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Sober look at people-environment links for Rio+20: Better technologies and use of natural resources essential but not sufficient.

Sober look at people-environment links for Rio+20: Better technologies and use of natural resources essential but not sufficient.

Donut diagram by Oxfam’s Kate Raworth illustrating a safe and just space for humanity, inspired by Rockström’s 2009 diagram of nine planetary boundaries constituting an environmental ceiling, or ‘a safe operating space for humanity’. Obtained from ‘Can we live inside the doughnut?’ post on Poverty to Power Blog by Oxfam’s Duncan Green, 13 Feb 2012.

Donut diagram by Oxfam’s Kate Raworth illustrating a safe and just space for humanity, inspired by Rockström’s 2009 diagram of nine planetary boundaries constituting an environmental ceiling, or ‘a safe operating space for humanity’. Obtained from ‘Can we live inside the doughnut?’ post on Poverty to Power Blog by Oxfam’s Duncan Green, 13 Feb 2012.

On ‘whole landscape’ approaches benefiting people, food and nature

In the first half of the 21st century, rising human demands for food, water, energy and land will collide on a global scale unless bold and creative action is taken now. Over the past few decades, numerous groups seeking to address the challenges of food production, ecosystem management and rural development have reached across traditional sectoral boundaries in search of partnerships to solve what are clearly inter-connected problems. Their work reflects a ‘whole landscape’ approachthat seeks to meet the full range of needs from the land and resource base. They have created coalitions of diverse stakeholders to negotiate more acceptable trade-offs and pursue newly discovered synergies. The power of this approach has begun to attract the attention of national and global policymakers. Five years ago the term ‘landscape’ was rarely seen in policy and program documents. Today it is ubiquitous, as more and more rural communities and organizations despair of narrowly sectoral programs.

The objective of this paper

Landscapes for People, Food and Nature: The Vision, the Evidence, and Next Steps, published by the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative, June 2012

is to provide evidence on the rationale, prevalence and effectiveness of integrated landscape initiatives. The paper first explains the inter-connected challenges of providing for diverse values of our land and water resources, and the imperative for coordinated management. We then present the integrated landscape approach and its potential value for local people and to meet global needs, then outline key elements comprising the approach. The third section summarizes evidence on the current scope of landscape initiatives and illustrates their positive impacts in diverse contexts. The final section outlines how to overcome the barriers to scaling up these landscape initiatives.

This paper was written by Sara J. Scherr, Jeffrey Milder, and Louise Buck of EcoAgriculture Partners.

The term “sustainable development” emerged in the 1970s and 80s as awareness grew of the natural limits within which human development takes place. Despite near-universal recognition that it is a powerful unifying concept, bringing together social, economic and environmental factors, it has spent the 20 years since the first Rio Earth summit languishing in environment ministries.

But it now appears possible, even probable, that sustainable development will emerge as the main framework for development practice in the coming decades, replacing or rebalancing the poverty eradication focus of recent years. Instead of millennium development goals, we might have SDGs, or sustainable development goals.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IS THE ONLY WAY FORWARD, Jonathan Glennie in the Guardian's Poverty Matters Blog, 21 May 2012.

(Source: Guardian)

Twenty years ago, an historic environmental summit in Rio de Janeiro produced groundbreaking treaties and high hopes that pressing issues would be addressed. But as organizers prepare for the Rio+20 conference in June, there is little on the agenda to suggest any substantive action will be taken…

Rio+20 needs to address three fundamental challenges. The first is the greening of growth, especially in emerging economies — “not because they have the greatest responsibility, but because they have the greatest opportunities to be laboratories of the future.”

The second is creating greater equity in a world of growing tensions over access to energy, land, water, and the diminishing “carbon space” in the atmosphere if we are successfully to tackle climate change.

The third is building resilience to inevitable shocks, whether from crossing thresholds in natural systems or from market dysfunction, as food and other resources grow scarce.

ON THE ROAD BACK TO RIO, GREEN DIRECTION HAS BEEN LOST, Fred Pearce in Yale environment 360, 9 Feb 2012.

(Source: e360.yale.edu)

The challenges related to global environmental change and food security are growing, and are ever-more-closely linked. This is particularly true in relation to the risks of climate change, biodiversity loss and water scarcity; in terms of linkages to energy systems; and as food systems become more global in their networks of production, consumption and governance.

Systems approaches can help improve our understanding of the interactions between global environmental change and food security, and thus of the range of policy options available to address them.

—Lessons learned from international assessments, in Stanley Wood, Polly Ericksen, Beth Stewart, Philip Thornton and Molly Anderson, in Food Security and Global Environmental Change, edited by John Ingram of the University of Oxford, Polly Ericksen of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Diana Liverman of the University of Oxford, Earthscan, 2010.


Possible typology of the food security space. Published in Food Security and Global Environmental Change, edited by John Ingram of the University of Oxford, Polly Ericksen of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Diana Liverman of the University of Oxford, Earthscan, 2010.

Possible typology of the food security space. Published in Food Security and Global Environmental Change, edited by John Ingram of the University of Oxford, Polly Ericksen of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Diana Liverman of the University of Oxford, Earthscan, 2010.

Food system activities and outcomes. Published in Food Security and Global Environmental Change, edited by John Ingram of the University of Oxford, Polly Ericksen of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Diana Liverman of the University of Oxford, Earthscan, 2010.

Food system activities and outcomes. Published in Food Security and Global Environmental Change, edited by John Ingram of the University of Oxford, Polly Ericksen of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Diana Liverman of the University of Oxford, Earthscan, 2010.

Cover of the book Food Security and Global Environmental Change, edited by John Ingram, Polly Ericksen and Diana Liverman, Earthscan, 2010.

Cover of the book Food Security and Global Environmental Change, edited by John Ingram, Polly Ericksen and Diana Liverman, Earthscan, 2010.

Crossing of the ‘planetary boundaries’. Published in ‘Food Security and Global Environmental Change’, edited by John Ingram, Polly Ericksen and Diana Liverman, Earthscan, 2010.

Crossing of the ‘planetary boundaries’. Published in ‘Food Security and Global Environmental Change’, edited by John Ingram, Polly Ericksen and Diana Liverman, Earthscan, 2010.