Agriculture

PixaBay (corn field under blue sky)

3 Uses for OpenLandContracts.org

Kaitlin Cordes from the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment shares some of the ways she uses this repository of investor-state contracts.

PixaBay

Reflecting on OpenLandContracts.org’s First Two Years

Kaitlin Cordes from the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment looks back at the progress made by the repository of land investment contracts—and looks ahead to the challenges that await.

In the chilly 24-hour daylight of a spring night, Lamont-Doherty climatologist William D’Andrea surveys Borgpollen, an inland bay on the island of Vestvagoya. Connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a series of passages, the bay once was home to Vikings and their seagoing ships. Some of the islands’ best crop and grazing land is in surrounding hills and valleys, but it was often marginal, depending on weather.

Photo Essay: Climate Change, Sea Level and the Vikings

A thousand years ago, powerful Viking chieftans flourished in Norway’s Lofoten Islands, above the Arctic Circle. In an environment frequently hovering on the edge of survivability, small shifts in climate or sea level could mean life or death. People had to constantly adapt, making their living from the land and the sea as best they could.

by |September 26, 2017
PixaBay

Lorenzo Cotula and Thierry Berger On Transparency around Land Investment Contracts

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) spoke with Lorenzo Cotula and Thierry Berger about OpenLandContracts.org, the challenges and opportunities stakeholders face in promoting greater transparency around land investments, and how effective use of disclosed information can be promoted.

TZ arb blog - from pixabay

Not So Sweet: Tanzania Confronts Arbitration over Large-Scale Sugarcane and Ethanol Project

The legal battle underscores the challenges that arise when governments, international investors, and the rights of local communities are at odds.

Africa's Sahel region could suddenly get far more rainfall as global warming proceeds, says a new study. Here, farmers in Mali, one of the countries potentially affected, harvest okra. (Francesco Fiondella/International Research Institute for Climate and Society)

Warming Climate Could Abruptly Increase Rain in Africa’s Sahel

Climate change could turn one of Africa’s driest regions wet, according to a new study. Scientists have found evidence in computer simulations for a possible abrupt change in the Sahel, a region long characterized by aridity and political instability. In the study, just published in the journal Earth System Dynamics, the authors detected a self-amplifying… read more

by |July 5, 2017
CCL Water

How Will Climate Change Impact Water Resources?

Richard Seager and Park Williams, climate scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, discuss how water will be affected by warmer temperatures, and how their research increases understanding of these issues.

by |June 6, 2017
agriculture-13730152618Ej

Building Regenerative Local Food Systems

On April 27, 2017, the Earth Institute, the School of International and Public Affairs, the Agriculture and Food Security Center and the Columbia Water Center presented the third annual Forum on Sustainable Agriculture, on Building Regenerative Food Systems.

by |May 30, 2017
Dobhas are small ponds that can help store water for use during the dry season.

In Jharkhand, Using an Old Technique for Sustainable Water

The Indian state of Jharkhand has plentiful rainfall, but most of that water runs off before it can be put to use by farmers, who struggle to make a living. To help improve irrigation and crop productivity, the Centers for International Projects Trust and Ranchi’s Birsa Agricultural University turned to a simple traditional technology, “dobhas,” small ponds that can store rainwater for months at a time.

by |May 24, 2017
Falling sulfur dioxide emissions in the United States are expected to substantially increase rainfall in Africa’s semi-arid Sahel, while bringing slightly more rain to much of the U.S., according to a new study. (Francesco Fiondella/International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Reduced U.S. Air Pollution Will Boost Rainfall in Africa’s Sahel, Says Study

If U.S. sulfur dioxide emissions are cut to zero by 2100, as some researchers have projected they will be, rainfall over Africa’s Sahel region could increase up to 10 percent from 2000 levels, computer simulations suggest.

by |May 22, 2017