Thursday, 30 January 2014
Ethnographic insights on rural sustainability; homestead design and permaculture of Eastern Cape settlements in South Africa
This article considers the prevalence of sustained agricultural practices (particularly homestead gardens) and questions current public debate that permaculture is foreign to South Africa. The article makes comparisons to some of the founding principles of permaculture theory and practice to suggest that current agricultural practices and homestead (umzi, plural imizi) settlement patterns follow closely to "permaculture ideals" in theory and practice. The paper critiques ideas that believe rural areas to be "de-agrarianised", or solely supported by the welfare state. A further critique is raised because of the idealised manner in which foreign ideas on development are esteemed as better than regional adaptations. The paper displays scepticism for Eastern Cape development models or those perceptions that do not account for local land use practices.
This is a how-to manual for the budding gardener and experienced green thumb alike, full of creative and easy-to-follow designs that guide you to having your yard and eating it, too.With the help of more than 200 beautiful color photos and drawings, permaculture designer and avid grower Michael Judd takes the reader on a step-by-step process to transform a sea of grass into a flourishing edible landscape that pleases the eye as well as the taste buds. With personality and humour, he translates the complexities of permaculture design into simple self-build projects, providing full details on the evolving design process, material identification, and costs.
Peri-urban agriculture, social inclusion of migrant population and Right to the City: Practices in Lisbon and London
Two main questions are addressed in this paper: to what extent can urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) contribute to the social inclusion of migrants? And does UPA practised by urban farmers of foreign origin contribute to the expansion of biodiversity? In both London and Lisbon, a significant proportion of the migrant population is involved in UPA. Patterns of social inclusion are quite city specific: urban farming communities from Cape Verde strengthen community bonds through their activity but this does not necessarily lead to better social integration within Portuguese society. In London, migrants of foreign origin become part of an integrated communitarism on an individual basis. Evidence gathered strongly suggests that urban farmers of foreign origin do contribute to broadening biodiversity. Final observations note to what extent these urban practices contribute to the Right to the City and thus if they are of an emancipatory and transformative nature.
Neoanarchist politics have become increasingly hegemonic on the North American left. Tracing its emergence during the Seattle WTO demonstrations in 1999 to its recent incarnation in the Occupy Wall Street movement, this article argues that neoanarchism's attempts to “change the world without taking power” pose serious theoretical and practical problems for emancipatory politics today. The text also examines recuperation as a factor in social movement decline, arguing that the incorporation of social movement themes is constructing a “new spirit of capitalism” that both addresses widespread demand for a more ethical world while simultaneously insulating itself from critique – a process facilitated by significant ideological resonance between neoanarchism and neoliberalism
Friday, 17 January 2014
Escape from the Ivory Tower
Maybe you're an absolute novice in communicating with the press or with public officials... or maybe you're a seasoned veteran with horror stories about being misquoted, or having your research reduced to an oversimplified blurb. This frank, practical, and entertaining guide explains how to engage your audience and explain why a particular finding matters. The book includes advice from journalists, decision-makers, new media experts, bloggers, and some of the thousands of scientists who have participated in the author's communication workshops.
The State of the UK's Birds 2013 (RSPB)
This is the 14th The state of the UK’s birds report. It contains results from annual, periodic and one-off
surveys and studies from as recently as 2012 to give an up-to-date overview of the health of
bird populations in the UK and its Overseas Territories. It draws on the Bird Atlas 2007-11, perhaps the most
ambitious bird-monitoring project ever attempted in Britain, to give new maps of the distribution of all
regular breeding and wintering birds.
|Permaculture Research Digest|
Solutions to world hunger continue to be impeded by a frame that keeps much of humanity focusing narrowly on quantitative growth. The result is greater food production and greater hunger. Yet, across the world another way of seeing, one grounded in the relational insights of ecology, is transforming food systems in ways that both enhance flora and fauna and strengthen human relationships, enabling farmers to gain a greater voice in food production and fairer access to the food produced.
This book reviews the growth of alternative food networks and their struggle to defend their ethical and aesthetic values against the standardizing pressures of the corporate mainstream. It explores how these movements are "making a difference" and their possible role as fears of global climate change and food insecurity intensify. It assesses the different experiences of these networks in three major arenas: Britain and Western Europe, the United States, and the global Fair Trade economy. This comparative perspective runs throughout the book to fully explore the erosion of the interface between alternative and mainstream food provisioning. As the era of "cheap food" draws to a close, analysis of the limitations of market-based social change and the future of alternative food economies place this book at the cutting-edge.
Special Issue: JPS Forum on Global Land Grabbing Part 2: on methods
This special issue discusses major changes in strategies for agrarian reform, land and territory that have taken place over the last two decades in La Via Campesina, focusing on debates at a workshop in Indonesia in July 2012.
Food is one of the most basic resources that humans need for daily survival. Forty percent of the world’s population gains a livelihood from agriculture and we all consume food. Yet control over this fundamental resource is concentrated in relatively few hands. At the same time, there are serious ecological consequences that stem from an increasingly industrial model of agriculture that has spread worldwide. But movements are emerging to challenge the dominant global system. The extent to which these alternative movements can displace it remains to be seen. This book aims to contribute to a fuller understanding of the forces that influence and shape the current global food system.