Based on principles of the conservation and optimization of biodiversity and of equity and sustainability, this book focuses on the ecology of the coffee agroecosystem as a model for a sustainable agricultural ecosystem. It draws on the authors' own research conducted over the last twenty years as well as incorporating the vast literature that has been generated on coffee agroecosystems from around the world. The book uses an integrated approach that weaves together various lines of research to understand the ecology of a very diverse tropical agroforestry system. Key concepts explored include biodiversity patterns, metapopulation dynamics and ecological networks. These are all set in a socioeconomic and political framework which relates them to the realities of farmers' livelihoods. The authors provide a novel synthesis that will generate new understanding and can be applied to other examples of sustainable agriculture and food production. This synthesis also explains the ecosystem services provided by the approach, including the economic, fair trade and political aspects surrounding this all-important global commodity.
Landscapes are frequently seen as fragments of natural habitat surrounded by a 'sea' of agriculture. But recent ecological theory shows that the nature of these fragments is not nearly as important for conservation as is the nature of the matrix of agriculture that surrounds them. Local extinctions from conservation fragments are inevitable and must be balanced by migrations if massive extinction is to be avoided. High migration rates only occur in what the authors refer to as 'high quality' matrices, which are created by alternative agroecological techniques, as opposed to the industrial monocultural model of agriculture. The authors argue that the only way to promote such high quality matrices is to work with rural social movements. Their ideas are at odds with the major trends of some of the large conservation organizations that emphasize targeted land purchases of protected areas. They argue that recent advances in ecological research make such a general approach anachronistic and call, rather, for solidarity with the small farmers around the world who are currently struggling to attain food sovereignty.Nature's Matrix proposes a radically new approach to the conservation of biodiversity based on recent advances in the science of ecology plus political realities, particularly in the world's tropical regions.
The world relies on very few crop and animal species for agriculture and to supply its food needs. In recent decades, there has been increased appreciation of the risk this implies for food security and quality, especially in times of environmental change. As a result, agricultural biodiversity has moved to the top of research and policy agendas. This Handbook presents a comprehensive overview of our current knowledge of agricultural biodiversity in a series of specially commissioned chapters. It draws on multiple disciplines including plant and animal genetics, ecology, crop and animal science, food studies and nutrition, as well as social science subjects which explore the socio-economic, cultural, institutional, legal and policy aspects of agricultural biodiversity. It focuses not only on the core requirements to deliver a sustainable agriculture and food supply, but also highlights the additional ecosystem services provided by a diverse and resilient agricultural landscape and farming practices. The book provides an indispensable reference textbook for a wide range of courses in agriculture, ecology, biodiversity conservation and environmental studies.
Author: James F. Hancock Publisher: Taylor & Francis ISBN: 1351977083 Size: 55.34 MB Format: PDF, Kindle View: 2332
Over the last five centuries, plantation crops have represented the best and worst of industrialized agriculture – "best" through their agronomic productivity and global commercial success, and "worst" as examples of exploitative colonialism, conflict and ill-treatment of workers. This book traces the social, political and evolutionary history of seven major plantation crops – sugarcane, banana, cotton, tea, tobacco, coffee and rubber. It describes how all of these were domesticated in antiquity and grown by small landowners for thousands of years before European traders and colonists sought to make a profit out of them. The author relates how their development and spread were closely associated with government expansionist policies. They stimulated the exploration of far off lands, were the focus of major conflicts and led to the enslavement of both native and displaced peoples. From the southern United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, to Asia and Africa, plantation crops turned social structures upside down leading to revolution and government change. The economies of whole countries became tied to the profits of these plantations, leading to internal power struggles to control the burgeoning wealth. Open warfare routinely broke out between the more powerful countries and factions for trade dominance. This book shows that from the early 1500s to today, at least one of the plantation crops was always at the center of world politics, and that this still continues today, for example with the development of oil palm plantations in Southeast Asia. Written in an accessible style, it is fascinating supplementary reading for students of agricultural, environmental and colonial history.
