tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/food1 food news from mongabay.com 2015-06-25T14:47:10Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15034 2015-06-25T14:46:00Z 2015-06-25T14:47:10Z Meager post-Ebola harvests worsen food insecurity in West Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0625_LParshley_EbolaHarvest_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The chaos caused by the Ebola outbreak made it much more than a public health issue in affected West African nations. Farmers, who are central to West African economies, suffered, and the effects have hampered the region's efforts to recover from the disease. Rebecca Kessler 6.310754 -10.803254 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14989 2015-06-17T19:52:00Z 2015-06-17T20:07:19Z Top canned tuna brands rank worst in destructive fishing practices <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/marine_0194-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Starkist, Bumblebee, and the kitchily named Chicken of the Sea are among the most familiar brands of canned tuna on grocery store shelves. They also rank the worst in terms of the sustainability and transparency of their fishing and labor practices, according to the environmental non-profit Greenpeace USA. The group's recently released Tuna Shopping Guide ranks 14 of the most popular tuna brands in the U.S., giving 8 failing grades. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14890 2015-06-01T20:16:00Z 2015-06-01T20:23:10Z Private sector innovations reduce food loss in West Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0601_me_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Why is Africa's second largest tomato producer also the world's biggest importer of tomato paste? The question is a preoccupation for Lamido Sanusi, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. For Sanusi and other experts, the problem is a lack of processing capacity, which leads to enormous waste and a giant food import bill. Tiffany Roufs 7.340988 8.665363 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14874 2015-05-28T18:16:00Z 2015-06-01T20:13:39Z Together we stand: A policy approach to reducing food loss in West Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0228_me_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>West African countries have recognized that when it comes to food security, no nation is an island. Since achieving independence, West African countries have strived for regional integration. By building strong political and economic ties, the 15 member nations of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) aimed to maximize economic development and minimize inter-country conflict. Tiffany Roufs 11.445066 -9.062256 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14826 2015-05-19T17:28:00Z 2015-05-19T17:39:38Z West Africa’s weakest links: Supply chain defects are behind worst food waste For produce raised on some of Senegal’s most fertile cropland, the shortest route to the richest urban markets runs through another country. This geographic reality, with its multiple logistical hurdles, illustrates the food security challenges facing Senegal and the wider West African region. The trouble with feeding people here is not so much the availability of food but its accessibility. The difficulties arise not just in agricultural production but also in inefficient food delivery systems – in harvesting, storage, processing and transport. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14793 2015-05-13T13:41:00Z 2015-05-14T13:30:34Z Food coating made with African ingredient aims to decrease food waste <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0512_LParshley_GumAgaric_Lab_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In sub-Saharan Africa, up to half of all fruits and vegetables are wasted before they make it to a plate. Lack of refrigeration or stable electricity, as well as long and unpredictable supply chains, make it difficult to keep food fresh. But a new food coating that relies on gum arabic, a regionally produced tree sap, might help solve the problem. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14791 2015-05-12T19:38:00Z 2015-05-12T19:39:12Z Satellite data shows how deforestation is impacting our weather and our food <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug3-4463.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The conversion of forests to cropland can drive local temperatures up or down by as much as a few degrees, according to a new report. Ironically, the authors write that these temperature fluctuations can lead to less productivity from the very same agricultural operations the forests were cleared to make way for. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.427806 -54.511761 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14775 2015-05-08T17:34:00Z 2015-06-16T22:31:35Z To improve food security, look to the forests, new report says <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0508_MGowarecki_Cashews_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With as many as 1.5 billion people worldwide dependent on forests for all or most of their diet and livelihood, tending forests wisely could help alleviate global hunger, according to a report released Wednesday. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14646 2015-04-16T16:21:00Z 2015-04-20T04:15:00Z Empowering women in order to save the harvest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0416-RCernansky-Thresher-Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are plenty of technological challenges to reducing food waste in sub-Saharan Africa, but a challenge that might prove more important to overcome is gender inequality. Women are responsible for nearly half of agricultural labor in sub-Saharan Africa, with some estimates reaching up to 90 percent. But they often don't have the authority to make financial decisions for their families, even when it comes to managing or selling the crops they've grown themselves. Tiffany Roufs -4.214622 35.751786 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14636 2015-04-14T15:37:00Z 2015-05-29T15:28:39Z Unique center trains Tanzanian farmers to preserve their fruits and veggies <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0414-RCernansky-ZECC-thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Farmers and traders throughout sub-Saharan Africa lose nearly half of their fruits and vegetables before they reach the consumer. To get more food to people who need it, the Postharvest Training and Services Center teaches them better methods of storing, processing, and transporting their crops. Rebecca Kessler -3.373646 36.805498 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14628 2015-04-13T17:15:00Z 2015-04-17T13:26:22Z New solutions aim to deliver more grain from farm to table in sub-Saharan Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0413-RCernansky-Farmer-Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Corn is an integral part of many meals in Tanzania and its neighboring East African countries, but much of the harvest is lost to insects, rats, or mold. Researchers are developing ways to help farmers keep their harvest fresh longer in storage. Rebecca Kessler -4.184726 35.748095 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14614 2015-04-09T19:17:00Z 2015-04-17T13:26:36Z Combating food waste in sub-Saharan Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0409-RCernansky-Market-Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In sub-Saharan Africa, a sizeable portion of essential food crops are lost before they can be eaten or sold. Long a neglected aspect of the agricultural system, this waste stream of food is starting to attract attention from global agriculture organizations and financial institutions, offering hope that the losses can be reduced, and with them rates of rural hunger and malnutrition. Rebecca Kessler -3.365242 36.688199 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14578 2015-04-02T16:14:00Z 2015-04-03T18:24:12Z Could inland aquaculture help save the oceans and feed the world? