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A burnt Maasai village. Photo: InsightShare.org.

Tanzania breaks promise - thousands of Maasai evicted to make way for lion hunt

The Ecologist

27th February 2015

Last November Tanzania's President Kikwete tweeted his promise that the evictions of indigenous Maasai people and their villages near Serengeti National Park would stop. But now another round of evictions is under way: thousands of Maasai have been evicted at gunpoint and their homes burnt to ashes. The Maasai say: 'We need your help!' more...
Sorghum, one of the crops that feeds Africa, is of little interest to profit-oriented corporate agriculture. Photo: Janki via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Land and seed laws under attack as Africa is groomed for corporate recolonization

GRAIN / AFSA / The Ecologist

12th February 2015

Across Africa, laws are being rewritten to open farming up to an agribusiness invasion - displacing the millions of small cultivators that now feed the continent, and replacing them with a new model of profit-oriented agriculture using patented seeds and varieties. The agencies effecting the transformation are legion - but they are all marching to a single drum. more...
Ancient grassland at Rampisham Down SSSI, West Dorset, that will soon be shaded over by solar panels unless the planning application is 'called in'. Photo: RSPB.

Pickles must protect Rampisham Down SSSI from solar farm

Martin Harper

5th February 2015

An ancient grassland SSSI at Rampisham could be saved following a government decision to put an 'hold' notice on the West Dorset Council's planning consent for a huge solar farm, writes Martin Harper. Now Eric Pickles must 'call in' the case to a public inquiry, or set a truly dreadful precedent for our most precious nature sites. more...
Hayes Valley Farm Seed Library. Photo: edibleoffice via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The seed saving rebellion is growing - and banging at the Commission's door

Ben Raskin

29th January 2015

A year ago today, Europe-wide protests defeated an EU regulation that would have outlawed many seed saving activities, writes Ben Raskin. Now growers are taking matters into their own hands, saving and developing open-pollinated seeds - and campaigning for a seed regulation that supports them, not the monopolist seed corporations. more...
The helmeted hornbill, before and after. Photo: Environmental Investigation Agency.

Red alert! Hornbills at risk from wildlife trade

The Ecologist

2nd February 2015

We all know about the risk to elephants and rhinos from the illegal wildlife trade, but now the helmeted hornbills of Borneo and Sumatra are at risk as online traders find ready buyers for their carved beaks in China. more...
A California Condor near the South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon. Photo: George Kathy Klinich via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Condors or lead ammunition? We can't have both

Dawn Starin

21st January 2015

The recent death of Ventana the condor in Los Angeles zoo illustrates a simple truth, writes Dawn Starin: wild condors cannot survive so long as the dead amimals they eat are riddled with lead from spent ammunition. With lead poisoning to blame for 60% of condor deaths, it's time to ban lead ammunition across their entire range - and beyond. more...
Pioneer's PR39F58 maize at Werktuigendagen, Belgium 2009. Photo: Bdk via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

EuroParl votes in new era of GMO farming

13 January 2015

Oliver Tickell

Following a disgraceful EU stitch-up, the European Parliament today passed a law permitting EU-wide GMO crop cultivation. With regulation and safeguards devolved to member states, and only limited 'opt-out' rights, it is a recipe for chaos that GM corporations will ruthlessly exploit. more...
Fresh green chickpeas on sale in Varanasi, India. Photo: © Jorge Royan (royan.com.ar) via Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Obama - stand up for Seed Freedom and Food Democracy

Vandana Shiva

23rd January 2015

President Obama will shortly be on his way to India. In this Open Letter, Vandana Shiva invites him to join in securing the essential human freedoms to seeds and food - and to set aside any plans to pressure India into changing its laws to allow the corporate domination of life. more...
The launch of the South West Seed Savers Coop at Embercombe Farm. Photo: SWSSC.

Farmers join to save the seeds that feed us

Ashley Wheeler

6th January 2015

Farmers and growers in south-west England have united to reclaim the lost skill of seed saving, writes Ashley Wheeler. They are determined to grow, develop, share and disseminate open-pollinated seeds, and oppose EU laws granting commercial plant breeders a legal monopoly on the seeds that sustain our lives. more...
Mind who you call stupid ... Palaeolithic men and tiger, Africa, 100,000 - 2,000,000 years ago. Image: via cantabriatotal.com.

Dear Carl, it's time to rethink Homo 'sapiens'

Dr Gianluca Serra

26th January 2015

In this imaginary letter to the father of modern taxonomy and ecology, Carl Linnaeus, about the current status of life on Earth, Gianluca Serra suggests renaming the human species from the self-satisfied 'wise' to 'obtuse' - if only to spare us from the ridicule we so richly deserve for our collective insanity. more...

Telling Stories of the Future

Spring 2015

Schumacher College

To celebrate 25 years at the forefront of environmental education, Schumacher College are launching a new short course programme: Soul, Spirit and Story. more...
Ian and Magqubu minding the nightly fire to protect against predators. Photo: www.trevorbarrettphoto.co.uk/ .

River of Life: Ian Player, saviour of the white rhino

Nicola Graydon

5th December 2014

The white rhino is in deep trouble after a new surge of poaching. But the fact that it's there at all is largely thanks to one man: Ian Player, who saved the white rhino from near-certain extinction in the 1960's. Earlier this year Nicola Graydon met Dr Player at his home in South Africa, to record his last major interview. more...

