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agriculture

Overcoming Barriers to USDA’s New Conservation Program

For more than 30 years, the USDA has worked to reduce water pollution by offering farmers throughout the nation financial and technical help to put conservation measures in place. While these efforts have successfully addressed environmental problems at the individual farm level—such as soil erosion—agriculture remains a key source of water pollution.

However, it’s only a small portion of farms that generate the majority of agriculture’s contribution to U.S. water pollution. New research shows that targeting conservation funds to these farms with the most potential to reduce pollution could be up to 12 times more cost effective than the usual practice of disbursing funds widely. And encouragingly, a new USDA program aims to capitalize on a similar targeted approach.

7 Unexpected Places for Forest Landscape Restoration

There is a tremendous amount of underutilized and unproductive land throughout the world that has the potential to provide valuable ecosystem services if trees are returned to the landscape.

In collaboration with the University of Maryland and IUCN, and as part of the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, WRI recently updated its Atlas of Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunities. We found that more than 2 billion hectares of land worldwide have the potential to be restored—and many of them are located in some unexpected places.

Tudo o que você precisa saber sobre emissões na agropecuária

O GHG Protocol (sigla para Protocolo de Gases de Efeito Estufa em inglês) lançou novas diretrizes para auxiliar empresas agropecuárias a mensurarem e gerenciarem suas emissões de GEE na agricultura e na pecuária. São as primeiras diretrizes internacionais para o setor e irão ajudar nos esforços de mitigar seu impacto ambiental.

Mas o que são exatamente estas emissões agropecuárias e por que é importante reduzi-las? Baseados no que há de mais recente em termos de pesquisa e de dados, aqui está tudo o que você precisa saber sobre a pegada de carbono na agropecuária.

Indonesian Fires Bring More Haze to Southeast Asia

Clearing land for timber and agriculture is likely to blame for Indonesia's latest bout of fires. According to data from Global Forest Watch—a new online system that tracks tree cover change, fires, and other information in near-real time—roughly half of these fires are burning on land managed by oil palm, timber, and logging companies—despite the fact that using fire to clear land is illegal in Indonesia.

5 Things We Learned in 2013 that Could Move the Needle on Sustainability

Two and a half millennia ago, Plato announced that “Human behavior flows from three things: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” Unfortunately, our human and corporate behavior on climate change is not even close to where it needs to be. But if the great philosopher was right (and he usually was), 2013 may have been a game changer.

The big news from 2013 came from gains in knowledge. New tools and research are opening our understanding much wider than before. But will we act on this? Knowledge can spur action, but this path is not guaranteed.

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