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Land degradation ×
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High Country News

Krista Langlois

9 August 2019

Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States

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Scientists in southeast America are trying to rebuild the natural biocrusts that existed centuries ago. The biocrusts, which are concentrations of cyanobacteria, moss, and lichens, are a crucial part of ecosystems in ...

Reuters

Johnny Magdaleno

8 August 2019

San Martin, California, United States

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In Santa Clara County, California, the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation program is funding an effort to prevent development and bolster agriculture on local farmland. The County, home to Silicon Valley, pur...

Things That Work Uganda

Noah Omuya

2 August 2019

Bidibidi, Uganda

Multi-Media

800-1500 Words

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The Bidibidi refugee settlement in Uganda, the largest such settlement in the world, is working with a number of agencies including the UNHCR and The Office of the Prime Minister to address environmental issues in the...

Vox

Anne N. Connor

3 June 2019

Beaufort, North Carolina, United States

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Instead of building hard seawalls to protect communities from hurricanes, some are turning to “living shorelines.” These are made out of crushed rock or oyster shells that are placed offshore in front of a wetland. Th...

BBC

Daniel Gordon

20 May 2019

Bogotá, Colombia

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3-5 Minutes

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Growing flowers and plants in fields where cows graze leads to a healthier diet, larger cows, more enriched soil, and less methane emitted into the atmosphere. About 4,000 farmers have received funding to transform th...

The New Yorker

Paige Williams

20 May 2019

New York, New York, United States

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It turns out goats may be the answer to addressing invasive species. In Manhattan’s Riverside Park, a herd of goats were hired to to eat weeds, ivy, and nonnative species in an attempt to restore the balance of the ec...

Idaho Statesman

Nicole Blanchard

5 May 2019

Boise, Idaho, United States

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A group called Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, now 36,000 strong, is bringing together people from different political and ideological backgrounds over a common interest in the preservation and conservation of public l...

The Guardian

Matthew Taylor

24 April 2019

United Kingdom

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Governments, UN officials, and climate experts alike are ringing the alarm bells of growing soil degradation around the world. But a new agricultural movement is tackling this challenge head on. Instead of the centuri...

Mongabay

Wudan Yan

23 April 2019

Kyaiklat, Myanmar

Multi-Media

800-1500 Words

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Recycled waste from rice mills offers an alternative to mangrove forests as a fuel source. In the Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar, rice mills are beginning to use their byproducts to create rice-husk briquettes. The logs, ...

KQED

Lauren Sommer

22 April 2019

California, United States

Multi-Media

3-5 Minutes

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Richer soil not only retains more water and minerals, it also trap carbon from the atmosphere absorbed by plants. As California works to meet its carbon neutral goal, the state is enlisting farmers in its climate chan...

InfoNILE

Fredrick Mugira

15 April 2019

Rubaya, Kabale, Uganda

Multi-Media

800-1500 Words

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In 1980, the Ugandan government signed an agreement with local communities in the Mugandu–Buramba wetland that gave them the right to own, manage, and conserve their own property. Today, the wetlands are thriving —red...

Inc. Magazine

Kevin J. Ryan

15 April 2019

San Diego, California, United States

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A San Diego startup called Vence has created a device that can help farmers control their livestock’s movements and behavior. The new technology – a collar with accompanying software – buzzes when an animal is somewhe...

Mongabay

Sahana Ghosh

21 March 2019

Gundalba, Odisha, India

Multi-Media

1500-3000 Words

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Biodiversity and forest cover in Gundalba rebounded after a women-led group started using whistles and rotational patrols to scare away timber smugglers and woodcutters. The group also helped neighboring villages coor...

Mongabay

Janet Njung'e

8 February 2019

Kilifi County, Kenya

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In Kenya and Tanzania, butterfly farming is emerging as a viable alternative to those seeking employment beyond illegal logging or hunting practices. While up to 1,200 farmers have participated in various butterfly pr...

Yes! Magazine

Madeline Ostrander

4 February 2019

Hayes, South Dakota, United States

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Mortenson Cattle Ranch in Hayes, South Dakota is redefining sustainability practices for cattle-raising farmers by using a model that restored the habitat, wildlife, and water sources on their land. Mimicking the habi...

La Voz de Guanacaste

Noelia Esquivel

21 January 2019

Hojancha, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Multi-Media

800-1500 Words

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In 1976, the Costa Rican city Hojancha preserved only 2% of its land as forest, and as a result their water supply (the Río Nosara river basin) dried up from the lack of vegetation. Sixteen years into the crisis, two ...

bioGraphic

Kate Schimel

8 January 2019

Papua New Guinea

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In northeastern Papua New Guinea, community leaders and the government set aside 360,000 hectares of the Managalas Plateau as a protected conservation area in 2017. The project has strong local support. But facing des...

Mongabay

Camilo Mejia Giraldo

26 November 2018

Papua New Guinea

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In Papua New Guinea, agroforestry--an old method of farming that more closely mimics natural ecosystems--has provided the Gildipasi community with diverse crops and greater food security. And in a boom for wildlife, t...

Mongabay

Daniyar Serikov

13 November 2018

Faizobod, Tajikistan

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To restore degraded lands in Tajikistan, farmers are turning to agroforestry, a traditional cropping method that more closely mimics natural systems. An estimated 45 gigatons of carbon is sequestered by agroforestry s...

ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Winsome Denyer

29 October 2018

New South Wales, Australia

Multi-Media

800-1500 Words

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Natural Sequence Farming is the process of restoring a landscape's original hydration processes by "reading the landscape and tapping into the land's natural system of self-rehydration," – and it's helping Mulloon Cre...

Mongabay

Rishika Pardikar

25 September 2018

Karnataka, India

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In rural communities, firewood extraction hurts both human health and wildlife habitat. In India, a group of conservationists are helping villages switch from wood-burning to liquified petroleum gas. While logistics a...

Yes! Magazine

Leilani Clark

2 July 2018

Paicines, California, United States

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Churches across the U.S. own a staggering amount of land that often goes unused and untended. FaithLands is an intersectional group of church leaders who are seeking to encourage churches to parcel off some of this la...

Deutsche Welle (DW)

Rizki Nugraha

14 June 2018

Indonesia

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In order to raise awareness about the impact of plastic waste in the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Greenpeace and the Indonesian Ministry of Forest and Environment have teamed with the count...

Greentumble

Deogracias Benjamin Kalima

19 April 2018

Malawi

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Malawi ranks fourth in the world for deforestation rates, but the country is on a pathway to making a dent in recovery thanks to community and government efforts. In just one rainy season alone, running from December ...

PBS NewsHour

Fred de Sam Lazaro

19 April 2018

Tamil Nadu, India

Broadcast TV Programs

5-15 Minutes

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An organization funded by the government called Foundation for Ecological Security is leading the charge to reforest wastelands in India to alleviate some of the struggles that rural areas undergo. This creates holdin...

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Photo Credits: Almudena Toral; Cody Pope; Matt Stokes; Kriston Bethel; Noah Friedman-Rudovsky

All other photos are licensed under Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license, and are credited to the following photographers: Rowan El Shimi; Samuele Arcidiacono; Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2017 © DW/H. W. Lamberz

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