Agriculture

The Bosque de Niebla in Colombia's "coffee triangle." Careful use of agroforestry could help shore up the country's long-awaited peace accord. Photo: Proexport

Forest-Friendly Development Can Bolster Peace in Colombia, Paper Says

As Colombia rebuilds following last year’s historic peace deal with Marxist FARC rebels, it has an opening to advance sustainable land development, a new study contends.

by |March 16, 2017
NASPAA competition to come up with a solution to solve World Hunger by 2030, held at Sipa

Students Compete in Food Security Simulation

How do multiple stakeholders compromise their competing needs and develop a global coordinated strategy that is politically palatable, possible and comprehensive enough to have an impact? Students from universities all over the U.S. Northeast gathered at Columbia for the 2017 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition that challenged students to do just this.

by |March 6, 2017
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Trump’s Unifying Opportunity: Food Security

A sound strategy to secure the nation’s food supply and reduce its vulnerability within and beyond our borders will be a major step towards making America and the world more resilient in the face of increasing uncertainty.

by |March 2, 2017
grass blades

The Risks and Impacts of Expropriating Community Lands

While a government might consider that a community’s lands can generate greater public benefits if used as the site of a large-scale project, such as for agriculture or forestry, that needs to be balanced with how taking the land will affect the people who lived there and depended on that land.

Widespread fires in Indonesia threaten habitat for many animals, including orangutans; here one is being rescued on Kalimantan. Photo: Gerry Ellis/oregonzoo.org

Study Finds Oil Palm Certification Plays Limited Role in Curbing Fires

Oil palm is in everything from food to cosmetics to fuel and is consumed and used by most people without giving it a second thought. Yet oil palm cultivation is a large contributor to environmental and social problems, especially in places like Indonesia, where the business of oil palm cultivation has become the second largest export over the last decade.

by |December 15, 2016

Earth Institute 2017 Calendar Now Available

To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we asked members of the Earth Institute community to submit photographs for a 2017 wall calendar highlighting our work. Watch a slide show of some of the submissions. Donate $25 or more and we’ll send you the calendar.

Sustainable Development Fall 2016 Workshop Briefings

By Chandler Precht On December 9, 2016, students in the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development presented practical solutions to sustainability issues and challenges faced by real world clients. Under the guidance of Professor Stuart Gaffin and Professor Radley Horton, the Capstone Workshop offers students a chance to convey the knowledge and theories gained throughout their time in the… read more

by |December 10, 2016
While achieving sustainable agriculture is one of the greatest challenges of our age, at its core there is nothing political or controversial about it:  Agriculture that does not meet these criteria will not persist and will be unable to support human civilization.

Sustainable Agriculture Through Innovation and Collaboration

Individuals and institutions are becoming increasingly concerned about the social and environmental impacts and the broader societal ramifications associated with conventional agricultural systems. In response, many are acting to bring into view a brighter future that is capable of satisfying a long list of criteria that define sustainable agriculture.

by |November 16, 2016
Ag training announcement photo

Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment’s annual Executive Training Program on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture will be held at Columbia University in New York City from July 12-21, 2017. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until March 31, 2017.

Harvest

Mapping Risks and Building Resilience, from Plot to Plate

Michael Puma, an associate research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and a Center for Climate and Life Fellow, works to improve understanding of the fragility of the global food system and how it might respond to major disruptions.

by |October 5, 2016