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0323_grouper_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mark Kwok has always loved the ocean. An avid diver and spear fisherman, he has travelled the planet in search of exotic fish and undersea adventure. Born into a wealthy Hong Kong family, he had the freedom to explore the world’s oceans. But in the last decade or so, he hasn’t been content just looking at fish. He’s been growing them. In a squat, unassuming cluster of buildings in an industrial suburb north of Hong Kong, Kwok is experimenting with a potentially revolutionary technology. Morgan Erickson-Davis 22.260480 114.132678 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14374 2015-02-12T19:59:00Z 2015-02-13T18:50:45Z U.S. Central Plains and Southwest will likely face apocalyptic drought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0212.thumb.800px-Dust-storm-Texas-1935.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the recent film Interstellar, a mysterious phenomenon known as "the blight" is wiping out agriculture around the world until only corn&#8212;for some reason&#8212;survives. Humanity is on the brink of starvation. While the blight may be science fiction, global warming is not, and a new study finds that future warming could decimate the western U.S. over the next century. Jeremy Hance 42.414898 -99.888738 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14366 2015-02-10T17:34:00Z 2015-02-11T22:48:04Z Pollution from fossil fuels decreased rainfall in Central America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0210.thumb.yokbalum.86461_web.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fossil fuel pollution may have caused a southern shift in a vital rainfall belt across Central America, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience, potentially leading to drier conditions and droughts in some northern tropical countries. Using data from a single stalagmite in a Belizean cave, the researchers were able to create an accurate record of both rainfall and temperature for the last 450 years. Jeremy Hance 16.504696 -88.919960 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14362 2015-02-09T14:50:00Z 2015-02-09T14:53:09Z Pollinator collapse could lead to a rise in malnutrition Saving the world's pollinators may be a public health issue, according to recent research. Scientists have long believed that pollinators are important for human nutrition, but this is first time they have tested the hypothesis. What they found is disturbing: pollinator collapse could increase nutrient deficiency across local populations by a up to 56 percent in four developing counties. Jeremy Hance -15.831249 23.960145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14030 2014-11-17T18:20:00Z 2014-11-17T19:54:34Z Of bluefin and pufferfish: 310 species added to IUCN Red List <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1117.iucnredlist.1067645559.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, 22,413 species are threatened with extinction, according to the most recent update of the IUCN Red List. This is a rise of 310 species from the last update in the summer. The update includes the Pacific bluefin tuna, the Chinese pufferfish, and Chapman's pygmy chameleon, among others. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14001 2014-11-11T13:52:00Z 2014-11-11T14:13:46Z Poor rains then floods lead to food crisis in Somalia Four years after over a quarter of a million people perished in a famine in Somalia, the East African country is again on the verge of a possible humanitarian disaster. Flooding in southern Somalia, following months of little rain, has just exacerbated an already-precarious situation according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Jeremy Hance 1.456753 42.138760 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13857 2014-10-01T21:53:00Z 2014-10-14T18:26:42Z Small chocolate company takes big steps toward conservation and human development <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0911choco150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Madécasse is not just another chocolate company selling their bars in high-end supermarkets across the United States and Europe. Their bean-to-bar business model is shaping the way small companies deal with the developing world while providing new reasons to conserve a biodiversity hotspot. Tiffany Roufs -19.453994 45.999499 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13700 2014-08-22T16:17:00Z 2014-08-22T16:36:18Z Of Prawns and Men on the Bali Strait <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_7917.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Why is shrimp so cheap? The answer: it's not. An in depth look at the shrimp farm industry in Indonesia and the true cost of this universally enjoyed delicacy. This article by Melati Kaye first appeared in the Seashore Issue of the culinary magazine Lucky Peach and was funded under Mongabay.org's Special Reporting Initiatives program. Tiffany Roufs -8.102039 114.425000 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13620 2014-08-01T16:47:00Z 2014-08-01T18:04:46Z 2 prize-winning journalists will report on Amazon, 2 new prizes announced <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_1376.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mongabay.org's Special Reporting Initiative (SRI) program has recently awarded two different reporting prizes to journalists to tackle these vital and complicated issues in-depth. The non-profit has also launched a call for applications to two new SRIs: The social and environmental impacts of foreign development finance in the Amazon and Food spoilage and waste in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13566 2014-07-22T00:35:00Z 2014-07-23T12:52:51Z Global warming emissions from meat consumption rising rapidly <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_4902.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock production have increased by more than 50 percent over the past 50 years and are set to zoom higher as the developing world consumes more meat, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> (PNAS). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13501 2014-07-08T14:53:00Z 2014-07-08T15:03:47Z From triumph to tragedy: famine could hit world's newest country by August Suffering from a six month civil war, the world's youngest country could begin experiencing famine conditions in the next few weeks, according to an analysis from a group of British aid agencies. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13443 2014-06-25T15:53:00Z 2014-11-25T22:28:36Z A taste for wildlife: what's driving bushmeat hunting in Tanzania? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0625-bushmeat.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Barbed-wire snares, spent shotgun shells, the lingering smell of gunpowder, and strips of curing meat: glimpses from a bushmeat hunt. Bushmeat hunting is the illegal hunting of wildlife for food and income. A new study reports regular bushmeat consumption by a large proportion of Tanzania’s tribal populations. Co-authors Silvia Ceppi and Martin Nielson were hunting for their own answers: who was eating bushmeat and why? Morgan Erickson-Davis -10.404279 36.562404 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13383 2014-06-13T20:05:00Z 2014-06-13T20:09:21Z 'Borne by the rest of the world': deforestation has global impact, reduces food security <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0613-indo-deforestation-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Research indicates that areas with more forest cover tend to have superior food resilience compared to areas with less. In addition, the loss of forest cover to deforestation has long-term impacts not only locally, but also globally. These topics were discussed by international experts during the 2020 Conference on Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security, held last month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.717664 104.415375 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13273 2014-05-22T19:29:00Z 2014-05-22T21:13:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Linking public health and environmental degradation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0522.Madagascar2-061.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Christopher Golden is an explorer on a mission. As both an epidemiologist and ecologist, he is investigating and expanding the interface between human and ecosystem health. This year, Golden was appointed the Director of Wildlife Conservation Society's HEAL (Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages</a>) Program. Jeremy Hance -15.508300 49.598895 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13184 2014-05-05T19:44:00Z 2014-05-05T19:54:27Z Somalia could face another famine due to delayed rains, insecurity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0505.800px-Oxfam_East_Africa_-_A_mass_grave_for_children_in_Dadaab.