Results: 1 - 10 of 10
  • Basic Soil and Water Resources and Irrigation Engineering/Agricultural Water Management and Related Terminology
    Author: Suat Irmak, Professor and Soil and Water Resources and Irrigation Engineer, University of NebraskaLincoln Koffi Djaman, Research Scientist and Soil and Water Resources and Irrigation Engineer Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), B.P. 96 Saint LouiAs stated by one of the pioneer irrigation scientists Orson Winso Israelsen (1887-1968), irrigation is an age-old art that has been influencing the well-being of civilizations for thousands of years. Irrigated agriculture has been a vital part of human civilization and has been significantly contributing to food security and aiding in reducing poverty since its beginning. Today, irrigation continues to play a crucial role in meeting the food and fiber demands of a rapidly growing modern civilization as irrigated agriculture currently contributes to about 40 percent of the world's total food/fiber production on only about 20 percent of the total cultivated land. Currently, a little over 800 million acres of land is irrigated globally with surface irrigation methods being the dominant irrigation methods practiced. A fast-growing world population, coupled with changing climate variables and increasing extreme events (both drought and floods), will likely impose substantial demand on future food and fiber production worldwide, which will, in turn, limit the availability of freshwater in producing agricultural commodities. Increasing extreme events can also increase the uncertainty in food productivity due to the uncertainty of the impact of climate change on water resources and crop response to these changes. Estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO; 2010), indicate that the worlds population may reach over 9 billion by year 2050, based on the current rate of population growth. Increasing limitations in freshwater resources, coupled with population growth, have increased the competition for water between various sectors and will likely continue to increase the pressure on all disciplines to use water resources more efficiently. However, this pressure will most likely be imposed on irrigated agriculture more than other sectors because over 70 percent of the total freshwater resources withdrawn worldwide are for irrigated agriculture. Therefore, novel ideas and quality research, as well as effective and carefully designed agricultural water management programs, need to be implemented in production fields. This will enhance crop water productivity (crop water use efficiency) to deal with these important issues and be able to keep pace with increasing food and fiber demand.
  • Green growth connecting the economy and the environment in israel
    The National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND) is a state corporation under the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities. NETFUND was established within the provisions of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) 1999 to facilitate research intended to further the requirements of environmental management, capacity building, environmental awards, environmental publications, scholarships and grants.
  • Climate smart agriculture
  • Abstract
    Author: UNITED NATION ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMThe US Clean Power Plan, which sets our nations first-ever limits on carbon emissions from power plants, is a great example of transformative energy policy. It will stimulate innovation in technologies like low-carbon energy generation, efficient energy storage and transmission, energy efficiency for buildings, low-carbon transportation, and grid modernization. Since markets for these technologies will be ever-expanding, entrepreneurs are responding by starting new companies that create jobs. In fact, according to the upcoming Clean Jobs America report by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), the US-based, nonpartisan group I chair, hundreds of thousands of people already work in clean energy in America and employment in the sector grows every day.
    Author: UNITEDThe wood and forestry sectors can make a significant contribution towards meeting green economy objectives, linked to climate change policies, mainly through the abatement of greenhouse gas emissions and expansion of renewable energy objectives. There are three main routes by which the wood and forestry sectors can contribute:-Biomass energy and -Green infrastructure and building > which are related to forest products -Role of forest resources as carbon sinks > which is related to resources.
