Working with fellow ecologists and Friends of the Earth’s Big Ideas project, I have been exploring the way in which natural systems function as living organisms. How we might best use this understanding when it comes to producing food? And what role could technology play?
For big decisions, like buying a car, we may do a bit of research; but most of the time, we simply follow our gut feeling as a guide. But do we want those who make decisions on some of the biggest issues in development to also follow their gut instinct? Decision analysis tools can improve the decision making process.
Imagine a workshop where people come together with the stated aim of producing documents to carry forward a body of work ten years in the making. We suggest there are a number of essential ingredients in this currently unorthodox format.
When it comes to payment for ecosystem services, a long list of criticisms can often ensue. How can we put a price on nature? Are we willing to put our ecosystems at the whim of an unpredictable financial market?
Transboundary cooperation in the Water Sustainable Development Goal can benefit from existing research. Here are six indicators for monitoring transboundary water cooperation for the 6th SDG on integrated water resources management.
Most people have played some kind of game in their lifetime. Be it cards, monopoly, or Farmville, this unique form of entertainment allows us to escape reality and spend time focusing on inconsequential goals. But a new realistic game provides a platform for engaging in difficult conversation about cooperative water and land management.
Rainwater harvesting has been practiced for millennia throughout the world yet rainwater harvesting is still unknown to many communities. Recent innovations offer opportunities for expansion.
Big dams have been taking a something of a pounding in recent weeks. A recent article in the New York Times by Scudder, an expert on dams and poverty alleviation, concluded that such behemoths were rarely worth the cost.
Integrated business models throughout the sanitation value chain can turn waste into valuable resources such as biofuels or fertilizer and save water, thus leading to even broader livelihood improvements. But why are some models vastly more successful than others?
In southern Laos, rice fields are not only important for rice; they also harbour fish, frogs, insects, snails and plants, that are caught to supplement the diets of the farmers and their families. Government policy to increase rice production threatens the survival of these unrecorded food sources.
What are “wicked problems”, why are they wicked and what does it take to do something about them? These are central issues in our new book, “Water Scarcity, Livelihoods and Food Security: Research and Innovation for Development”, which is based on experiences of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food.
No country in the world runs its economy without subsidies. Even avowedly free market states, like the US, are awash with financial fillips for everything from agriculture to green energy. Just how effective these cash comforters are at delivering public goods, however, is hugely debateable.
Multiple use water services takes domestic and non-domestic water needs as a starting point for the planning and provision of water services, holding the water sector accountable for all uses.
Who would have thought that the restoration of natural habitats, such as cloud forests, could help keep the light bulb on a bit longer during periods of water scarcity and electricity rationing?
How can we best protect forests for the myriad ecosystem services they provide – capturing and storing carbon, protecting river systems and soils, maintaining biodiversity and ensuring access to bushmeat? The presumption is that the local forest dwellers and users have to be kept out. But that increasingly looks like exactly the wrong approach.
Community-Based Natural Resources Management has been applied widely, from the forests of Malawi to the coastal zone of Bangladesh. But it appears that leaks are beginning to spring in the CBNRM foundation. No longer considered to be a panacea to natural resource management, many are beginning to recognize the weaknesses and limitations of the approach.