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly a million people are in need of immediate food assistance in Somalia, where delayed rains, high food prices, and insecurity threaten a repeat of the 2011 famine that left 258,000 people dead. According to the UN's Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU), 857,000 Somalis need immediate assistance. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13136 2014-04-25T17:28:00Z 2014-11-25T22:17:02Z Wild food: scientists link forests to human nutrition <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0425-fruit-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Food security is a mounting global issue. As a solution to increasing food scarcity, forests are commonly cleared to make land available for agriculture. Around the world, both industrial farmers and subsistence farmers alike are growing crops on deforested land. However, scientists are finding that the forests themselves may actually be key to providing local populations with higher quality diets. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.807513 18.654772 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13129 2014-04-25T00:00:00Z 2014-12-30T22:49:12Z The beef with beef: how 12 strategies could drastically cut agricultural emissions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_6299.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Eating less beef, cutting food waste, and utilizing farm landscapes to sequester carbon are three ways a new report suggests the world could rapidly tackle agricultural emissions. Currently, global agriculture accounts for nearly a fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions when agriculturally-linked deforestation is included. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13012 2014-03-31T17:37:00Z 2014-12-30T22:50:34Z Apocalypse now? Climate change already damaging agriculture, acidifying seas, and worsening extreme weather <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0331.Tacloban_Typhoon_Haiyan_2013-11-14.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's not just melting glaciers and bizarrely-early Springs anymore; climate change is impacting every facet of human civilization from our ability to grow enough crops to our ability to get along with each other, according to a new 2,300-page report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The massive report states definitively that climate change is already affecting human societies on every continent. Jeremy Hance 35.463838 139.619164 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12881 2014-03-06T14:11:00Z 2014-03-06T14:26:18Z Dietary diversity: key to defending tropical ecosystems A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) points to the homogenization of global diets over the past fifty years. It shows that worldwide production of traditional staples such as millet, rye, sorghum, yams and cassava have been in decline. Instead, the world's population increasingly relies on a relatively small number of 'megacrops' like wheat, corn and soy, raising serious concerns for global food security, human nutrition, and the genetic diversity of crops. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12720 2014-02-04T16:13:00Z 2014-02-06T07:37:38Z 20 million people face hunger in Africa's Sahel region The UN and partner humanitarian groups today called on the international community to spend $2 billion to avoid a famine in Africa's Sahel region, which includes nine nations along the southern edge of the Sahara. Although the Sahel is chronically prone to food insecurity, the situation has dramatically worsened as the UN estimates 20 million people are at risk of hunger up from 11 million last year. Jeremy Hance 14.051331 2.76123 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12670 2014-01-21T17:04:00Z 2014-01-21T17:21:19Z The smoothtooth blacktip shark and four other species rediscovered in markets <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0121rediscovered150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table><i>Scientific American</i>) magazine recently ran an article on the rediscovery of the smoothtooth blacktip shark (<i>Carcharhinus leiodon</i>) in a Kuwaiti fish market. Believed extinct for over 100 years, the smoothtooth had not been seen since the naturalist Wilhelm Hein returned from a trip to Yemen in 1902. With its reappearance, scientists scoured Kuwaiti markets and discovered an astounding 47 individual smoothtooth blacktips. Tiffany Roufs 29.305561 47.740173 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12543 2013-12-19T16:45:00Z 2015-02-12T00:02:11Z Chickens before cows: new study finds cattle have outsized greenhouse gas footprint If you want to lower your greenhouse gas emissions, choose chicken or poultry over beef and dairy, according to a massive new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study finds that global cattle production&#8212;both for beef and dairy&#8212;is responsible for a whopping 77 percent of the world's greenhouse gases attributed to livestock. Meanwhile, pork and poultry account for only 10 percent the greenhouse gases from livestock. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12484 2013-12-05T13:19:00Z 2013-12-05T13:40:41Z Humans are not apex predators, but meat-eating on the rise worldwide <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1205.maps.meateating.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new paper in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> has measured the "trophic level" of human beings for the first time. Falling between 1 and 5.5, trophic levels refer to where species fit on the food chain. Apex predators like tigers and sharks are given a 5.5 on trophic scale since they survive almost entirely on consuming meat, while plants and phytoplankton, which make their own food, are at the bottom of the scale. Humans, according to the new paper, currently fall in the middle: 2.21. However, rising meat-eating in countries like China, India, and Brazil is pushing our trophic level higher with massive environmental impacts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12442 2013-11-25T18:51:00Z 2013-11-25T19:46:26Z Scientists’ beef with land use decisions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0736.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When food goes to the garbage can instead of someone’s stomach, it is easy to see a wasted opportunity. The resources used to grow and transport that apple or hamburger went to the landfill. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is bringing another, less visible, form of food waste to the table, the waste created by eating foods that are inefficient to produce, like beef. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12126 2013-09-25T16:27:00Z 2013-09-25T16:34:20Z Climate change to hurt children most Children will bear the brunt of the impact of climate change because of their increased risk of health problems, malnutrition and migration, according to a new study published on Monday. And food prices are likely to soar as a result of warming, undoing the progress made in combating world hunger. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12038 2013-09-09T20:04:00Z 2013-09-09T23:13:06Z Europe importing more palm oil for biofuels, raising risks for rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil imports into Europe for use as car fuel increased by more than three-fold since 2006, raising concerns than renewable fuels targets may be contributing to deforestation, displacing marginalized communities, and driving greenhouse gas emissions in Southeast Asia, finds a new study published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Rhett Butler 50.845839 4.36693 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11939 2013-08-19T18:06:00Z 2013-08-19T18:14:47Z Worst drought in 30 years threatens millions in southern Africa with food insecurity Around 2 million people face food insecurity in northern Namibia and southern Angola as the worst regional drought in decades takes its toll, according to the UN. Two years of failed rains have pushed families into desperate conditions in a region already known for its desert-like conditions. In Namibia alone, experts estimate that over 100,000 children under five are at risk for acute malnutrition. Jeremy Hance -22.552513 17.063427 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11912 2013-08-14T14:22:00Z 2013-08-14T14:26:20Z China's growing wine industry threatening pandas and other endangered species In 1985, Li Hua visited a valley in the foothills of the Tibetan plateau. The area was better known for its panda population, but the oenologist realized that its high altitude, hours of sunshine, sandy soil and low precipitation also offered ideal conditions for growing grapes. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11888 2013-08-06T17:32:00Z 2015-02-11T23:13:23Z Foodies eat lab-grown burger that could change the world Yesterday at a press event in London, two food writers took a bite into the world's most unusual hamburger. Grown meticulously from cow stem cells, the hamburger patty represents the dream (or pipedream) of many animal rights activists and environmentalists. The burger was developed by Physiologist Mark Post of Maastricht University and funded by Google co-founder Sergey Brin in an effort to create real meat without the corresponding environmental toll. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11653 2013-06-26T19:48:00Z 2013-06-26T19:54:06Z Crop yields no longer keeping up with population growth If the world is to grow enough food for the projected global population in 2050, agricultural productivity will have to rise by at least 60%, and may need to more than double, according to researchers who have studied global crop yields. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11631 2013-06-23T17:10:00Z 2015-02-11T23:08:09Z Solving 'wicked problems': ten principles for improved environmental management <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0225.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As agriculture continues to expand at the expense of forests in the tropics, humanity struggles to meet environmental protection goals. Despite global efforts towards sustainable agriculture and some progress towards the gazetting of protected areas, there are as yet no general and effective solutions for meeting both conservation goals and food needs, and thus the loss and degradation of natural habitats continues. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has estimated a 70% increase in food production will be needed by 2050 to feed a population that will exceed 9 billion. How can such food production be met in ways that conserve the environment while also alleviating poverty? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11613 2013-06-18T12:38:00Z 2013-06-18T13:02:32Z New York City may mandate composting of food scraps to cut garbage bill The mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is preparing to roll out a new composting plan for the city, aimed at diverting some of the 100,000 tons of food scraps that ends up in landfill every year. Rhett Butler 40.753499 -73.983521 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11499 2013-05-28T19:02:00Z 2015-02-09T23:01:09Z Scientists discover high mercury levels in Amazon residents, gold-mining to blame <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0528.IMG_1408.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Madre de Dios region in Peru is recognized for its lush Amazon rainforests, meandering rivers and rich wildlife. But the region is also known for its artisanal gold mining, which employs the use of a harmful neurotoxin. Mercury is burned to extract the pure gold from metal and ore producing dangerous air-borne vapors that ultimately settle in nearby rivers. 'Mercury in all forms is a potent neurotoxin affecting the brain, central nervous system and major organs,'Luis Fernandez, an ecologist and research associate at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, told mongabay.com. 'At extremely high exposure levels, mercury has been documented to cause paralysis, insanity, coma and death.' Jeremy Hance -12.588073 -69.192982 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11435 2013-05-15T14:36:00Z 2013-05-20T20:15:22Z Pacific islanders are the 'victims of industrial countries unable to control their carbon dioxide emissions' With islands and atolls scattered across the ocean, the small Pacific island states are among those most exposed to the effects of global warming: increasing acidity and rising sea level, more frequent natural disasters and damage to coral reefs. These micro-states, home to about 10 million people, are already paying for the environmental irresponsibility of the great powers. Jeremy Hance 1.835776 -157.366905 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11428 2013-05-14T15:08:00Z 2015-02-09T22:57:26Z Eat insects to mitigate deforestation and climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0514_INSECTS-AS-FOOD150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new 200-page-report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) urges human society to utilize an often-ignored, protein-rich, and ubiquitous food source: insects. While many in the industrialized west might turn up their noses at the idea of eating insects, already around 2 billion people worldwide eat over 1,900 species of insect, according to the FAO. Expanding insect-eating, the authors argue, may be one way to combat rising food needs, environmental degradation, and climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11424 2013-05-13T17:18:00Z 2013-05-13T17:27:10Z Nearly a million people face food crisis in Niger Around 800,000 people in Niger face food insecurity in coming months, according to the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Rising food prices and refugees from Mali, which is plagued by conflict, have made access to food difficult in the west African country. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11384 2013-05-07T15:15:00Z 2013-05-07T15:28:45Z Frankenfish or scientific marvel?: giant GM salmon await U.S. approval It is hard to think of a more unlikely setting for genetic experimentation or for raising salmon: a rundown shed at a secretive location in the Panamanian rainforest miles inland and 1,500m above sea level. But the facility, which is owned by an American company AquaBounty Technologies, stands on the verge of delivering the first genetically modified food animal&#8212;a fast-growing salmon&#8212;to supermarkets and dinner tables. Jeremy Hance 8.775747 -82.433009 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11373 2013-05-06T13:58:00Z 2014-07-06T22:13:46Z 'Suffering...without witnesses': over a quarter of a million people perished in Somali famine <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0506.VOA_Heinlein_-_Somali_refugees_September_2011_-_09.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report estimates that 258,000 people died in 2011 during a famine in Somalia, the worst of such events in 25 years and a number at least double the highest estimations during the crisis. Over half of the victims, around 133,000, were children five and under. The report, by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), argues that the international community reacted too late and too little to stem the mass starvation brought on by government instability, conflict, high food prices, and failed rains, the last of which has been linked to climate change by some scientists. Jeremy Hance 2.569939 45.194091 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11315 2013-04-29T15:39:00Z 2015-02-09T22:52:37Z What if companies actually had to compensate society for environmental destruction? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/kenya/150/kenya_0414.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The environment is a public good. We all share and depend on clean water, a stable atmosphere, and abundant biodiversity for survival, not to mention health and societal well-being. But under our current global economy, industries can often destroy and pollute the environment&#8212;degrading public health and communities&#8212;without paying adequate compensation to the public good. Economists call this process "externalizing costs," i.e. the cost of environmental degradation in many cases is borne by society, instead of the companies that cause it. A new report from TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity), conducted by Trucost, highlights the scale of the problem: unpriced natural capital (i.e. that which is not taken into account by the global market) was worth $7.3 trillion in 2009, equal to 13 percent of that year's global economic output. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11289 2013-04-23T14:45:00Z 2013-04-23T15:07:07Z The river of plenty: uncovering the secrets of the amazing Mekong <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0423.6799022660_06814e41d7_h.boat.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Home to giant catfish and stingrays, feeding over 60 million people, and with the largest abundance of freshwater fish in the world, the Mekong River, and its numerous tributaries, brings food, culture, and life to much of Southeast Asia. Despite this, little is known about the biodiversity and ecosystems of the Mekong, which is second only to the Amazon in terms of freshwater biodiversity. Meanwhile, the river is facing an existential crisis in the form of 77 proposed dams, while population growth, pollution, and development further imperil this understudied, but vast, ecosystem. Jeremy Hance 18.033586 101.890783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11269 2013-04-18T15:58:00Z 2013-04-22T16:10:53Z Up for grabs: how foreign investments are redistributing land and water across the globe <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0418.madagascar_6162.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2007, the increased human population, increased prices in fuel and transportation costs, and an increased demand for a diversity of food products prompted a Global Food Crisis. Agricultural producers and government leaders world-wide struggled to procure stable food sources for their countries. But the crisis had impacts beyond 2007: it was also the impetus for what we now know as the global land-grabbing phenomenon. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11200 2013-04-09T16:56:00Z 2015-03-05T05:48:31Z 6 lessons for stopping deforestation on the frontier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0408nepstad150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1984, at the tail end of the Brazilian dictatorship, I took up residence in a frontier town called Paragominas in the eastern Amazon. I went to study rainforests and pasture restoration, but soon became captivated as well by the drama of the frontier itself. Forests were hotly contested among cattle ranchers, smallholder communities, land speculators and more than a hundred logging companies, sometimes with fatal results. If we are to meet rising global demand for food, conserve tropical forests, and mitigate climate change at the pace that is necessary, we must become much better at taming aggressive, lawless tropical forest frontiers where people are making a lot of money cutting forests down. Rhett Butler -3.269404 -47.268677 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11126 2013-03-27T16:47:00Z 2015-02-09T22:44:34Z Common pesticides disrupt brain functioning in bees Exposure to commonly used pesticides directly disrupts brain functioning in bees, according to new research in <i>Nature</i>. While the study is the first to record that popular pesticides directly injure bee brain physiology, it adds to a slew of recent studies showing that pesticides, especially neonicotinoids, are capable of devastating bee hives and may be, at least, partly responsible for on-going Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Jeremy Hance 56.458222 -2.982019 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11070 2013-03-19T18:24:00Z 2013-04-03T13:25:11Z Planet organic: achieving sustainable food security and environmental gains The global farmland area certified organic has expanded more than threefold to 37 million hectares since 1999, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute. The Institute argues that organic farming has the potential to contribute to sustainable food security by improving nutrition intake and sustaining rural livelihoods, while reducing vulnerability to climate change and enhancing biodiversity. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11055 2013-03-18T14:01:00Z 2013-03-18T14:39:43Z Innovative idea: wildlife income may help people withstand drought in Africa Getting local people to become invested in wildlife conservation is not always easy, especially in parts of the world where protected areas are seen as taking away natural resources from local communities. This tension lies around Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, where a growing population of livestock herders competes with wildlife. Jeremy Hance -21.461476 32.039005 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10935 2013-02-27T18:02:00Z 2015-02-09T22:37:20Z Scientists: stop treating population growth as a 'given' and empower women <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/madagascar_ankarafantsika_0393.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, water scarcity, and land issues: almost all of the world's environmental problems are underpinned by too many people inhabiting a finite planet. A new study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B warns that overpopulation&#8212;combined with over-consumption&#8212;is threatening to push the entire globe into "a collapse of global civilization." But cultural changes, especially more empowerment of women and access to contraceptives, may hold the key to reducing population growth and eventual sustainability. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10899 2013-02-20T22:39:00Z 2013-02-20T23:36:38Z Stress makes organic tomatoes more nutritious, sweeter <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0220.800px-Tomato_scanned.5150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Organic tomatoes are sweeter (more sugar) and more nutritious (more vitamin C and anti-oxidants) than tomatoes grown with pesticides and chemical fertilizers, according to a new study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. The scientists theorize that stress may be why organic farming produces a more nutritious and tastier tomato. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10795 2013-01-31T20:17:00Z 2014-05-11T13:36:30Z From slash-and-burn to Amazon heroes: new video series highlights agricultural transformation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0131.IMG_7979werberinterview.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new series of short films is celebrating the innovation of rural farmers in the Manu region of Peru. Home to jaguars, macaws, and tapirs, the Manu region is also one of the top contenders for the world's most biodiverse place. It faces a multitude of threats from road-building to mining to gas and oil concessions. Still the impact of smallscale slash-and-burn farming&#8212;once seen as the greatest threat to the Amazon and other rainforest&#8212;may be diminishing as farmers, like the first film's Reynaldo (see below), turn to new ways of farming, ones that preserve the forest while providing a better life overall. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10667 2013-01-10T23:29:00Z 2014-07-17T20:38:47Z Throwing our food away: Up to 50% of the food produced worldwide is wasted A new report titled 'Global food, waste not, want not' published by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers has found that 30 to 50% of all food produced in the world never reaches a stomach. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10663 2013-01-10T16:23:00Z 2015-02-09T22:21:27Z Paradigm shift needed to avert global environmental collapse, according to author of new book The Blueprint: Averting Global Collapse <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0110.shutterstock_102265663.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Global strategist, trained educator, and international lecturer Daniel Rirdan set out to create a plan addressing the future of our planet. His book The Blueprint: Averting Global Collapse, published this year, does just that. "It has been a sixty hour a week routine," Rirdan told mongabay.com in a recent interview. "Basically, I would wake up with the burden of the world on my shoulders and go to sleep with it. It went on like this for eighteen months." It becomes apparent when reading The Blueprint that it was indeed a monumental undertaking. