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July 7, 2009

EcoAgriculture Partners Newsletter

As Ecoagriculture Partners continues to grow and develop a new strategic plan for 2010 and beyond, we need your feedback now more than ever! In this issue of the newsletter, we invite you to respond to the following questions about the efficacy of the newsletter. Please address your responses to Ariela Summit, Program Associate, at asummit@ecoagriculture.org, with “feedback” in the Subject line.

  1. What aspect of the EP newsletter have you found most useful? And why?
  2. Do you find the EP Newsletter about the right length and organized in an easy-to-use way? Any suggestions?
  3. Is there information pertinent to ecoagriculture that we do not cover in the newsletter or “Recent News” postings on our website that would be useful for you in your work? Please provide details.
  4. Would you prefer to receive ecoagriculture news focused on a certain region (such as Africa, U.S., the Middle East, Mesoamerica) rather than a more generalized global approach?
  5. How many other people share the newsletter you receive?
  6. Optional:  What type of organization do you work with, in what country

Our newsletter comes out approximately every two months and goes out to a list-serve of over 4000 ecoagriculture supporters, researchers, and practitioners. As always, please email asummit@ecoagriculture.org if there’s any ecoagriculture related news, upcoming events, or calls for collaboration or support you’d like to showcase from your organization. And invite your friends to sign up on our website, or by writing to Ariela.


Best regards,


Sara and Ariela 

 


Table of Contents

EcoAgriculture Partners Updates In the Scene Resources Call for Papers, Partners, and Proposals Upcoming Events

 

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EcoAgriculture Partners Updates

Landscape Measures 'Proof of Concept' planning workshop

 On May 12th the Landscape Measures Initiative at Ecoagriculture Partners conducted a 'Proof of Concept' Planning Workshop in Washington, DC.  The workshop was hosted by the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, and facilitated by the Generative Change Community.
 
The day-long meeting engaged members of 15 international organizations who are pursuing conservation, agriculture and/or rural development goals at landscape scale, and seek to share their experience and learn more about approaches, methods and tools that can improve their practice.  The main goal of the workshop was to initiate a process for critically examining the Landscape Measures approach and anticipating its relevance in a variety of programmatic contexts and landscape settings. A leadership group emerged from the workshop who will plan and initiate next steps with input from all participants.


To learn more about the Landscape Measures Initiative, visit the Landscape Measures Resource Center website at www.landscapemeasures.org. For further information please contact Louise Buck at leb3@cornell.edu.

Ecoagriculture Partners hosts Chinese colleague

Changxiao Li, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Project Leader at Southwest University in Chongqing, China, recently spent six weeks at the Ecoagriculture Partners office as part of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, sponsored by Department of State of the US government. Changxiao Li is an ecologist who has led several research projects to explore strategies for riparian zone management and restoration along the lake formed by the Three Gorges Dam Project. He spent the majority of his 12-month fellowship at Cornell University. While at Ecoagriculture Partners, Changxiao gave a presentation on Land Use and Ecoagriculture in China for the DC Ecoagriculture Working Group, and spent time planning collaboration between Southwest University and other Chinese institutions, Ecoagriculture Partners, and Cornell.


For more information, email Changxiao Li at: lichangx@swu.edu.cn.

Mainstreaming Biodiversity and Ecosystem Conservation in Agricultural Investment at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)

Ecoagriculture Partners has been working with the Environmental and Social Safeguards Unit of the IADB and other Bank staff since late 2008 to examine how biodiversity and ecosystem conservation have been integrated into the Bank’s agricultural investment portfolio and strategies.  As part of the initiative, EP staff have participated in a series of internal seminars highlighting application of the Bank’s environmental safeguards and innovative IADB and partner projects linking biodiversity with agricultural and livestock investment.  The collaborative analysis found strong existing capacity within the Bank to implement and support integrated strategies, and identified various strategies to further strengthen the Bank’s work in this area and support to national partners.


For more information, contact Sara J. Scherr of Ecoagriculture Partners at sscherr@ecoagriculture.org or Colin Rees of the IADC at colinr@contractual.iadb.org.

