Our Earth Day stories…What’s yours?

At CABI we spend a lot of time researching some of the most extreme challenges facing the environment, and supporting livelihoods that depend on the environment with programmes like Plantwise. Each year the international community celebrates Earth Day on April 22nd, to draw public attention to some of these challenges like climate change, food insecurity, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction and how we can all play a part in the solution. To raise awareness today, we’d like to share some of our Earth Day stories: tales of ways big and small that we are trying to conserve the Earth’s resources, or what we would like to do this year. Check out our stories below and let us know in the comments, on facebook or twitter one of your stories this Earth Day.


Julia Dennis, Communications Manager Plantwise & CABI Switzerland

Image“I never knew there was so much wildlife in city parks until I started last year working with the Green Gym in London’s Regents Park. It’s run by The Conservation Volunteers to fix up park space and make it suitable for more species of plants and animals, helping them thrive even in urban spaces. The name is no joke as well- it is an extremely good workout cutting through bramble and planting trees. Ouch!”

 


Claire Curry, Content Developer

Kessner Photography (CC BY)

Kessner Photography

“You can’t beat freshly picked food from the field. We have a small fruit and vegetable plot where we grow a range of crops including apples, tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, carrots and lettuces. This provides us with great produce using minimal resources as the fruits and vegetables do not have to be packaged or transported – just pick, rinse and eat! The peelings and other garden waste are then recycled into compost, ready to fertilise the next crop.”

 


Sarah Hilliar, Creative Designer

sarah reef

“In 2006 I spent 4 weeks in the Philippines doing reef conservation work with Coral Cay Conservation. This involved learning 400 fish, coral and invertebrate species and taking part in 3 dives a day on various reefs around the coastline of the Philippines. The highlight was being in the water with whale sharks during one of the dives!”

 

 


Holly Wright, Project Management Supportgarden

“I live in a house that loves good food- growing it, cooking it, sharing it and eating. It’s so great to know exactly where your food comes from and how it’s been grown. The shorter the chain from mud to mouth the better.

I have the luxury of growing my own food or buying it. For many subsistence farmers their garden plots are their only choice and the success of their crops can be the difference between food or famine. I first saw poverty 12 years ago and I’ve had a heart to work in food security ever since.”


Emily Palmer, Content Development Assistant

Looking out over the Thames on the way to CABI Photo credit: Emily Palmer

Photo credit: Emily Palmer

“One of my favourite things about living close to work is walking in and back every day along the Thames. It takes about 35 minutes, so I have lots of time to enjoy the scenic river view, listen to the songbirds and ducks, and get energized for the day. I’ve met lots of people and some very friendly dogs – it’s a great way to get some exercise and reduce my fuel consumption!”


Credit: Polythene Pam, Plastic Is Rubbish

Abigail Rumsey, Content Developer

“My cousin has spent the past seven years boycotting plastics. When you start thinking about this in today’s consumer society, it seems like an impossible task. However, she has managed to cut down to using the bare minimum of plastic wherever possible: making her own beauty products, insisting that supermarkets fill her fabric bags, using refillable bottles for water, and not using disposable stationery. Also, wherever she goes in the world, she documents the plastic rubbish that is ruining scenery and killing animals.”

Take a look at the Plastic Is Rubbish website to find out how you can start to cut plastic out of your life: http://plasticisrubbish.com/

Plantwise joins IPPC in Rome to discuss building linkages for NPPOs

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IPPC’s Dave Nowell addresses the side event audience from the panel at FAO headquarters

 

 

Delegates from over twenty-six countries attended last Thursday’s side event jointly-hosted by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat and the CABI-led Plantwise programme which served the goals common to both organizations: empowering countries to protect crops, thereby increasing food security.

The event on the evening of April 2ndat Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN headquarters brought together key plant health stakeholders of the IPPC there to attend the 9th Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM).

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Eunice Kagendo Lingeera of the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) shares her experience as a Plantwise National Data Validation Team member   (Photo: D.Nowell, IPPC)

Agricultural officials from the governments of Sri Lanka, Uganda and Kenya stood and presented their own experiences of establishing and tapping into Plantwise resources to support their daily roles in National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs). Back home, these presenters’ all work for the NPPOs whose activities cover a range of different plant health roles, including extension, research and phytosanitary quarantine. Read more of this post

New Video: The first IPPC & Plantwise Workshop, Nairobi, Kenya

Plant health stakeholders from across East Africa met in Nairobi for the first ever workshop hosted by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat and Plantwise. Watch as attendees exchange national experiences in plant protection using resources from Plantwise and the IPPC in the process. They renew strategies for greater coordination on plant health, face common challenges, and share plant pest strategies from across the region, all to support trade, food security and the environment.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.plantwise.org and ippc.int

Plantwise Newsletter out now!

