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Tag archives for food security

New Film Highlights Hydropower Dams and Food Security Concerns in Cambodia

Scientists and conservation experts are urging the government of Cambodia to put a moratorium on the development of hydropower dams, and now Conservation International has released a new short film, Hydropower Impacts and Alternatives, that takes a closer look at the issues surrounding the dam construction in the 3-S basin within the Greater Mekong River System. There is…

World Food Day: A Time to Embrace the Farming We Want

With the support of policy makers, opinion leaders, scientists, business leaders and the public, we can make “the farming we want” a reality in order to grow sufficient, nutritious food for future generations, to bring new prosperity to the countryside, and to make this planet a more diverse – and safer – home for all the species that dwell here.

Economic Prowess Not Translating to Healthier Oceans

  The Ocean Health Index was launched last year to much fanfare; for the first time policy makers and businesses worldwide had a tool to assess how well individual countries – and the world – sustainably use ocean resources and benefits. Measuring ten ocean health goals, the Index defines a healthy ocean as one that…

Small-scale Irrigation Boosts Incomes and Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa

For millions of poor farm families in sub-Saharan Africa, access to water makes the difference between hunger and a full belly, between a well-nourished child and one stunted by malnutrition, and between a productive livelihood and one mired in poverty.  For many, the long dry season is a trying time of one meal a day.…

Our Oversized Groundwater Footprint

We don’t see it, smell it or hear it, but the tragedy unfolding underground is nonetheless real – and it spells big trouble. I’m talking about the depletion of groundwater, the stores of H2O contained in geologic formations called aquifers, which billions of people depend upon to supply their drinking water and grow their food.…

Drip Irrigation Expanding Worldwide

As the world population climbs and water stress spreads around the globe, finding ways of getting more crop per drop to meet our food needs is among the most urgent of challenges. One answer to this call is drip irrigation, which delivers water directly to the roots of plants in just the right amounts. It…

Damming the Poor: It’s Time to Create River Parks for People

Chief Omar Abdalla Hama was pleading with us to help save his people from starving. My colleagues from The Nature Conservancy and I were visiting Ozi Village along the Tana River in southeastern Kenya.  We were exploring opportunities to work with local communities, government officials, and other researchers on a sustainable development plan for the…

The Power of a Radically Affordable Irrigation Pump

  One of the more transformative technologies ever developed for the world’s poor farmers is a water-lifting device called a treadle pump. It looks and operates much like a Stairmaster exercise machine that you’d find in a gym.  But the dollar-a-day farmers who use these devices are not trying to lose pounds; they’re trying to…

Reflections on a Thirsty Planet for World Water Day

  Water, I have learned, means different things to different people. To the novelist D. H. Lawrence, water was mysterious.  It is “hydrogen two parts, oxygen one, but there is also a third thing, that makes it water and nobody knows what that is.” To the anthropologist Loren Eiseley, water was supernatural: “If there is…

From Texas to India to the Horn of Africa, Concern about Weather, Water, and Crops

  Hardly a week goes by without new reasons to be concerned about the impact of changing precipitation patterns and mounting water stress on food production. This past week, officials in Texas cut off irrigation water to rice farmers downstream of reservoirs depleted by the worst one-year drought in Texas history.   Even with recent rains,…

Banking Seeds for Doomsday

In these times of tumultuous weather patterns and no certainty about the future stability of Earth’s climate as civilization has known it, it’s reassuring that a significant portion of the planet’s legacy of plant diversity has been stashed for safekeeping deep inside an Arctic mountain.