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10537 2012-12-07T23:59:00Z 2013-11-08T21:41:50Z Palm oil or lard? Animal fats and margarine consumption in the United States have been largely replaced by palm oil, a plant-based oil that has similar cooking properties, but may not be as environmentally-friendly as commonly believed, argues a researcher in this week's issue of <i>Nature</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10521 2012-12-05T14:13:00Z 2013-02-05T15:03:40Z Improving food and water efficiency a must for the next generation This summer, while climate change silence reigned in the U.S. presidential race, the Stockholm International Water Institute's conference for World Water Week focused on the global initiatives required in order to live with its effects. The report, titled "Feeding a Thirsty World," garnered the most publicity with the assertion that agricultural water scarcity and an increasing population would force the world to reduce average meat and dairy consumption down to just 5% of all calories by 2050. At present, 20% of the average human diet is made up from animal proteins. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10438 2012-11-20T00:23:00Z 2015-02-09T22:13:43Z World Bank: 4 degrees Celsius warming would be miserable <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Sandy_Oct_25_2012_0400Z.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report by the World Bank paints a bleak picture of life on Earth in 80 years: global temperatures have risen by 4 degrees Celsius spurring rapidly rising sea levels and devastating droughts. Global agriculture is under constant threat; economies have been hampered; coastal cities are repeatedly flooded; coral reefs are dissolving from ocean acidification; and species worldwide are vanishing. This, according to the World Bank, is where we are headed even if all of the world's nations meet their pledges on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. However, the report also notes that with swift, aggressive action it's still possible to ensure that global temperatures don't rise above 4 degrees Celsius. Jeremy Hance 38.898882 -77.042316 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10379 2012-11-12T20:14:00Z 2012-11-12T20:24:25Z Hurricane Sandy pushes Haiti toward full-blown food crisis Although Haiti avoided a direct hit by Hurricane Sandy, the tropical storm caused severe flooding across the southern part of the country decimating agricultural fields. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs now warns that 1.5 million Haitians are at risk of severe food insecurity, while 450,000 people face severe acute malnutrition, which can kill. Jeremy Hance 18.547325 -72.323113 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10370 2012-11-07T12:46:00Z 2012-11-07T13:36:14Z Controversial dam gets approval in Laos Laos has given approval to the hugely-controversial $3.5 billion Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River, reports the BBC. The massive dam, which would provide 95 percent of its energy production to Thailand, has been criticized for anticipated impacts on the river's fish populations, on which many locals depend. Jeremy Hance 19.254027 101.814054 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10351 2012-11-01T15:15:00Z 2012-11-02T16:16:49Z From 'fertilizer to fork': food accounts for a quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions Growing, transporting, refrigerating, and wasting food accounts for somewhere between 19-29 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions in 2008, according to a new analysis by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). In hard numbers that's between 9.8 and 16.9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, more than double the fossil fuel emissions of China in the same year. Over 80 percent of food emissions came from production (i.e. agriculture) which includes deforestation and land use change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10275 2012-10-16T17:37:00Z 2012-10-16T17:54:31Z One in eight people suffer from malnutrition worldwide <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_6050.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a world where technology has advanced to a point where I can instantly have a face-to-face conversation via online video with a friend in Tokyo, nearly 870 million people, or one in eight, still suffer from malnutrition, according to a new UN report. While worldwide hunger declined from 1990 to 2007, progress was slowed by the global economic crisis. Over the last few years, numerous and record-breaking extreme weather events have also taken tolls on food production. Currently, food prices hover just below crisis levels. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10234 2012-10-04T19:50:00Z 2012-10-04T20:01:54Z Food prices rise as food aid needed in Middle East and Africa Food prices increased in September on the FAO Food Price Index after two months of stability, while food aid has been urgently called for in Yemen and Syria, and concerns lingered in parts of Africa. Food prices globally rose 3 points (or 1.4 percent) to 216 points. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10165 2012-09-17T18:43:00Z 2012-09-18T02:30:43Z Bushmeat consumption differs between communities in Tanzania Bushmeat consumption depends on the make-up of individual communities, according to a new study in the open access journal Tropical Conservation Science. By interviewing indigenous groups and refugees living near two protected areas in western Tanzania, researchers found that consumption rates differed significantly, likely based on costliness and access. Jeremy Hance -6.892344 31.19133 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10064 2012-08-27T14:22:00Z 2012-08-27T14:32:36Z Mekong dam spree could create regional food crisis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_2420.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fish are a hugely important protein source for many people around the world. This is no more evident than along the lower Mekong River delta where an estimated 48 million people depend directly on the river for food and livelihoods. But now a new study in <i>Global Environmental Change</i> cautions that 11 planned hydroelectric dams in the region could cut vital fish populations by 16 percent while putting more strain on water and land resources. Jeremy Hance 19.254027 101.814054 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9908 2012-07-25T19:51:00Z 2012-07-26T13:38:37Z Campaign cuts Norway's palm oil consumption 64% A campaign run by environmental activists has helped lead to a 87 percent reduction in palm oil use by eight major food companies in Norway, reports Rainforest Foundation Norway, which led the effort. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9882 2012-07-23T20:40:00Z 2012-07-23T20:57:59Z U.S. drought could set in motion global food crisis The U.S. is suffering drought levels not seen in over 50 years&#8212;and drawing comparisons to the Dust Bowl&#8212;with 56 percent of the contiguous U.S. in moderate to extreme drought. Some experts fear that the drought, and resulting hikes in food prices, could propel another global food crisis like those seen in 2008 and 2010. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9813 2012-07-11T18:58:00Z 2012-07-11T19:20:24Z Climate change increased the probability of Texas drought, African famine, and other extreme weather <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/drought.map.us.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change is here and its increasing the chances for crazy weather, according to scientists. A prestigious group of climatologists have released a landmark report that makes the dramatic point that climate change is impacting our weather systems&#8212;and in turn our food crops, our economies, and even our lives&#8212;here-and-now. The new report in the American Meteorological Society is first of what is intended to be an annual offering that will attempt to tease out the connections between climate change and individual extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts and floods. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9730 2012-06-26T14:55:00Z 2015-02-08T23:05:13Z Agricultural area larger than Texas has been 'land-grabbed' Compiling over 1,000 foreign land deals from 2000-2010, a new report finds that 702,000 square kilometers (271,043 square miles) of agricultural land worldwide has been sold-off to foreign governments or international corporations, an area larger than Texas. The report by the Worldwatch Institute finds that such land deals, often referred to as "land grabbing," have declined since a peak in 2009, but still remain high. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9665 2012-06-13T16:41:00Z 2012-06-13T16:48:38Z Alarm rising over food crisis in Sahel region <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/05-02-unicef-sahel.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Warnings over a possible famine in Africa's Sahel region are becoming louder and more intense. Abnormal drought, locally high food prices, and regional conflict have ramped up concerns that 18 million people could suffer from malnutrition and starvation as the lean season sets in. UNICEF says it needs $238 million to save over a million children from severe malnourishment in the region, but has to date only raised $93 million. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9601 2012-06-04T12:17:00Z 2012-06-04T12:41:47Z After damning research, France proposes banning pesticide linked to bee collapse Following research linking neonicotinoid pesticides to the decline in bee populations, France has announced it plans to ban Cruiser OSR, an insecticide produced by Sygenta. Recent studies, including one in France, have shown that neonicotinoid pesticides likely hurt bees' ability to navigate, potentially devastating hives. France has said it will give Sygenta two weeks to prove the pesticide is not linked to the bee decline, known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9552 2012-05-23T13:11:00Z 2012-05-23T14:19:57Z KFC Australia stops using palm oil Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has stopped using palm oil for fast food sold in its Australian outlets, reports <a href=http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201205/s3509133.htm target=_blank>ABC News</a>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9531 2012-05-17T16:10:00Z 2012-05-17T16:18:06Z Growing cardamom impacts forests for decades Over 25 years after people stopped growing cardamom in Sri Lanka's Knuckles Forest Reserve (KFR), the spice crop is still having an impact on the forest, according to a recent study in Forest Ecology and Management. The clearing of understory plants and the use of fertilizers continue to shape the forest in the protected area. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9523 2012-05-15T21:00:00Z 2015-02-05T01:19:00Z Consumption, population, and declining Earth: wake-up call for Rio+20 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/new_mexico_061.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Currently, human society is consuming natural resources as if there were one-and-a-half Earths, and not just a single blue planet, according to the most recent Living Planet Report released today. If governments and societies continue with 'business-as-usual' practices, we could be consuming three years of natural resources in 12 months by 2050. Already, this ecological debt is decimating wildlife populations worldwide, disproportionately hurting the world's poor and most vulnerable, threatening imperative resources like food and water, heating up the atmosphere, and risking global well-being. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9491 2012-05-09T15:26:00Z 2012-05-09T15:56:47Z 'The real Hunger Games': a million children at risk as Sahel region suffers punishing drought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/800px-2011_Horn_of_Africa_famine_Oxfam_01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The UN warns that a million children in Africa's Sahel region face malnutrition due to drought in region. In all 15 million people face food insecurity in eight nations across the Sahel, a region that is still recovering from drought and a food crisis of 2010. In some countries the situation is worsened by conflict. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9445 2012-04-26T17:44:00Z 2012-04-26T17:59:16Z Organic yields lag behind industrial farming, but that's not the whole story <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_1469.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In general, industrial agriculture beats organic farming in yields, according to a comprehensive new study in <i>Nature</i>. The study adds new data to the sometimes heated debate of organic versus conventional farming. Proponents of organic farming argue that these practices are environmentally friendly, sustainable over the long-term, and provide a number of social goods. However, critics argue that organic farming requires more land, thereby increasing global deforestation, which offsets any other environmental benefits of organic food production. At stake is whether organic or conventional is capable of feeding the world's seven billion people (and rising), including increasing demand for energy-intensive foods like meat in the developing world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9327 2012-03-29T19:54:00Z 2012-03-29T20:18:15Z 15 million facing food shortages in Africa's Sahel region The UN announced yesterday that food security in the Sahel region is deteriorating, putting over 15 million people at risk. Ongoing drought combined with conflict, has pushed the region into a crisis. The situation appears eerily similar to last year when Somalia was hit by a devastating famine due to drought and political instability; the famine left an estimated 30,000 children dead. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9080 2012-02-08T19:10:00Z 2012-02-08T19:11:04Z Another food crisis looming in Africa: nearly 5 million South Sudanese lacking food The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) have warned that South Sudan is facing a food crisis and that immediate action is needed to stave off a disaster. Currently 4.7 million people do not have enough to eat in South Sudan, while one million of these face severe food shortages. That number, however, could double if on-going conflict in the region continues and food prices continue rising, says the UN agencies. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9034 2012-01-31T16:18:00Z 2012-01-31T16:18:43Z Brazilian mining company connected to Belo Monte dam voted worst corporation The world's second largest mining company, Vale, has been given the dubious honor of being voted the world's most awful corporation in terms of human rights abuses and environmental destruction by the Public Eye Awards. Vale received over 25,000 votes online, likely prompted in part by its stake in the hugely controversial Brazilian mega-dam, Belo Monte, which is being constructed on the Xingu River. An expert panel gave a second award to British bank Barclay's for speculation on food prices, which the experts stated was worsening hunger worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8973 2012-01-18T20:51:00Z 2012-01-18T20:53:43Z Delayed response to Somalia famine cost thousands of lives A hesitant response by the international community likely led to thousands of unnecessary deaths in last year's famine in East Africa finds a new report released by Oxfam and Save the Children. The report, entitled A Dangerous Delay, says that early warning systems worked in informing the international community about the likelihood of a dire food crisis in East Africa, however a "culture of risk aversion" led to months-long delays. By the time aid arrived it was already too late for many. The British government has estimated somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 people perished in the famine, half of whom were likely children under five. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8970 2012-01-18T16:38:00Z 2015-01-29T00:34:02Z Prehistoric Peruvians enjoyed popcorn Researchers have uncovered corncobs dating back at least 3,000 years ago in two ancient mound sites in Peru according to a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The ancient corn remnants, which proved residents were eating both popped corn and corn flour, are the earliest ever discovered in South America and may go back as far as 4,700 BCE (6,700 years ago), over fifteen hundred years before the early Egyptians developed hieroglyphics and while woolly mammoths still roamed parts of the Earth. