Monthly Archives: February 2016

A climate change resistant ecosystem


Amlankusam, a 45 year old agro-ecologist, has developed a concept that will ensure a sustainable agro-ecosystem capable of resisting climate change. He notes, “For the past five years, I’ve lived with my family in the heart of a plus-energy, vertical eco-neighborhood called ‘Hyperions’ producing more energy than it consumes. In collaboration with architects, agricultural engineers, agronomists and farmers, I eco-conceived a garden tower project rooted in Jaypee greens sports city, with the double objective of energy decentralization and food de-industrialization. My approach is holistic, combining the best of low-tech and high-tech instead of systematically opposing them.’ 


Developed under vincent callebaut architectures, the concept aims at combining archaeology and sustainable food systems, that grow up around wooden and timber towers in New Delhi, India. ‘Hyperions’ is made of six garden towers, each 36-story high containing residential and office spaces. the name comes from the tallest tree in the world ‘the Hyperion’ – a Sequoia Semperviren found in northern California – whose size can reach 115.55 meters (close to 380 feet). The aim behind the project IS to create a cultural hub that combines urban re-naturation, small scale farming, environmental protection and biodiversity.

Click here to learn more about the initiative



Africa wood grow in Kenya

Life in Syntropy


“Humans could reconcile themselves with the planet, finding a way to be useful and welcomed in the system. But we don’t realize that, we can’t see… because we have disconnected ourselves from the life on the planet, thinking that we are the intelligent ones. We cant see that we are just part of an intelligent system,” states, Ernst Gotsch, a farmer and researcher. Watch this video to learn some of the remarkable experiences in Syntropic Agriculture and how it has transformed lives and landscapes

In Burundi, seeing the writing in the hillsides means working with farmers

7Farmers are important partners in generating research on soil types, crop varieties, and production strategies in a landscape and research institutions explore different approaches to tapping into this knowledge base and linking their work with observational data from farmers. Farmers in Burundi have a high stake in the viability of seasonal harvests, as they depend on the harvest to provide for and to feed their families. They work the land from year to year, carefully monitoring the results. These farmers hold a mental history of agricultural production in their communities – they know what has been tried before, where, and how well it worked or if it didn’t work.

They also know their environment – what the soil is like, what types of plants grow well within the local context, and what their main challenges are. Additionally, they know where their farm fits into a broader landscape. When theoretical approaches for erosion-control are shared with them, they can add that to their own observations of how their hillsides are faring, and decide how to combine the knowledge to best place a trench, or a row of trees. So how does Burudi achieve this?

Land degradation neutrality as a tangible vision for our landscapes

3Land is the foundation of life and humanity cannot survive without it. However, we chose to take it for granted, mismanaging fertile soils and millions of trees. Is there any hope to wake up to a land degradation free world? Click here to learn more


Scaling up climate smart agriculture

Working in field. Illustration: Ratns Sagar Shrestha

According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the global hunger index of Nepal in the year 2015 was 22.2 indicating a serious problem of food security. Additionally, majority of the farmers in the country have less knowledge on the suitability of different production methods under the climate change scenarios across a wide array of ecological as well as socio-economic contexts. Hence, the production of major food crops is likely to reduce in the days to come.

Various studies suggest that improving farmers’ standard of living is the most effective way to adapt to climate-related threats and shocks. For example, a study conducted among food insecure and food secure farmers in Kenya showed that poorer farmers were not investing in improved farm management practices, because they were entirely focused on activities that contribute to their household food supply. Food secure farmers, however, discussed goals related to children’s education, purchasing lands, and other long-term investments.

Agricultural production systems therefore need to tailor in the direction of higher productivity and production stability in the face of climate risk. This is possible when production systems are more resilient, robust, and highly efficient in utilizing locally available resources and inputs. Here are some systems to address the challenges