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  • The race against time to bank the world’s threatened seeds

    The race against time to bank the world’s threatened seeds

    Just over an hour’s drive from London, down winding lanes lined with oak and beech trees, lies a concrete and glass building housing scientists tasked with a Herculean mission — to safeguard the future of food. The Kew Millennium Seed ...

    Jon Spaull;Imogen Mathers

  • Debate: Why aren’t farmers using agricultural tech?

    Debate: Why aren’t farmers using agricultural tech?

    Take part in our online debate that will take place on this page on 9 June starting at 1pm British Summer Time (GMT+1). Over two hours, our expert panel will help steer a discussion on why farmers in developing countries are not improving ...

  • Conversion of coconut gene farms threatens diversity

    Conversion of coconut gene farms threatens diversity

    The land conversion of coconut gene banks located in research farms across the Asia-Pacific threatens the future of coconut diversity, researchers warn. A coconut gene bank in Indonesia was recently converted into a racetrack while another in Samoa ...

    Anna Valmero

  • Why we need to do better on adaptation indicators

    Why we need to do better on adaptation indicators

    Let’s measure only what really counts to make progress on climate change adaptation, says Susanne Moser. “What gets measured, gets done!” — those were the words spoken ten years ago by a municipal planner from a large ...

    Susanne Moser

  • The wealth of forests

    The wealth of forests

    The day I first set foot in a tropical rainforest, in Malaysia in the early 1980s, I experienced something profound. From the echoes of gibbons calling from the canopy in the early morning mist to the iridescent flash of a bird in a beam of ...

    Kaz Janowski

  • Insecticide risk map exposes threat to aquatic life

    Insecticide risk map exposes threat to aquatic life

    The global threat that insecticides pose for aquatic biodiversity has been revealed in a recent modelling study that pinpoints areas at greatest risk. The mapping exercise conducted by the researchers reveals that aquatic life in water bodies ...

    Paulo Rebêlo

  • Peru: Olmos irrigation project sparks development debate

    Peru: Olmos irrigation project sparks development debate

    The recently launched irrigation and hydropower Olmos megaproject in Peru is hailed a ‘masterpiece of engineering’ aimed at stimulating rural development — but some fear the initiative will mostly benefit big companies. The ...

    Zoraida Portillo

  • Experts question slowing Amazon deforestation trend

    Experts question slowing Amazon deforestation trend

    Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest fell by 18 per cent this year, according to official government figures, but some experts are surprised by the news and fear the true trend remains upward. The estimated area of forest cleared in ...

    Fabíola Ortiz

  • It’s critical to blend climate tracking with development

    It’s critical to blend climate tracking with development

    During the opening ceremony of the COP 20 climate conference, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, remarked that the bustling halls and sun-drenched grass patches of the conference site were set ...

    Lou Del Bello

  • Forest camera traps monitor world’s endangered species

    Forest camera traps monitor world’s endangered species

    Hidden in some of the world’s most impenetrable forests, a network of cameras with inbuilt motion sensors are snapping animals in their tropical habitats. The photographs in this gallery were captured in forests in Africa, Asia and Latin ...

    Giorgia Scaturro

  • Ethiopia’s seed banks and the search for food security

    Ethiopia’s seed banks and the search for food security

    The community seed bank in Chefe Donsa, a village two hours’ drive east of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, collects and preserves the seeds of local crops to ensure farmers have a steady supply of seeds to sow each year. The Chefe Donsa ...

    Marco Boscolo

  • Becoming a top female fisheries researcher in Kenya

    Becoming a top female fisheries researcher in Kenya

    In this film, as part of our series Africa’s PhD renaissance, scientist Nina Wambiji talks about how the support she has received from AWARD (African Women in Agricultural Research and Development) has helped her become a leading researcher in ...

    Jon Spaull

  • Investing in female scientists to feed Africa

    Investing in female scientists to feed Africa

    In this interview, Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, director of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development fellowship programme in Kenya, talks about AWARD’s work supporting the careers of female agricultural scientists across ...

    Jon Spaull

  • REDD+ progress is possible — just look at Indonesia

    REDD+ progress is possible — just look at Indonesia

    In the global drive to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, REDD+ transactions have become prominent. REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation plus safeguards, such as transparent governance and respect for indigenous ...

  • Indian government still ‘flip flopping’ on GM trials

    Indian government still ‘flip flopping’ on GM trials

    In August, India’s ruling nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stopped its legislators from accepting Monsanto sponsorship to attend a farm exhibition in the US state of Iowa. On the surface this might seem strange: attending the Farm ...

    Ranjit Devraj

  • The problems with the arguments against GM crops

    The problems with the arguments against GM crops

    New evidence shows that arguments against GM crops are unfounded, says Margaret Karembu. The year 2013 marked the 18th consecutive year of commercial cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or now commonly referred to as biotech crops. ...

    Margaret Karembu

  • Cheap chemicals entice caterpillar-eating wasps to crops

    Cheap chemicals entice caterpillar-eating wasps to crops

    It may be a win-win situation: treating seeds with commercially available growth promoters before planting could have the added benefit of attracting parasitic wasps that feed on caterpillar pests, suggests a study. The protective effect of these ...

    Ola Al-Ghazawy

  • Q&A: Achim Steiner on science in the post-2015 goals

    Q&A: Achim Steiner on science in the post-2015 goals

    As executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner has been at the forefront of international conferences on environment and sustainable development, including the Rio+20 conference in June 2012. SciDev.Net ...

    T. V. Padma

  • The disappearing rivers of Bangladesh

    The disappearing rivers of Bangladesh

    Bangladesh is a land of rivers, but changing climate has caused a third of the country’s more than 300 large rivers to disappear. The rivers are drying out as a result of barriers built upstream to divert water and protect people from floods ...

    Naimul Haq

  • Science’s role in growing diverse, nutritious food

    Science’s role in growing diverse, nutritious food

    Can science meet the demand for more diverse and nutritious food? Jan Piotrowski investigates. The riots that swept Africa in 2007 and 2008 in response to the spiralling costs of staple crops brought the effects of food shortages into sharp focus. ...

    Jan Piotrowski