This section gathers CA-relevant news from multiple sources.
03-06-agriculture is cast among the big villains by the newly launched
Global International Waters Assessment Report. read the news release
12-05- conserving agriculture increases yields in developping countries. New research finds that sustainable agriculture can preserve environmental services, including soil productivity, water quality, and carbon sequestration, as well as improve crop yields. Read the story http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2005/dec/policy/cc_sustainable.html. Full article published in february 2006: Resource-Conserving Agriculture Increases Yields in Developing Countries, J. N. Pretty, A. D. Noble, D. Bossio, J. Dixon, R. E. Hine, F. W. T. Penning de Vries, and J. I. L. Morison , in the journal Environmental Science and Technology , published 16th Feb.
11-05-The ‘other’ food crisis : A grim silence surrounds the crisis of fodder for livestock. ‘Grim’, because in rural India, domestic animals aren’t ‘pets’ but engines that drive the economy. They provide resilience and wealth — people cope with adverse conditions because of their livestock. But no policy exists on how to feed these 500 million or so animals. Rural India today isn’t fodder-secure, and the grim reality is that food security in this country is not possible without fodder security. Read the full article in Science and development online - down to earth website - editor page.
10-05: Brazil's São Francisco river project: The bishop and the saint. Troubled plans to divert a river to irrigate a drought-stricken region. Read article in the economist.
10-05: What rights for women as rural citizens? Defending rural women’s rights and fighting all forms of discrimination is vitally important. Female citizens in rural areas are veritable pillars of society. Read article in IFAP newsletter - October 2005.
10-05: Scepticism over Chinese GM rice claims.
Critics have said that a study showing that GM rice needs less pesticide may not be reliable, legal or financially sound. Read article in SciDev.Net Weekly Update (10-16 October 2005)
10-05: Major floods not linked to deforestation. There is no evidence to support claims that deforestation causes large-scale flooding, says a report by international forestry and agriculture organisations. Read article in
SciDev.Net Weekly Update (10-16 October 2005)
10-05: Conservation agriculture urged for African farmers.
African farmers can use simple methods to limit soil erosion and save water on their land, say scientists. Read article in SciDev.Net Weekly Update (10-16 October 2005)
11-05: New publication: river basin management, a negociated approach presents innovative basin management strategies, initiated locally, that have been successfully integrated into wider basin management and national water policies. It does not offer best practices but builds on both successful and less successful real life experiences to implement and scale up local water management strategies. (104 pages)
ISBN: 90-7764-8026. Contact: Both ends: email@example.com, website: http://www.bothends.org or Gomukh in India at http://www.gomukh.org
11-05: Water crisis, myth or reality? A new publication edited by: Peter P. Rogers, M. Ramón Llamas &
Luis Martínez Cortina that challenges the pessimism around the water crisis, concluding that
while there are serious global water issues to be considered,
the concept of a global crisis is largely a myth. Published by Taylor & Francis,
ISBN: 0415364388, January 2006,
Hardback, 341 pp, £68.00.
10-05: SIWI - Towards hydrosolidarity: Ample opportunities for human ingenuity is a new publication by SIWI based on lessons from 15 years of Stockholm Water Symposia (EMWIS Flash - October 2005)
10-05: Liquid Assets: An economic approach for water management & conflict resolution in the Middle East & beyond. A new book by Frank Fisher and Annette Huber-Lee (and others) on using economic modelling to suggest ways of managing conflicts over water, using Israel and Palestine. (Washington, DC: Resources for the Future, 2005). Contact David B. Brooks for further information. (EMWIS Flash - October 2005)
10-05: "Sustainable Water Management in the Mediterranean". A crucial factor for improving water management is the use of economic approaches and instruments. Eduard Interwies, Senior Fellow at Ecologic, illustrated the possible use of European experiences in the Mediterranean region. See Ecologic website for further details. (EMWIS Flash - October 2005)
10-05: Hydrology and Water Law – Bridging the Gap: A Case-study of HELP Basins by J Wallace & P Wouters will be published soon. Based largely on the actual experience of HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy), the overall aim of the book is to produce a series of case studies from around the world that demonstrate how the “gaps” between hydrology, water law and management are actually bridged in practice. See IWA publishing for further information. (EMWIS Flash - October 2005)
10-05: Sharing the benefits of water. The IUCN Water and Nature Initiative provided a forum for experts from twelve different countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Oceania to share their knowledge and experiences on how environmental economic tools can be used to improve water resources and river basin management. [full story] (IUCN Water & Nature Initiative website)
10-05: Bedrock shifts could help estimate freshwater.