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8958 2012-01-16T17:48:00Z 2012-01-16T17:49:42Z Global food prices set record in 2011 Last year saw the highest average food prices since recording began in 1990, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Food Price Index. The Food Price Index's average for the year was 228 points, 28 points higher than the past record set in 2008. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8889 2011-12-22T16:31:00Z 2014-12-28T19:54:01Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2011 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Sunny_Skies_over_the_Arctic_in_Late_June_2010.NASA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of 2011's most dramatic stories on environmental issues came from people taking to the streets. With governments and corporations slow to tackle massive environmental problems, people have begun to assert themselves. Victories were seen on four continents: in Bolivia a draconian response to protestors embarrassed the government, causing them to drop plans to build a road through Tipnis, an indigenous Amazonian reserve; in Myanmar, a nation not known for bowing to public demands, large protests pushed the government to cancel a massive Chinese hydroelectric project; in Borneo a three-year struggle to stop the construction of a coal plant on the coast of the Coral Triangle ended in victory for activists; in Britain plans to privatize forests created such a public outcry that the government not only pulled back but also apologized; and in the U.S. civil disobedience and massive marches pressured the Obama Administration to delay a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring tar sands from Canada to a global market. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8884 2011-12-21T19:02:00Z 2011-12-21T20:16:55Z Earth systems disruption: Does 2011 indicate the "new normal" of climate chaos and conflict? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/800px-2011_Horn_of_Africa_famine_Oxfam_01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The year 2011 has presented the world with a shocking increase in irregular weather and disasters linked to climate change. Just as the 2007 "big melt" of summer arctic sea ice sent scientists and environmentalists scrambling to re-evaluate the severity of climate change, so have recent events forced major revisions and updates in climate science. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8867 2011-12-19T15:39:00Z 2011-12-19T15:39:58Z Droughts could push parts of Africa back into famine Drought and erratic rains could lead to further food scarcities in Africa warns the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The WFP singles out South Sudan, the world's newest nation, and Niger as nations of particular concern. Earlier this year famine killed scores of people, including an estimated 30,000 children, in Somalia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8860 2011-12-15T23:32:00Z 2011-12-15T23:59:11Z Cultural shifts in Madagascar drive lemur-killing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/journal.pone.0027570.g006.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservationists have often found that some cultural norms, religious beliefs, and taboos play a role in holding back traditional peoples from overusing their environment. Examples of such beliefs include days wherein one cannot hunt or fish, or certain species or regions that are off limits to exploitation. But the influence of the modern world can rapidly extinguish such beliefs, sometimes for the better, in other cases not. In many parts of Madagascar, lemurs are off the menu. These primates, found only in Madagascar, play a big role in Malagasy 'fady' or taboo-related folk stories: lemurs are protectors and, in some cases, even relatives. However, according to a new paper in PLoS ONE an influx of migrants, widespread poverty, lack domestic meat, and poor law enforcement has caused a sudden rise in eating lemurs, many of which are already near-extinction due to habitat loss. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8832 2011-12-12T19:46:00Z 2011-12-12T19:47:44Z Using palm hearts sustainably in Colombia Long eaten by indigenous populations, palm hearts have also popular abroad, usually in fine dining establishments. However, palm hearts are cut-out of the inner core of various palm tree species, in some cases killing the tree. A new study published in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Society looks at the sustainability of palm heart extraction from the palm species Prestoea acuminata in the Colombian Andes. While harvesting from Prestoea acuminata does not kill the host tree, better management is needed to ensure the practice doesn't become unsustainable. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8805 2011-12-06T05:01:00Z 2011-12-06T05:07:26Z Feeding the world's population and saving forests aren't mutually exclusive The world can simultaneously improve food security and save tropical forests by better optimizing land use, factoring in the true costs of biofuels, boosting yields on existing farmland, encouraging production away from forest frontiers, and supporting efforts to develop more sustainable community roundtables, concludes a new report released Monday by the National Wildlife Federation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8772 2011-11-30T22:18:00Z 2015-01-29T00:17:52Z Eat like an orangutan to save rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/kalimantan_0315.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One doesn't have to be a scientist or a government official to help save the world's vanishing rainforests, one can also be a chef. World-renowned chef Andre Chiang has added a new item to his menu called Orangutan Salad, reports the Wall Street Journal, which he hopes will raise awareness for the endangered apes at his Singapore eatery, Restaurant Andre. The new salad gives restaurant-goers the chance to enjoy all the subtle, earthy tastes of a typical orangutan meal, including ferns, tree fungi, figs, berries, orchid leaves, and durian flowers. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8615 2011-10-31T00:05:00Z 2015-01-29T00:08:47Z 11 challenges facing 7 billion super-consumers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_5995.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about Halloween this year is not the ghouls and goblins taking to the streets, but a baby born somewhere in the world. It's not the baby's or the parent's fault, of course, but this child will become a part of an artificial, but still important, milestone: according to the UN, the Earth's seventh billionth person will be born today. That's seven billion people who require, in the very least, freshwater, food, shelter, medicine, and education. In some parts of the world, they will also have a car, an iPod, a suburban house and yard, pets, computers, a lawn-mower, a microwave, and perhaps a swimming pool. Though rarely addressed directly in policy (and more often than not avoided in polite conversations), the issue of overpopulation is central to environmentally sustainability and human welfare. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8601 2011-10-26T16:04:00Z 2011-10-26T17:18:44Z Killer Russian heatwave product of climate change Last year's Russian heatwave and drought resulted in vast wildfires and a morality rate that was 56,000 people higher than the same period in 2009. Now, researchers have published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that finds the heatwave would very likely have never happened if not for climate change. The study flies in the face of previous research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that concluded the heatwave was simply due to natural variation and not a warming world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8576 2011-10-20T18:30:00Z 2011-10-20T22:20:44Z McDonald's joins sustainable palm oil initiative McDonald's Corp. has officially joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets criteria for improving the social and environmental performance of palm oil production. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8550 2011-10-14T00:59:00Z 2011-10-14T02:27:04Z Soy moratorium in Amazon maintaining its effectiveness The moratorium on clearing Amazon rainforest for soy farms in Brazil appears to be maintaining its effectiveness for a fifth straight year, reports the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (ABIOVE). Rhett Butler