EP participates in European Environmental Advisory Committee, Working Group on Agriculture and meetings in Norway and Sweden

Sara Scherr, President of Ecoagriculture Partners, gave a keynote address at the European Environmental Advisory Committee Working Group on Agriculture, which met in Brussels from 4-5 June 2009. This land use seminar was convened with about 30 participants, including professionals from academia, national agencies, the European Commission, and NGOs who are experts on land use in Europe and regularly advise their national governments. A number of the recommendations that came out of the meeting supported development of ecoagriculture landscapes in Europe. A report from the seminar is forthcoming and will be available on the EP website.


While in Europe, Sara also met with colleagues at the Swedish Biodiversity Center (SwedBio), a SIDA-funded program, as well as with NORAD, The Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation, and presented a seminar on ecoagriculture at the Agricultural University in Uppsala, Sweden.

Agriculture and Climate Change: Update and Discussion on the Status of US and International Policy Deliberations

Ecoagriculture Partners and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations hosted a discussion on the status of US and international policy on agriculture and climate change mitigation and adaptation on June 30th at the Heinz Center in Washington, DC. 


The event began with speakers from the National Farmers Union and the Senate Agriculture Committee updating participants on recent US policy developments including the House Energy Bill and prospects for similar legislation in the Senate. After a brief discussion on the US political landscape, representatives from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Heinz Center and the US Department of State spoke about the progress that agriculture was making in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) processes. Speakers saw significant development in both processes. (See article on Bonn meeting for more details on the UNFCCC).


The wide-ranging discussion following the presentations touched on issues including the importance of data in carbon management, the continuing disconnect between the environmental and agricultural policy communities, the urgent need to support the institutional foundations necessary for agricultural carbon offset trading, the synergies between climate mitigation and adaptation, and the lack of public awareness of the potential of agriculture to contribute to climate change mitigation.


Follow-up events on agriculture and climate change policy are in the works, so please stay tuned for more information on the Ecoagriculture Partners website.

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In the Scene

Cornell University to explore carbon storage in agricultural landscapes

A team from Cornell University, including Louise Buck, Coordinator of Ecoagriculture Partners’ Landscape Measures Initiative, and Prof. James Lassoie, EP Fellow, recently received a grant from Cornell University's Center for a Sustainable Future to explore the development of a cost-effective methodology for assessing changes in net carbon emissions, sequestration and storage, and associated co-benefits in complex agricultural landscapes. The project will focus on developing new practical methods for tracking soil and vegetative carbon dynamics in agricultural mosaics that include multiple land uses.


The principal researchers believe that it is critical that these methods be easier to use and less expensive than spatially intensive soil and vegetative sampling and analysis, and that they can be linked to different land use patterns, hydrology, other ecosystem services and livelihood benefits. The one-year project involves developing partnerships with other organizations pursing similar goals, including the Secretariat of the Terrestrial Carbon Group; The Heinz Center, Agriculture and Rural Development Department; The World Bank, Climate Action for Poverty Reduction Roundtable and the GEF-funded Carbon Benefits project; World Agroforestry Center, Food Security Carbon Fund for Africa project; Ecoagriculture Partners, Community Markets for Conservation (COMOCO) project; Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Office of Ecosystem Services and Markets; USDA, to expand the duration and funding base for the methodology development effort.


For more details, contact Louise Buck at leb3@cornell.edu.

Workshop on Climate Resilience held in Mombasa, Kenya

The Global Water Partnership, with support from the German Capacity Building Network and Global Environmental Facility’s International Waters Program, organized a workshop on Climate Change and Water Adaptation from April 5-7, 2009 at the White Sands Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya. The strategic objective of the workshop was to assess the role that partnerships, networks and coalitions could play across the greater Eastern Africa region in increasing resilience to climate change.


There were 48 participants at the workshop including senior representatives from regional organizations such as the African Ministers Council on Water Technical Committee, the Nile Basin Initiative, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, East African Wildlife Society, African Civil Society Network, Africa Climate Development Network (Clim-Dev), government departments such as the Meteorology and the Ministry for Water Resources, international support organizations like IUCN and WaterAid and NGOs such as African Network of Civil Societies, as well as the media and political representatives.


For more information and workshop outcomes see: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/documents/files/Report_April16_draft.doc and http://www.ecoagriculture.org/documents/files/Nairobi_Statement_April16_draft.doc.