Measuring how the ground beneath major river basins shifts under the weight of river flow could help quantify the planet’s freshwater, say earth scientists. Read article in SciDev.Net Weekly Update (3-9 October 2005)
12-05: Land use 'is neglected factor in climate change' : Land use is not given the recognition it deserves as a key driver of regional climate change, Roger Pielke Sr. argues. Read Article. from SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 5 December - 11 December 2005.
12-05: Climate change 'could disturb African savannahs': Some of Africa's savannahs could disappear under tree cover if the climate shifts as predicted, say researchers. Read article. From SciDev.Net Weekly Update: 5 December - 11 December 2005
11-05: Global pattern of trends in streamflow and water availability in a changing climate. In this article, the authors show that an ensemble of 12 climate models exhibits qualitative and statistically significant skill in simulating observed regional patterns of twentieth-century multidecadal changes in streamflow. These models project 10–40% increases in runoff in eastern equatorial Africa, the La Plata basin and highlatitude North America and Eurasia, and 10–30% decreases in runoff in southern Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East and mid-latitude western North America by the year 2050. Such changes in sustainable water availability would have considerable regional-scale consequences for economies as well as ecosystems. By: P. C. D. Milly1, K. A. Dunne1 & A. V. Vecchia2 in Vol 438|17 November 2005|doi:10.1038/nature04312. Read article
11-05: The long-range forecast, The Himalayas, roof of the world, are springing a leak. As the climate warms up, melting glaciers are threatening the livelihoods of millions. David Cyranoski reports. In NATURE|Vol 438|17 November 2005. Read article.
11-05: Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions. All currently available climate models predict a near-surface warming trend under the influence of rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In addition to the direct effects on climate — for example, on the frequency of heatwaves — this increase in surface temperatures has important consequences for the hydrological cycle, particularly in regions where water supply is currently dominated by melting snow or ice. In a warmer world, less winter precipitation falls as snow and the melting of winter snow occurs earlier in spring. Even without any changes in precipitation intensity, both of these effects lead to a shift in peak river runoff to winter and early spring, away from summer and autumn when demand is highest. Where storage capacities are not sufficient, much of the winter runoff will immediately be lost to the oceans. With more than one-sixth of the Earth’s population relying on glaciers and seasonal snow packs for their water supply, the consequences of these hydrological changes for future water availability — predicted with high confidence and already diagnosed in some regions — are likely to be severe. by: T. P. Barnett1, J. C. Adam2 & D. P. Lettenmaier3 in Vol 438|17 November 2005|doi:10.1038/nature04141. Read Article.
11-05: Greening trends in Sahel. Line Gordon has analysed various paper concluding on a greening of Sahel. Read more on the resilience science blog.
11-05: SAHEL: the drought is over. Pierre Hubert, Senior researcher at the National School of Mining Engineering in Paris and Secretary-general of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (AISH) discusses the up and downs of the Sahelian drought in West Africa. From [Source-weekly] Special Features Edition 42, November 2005. Read article; Visit http://www.hydrologie.org
Land & Water Quality
10-05: Chinese team says GM plants can clean up heavy metals. A team of Chinese scientists has genetically engineered tobacco plants and algae to remove toxic heavy metals from soil and water. Read article in SciDev.Net Weekly Update (31 October 2005).
10-05: Redefining 'Wealth'. UNEP frames new action plan with ecosystem services at its core, by Amanda Hawn, Read the article.
9-05: Value-counting ecosystems as part of water infrastructure, an IUCN publication, can be downloaded from the IUCN website
Data & Information
10-05: Researchers worldwide can follow the flow of rivers and height of lakes across the African continent from the comfort of their desks. A new web-based demonstration launched to coincide with this week's TIGER Workshop makes Envisat-derived altimetry data for African inland water freely available in near-real time. See ESA website for further information. On the other hand, An ambitious initiative to utilise ESA (European Space Agency) satellite data to improve availability and management of African water resources took a further step forward on a hill slope overlooking Rome. (EMWIS Flash - October 2005)
10-05: Earth's wetlands are havens for wildlife and vital to the water cycle, but they are also under threat. An ESA-led initiative aims to develop a global wetland information service based on Earth Observation for conservation efforts. The Globwetland project has now entered a new phase, with prototype products being developed based on sites across four continents. See more details at ESA website. (EMWIS Flash - October 2005)