In 2010, global leaders set 20 goals for preserving biodiversity worldwide in the decade ahead. Today, none of the targets has been met fully and only six are even partially achieved, said the United Nations in "a final report card" on the effort. "Biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate,” said the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 report, “and the pressures driving the decline are intensifying." Still, the UN said, "it is not too late to slow, halt, and reverse current trends." (No paywall)
Agricultural processor Cargill said on Wednesday that it would support the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices on 10 million acres of North American farmland over the next 10 years.
In the late 18th century, a French zoologist visiting South Africa documented a deadly local livestock disease known as bluetongue. Today, some 240 years later, the disease can be found virtually worldwide. In FERN's latest story, produced with Ensia, Carson Vaughan explores a new way of understanding emerging infectious diseases, showing how climate change and migration can cause pathogens to spread in new and virulent ways. (No paywall)
Potentially toxic algae blooms, which are caused by farm runoff and urban wastewater running into streams and lakes, have cost an estimated $1.1 billion over the past decade in the United States, and that "is almost certainly a significant undercount," said a report Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group.
During her time in the Senate, California's Kamala Harris, named Tuesday to be Joe Biden's running mate in this fall's presidential election, has been active on a number of farm and ag issues, including creating a path to citizenship for farmworkers. She has also been an advocate of aggressive action on climate change.
Farm subsidies would be reformed "to better support small- and mid-sized farms" if Joe Biden is elected president, says the draft platform written ahead of next month's Democratic National Convention. "Democrats will increase funding for food assistance programs, including SNAP, WIC, and school meals."
House Democrats released a massive report on Tuesday calling for widespread changes in the economy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the United States by 2050, laying out in effect a policy blueprint after the 2020 election. “To turn the tide on climate change, the United States needs to …
Farmers could combine environmental and economic sustainability through practices that lock carbon into the soil, but it's dauntingly difficult to enter the carbon sequestration market and get paid for it, said the leaders of the two largest U.S. farm groups on Wednesday.
Rattan Lal, one of the world's leading soil scientists, is this year's winner of the $250,000 World Food Prize, "the Nobel of agriculture," for his breakthrough research on the importance of carbon to soil health and the potential of carbon sequestration to mitigate climate change. Lal's research "transformed the way the world saw soils," said the foundation that awards the annual prize.
Centuries ago, the Zuni people in the arid Southwest region of the United States developed a sophisticated farming culture, channeling water towards crops and breeding climate resilient seeds, reports Tim Folger, in FERN's latest story, produced with The Weather Channel. But that culture was also likely wiped out by a rare 50-year megadrought that may now be underway again in the West. (No paywall)