17th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development highlights knowledge partnerships, need to scale up

After two intense weeks of negotiations, the Seventeenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, which took place from May 4-15 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, adopted a text which gives conclusions on policy options and practical measures to expedite implementation of sustainable practices in agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification and Africa.


A variety of proposals were discussed at the meeting, such as initiating a home-grown green revolution, especially in Africa; highlighting the crucial role agriculture must play in the climate change agenda; responding to the challenges, as well as opportunities, for sustainable production of biofuels; advancing the international water agenda in relation to agriculture; the need for a vigorous response to desertification based on a global drought index; and pursuing an ecosystem approach. The Commission decision stressed the need to “scale-up” pilot projects to national and regional levels and creates a “knowledge partnership”, which would make such experiences and information easily accessible to policy makers and practitioners.


Side events relevant for ecoagriculture included a session organized by Heifer International on responding to the food crises and climate stresses with pro-active management and livestock, as well as a panel on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security on 6 May organized by the International Council for Science in collaboration with the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research, the Earth Systems Science Partnership and the International Federation of Agricultural Producers.


For more information on the Commission’s seventeenth session see: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/csd/csd_csd17.shtml.  An archive of the session’s webcasts is available at http://www.un.org/webcast/csd17/.

Africa high-level panel on climate change calls for increased market-mechanisms to combat global warming

Africa reached a historic milestone at the Africa High-level Panel on Climate Change and the Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN), held in Nairobi in June 2009. African environment ministers unequivocally called for a new and equitable climate change regime that responds to the needs and priorities of the continent. 


The Nairobi Declaration adopted at the meeting calls for market-based mechanisms for crediting Reduced Emissions from Avoided Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and including all types of forest on the continent, in particular degraded forestlands. These mechanisms will need to be adapted to Africa and linked to the full range of Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses (AFOLU). Moreover, the Declaration advocates a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change impacts through increased finance, technology, capacity development and integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures into national development frameworks.


For more information and the text of the Declaration see: http://news.global-mechanism.org/u/gm.php?prm=tbX6ZztSYF_110986870_143300_2595

European Commission policy seminar emphasizes soil conservation as part of sustainable agriculture strategy

The Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation (SoCo) project of the European Commission Joint Research Center met in Brussels, Switzerland on 28 May 2009 for a policy seminar on sustainable agriculture and soil conservation. It was the final wrap-up conference of a project initiated by the European Parliament and run by the Joint Research Center of European Union under the leadership of Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Commission.


At the seminar, the Commission recognized that it is essential to protect threatened arable soils, as well as to remain competitive on the global production market. The Commission recommended conservation agriculture with no-till farming in continuous soil coverage as the main way to achieve this. In the strategy to transition toward no-till agriculture, the Commission will emphasize communication and knowledge sharing among farmers. 


To see the agenda and presentations from the May 28 session, as well as the full text of a report on the project 'Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation,’ visit: http://soco.jrc.ec.europa.eu/.  

The UNFCCC negotiations move forward: Updates on agriculture & climate action from Bonn

Delegates to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol gathered in Bonn, Germany, from 1-12 June 2009 to move negotiations forward ahead of December’s Conference of the Parties (COP) in Copenhagen, a meeting meant to frame international climate change action post-2012 when the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol ends.


Agriculture is estimated to directly contribute about 13.5% of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally, and is a principal driver of deforestation, that contributes another 17%. Agriculture is increasingly touted also as part of the solution to climate change, by offering opportunities to mitigate GHG emissions through carbon-rich farming systems that have the potential to not only reduce GHG emissions, but take them out of the atmosphere. Global agricultural production also stands to suffer substantially from climate change through severe changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, and more frequent weather induced disasters such as droughts and floods, so agricultural adaptation to climate change also presents enormous challenges. For these reasons, the profile of agriculture within UNFCCC discourse is rising and this was evident in the Bonn meeting’s side events and in the negotiating sessions.


Side events allowed negotiators and other UNFCCC stakeholders to explore agriculture and climate change linkages in depth. IFPRI’s 2020 Vision Initiative presented its series of policy briefs from leading experts around the world who shared their views on the key negotiating outcomes necessary to put agriculture sufficiently on the climate change agenda. The briefs presented at this event, Agriculture and Climate Change: An Agenda for Negotiation in Copenhagen, can be found at http://www.ifpri.org/2020/focus/focus16.asp, and the full side event can be viewed at http://unfccc2.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/090601_SB30_Bonn/templ/ply_page.php?id_kongresssession=1783&player_mode=isdn_real.


