Agriculture Archives - State of the Planet

American Geophysical Union 2017: Key Events From the Earth Institute

A chronological guide to key talks and other events presented by Columbia University’s Earth Institute at the American Geophysical Union 2017 meeting. 

by |December 4, 2017

Is There a Human Right to Land?

For people around the world, land is a source of food, shelter, and livelihoods. Given their importance, land rights are surely human rights—right?

Swapping Where Crops are Grown Could Feed an Extra 825 Million People

It could also reduce water stress, according to a new study that includes 14 major food crops from around the world.

by |November 6, 2017

In Biblical Land, Searching for Droughts Past and Future

Human-influenced climate warming has already reduced rainfall and increased evaporation in the Mideast, worsening water shortages. Up to now, climate scientists had projected that rainfall could decline another 20 percent by 2100. But the Dead Sea cores suggest that things could become much worse, much faster.

by |October 31, 2017

Photo Essay: The Dead Sea, Living Waters and Megadrought

Thousands of years before Biblical times, during a period when temperatures were unusually high, the lands around the Dead Sea now occupied by Israel, Jordan and surrounding nations suffered megadroughts far worse than any recorded by humans. Warming climate now threatens to return such conditions to this already hard-pressed region.

by |October 31, 2017
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.

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

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.

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.