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Editorial – From desertification to vibrant communities
December 23rd, 2012

Sustainable agriculture in dry and degraded areas is about the resilience of farmers and ecosystems. Increasing the soil’s organic matter content is the most essential thing that dryland farmers can do to increase the stability of their farm. Organic matter contains nutrients and offers a space for the temporary storage of applied fertilizers, it absorbs … Read moreEditorial – From desertification to vibrant communities

Theme overview: Strengthening the resilience of dryland communities
December 23rd, 2012

Desertification and land degradation are not just natural phenomena. They are the outcomes of long-term over-exploitation and mismanagement of fragile ecosystems. To address these problems, we cannot pursue the same ways of thinking that have led to this situation. We need to take a different perspective – one which is already presenting itself. In February … Read moreTheme overview: Strengthening the resilience of dryland communities

Drynet’s 18th birthday present to the UNCCD
December 23rd, 2012

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, UNCCD, is celebrating its first 18 years in 2012, which means that, according to UN definitions, it has now reached adulthood. This provides a perfect opportunity to turn on the spotlights and look at the period covering the Convention’s childhood and youth – and to present recommendations for … Read moreDrynet’s 18th birthday present to the UNCCD

Dams and alpacas
December 23rd, 2012

The combination of a degraded landscape and climate change is having a severe impact in many places. In the Peruvian Andes, a water harvesting approach is proving to have positive results – especially when the construction of dams and canals goes hand in hand with an approach that leads to stronger local organisations and the … Read moreDams and alpacas

A pathway to change
December 23rd, 2012

People and communities can be amazingly resourceful and innovative when adjusting to change, yet the challenges today are hugely complex. How can we work together to make the changes needed if we are to feed 9 billion people while taking care of the environment? The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security … Read moreA pathway to change

Opinion: Land sovereignty
December 23rd, 2012

Eric Holt-Gimenez argues the need for a pro-active movement based on land sovereignty to fight land grabbing.Farmers’ organisations, social movements and development NGOs need to find “common ground” to protect peasant farmers, forest dwellers, indigenous communities, family farmers and urban agriculture from the devastation of dispossession. In what activists have dubbed the “global land grab”, … Read moreOpinion: Land sovereignty

Learning about … DESIRE’s mapping of sustainable land management strategies
December 23rd, 2012

Many different local strategies are being employed to combat and prevent desertification and degradation. By linking these with scientific insights relevant to the local context, the DESIRE project has identified, evaluated and tried out a set of locally appropriate land management strategies. These strategies are now being shared with a range of stakeholders, from farmers … Read moreLearning about … DESIRE’s mapping of sustainable land management strategies

Mind! New in print / More on fighting desertification
December 23rd, 2012

A wolf in sheep’s clothing? | Food security and climate change | Contested agronomy | Crops of the future | Food security: Communications toolkit | The land grabbers | More on desertifications A wolf in sheep’s clothing? An analysis of the “sustainable intensification” of agriculture E.D. Collins and K. Chandrasekaran, 2012. Friends of the Earth … Read moreMind! New in print / More on fighting desertification

Tackling degradation together
December 23rd, 2012

Livestock production is the most important economic activity in the Butana region of eastern Sudan. In this region, women of the town of As-Subagh took the initiative to improve their community’s fodder production – while at the same time helping to restore degraded lands in their area. They have been supported by the Butana Integrated … Read moreTackling degradation together

Locally rooted: Ideas and initiatives from the field
December 23rd, 2012

Farmers around the world are experimenting with strategies to cope with and restore dry and degraded environments. These may focus on tree planting, or enhancing soil fertility. The following stories are just a few examples of how farmers in different regions use a variety of techniques to enhance ecosystem resilience and protect their livelihoods. Kenya: … Read moreLocally rooted: Ideas and initiatives from the field