Author: Charles A.S. Hall Publisher: Elsevier ISBN: 0080492215 Size: 14.76 MB Format: PDF, ePub, Docs View: 4160
Until recently, the phenomenal economic development of the Asian tigers, Chile, and Malaysia, as well as the sustained economic growth of the United States, painted a very desirable and optimistic picture of free markets, fiscal responsibility, and, more generally, the entire dogma of neoclassical economics. As of the fall of 1998, however, the economies of many tropical countries have contracted severely, and the enthusiasm of the developing tropics for the free market and all of its ancillary policies is decidedly cooler. Have our traditional approaches to economics been failing the developing world? This interdisciplinary book covers the conditions of the developing tropics, the resistance of some of their problems to earlier attempts at solutions, and the use of new tools to develop a much more comprehensive and empirical framework for analysis and decision making. It also presents the development of cutting edge technology that links GIS and modeling approaches with extensive databases on meteorology, soils, agricultural production, and land use. The book discusses whether development is sustainable through a synthesis of demographic, economic, and resource-specific considerations. Costa Rica is uniquely suited to this study because of its size, stage of development, democratic institutions, and national databases. A CD-ROM containing all data and programs, color images, animated models, large data tables, and references accompanies the book. Links economic and biophysical analyses of sustainability Presents new tools and approaches for analysis and decision-making Includes a CD-ROM containing data and programs, color images, animated models, and references
Currently 868 million people are undernourished and 195 million children under five years of age are stunted. At the same time, over 1 billion people are overweight and obese in both the developed and developing world. Diseases previously associated with affluence, such as cancer, diabetes and cardio-vascular disease, are on the rise. Food system-based approaches to addressing these problems that could enhance food availability and diet quality through local production and agricultural biodiversity often fall outside the traditional scope of nutrition, and have been under-researched. As a consequence, there remains insufficient evidence to support well-defined, scalable agricultural biodiversity interventions that can be linked to improvements in nutrition outcomes. Agricultural biodiversity is important for food and nutritional security, as a safeguard against hunger, a source of nutrients for improved dietary diversity and quality, and strengthening local food systems and environmental sustainability. This book explores the current state of knowledge on the role of agricultural biodiversity in improving diets, nutrition and food security. Using examples and case studies from around the globe, the book explores current strategies for improving nutrition and diets and identifies key research and implementation gaps that need to be addressed to successfully promote the better use of agricultural biodiversity for rural and urban populations and societies in transition.
Author: Jelleke de Nooy van Tol Publisher: AuthorHouse ISBN: 1524633836 Size: 61.24 MB Format: PDF, Docs View: 2193
Our global agricultural and food system is broken and needs to transition to one that is more sustainable and beneficial to the worlds population. This seems hard in the face of the linked challenges of climate change, natural resource depletion, and worldwide economic and social upheaval. At the same time, farmer-led social movements are growing, and there is increasing recognition that agroecology and food sovereignty are key solutions for both nutritious food security and climate change adaptation. This book takes you along in the transition to agroecology, which is already happening, worldwide! The author shows us the as of yet dispersed but growing movement of many smallholder farmers, projects, programs, research, and policy agendas that are making the change. Since the daily news prevents us from noticing, Jelleke shows us the most beautiful and intriguing examples of ground-breaking people and projects. She gives you the keys for transition. She makes us look back from 2030. What have we done by thenyou and I, your friends and colleagues, investors and politiciansto have arrived in a changed food-secure world where agroecology is the new normal? This book is a must-read for researchers, politicians, students, and consumers alike.
Author: John H. Vandermeer Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning ISBN: 9780763771539 Size: 50.82 MB Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi View: 6461
Agroecology is the science of applying ecological concepts and principles to the design, development, and management of sustainable agricultural systems. The Ecology of Agroecosystems highlights a collection of alternative agricultural methodologies and philosophies and provides an interdisciplinary approach that bridges the sociopolitical and historical context of agriculture. It includes the technical issues in a serious and ecological fashion and captures the complex merging of ecology, agriculture, politics and economics in both a historical and contemporary context. Readers will learn not only about the ethical and moral elements related to producing food of questionable quality while possibly impairing the environment, but also about the soil chemistry involved. Important Notice: The digital edition of this book is missing some of the images or content found in the physical edition.
Author: John Vandermeer Publisher: Food First Books ISBN: 0935028455 Size: 15.65 MB Format: PDF, ePub, Docs View: 2449
The continuing devastation of the world’s tropical rain forest affects us all—spurring climate change, decimating biodiversity, and wrecking our environment’s resiliency. Millions of worried people around the world want to do whatever it takes to save the forest that is left. But halting rain forest destruction means understanding what is driving it. In Breakfast of Biodiversity, John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto insightfully describe the ways in which such disparate factors as the international banking system, modern agricultural techniques, rain forest ecology, and the struggles of the poor interact to bring down the forest. They weave an alternative vision in which democracy, sustainable agriculture, and land security for the poor are at the center of the movement to save the tropical environment.