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations held an event that presented analysis on the mechanics of how different agricultural sub-sectors, grasslands, livestock and agroforestry, could provide climate change solutions and co-benefits including food security, productivity, ecosystem services and resilience. Presentations from this event, Agriculture, land and climate change, can be found at http://www.fao.org/climatechange/56685/en/.


Progress on agriculture was also clear in the negotiating sessions, particularly those of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA), one of the two negotiating tracks leading up to the Copenhagen meeting (the other being the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol). Countries have begun to put placeholders in the negotiating text to highlight the importance for agriculture’s role in mitigation and adaptation. For example, an option for text in paragraph 2 of the Shared vision for long-term cooperative action reads,

  • With land use being linked to sustainable development, adaptation, and mitigation, agriculture plays an important role, especially in the context of food security and poverty reduction. Therefore, adaptation as well as mitigation efforts in the AFOLU sector are required to enable substantial increase (sic) in production and productivity needed for ensuring food security. Reducing GHG emissions in agriculture is a challenging task and may thus require attention in the context of any shared vision for long-term cooperative action. 

This piece of text, and others are encouraging for those advocating agriculture’s inclusion in a final agreement. But the first draft of the negotiating text was released very shortly before the Bonn meeting, and the negotiating stage of the process leading up to Copenhagen is still in a relatively early stage. It is too early to predict any outcomes of the negotiations. 


The full negotiating text of the AWG-LCA can be found at the http://unfccc.int/essential_background/library/items/3599.php?such=j&symbol=FCCC/AWGLCA/2009/INF.1#beg.  For a full synopsis of the Bonn meeting, see the Earth Negotiation Bulletin report http://www.iisd.ca/vol12/enb12421e.html

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Resources

Ecoagriculture Partners releases discussion paper on agriculture and the Convention on Biological Diversity

Ecoagriculture Partners is pleased to release the fourth Ecoagriculture Discussion Paper by Seth Shames and Sara J. Scherr, entitled, Agriculture and the Convention on Biological Diversity: guidelines for applying the ecosystem approach.


This discussion paper emerged from discussions leading up to the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to review the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in May 2008, which paid unprecedented attention to agricultural issues. In preparation of the meeting, Ecoagriculture Partners convened an informal working group of stakeholders to raise the profile of, and support for, strategies to implement the CBD's Ecosystem Apporach within an agricultural context.


One of the outputs of this process was a policy brief (Ecoagriculture Policy Focus, no. 1: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/documents/files/doc_85.pdf) which aimed to provide clear guidelines and real-world examples to aid Parties in their attempts to implement the program of work on agricultural biodiversity. Discussion paper number 4 explores these policy guidelines in greater depth and places them within a broader political and conceptual context in order to spark discussion among a wider constituency.


The Ecoagriculture Discussion Paper series presents results of research and policy analysis on important aspects of ecoagriculture theory and practice. The series seeks to stimulate dialogue among specialists and practitioners in agriculture, conservation, and rural development.


Please download and share this paper from: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/publication_details.php?publicationID=289.

Worldwatch Report: Mitigating Climate Change through Food and Land Use

Ecoagriculture Partners is pleased to announce the release of a new report, Mitigating Climate Change Through Food and Land Use (Worldwatch Report 179).  This report is written by Sara J. Scherr and Sajal Sthapit, edited by Lisa Mastny, and jointly published by Ecoagriculture Partners and the Worldwatch Institute.


The report explains how capturing carbon in the land through agricultural and land use practices can reduce the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change, using these five major strategies: i) Enriching soil carbon, ii) Farming with perennials, iii) Climate-friendly livestock production, iv) Protecting natural habitat and v) Restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands.


Download the Press Release: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/documents/files/WWR179_Press_Release.doc.


Download the Information and Ordering flyer here: http://www.ecoagriculture.org/documents/files/WWR179_flyer_web.pdf.


Newsletter members can request an electronic copy of the report by emailing Sajal Sthapit at ssthapit@ecoagriculture.org. The report can also be purchased anytime at: www.worldwatch.org or by emailing: wwpub@worldwatch.org.