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Stephen Corry. Portrait by Wolfgang Schmidt / Survival.

Stephen Corry: conservation must work with, not against, indigenous peoples

Alice Bayer

29th November 2014

From the creation of the very first national parks and game reserves, 'conservation' has always been about repressing and expropriating indigenous tribes, Survival International director Stephen Corry told Alice Bayer. And despite all the evidence that indigenous peoples are the best wildlife managers, old attitudes die hard ... more...
Isobel (Bella) and father Gil Rodrigues. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager.

My conversion - from shearwater hunter to protector of birds and ocean

Gil Rodrigues Fortes / Sea Shepherd

23rd November 2014

For nearly 30 years, Gil Fortes was a hunter of Cabo Verde's shearwater chicks, helping to drive the bird to the brink of extinction. But following a life-changing rethink, he and his daughter Isabel (Bella), are now at the forefront of efforts to save the shearwater and rebuild its perilously low numbers. more...
Farmers in Ghana marching against the Plant Breeders Bill, now before the country's parliament, September 2014. Photo: Food Sovereignty Ghana.

Ghana's farmers battle ‘Monsanto law' to retain seed freedom

Chris Walker & Oliver Tickell

24th October 2014

Ghana's government is desperate to pass a Plant Breeders Bill that would remove farmers' ancient 'seed freedom' to grow, retain, breed and develop crop varieties - while giving corporate breeders a blanket exemption from seed regulations. Now the farmers are fighting back. more...
Indigenous land-owners living comfortably in a land of fire in Arnhem Land. Photo: John Woinarski.

Australia's outback is globally important for its biodiversity - and its people

John Woinarski

20th October 2014

Almost three quarters of Australia's landmass is 'outback', writes John Woinarski, making it one of our planet's greatest natural areas. Yet it has many of the hallmarks of a 'failed state': its native peoples live on the margins, and its biodiversity is under threat. Now a new conservation model shows a way forward for both: Indigenous Protected Areas. more...
More of this to come ... the western rear end of Jetty East parking lot collapses under the storm surge from Hurricane Ike, 2008. Photo: Ed Hart via Flickr.

Florida's collapse will set in within a 30-year mortgage cycle

Harold R. Wanless

3rd June 2014

We are most certainly witnessing the onset of a rapid pulse of sea level rise, writes Harold R Wanless. And low lying areas - like southeast Florida - will be the first to know about it. So how come they're building there like there's no tomorrow? more...
White storks nesting at Coto Doñana, Spain. Photo: Ian Keith via Flickr.

Thanks to EU laws and money, Coto Doñana rises from disaster

Laurence Rose

4th June 2014

Spain's Coto Doñana shows the value of EU conservation law, writes Laurence Rose, as the UK tries to get rid of the Birds and Habitats Directives. Both have proved essential to the protection and restoration of one of Europe's greatest wetlands. more...
Photo taken by Rastko’s friend Marko Ristic / 350.org.

Hundred-year Balkan floods: a report from the ground

Rastko Šejić / 350.org

29th May 2014

Apocalyptic floods have hit the Balkans, causing many deaths and billions of dollars of damage. 350.org campaigner Rastko Šejić from Obrenovac, Serbia, wrote this personal account of the floods - and how they have at least served to re-unite divided communities. more...

Small is the New Big

Vandana Shiva

28th February 2014

Vandana Shiva reminds us that the very future of food security in India (and indeed worldwide) lies in protecting and promoting the country's small farmers. more...

Ghost Tour

Lucy Anna Scott

7 February 2014

The Marsh sow-thistle, officially extinct in London, is having a revival after being reintroduced to the Thames Road wetland site and nurtured back to strength. more...
More genetic diversity in this small room than in a million acres of industrial farming - the inner recesses of the Heritage Seed Library. Photo: Cultivate Oxford.

MEPs vote against EU seed Regulation

Oliver Tickell

31st January 2014

MEPs have voted against a proposed EU sed regulation that would further concentrate the seed market and discriminate against genetically diverse traditional seeds. more...

Farming Freedom

Lorna Howarth

17th January 2014

A simple agricultural technique could release farmers from the grip of agrochemical corporations. With no patents, no royalties and no licensing fees, this system just benefits the farmers. more...
Bramley Frith wood in Hampshire will never be same again. In 1965 the National Grid build a substation there serving Basingstoke.

Ancient woodland cannot be 'offset'

Austin Brady

11th January 2014

Owen Paterson has done it again - offering up ancient woodland for development via 'biodiversity offsetting' - planting new trees elsewhere. Trouble is, says Austin Brady, ancient woods are centuries in the making. more...
Sengwer, Marakwet and other inhabitants of the Embobut Forest being told to move by authorities. Photo: © Justin Kenrick / FPP.

Kenya - forest people facing violent eviction

Oliver Tickell

9th January 2014

The Kenyan government has sent troops to the Embobut forest to forcefully - and illegally - evict thousands of its indigenous inhabitants, to make way for a World Bank-financed 'Natural Resource Management Project'. more...

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