Thursday, 25 August 2016

Discover the PIRN facebook page

Permaculture International Research Network Facebook page

Regular readers of The Digest will enjoy The PIRN Facebook page. Discover how trees talk to each other, be inspired by someone baking bread, see how the charity IED helps farmers in Senegal, read new research on carbon dioxide exchange in plant communities, and learn about Italy's new law to reduce food waste. The page is dedicated to supporting a vibrant, diverse International Permaculture Research Network. Another great resource brought to you by the Research Team at the Permaculture Association Britain!

Education to spread agroecology (report)

Education for Agroecology

In this report, Nicole Vosper shares the key findings of her research exploring education and agroecology. She presents successful models from around the world that have been inspiring and supporting people to practice agroecology. This report shares insights into how successful agroecology learning opportunities have been designed, structured and resourced. It also includes commentary on the various curriculums, as well as the common forms of pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching). Finally, it highlights the role of education in accelerating agroecology and gives recommendations to organisers and educators in this field.

Does humus exist? (online)

 In case you were left scratching your head by the recent 'humus doesn't exist' report, here's  a pdf of a slideshow presentation by the authors of the study that made the claim, which makes for easier reading:

Call for sustainable ag. research funding


Scientists call for increased federal investment in sustainable agriculture

Based on a new analysis of federal funding from the US Department of Agriculture, researchers say there is an urgent need for increased investment in research and development aimed at making sustainable food production more effective. The article published in Environmental Science & Policy has been selected for the Elsevier Atlas Award of June 2016. The team searched 824 projects accounting for almost $300 million in funding or 10% of the 2014 USDA Research budget. In many cases, sustainable agriculture was included in projects but not as the primary focus. The findings suggest that significant improvements in sustainable agriculture could be made with additional investments and support. The researchers note an urgent need for additional public funding for research aimed to advance highly promising areas of biologically diversified farming and ranching systems.

New UK agroecology database

Agroecology Research.net/work

This website provides a platform for networking, research, and engagement related to agroecology in the UK. The platform hosts the outputs of a scoping study into agroecological business models in the UK. A central output of the study is a database of agroecological businesses, projects, and initiatives in the UK. All of the information contained in the database is publicly available online and was not provided by the individual initiatives. The database available here is intended to be an interactive and growing resource. This site also provides a history of agroecology, extensive related literature and external resources, and a forum for those interested in agroecology to interact.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Editors wanted for new journal

Editors required for new permaculture journal 

As part of The Permaculture International Research Network, we are developing a new online journal, Permaculture Research.  It will be an interdisciplinary, peer reviewed journal that publishes high quality research on all aspects of permaculture. To strengthen our editorial team, we are seeking Assistant Editors from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Follow the link to find out more.

Concrete decay destroys infrastructure (online)

How industrial civilisation is (literally) built on a foundation with an expiry date

The main issue is simple: putting in steel reinforcing bars lowers the cost and weight of installing reinforced concrete, but at the severe expense of reducing its lifespan. In other words, literally everything you see today that’s made of concrete will need to be replaced within a hundred years of its installation.
Our reinforced concrete infrastructure sends a dire warning.