New Oxfam report warns multiple climate impacts could reverse 50 years of work to end poverty

Shifting seasons are destroying harvests and causing widespread hunger - but this is just one of the multiple climate change impacts taking their toll on the world’s poorest people - concluded a new report launched by Oxfam on July 6 2009.


The report, Suffering the Science - Climate Change, People and Poverty, is being published ahead of the G8 Summit in Italy, where climate change and food security are high on the agenda. It combines the latest scientific observations on climate change, and evidence from the communities Oxfam works with in almost 100 countries around the world, to reveal how the burden of climate change is already hitting poor people hard.


The report warns that without immediate action 50 years of development gains in poor countries will be permanently lost. It says that climate-related hunger could be the defining human tragedy of this century.


To see the report visit: http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2009-07-06/millions-face-climate-related-hunger-seasons-shift-and-change.

Smallholder agriculture and the environment in a changing global context

Across the developing world, small-scale agriculture is an important contributor to poverty reduction, rural development, and food security. Small farmers are also a key determinant of environmental outcomes, including land and water management, biodiversity conservation, and climate change, in some of the world’s most threatened ecosystems. Yet support for smallholder agriculture has declined sharply in the past three decades, as measured in terms of both national policies and overseas development assistance.


Smallholder Agriculture and the Environment in a Changing Global Context, a new policy brief written by Jonathan Cook of World Wildlife Foundation-US’ Macroeconomics Program Office, examines to these issues  which explicitly target small farmers, focus on sustainable practices, and involve not just technical interventions (like seeds and inputs) but critical issues of planning, policy, and governance. It also offers some insights from recent WWF projects on agricultural development in Southern Africa and Southeast Asia, which were supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).


To download the brief, visit: http://assets.panda.org/downloads/wwf_mpo_smallholder_ag_policy_brief.pdf.

March issue of Partners Magazine focuses on food's resource base challenge

The March issue of Partner’s Magazine, produced by the Australian Government and the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), highlights the link between natural resource management and food security. It focuses on ACIAR-supported initiatives and partnerships which are delivering sustainable approaches to agriculture, with examples of projects that demonstrate that environmental sustainability can also help smallholders increase their productivity.


In this issue authors report on research in India and Australia that is both improving soils and reducing environmental damage through use of organic fertilizers, helping farmers rehabilitate their land in Aceh, and ways farmers in the Philippines are reducing soil erosion and increasing their incomes by planting harvestable hedgerows.


Other reports cover ACIAR-funded work in the Philippines that is reducing pesticide run-off into waterways, and which is also being applied in South Australia, and helping to identify suitable locations for sea-cage aquaculture to reduce environmental impacts. Another is on research in Papua New Guinea that is helping communities develop sustainable harvesting strategies for their timber resources.


To see the full issue visit: http://www.aciar.gov.au/publication/Partners_current.

Multifunctional Rural Land Management: Economics and Policies

Edited by Floor Brouwer and C .Martijn van der Heide and published by Worldwatch Press, Multifunctional Rural Land Management provides insights into viable strategies of sustainable management practices allowing multiple functions sustained by agriculture and natural resources in rural areas. It shows how the rural economy and policies can balance and cope with these competing demands and includes numerous case studies from Europe, North America and developing countries.


For more information and to order a copy of the book see: http://www.styluspub.com/clients/ear/books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=208061.

Online book published on farming with grass in the US

Proceedings of the Farming with Grass Conference held in Oklahoma in 2008 have been published by the Soil and Water Conservation Society in the form of an online manual. Agricultural Research Service scientists and other participants in the conference portrayed a "post-oil agriculture" vision relying on perennials, as well as beef and dairy products from free-ranging, grass-fed cattle.


In summarizing stories from the conference, participants envisioned mixed livestock, perennial plants, and other crops, instead of large stands of a single-row crop monoculture, with a goal is to sustain farms and rural communities both economically and environmentally, while offering local, healthy foods and other new products.  


"Farming with Grass" can be downloaded for $24 at: http://www.swcs.org/en/publications/farming_with_grass/.  

