food – water – forests – fish

Fish Stock Sustainability Index and ecosystem dynamics

The U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration Fish Stock Sustainability Index (FSSI), which tracks 227 fish stocks that account for 90 percent of the total U.S. catch, shows continuous improvement in this graph from the September 2013 National Research Council (NRC) report, “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Fish Stock Rebuilding Plans in the United States.” The [...]

TEDx from Indonesia: Forest carbon and corruption

Tropical deforestation and forest degradation are major contributors to carbon emissions, and therefore to climate change. On the other hand, there has been progress toward an international framework for reducing these emissions (REDD+). So where do things stand? After watching an extraordinary TEDx talk by Dharsono Hartono — embedded below — I looked at a [...]

Challenges in irrigation system governance

“There is a need for a paradigm shift in the way publicly owned irrigation systems are managed,” writes Aditi Mukherji in a World Water Day (March 22nd) post (“Cooperation by water users: Does it work?”). She summarizes a review of 108 cases of irrigation management transfer (IMT) and participatory irrigation management (PIM) across 20 countries in [...]

Institutional diversity in Marine Protected Areas

“The significance of institutional diversity to governance systems parallels that of species diversity to ecosystems, conferring resilience to the overall social-ecological system,” write Peter Jones, Wanfei Qiu, and Elizabeth De Santo in “Governing marine protected areas: social-ecological resilience through institutional diversity,” the synthesis paper of a special issue of the journal Marine Policy. Researchers with [...]

Integral quadrants and fishery co-management

Last time, I referenced a paper on West Hawai‘i fisheries co-management by Washington State University marine biologist Brian Tissot and coauthors. It’s a story I’m familiar with from interviews I did with Brian and others for the 2012 Ecotrust publication, “Resilience & Transformation: A Regional Approach.” From that piece (see p.31): “The West Hawaii Fisheries [...]

Local food systems: sustainability or resilience?

What are the benefits of local-regional food? Last week, I posted a John Ikerd talk on local food relationships as a means to restore national integrity(!). Today I’ll stick with quantifiable stuff. A 2010 USDA report (“Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts, and Issues”) examined the question of local food benefits and found more research needed. [...]

John Ikerd: Top ten reasons to eat local

What is the local food story? As I wrote yesterday, I think we’re still working it out. Still rationalizing and comprehending an inherently attractive way of being-living-acting in the world. For agricultural economist John Ikerd, the local food story is first and foremost about integrity. “When we develop those personal connections with each other, around food, [...]

Resolving the food miles paradox

Last spring, an in-class presentation by one of my students reminded me that resilience is very different from sustainability. The topic was food, and the student declared, “Food that comes from New Zealand can be more sustainable than from here in the Pacific Northwest.” You probably know where this is going. As a proxy for [...]

UN report on agroecology

Whenever I hear claims about “feeding the world,” this UN report comes to mind. From my 19 March 2011 P&P post, reprinted in full: – – – – The adoption of agroecological farming practices can double food production in critical regions, says UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Olivier De Schutter. From the [...]

Water dialogues: Voices from the Klamath

“This is the time I was challenged the most in my life and grew the most in my life,” reflects Klamath Tribal Council Vice Chairman Don Gentry (~35:15). Gentry spoke at an open and candid May 2nd panel at Portland State University, hosted by PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions and Sustainable Northwest, a Portland-based nonprofit [...]