Archive for 08/12/2014

Global soils

One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?

Soil is a declining resource for a variety of reasons such as conventional agricultural practices and overexploitation of forests. Soil loss and erosion – half of the topsoil on the planet has been lost in the last 150 years – has a huge impact on our ability to produce food and, due to erosion, around 30% of the world’s arable land has become unproductive in the last 40 years. Tipped as an environmental problem second only to population growth, sustainably managing our soils should be a global priority.

CoverOnly Click here to download a copy of the report

On the 4th of December, the Montpellier Panel published its latest report ‘No Ordinary Matter: Conserving, restoring and enhancing Africa’s soils’, this time focusing on the importance of soils to global food security. The report explains the contribution of soil to alleviating many of today’s pressing challenges is overlooked…

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‘How sweet the woods were! Not a redbreast whistled

To mark the end of a mild autumn day.

Under the trees the chestnut-cases lay,

Looking like small green hedgehogs softly bristled.

Plumply they lay, each with its fruit packed tight;

For when we rolled them gently with our feet,

The outer shells burst wide apart and split,

Showing the chestnuts brown and creamy-white.

Quickly we kindled a bright fire of wood,

And placed them in the ashes. There we sat,

Listening how all our chestnuts popped and spat.

And then, the smell how rich, the taste how good!’

John Walsh


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