Human toll of desertification (Google / Ottawa Citizen)


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Op-Ed: The human toll of desertification

By Craig and Marc Kielburger, Ottawa Citizen

Nora Busienei closed her eyes and smiled as she remembered years past when her small farmhouse burst at the seams with sacks of maize, beans, millet and pumpkins.

“I would stare at our harvest. I was so happy, so confident in my children’s future,” she said, before her smile faded. “That feels like another world now.”

Today her mud hut in Pimbiniet, Kenya, is full of nothing but choking smoke from the cook fire. On the day our team visited, Busienei’s three-year-old daughter, Chelangat, sat on her lap, playfully swinging her legs. Each kick sent up a cloud of dry dirt. Busienei’s once-lush farm fields have been dry and dead for five years. The pot bubbling on the fire contains only tea — it’s all Busienei has left to feed her children.


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Keeping cows in the city, chickens under the bed: ‘The Atlantic’ magazine explores Africa’s urbanization

ILRI Clippings

Meat Store in Kawangware Slum

Butcher shop in a slum in Kawangare, Nairobi, Kenya (picture on Flickr by Brad Ruggles).

It’s not only people who are rapidly urbanizing in Africa: people migrating from rural areas are bringing their livelihoods with them, which in Africa largely means their cattle, goats, sheep, chickens and pigs. A scientific report from researchers based in Nairobi, Kenya, investigating the benefits and harms of livestock keeping in two of Africa’s most crowded and sprawling cities —Nairobi and Ibadan — recommends that people ‘keep on keeping cows’ but keep them more carefully so as to reduce the risk of diseases being transmitted from livestock to people.

Importantly, the study also finds that  peer pressure — not health codes — is the answer to more careful management of the growing livestock enterprises in Africa’s slums and urban centres.

The Atlantic, one of North America’s most popular and distinguished cultural and political magazines, explores this…

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22 June, World Camel Day

See on - Sustainable Livestock Agenda SLARaziq's insight:Dry lands are judiciously use by well adapted native livestock breeds and camel is one of the most important among those breeds. The best utilization of marginal dry and deserted lands is livestock keeping as crop production is not sustainable agricultural activity on such lands. Camel is…

‘Green land grabs’: Livestock herders access to rangelands is being lost for conservation purposes

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Serengeti tree (photo credit: Jeff Haskins).

‘In the great plains of northern Tanzania, close to the world-famous Serengeti National Park, a bitter row has broken out over an attempt to designate 1,500sqkm of Loliondo District as a game-controlled area.

‘The Maasai herdsmen in the area say their cattle cannot survive without access to traditional dry-season grazing in the area. The government says the land is needed as a wildlife corridor between the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Besides, the Minister for Natural Resources told the press, 2,500sqkm had already been, as he put it, “released to the local population”; the rest would be used for conservation purposes for the benefit of the nation.

‘Typical of recent land-grab controversies, this row involves the use of rangelands rather than farmlands. While farmers can show quite clearly that their lands are being used, semi-arid grasslands in areas like Loliondo cannot support animals…

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Insecticide-treated nets protects livestock, boosts milk yields

See on - Sustainable Livestock Agenda SLAA simple but innovative use of insecticide-impregnated nets to protect livestock is doubling and in some cases tripling milk outputs on smallholder dairy farms while also reducing mosquito-borne illnesses in humans in Kisii, Kenya, in the country's western highlands.See on

Agricultural research for food sovereignty (IIED)


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Democratising agricultural research for food sovereignty in West Africa

Michel Pimbert, Boukary Barry, Anne Berson, Khanh Tran-Thanh

This multimedia book reports on an initiative in West Africa that seeks to create safe spaces in which food providers and consumers can discuss how to build an agri-food research system that is democratic and accountable to wider society. An explicit aim of the entire process is to strengthen the voices and effectiveness of small-scale producers and other citizens in the governance of agricultural research as well as in setting strategic research priorities and validating knowledge.

The book combines text, photos, video and audio recordings to describe the methodologies used in processes of deliberation and inclusion that involved small scale producers (farmers, pastoralists, fishermen and food processors) and holders of specialist knowledge on agricultural research.


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UN Convention to Combat Desertification Responds to Canada’s Withdrawal from Convention (UNCCD)


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29/03/2013. Yesterday, Canada notified the UN Secretary-General, the depositary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), of its decision to withdraw from the Convention. The UNCCD is the only legally binding instrument that addresses desertification/land degradation and drought.

Canada, a country that is frequently subjected to drought and where 60 percent of the cropland is in dry areas, is also a major actor in global efforts to address food security in developing countries. In addition to its annual contribution (CAD/USD290,644 in 2011) of about 3.127% of the current Convention’s budget, the Government of Canada and Canadian civil society have played significant roles in moving the Convention to where it is today.

In 2007, Parties adopted the ten-year strategy to enhance the implementation of the Convention as a blue print for a more effective and efficient process grounded on a strong and cutting-edge science. As…

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UNCCD CST-3/2nd Scientific Conference and CRIC 11, Bonn, 9-19 April 2013 (Google / PEER)


Read at : Google Alerts – desertification[uid]=393

UNCCD CST-3/2nd Scientific Conference and CRIC 11, Bonn, 9-19 April 2013

28 March 2013, JRC – IES

The IES is a major contributor to the UNCCD CST-3/2nd Scientific Conference and CRIC 11, which will be held on April 9 to 19, in Bonn, Germany

In preparation for the next United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Conference of the Parties (COP 11) planned for September 2013, three major events are will be held from 9-19 April 2013, at the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany:

– (09 -12 April 2013) the Third Special Session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST S-3), with

– (09 -12 April 2013) the 2nd UNCCD Scientific Conference on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought, and

– (15-19 April 2013) the 11th session of the Committee for the Review of Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 11).


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