Integrated Pest Management newsletter looking for more subscribers

IPMnet NEWS is an electronic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and crop pest management information resource emphasizing contemporary, environmentally aware, economic approaches for managing/controlling weed, pathogen, insect, nematode, and vertebrate pests in crops and amenity plantings, as well as preventing or containing crop-related invasive species. It is read by over 6,700 recipients in 152 nations, and is actively seeking a wider distribution.  The NEWS provides free subscription service to any person, agency, organization, or institution via automatic direct delivery to an email box every 6 weeks and will also send a free sample newsletter on request.


For more information and to order email: IPMnet@science.oregonstate.edu.

Google, IICA and CATIE promote virtual library in agriculture

Under a new agreements signed by Google, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), people around the world are just a click away from accessing nearly 9,000 books on agriculture, with the figure set to rise to over 20,000 books in the near future. The texts form part of the collections of the Venezuela Library, at IICA Headquarters, and the Orton Commemorative Library, located on the campus of CATIE. Both are situated in Costa Rica.


The Google/IICA partnership, with CATIE now on board as well, aims to share with the world knowledge and information about agriculture. The collection constitutes an important store of knowledge related to topics of global importance such as agricultural and forest policy, agricultural marketing, food health and safety, agricultural and agroforestry technology and innovation, and the environment and natural resources management.


To access the library online see: www.sidalc.net.

Community-based risk screening tool: adaptation and livelihoods

The Community-based Risk Screening Tool: Adaptation and Livelihoods (CRiSTAL) is designed to help project planners and managers integrate climate change adaptation into community-level projects. CRiSTAL helps project planners and managers evaluate how community-level development projects influence climate-related vulnerability and adaptive capacity.  This screening tool emerged out of the Livelihoods and Climate Change project, an initiative of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the Swiss Foundation for Development and International Cooperation (Intercooperation), the Stockholm Environment Institute - United States (SEI-US), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

 

CRiSTAL can be downloaded  free of charge at http://www.cristaltool.org/content/download.aspx.

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Call for Papers, Partners, and Proposals

Ecoagriculture materials in Spanish: Call for materials for Mesoamerica website

Ecoagriculture Partners, the Interamerican Institute for Agricultural Development, and the Central American Ecoagriculture Working Group have set up a website in Spanish, at http://territorioscentroamericanos.org/ecoagricultura/.  Please send ecoagriculture related materials that you think will be of general interest, particularly for ecoagriculture innovators in Mesoamerica, to Sajal Sthapit at ssthapit@ecoagriculture.org.

Call for climate change projects: UNESCO Frontline Forum

With assistance from the Government of Denmark, UNESCO's Frontlines Forum is funding local projects on climate change impacts and adaptation. Proposals can be made by interested groups or individuals such as local and indigenous organizations, research centers, researchers, graduate students with interdisciplinary training and community members (youth groups, women, elders).

Projects can explore any topic relating to climate change impacts and adaptation by local communities. These can involve field research, interviews with community members, workshops, photo projects and film projects. We invite proposals from anywhere in the world, as long as they are for local-scale projects involving peoples and places vulnerable to climate change. Proposals should reach UNESCO on or before 15 July 2009, and project grants will be distributed from mid-2009 onwards.

For detailed information and to download a project proposal form from see: http://www.climatefrontlines.org/en-GB/node/191.

International Foundation for Science Research Grants: call for applications

The International Foundation for Science (IFS) is offering research grants to young scientists in developing countries for research on the sustainable management, use or conservation of biological or water resources. This grant covers natural science and social science research on agriculture, soils, animal production, food science, forestry, agro-forestry, aquatic resources, natural products and water resources. Scientists under 40 years of age with at least a Master’s or equivalent degree/research experience can apply. Applicants should be citizens of a developing country attached to a university, national research institution or a research-oriented NGO in a developing country.

For more information see: http://www.ifs.se/.

Call for papers, International Conference on Agripreneurship and Rural Development

This conference on agricultural entrepreneurship and rural development will be held from 5-6 December 2009, at the Banaras Hindu University Campus in Varanasi, India. Organizers are soliciting papers on the following themes:

  • Agripreneurship Development and Management
  • Agriculture to Agri Business: Scope for Corporate Initiatives 
  • Market Farmer linkages in Agri Business 
  • Marketing Intelligence and Logistics for Agri Business 
  • Technology Transfer to Farmers
  • Institutional Support systems for Agripreneurs
  • Government Initiatives and Policy Framework for Agripreneurship and Rural Development.
  • Biotechnology for profitable and sustainable agriculture and agri business
  • Role of information and communication technology (ICT) and Knowledge Management in Agripreneurship and Rural Development
  • Governance, Capacity Building and Rural Development
  • Case Studies of Agripreneurs.

