for ethanol production than the plant itself.

The system began to be developed in the 1930s when an agronomic development program that made the plant highly efficient was established. Despite these efforts, the agronomic performance of sugarcane is still below that of the other raw materials tested for this purpose over the last few years in different parts of world.

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International initiative seeks to reconcile agriculture with sustainability

40Avicultura Industrial – A group of 25 scientists of the world will have two years to do research and report a concrete experiences to balance the sustainable agricultural production to ensure worldwide food security. The initiative, launched in Rio, aims to unite researchers, governments and companies around the common goals. According Emile Frison, General Director of the Bioversity International, a nonprofit research organization headquartered in Rome, who leads the project, the novelty of Agriculture and Conservation Initiative is the union between researchers of the sustainability and of the productive sectors to fetch integrated solutions.
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The state of the world: is it too late for sustainability?

Coral reeef man in boatThe Guardian - In November 2012, the “big four” professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers released a report that concluded it was too late to hold the future increase in global average temperatures to just two degrees Celsius. “It’s time,” the report announced, “to prepare for a warmer world”.

The same month, the World Bank released Turn Down the Heat, which soberly set forth why a four-degree warmer world must be avoided. Meanwhile, accounts of myriad emerging calamities were easy to find in the press: the failure of the Rio+20 talks to result in positive action, “zombie” coral reefs, calls for higher birth rates, declining Arctic sea ice, an approaching “state shift” in the earth’s biosphere, and other evidence of strain in natural systems and of human blindness, ignorance or denial ……..>> Access the complete article<<

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Why action on forests now is essential to all our futures

acacia tree saplingBy Bharrat Jagdeo
The Guardian - While forests once provided subsistence for local people, for generations clearing forested land has also been good for global business, providing immediate food security for the world. Put simply, forests have been worth more dead than alive.

As populations grow, emerging and industrialised countries are looking to the three great world forest regions – the Three Basins of the Congo, the Amazon and south-east Asia – for their growing resource needs. The economic imperative to acquire and clear more land increases daily as demand for food and commodities grows. More than half of the global forest loss has occurred in the Three Basins. But world food production needs standing forests not felled trees.

Click here to access the complete article at The Guardian
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Building bridges between agribusiness and development

farm workers in a field at a farm in KlippoortieLabex Korea - Aligning agribusiness and development means taking a holistic approach – The Guardian panel suggest 14 crucial factors to making it work. The mainly factors presented by 7 professionals are: Engage smallholders fairly, Regulations aren’t always as effective as voluntary adherence, Bring agriculture into the media, Embed sustainable management systems, We need a holistic approach to value chain development, Monitoring is key, Mainstream conservatism, Certification schemes, Can entrench inequality, Model farms can help encourage chemical compliance, Value chains work best within well-functioning systems, Release Africa’s farmlands from cash crops, Adopt a gendered approach, Governments have a crucial role to play, You can’t ‘scale up’ unsustainable programmes.

Click here to access the complete article at The Guardian with the comments for each theme described above.

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How agroforestry schemes can improve food security in developing countries

ForestBy Caspar van Vark
The Guardian – Agroforesty – the integration of trees and shrubs with crops and livestock systems – has strong potential in addressing problems of food insecurity in developing countries. Done well, it allows producers to make the best use of their land, can boost field crop yields, diversify income, and increase resilience to climate change.

To date, the uptake of agroforestry has been constrained partly because it has lacked a natural ‘home’ in policy space, but that may be changing thanks to a growing body of evidence of what it can achieve, and how to make it work. The FAO last month published a guide to advancing agroforestry on the policy agenda with case studies of best practice, and is due to hold a conference on forests and food security and nutrition in May.

Click here to access the complete article at The Guardian
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Science is key to sustainable development

By Karina Toledo

Agência FAPESP – To make global development possible, science and scientists must achieve a higher level of influence worldwide. Michael Clegg, president of the Inter-American Network of Academies of Science (IANAS), stated this opinion during the opening ceremony of the First Planning Meeting for the 2013 World Science Forum held at FAPESP headquarters between August 29 and 31.
Clegg affirmed that humanity will encounter many substantial challenges during the 21st century, including climate change, emerging infectious diseases, population growth and difficulties associated with meeting food, water and energy demands.

Click here to access the complete article
Photo ans Source: FAPESP, September 19th, 2012
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Leading Agriculture Experts Contribute to new Report Food and Agriculture: The Future of Sustainability

In a new report by the UN Division for Sustainable Development, Food and Agriculture: The Future of Sustainability, authors solicited a group of experts from all dimensions of agriculture for their twenty-year vision of the future of food and agriculture.

The aim of the report is to add strategic input to a new report, “Sustainable Development in the 21st Century” that will be launched by the Division for Sustainable Development (UNDESA) at a side event during the Rio+20 Summit.

Food and Agriculture : The Future of Sustainability intends to cut across worldviews and foster meaningful discussions on the trends and challenges in agriculture. It outlines nine key paths of action for agriculture, with contributions from over seventy global agriculture food leaders from four areas: Policy and Trade; Business Specialists; Rural Livelihoods and Poverty; and Environmental Sustainability. The report also highlights “high impact” areas where smart actions will be proportionally more effective, and argues that “better” production rather than “more” production will be key to a more sustainable future for agriculture.

Download the full report  Agriculture_and_food_the_future_of_sustainability_web
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