Check out the latest news and updates on activities of Plantwise and partners around the world. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox by emailing plantwise@cabi.org

 

Plantwise joins IPPC at CPM9 in Rome for side-event tonight

Plantwise joins IPPC at CPM9 in Rome for side-event tonight

Delegates from around the world convene at FAO headquarters for CPM9, many of which will attend tonight’s side-event to hear of joint activities and how partners are using resources to work together in Sri Lanka, Uganda and Kenya.

IPPC and Plantwise lead successful workshop for coordinated plant protection in East Africa

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Watch the video here.

From Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, key representatives of agricultural institutions gathered in Nairobi for the first ever joint workshop led by CABI’s Plantwise programme and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat. The workshop was convened in an effort to exchange national experiences in plant protection and pave the way for renewed strategies to share plant pest information from the region.

The workshop highlighted the variety of actors already working in each country to detect, report and respond to pest problems, which on average account for 40% of crop losses worldwide and threaten trade and food security. However, across the region it was apparent that all national systems could benefit from additional resources and collaboration, especially for fulfilling national reporting obligations under the IPPC. Since 1951, the IPPC has been responsible for protecting agriculture and the environment by limiting the spread of plant pests. Essential to this mission is country-level cooperation among different organizations.

Read more of this post

Plant Health Rallies: Giving Rwandan agronomists the tools to inform the public

Plant Health Rallies: Giving Rwandan agronomists the tools to inform the public

In November 2013, three members of the CABI Plantwise team (Dr Noah Phiri and Peter Karanja of the Nairobi office, and Julien Lamontagne-Godwin of the UK office) visited Musanze in the Northern zone of Rwanda. 12 participants from the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) were trained in techniques to inform the surrounding rural communities on serious pests and diseases of important crops, particularly maize stalk borer and Lethal Necrosis, and potato late blight. During the 4 day training, participants were taught to develop a simple extension message that can be announced clearly in less than ten minutes. This message explains the background to the problem, discusses symptoms, and recommendations to prevent or reduce its effects in the field.

In the picture above, Jeanne Priscille Ingabire uses a megaphone to alert the village of Bikara of an impending talk on maize stalk borer. Kalisa Jean Pierre (left) and Stanislas Mushimiyimana (right) both hold onto a banner to gain more public interest before the talk.

This technique complements the established plant clinics in the area, and will help the RAB team inform and help more people with their agricultural pests and diseases.

2014: The International Year of Family Farming

Plantwise welcomes a new year with a renewed focus: ‘The International Year of Family Farming’ has begun. The UN General Assembly declared 2014 as the official year to draw attention to policy and practices which support livelihoods of smallholder farmers worldwide. That means this year is dedicated to the 2 billion+ people who depend on farming for their food and income, and who should all have access to the right resources to provide for their families. CABI and Plantwise celebrate this International Year of Family Farming by continuing to bring these resources to more farmers, in more communities than ever before.

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Take a look back on some of the highlights from Plantwise’s work in over 30 countries promoting sustainable family farming during 2013, here in our recent newsletter and Year in Review video. For more information on what to expect for Family Farming’s commemorative year, visit the official website.

Plantwise Malawi Officially Launched

Contributed by Roger Day and Noah Phiri, CABI in Africa

Top national agricultural officials and CABI representatives gathered in Malawi recently to officially kick-off Plantwise operations, marking a new chapter for plant health development in the country.

With one small snip, Dr Wilfred Lipita cut the ribbon to officially launch the programme. Dr Lipita is the Controller of Agricultural Extension and Technical Services in Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, and was representing the Minister, Dr James Munthali.

Earlier this year, Dr Lipita opened the very first plant clinic in Malawi. Since that pilot clinic, 12 more have been established in Mzimba and Lilongwe Districts, where trained plant doctors tend to farmers’ sick plants and help them to prevent their crop losses. Commending the Plantwise approach, Dr Lipita said at the launch event that “Plantwise could have helped us avoid the devastation caused by Banana Bunchy Top Virus (BBTV).”  

  Read more of this post

CABI takes home NEF Award for Innovation with Plantwise

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CABI CEO Dr Trevor Nicholls with award presenter the BCC’s Dr Maggie Philbin

INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS, LONDON- On Thursday 5 December, CABI received an Innovation Award at the 10th annual National Engineering Foundation (NEF) Innovisions Conference, in recognition for its landmark global food security programme, Plantwise.

Hosted by NEF and presenters from the BBC, the Innovation Awards were established to celebrate ‘game-changers’ proven to be the very best of innovation in public policy. Judges were looking for ideas which will not only promote sustainable growth, but also inspire others. Plantwise was chosen as the best example of government policy supporting innovation, with its unique approach to improving food security nurtured from the start by policies of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and government partners who have been key to its success.

Read more of this post

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