Authors should send one page abstracts describing their research papers, conceptual articles and case studies to the conference secretariat at icard2009@gmail.com by 10 August 2009.  For more information see: http://www.icard2009.org/.

Watershed Technology Conference: call for papers

The 21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and the Environment International Conference will be held at EARTH University in Costa Rica from 21 - 24 February 2010.  The Conference will look at emerging problems and new solutions for managing watersheds to meet water quality and quantity standards and will provide a forum for agriculture related professionals to exchange information on science, applications and developments in the use of watershed science and technology.


Professionals working in watershed technology and related areas are invited to submit an abstract for consideration to be presented during the Conference. Please see the announcement at http://www.watershedtech.org/introduction.htm for a list of potential topics. Abstacts of 300 words or less should be submitted online through the online application form (http://www.asabe.org/meetings/cfp/call.cfm?mtg_code=water2010), and are due by the 29 July 2009.

GIS for Conservation: grant opportunities

The ESRI Conservation Program is the non-profit support arm of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). They have helped to create and develop spatial analysis, computer mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) capability among thousands of non-profit organizations and individual projects of all sizes and types worldwide. They do this by donating and providing millions of dollars worth of computer technology and training for groups just beginning to work on geographic problems, on an ongoing basis, and for advanced groups at the cutting edge of conservation biology and spatial sciences.

For more information and grant applications see: www.conservationgis.org/grants.

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Upcoming Events

Food Security in a Climate of Change Global Summit, 20 October 2009, London, UK

On 20 October, 2009 the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI) is bringing together a panel of international experts to discuss how to address the challenges of food security in a changing climate.  Topics being discussed include the influence of climate change on food security and the actions needed to achieve Millennium Development Goal 1: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.

The day will give participants the opportunity to network and share ideas with major funding bodies, international development organizations and senior agricultural government representatives from CABI’s 44 member countries.

CABI is a not-for-profit, science-based development and information organization. They improve people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.


For more information on CABI and the Summit see: https://www.cabiglobalsummit.com/delegate_landing.aspx.

Second DIVERSITAS Open Science Conference, Biodiversity and society: Understanding connections, adapting to change, 13-16 October 2009, Cape Town, South Africa

DIVERSITAS is pleased to announce its Second Open Science Conference: Biodiversity and society: Understanding connections, adapting to change. The conference is dedicated to biodiversity science and its connections to policy, and is meant to provide in-depth overviews of a broad range of topics in biodiversity research and initiate biodiversity research projects around the world. The symposia of the conference, which may have different formats (series of presentations, panel discussions, short workshops, etc.) will address one of the following broad themes:

  • Strengthening biodiversity science
  • Supporting the science – policy interface
  • Focus on African issues

For more information and to register see: http://www.diversitas-osc.org/docs/publications/Second Announcement-final.pdf.

CISDA IV Latin American Congress and Development and Environment, 5-10 October 2009, Bogotá, Colombia

The forth Latin American Congress on Development and Environment (CISDA IV) will be held in Bogota, Colombia, from the 5-10th of October 2009. CISDA IV, Constructing Alternative Models of Development, will address issue similar to the International Conference on Development and Environment in Rio de Janiero and Johannisburg in the context of Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. The event will offer a forum to share experiences, knowledge and practice as well as to promote a space for future collaboration between actors in Latin America.

The Congress is sponsored by The Latin American Network of Ecological Economics along with the Institute of Environmental Studies for Development of Pontificia Javiera University, the Institute of Environmental Studies (IDEA) of the National University of Colombia, and the Institute of Investigation and Development in Water supply, Environmental Cleaning and Conservation of Recurso Hídrico (CINARA), of the University of the Valley.

For more information and to register see: www.cisdaiv.unal.edu.co/.

The newsletter was compiled by Ecoagriculture Partners. For more information, please contact info@ecoagriculture.org. Information about Ecoagriculture Partners and related employment opportunities can be found at www.ecoagriculture.org.