Friday, 30 June 2017

Fukuoka seedballs for guerrilla gardening in city shafts

Some of my mates have a new flat in downtown Manhattan near South Street. I love that place. The view of the city is great - looking out from the balcony - but the view of the city looking down is rather dismal.

Manhattan's city blocks have these thin air shafts running through - a depressed early version of the shaft running through the Empire's Deathstar. - Looking down from the balcony at the little spots of soil in the shaft below I daydreamed of a small cryptoforest there.
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Photo 'Tenement Air Shaft Balcony' av William Bode
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A photo by New York photographer, John Albok


A photo of the bottom of an airshaft by PJ The Sprite in St. Paul
https://www.pinterest.de/pin/305963368418491858/

I see a role for metropolitan guerilla gardening using seedballs. This could easily be done following the exemplary methodologies of the No Work Farming Master Masanobu Fukuoka
http://www.ifoam.bio/en/masanobu-fukuoka



A photo of a seedball taken by Aravind Reddy in Bangalore Bombing on Green Mission near Bengaluru
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bombing-green-mission-near-bengaluru-aravind-reddy


More on how to make seedballs from the excellent book Freedom Gardens
http://freedomgardens.org/2010/10/04/make-your-own-seed-balls/




More radical seedball ideas from Seedballs R Us
http://www.seedballs.us/

Sunday, 12 March 2017

What is a botanist?

Botanist
From Greek botanismós
A specialist in botany.

Botany
From French botanique and Greek botanikos and botanē ‘plant’
The science of plants,
a branch of biology.

Biology
The study of living organisms
From German, via French from Greek bios ‘life’.

Life
The formation of RNA and DNA,
to grow, reproduce, change and die,
known only to occur on Earth.

Earth
A blue orb, third planet from the sun in the Sol solar system,
Orion arm of the Milky Way, Virgo cluster,
13.7 billion years after big bang, Laniakea Universe.

A botanist is a particularly curious member of Homo sapiens sapiens that seeks to fill the void of existential lack and wonder that are the bi-product of consciousness (i.e. tries to understand) the structure, functions, and uses of plants.

Find our publications for more suspenseful reading about botany (Gebauer et al., 2016; Whitney et al., 2012, 2014, 2016; Whitney and Gebauer, 2014; Whitney, 2016).

Gebauer, J., Whitney, C. W., and Tabuti, J. R. S., 2016. First record of baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) in Uganda, Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 63(5), 755-762.
Whitney, C. W., 2016. Adventures in Botany, Plants & People; Society for Econ. Bot. Newsletter, 30, 10.
Whitney, C. W., Gebauer, J., and Anderson, M., 2012. A Survey of Wild Collection and Cultivation of Indigenous Species in Iceland, Hum. Ecol., 40, 781-787.
Whitney, C. W., and Gebauer, J., 2014. Homegardens in Uganda: Diversity and Potential, Building Organic Bridges. Proceedings of the 4th ISOFAR Scientific Conference at the Organic World Congress 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey, Thuenen Report 20, 1115-1118.
Whitney, C. W., Vang Sin, M. M. V., Lê Hồng, G., Vu Van, C., Barber, K., and Tran Thi, L., 2014. Conservation and Ethnobotanical Knowledge of a Hmong Community in Long Lan, Luang Prabang, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 12, 643-658.
Whitney, C. W., Vang, S. M., Lê Hồng, G., Can, V. V., Barber, K., and Lanh, T. T., 2016. Learning with elders; human ecology and ethnobotany explorations in northern and central Vietnam, Human Organization, 75(1), 71-86.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Cost of conservation in Kaziranga, India

Rhinoceros unicornis
A BBC radio report and article on the tactics used to deter rhino poachers in Kaziranga NP, India. 


Over 100 people have been shot by guards in Kaziranga over the last 20 years - many of these people were innocent local people whose families claim that oversight, and due process and redress are lacking - significant in light of India's aim for more 'shoot on sight' policies across the country.  

More on conservation and indigenous peoples:

Society for Applied Anthropology 'Learning with Elders: Human Ecology and Ethnobotany Explorations in Northern and Central Vietnam': http://sfaajournals.net/doi/abs/10.17730/0018-7259-75.1.71?journalCode=humo

Center for Development Research 'Conservation and Ethnobotanical Knowledge of a Hmong Community in Long Lan, Luang Prabang, Lao People’s Democratic Republic' https://www.zef.de/uploads/tx_zefportal/Publications/cwhitney_download_Whitney%20et%20al%202014%20540.pdf

IUCN 'Indigenous culture and conservation of nature in Vietnam' https://www.iucn.org/content/indigenous-culture-and-conservation-nature-vietnam

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Baka hunter-gatherer indigenous peoples in Cameroon forced from their land

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) supports conservation zones on the traditional land of the Baka hunter-gatherer indigenous peoples in . According to Survival International Baka wild collectors and hunters are denied access, abused, and even murdered by anti-poaching squads when they hunt, forage or visit their sacred sites. Survival has submitted a formal complaint to the OECD accusing WWF of supporting anti-poaching agents to drive the Baka from large areas of their ancestral land. Survival claims that thousands of tribal people have been dispossessed and mistreated through WWF projects.

This is a major development and raises the importance of agreements such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and conservation mechanisms such as the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods group (SULi) to engage communities as an alternative to the increasingly exclusive and militarized approaches toward conservation.

Further reading and related work at IUCN:

Indigenous culture and conservation of nature in Vietnam https://www.iucn.org/content/indigenous-culture-and-conservation-nature-vietnam

Bayesian Networks for modeling conservation impacts https://www.iucn.org/news/commission-environmental-economic-and-social-policy/201702/bayesian-networks-modeling-conservation-impacts

Decision modeling for trees, nutrition, and livelihoods https://www.iucn.org/news/commission-environmental-economic-and-social-policy/201608/decision-modeling-trees-nutrition-and-livelihoods