    Author: Sarah BorronIn the face of global climate change, farmers must adapt their practices to deal with changing temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events. These adaptations must first and foremost build resilience within the agroecosystem, increasing its ability to continue functioning when faced with unexpected events. Climate change adaptation as a topic broadly encompasses many fields and areas where response will increasingly be needed. This paper focuses on climate change adaptation for farmers, especially those in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). These farmers are among the most vulnerable to climate change because they rely heavily on agriculture as their primary sector and need affordable solutions, based on their own resources and skills, to prevent excessive losses. This paper has chosen to explore the potential of Organic Agriculture (OA) in adaptation efforts because ecological approaches to food production offer farmers in LDCs affordable, accessible opportunities to strengthen their farms resilience. While certified organic farmers are relatively uncommon in developing countries, though their numbers are increasing, millions of farmers in LDCs base their farming practices on ecological principles acquired through millennia of experimentation and adaptation to local conditions. OA relies as much as possible ecological processes and on a farms own resources, which reduces monetary costs to farmers and reduces the non-renewable resources used in farming. It is therefore assumed that OA offers adaptation options that allow farmers to use on-farm resources to build resilience, rather than rely on expensive external inputs. Many indigenous farming practices are already based on ecology, and combining the best of traditional knowledge with support from ecological science offers farmers in developing countries an opportunity for success. This paper examines the role of organic farming techniques in increasing resilience in the following areas: (i) soil and water; (ii) biodiversity and landscapes; and (iii) community knowledge systems. Soil, water and biodiversity provide the basis for a farms success, and enhancing landscape management builds upon healthy natural resources to create sustainable systems. Communities develop in-depth knowledge, adaptive techniques, and even specific crop and livestock varieties for their local ecosystems; ways to preserve and share this knowledge are as important as the farming practices themselves. Each section describes how OA practices can be used to strengthen land, water, biodiversity and community systems, in anticipation of change that may be expected from uncertain climatic conditions. Not every organic farmer uses every technique discussed, and not every technique is appropriate to OA only. What is unique to OA is its systemic approach throughout the food production chain. This paper presents under each section the basic organic principles and requirements and examines the best organic practices relevant to LDC farmers. This paper does not focus on farmers using organic monocultures for commodity production, but rather on small-scale farmers using diversified OA techniques primarily for subsistence, with some market involvement. More reductionist versions of OA may focus more on input substitution than relying on ecological processes for farming needs, which reduces resilience. Specialization also increases the risk involved in farming. Furthermore, this paper examines adaptation potentials, thus limiting considerations on mitigation to a summary in the Introduction. Assessing the impact of climate change on agricultural resources is outside the scope of this paper.
  • Catchment Ecosystems and Downstream Water
    Author: Jane K. Turpie, Yonika M. Ngaga & Francis K. KaranjaAs water resources become increasingly scarce in Africa, the need for the use of economics to aid in decision-making and management becomes apparent. Indeed, global experience shows that economic approaches may achieve the best results. Water is the basis of the economy as well as essential for human life and biodiversity. The Pangani River Basin in north-eastern Tanzania provides a good starting point for evaluating the economic issues around water resources and how economics can be used to improve their management to align with national goals. This document presents the findings of in-depth research into the economic benefits of the various activities in the Pangani River Basin. Decisions about the management, allocation and use of water should ideally maximize economic outputs from basin water uses and water utilization over the long term. It should also sustain the ecosystems that supply and depend on water resources. Macroeconomic and sectoral policies in Tanzania have a major impact on how water resources are used and managed, and currently provide little incentive for landowners to conserve catchment areas important for water supply, for industries and households to curb pollution, or for anyone with access to water to use it sparingly. At the same time, landowners in important catchment areas are not rewarded for conserving forests and soil, which would usually carry a cost to the landowner. A drastic improvement in the management of the basins water resources will also require improved funding. As it is, the Pangani Basin Water Office cannot meet their obligations adequately with their existing funding. There is an enormous capacity to increase the revenues from user fees due to the large degree of non-payment, and due to the fact that most users are currently not charged for water use at all. At the same time the high value of water in various uses underlines the capacity to institute some form of payment for environmental services scheme, where downstream water users compensate upstream catchment managers for the provision of ecosystem water services. The increasing scarcity of water resources in the Pangani River Basin calls for strategic water resources management that will ensure the sustainability of water supply and the goods and services supplied by aquatic environments, as well as the efficient and equitable use of these resources. Sustaining water supplies for the numerous users in the basin will depend on reducing losses due to catchment degradation and wastage due to inefficient practices. The former will need to be addressed by creating incentives for catchment managers to maintain catchment forest areas, preferably through a system of payments for ecosystem services which involves payment by those that benefit from the service, via the PBWO, to catchment managers. The price increases required for this will also serve as a demand management tool that encourages more efficient use of the water that is allocated to various uses.
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