a magazine on ecological agriculture
a one stop treasure of practical field experiences

Sources – Insects as Allies

Manage inspects on your farmManage Insects on your farm: A guide to ecological strategies
Miguel A. Altieri and Clara, Nicholls with Marlene A. Fritz, Published by the Sustainable
Agriculture Network, Beltsville, MD, ISBN 1-888626-10-0, 2005, 128 pages

Agricultural pests blemish, damage or destroy more than 30 percent of crops worldwide. This annual loss has remained constant since the 1940s, when most farmers and ranchers began using agrichemicals to control pests. Farmers need insect pest management strategies that are effective, affordable and environmentally sound. Manage Insects on Your Farm: A Guide to Ecological Strategies is a pest management primer designed to help farmers improve their farms’ natural defenses against insect pests.
While every farming system is unique, the principles of ecological pest management apply universally. Manage Insects on Your Farm outlines the principles of ecologically based pest management and illustrates the strategies used by farmers around the world to address insect problems by:
• Increasing on-farm diversity above and below ground
• Encouraging beneficial insects to attack their worst pests
• Enhancing plants’ natural defenses against pests
• Managing soil to minimize crop pests

Examples of successful pest management strategies featured throughout the book demonstrate real-life examples of how to address insect problems and develop a more complex and diverse on-farm ecosystem. Readers will learn how to minimize insect damage with wise soil management and identify beneficial insects to put these “good bugs” to work.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity

 

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature: A synthesis of the approach, conclusions and recommendations of TEEB
ISBN 978-3-9813410-3-4, TEEB (2010), Printed by Progress Press, Malta

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study, has delivered a series of reports (see insert) addressing the needs of major user groups: national and local decision makers, business and the wider public. This synthesis complements, but does not attempt to summarize, the other products of TEEB. The aim of this synthesis is to highlight and illustrate the approach adopted by TEEB: namely to show how economic concepts and tools can help equip society with the means to incorporate the values of nature into decision making at all levels.
Applying economic thinking to the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services can help clarify two critical points: why prosperity and poverty reduction depend on maintaining the flow of benefits from ecosystems; and why successful environmental protection needs to be grounded in sound economics, including explicit recognition, efficient allocation, and fair distribution of the costs and benefits of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. The analysis of TEEB builds on extensive work in this field over the last decades. TEEB presents an approach that can help decision makers recognize, demonstrate and, where appropriate, capture the values of ecosystems and biodiversity.
The completion of the study and the publication of this synthesis come at a time when the global community has an unprecedented opportunity to rethink and reconfigure the way people manage biological resources. A new vision for biodiversity, with proposals for time-bound targets and clear indicators, is being drawn up by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in this International Year of Biodiversity. TEEB’s approach to incorporating nature’s values into economic decision making can help turn that vision into reality. Crucially, TEEB’s recommendations are aimed far beyond the remit of most environment ministries and environmental institutions. TEEB seeks to inform and trigger numerous initiatives and processes at national and international levels.

Global_Bee_Colony_Disorder_and_Threats_insect_pollinatorsUNEP Emerging Issues: Global Honey Bee Colony Disorder and Other Threats to
Insect Pollinators
© UNEP 2010 – U. UNON/Publishing Services Section/Nairobi, ISO 14001:2004-certified. Division of Early Warning Assessment, United Nations Environment Programme, P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi 00100, Kenya. www.unep.org

Current evidence demonstrates that a sixth major extinction of biological diversity event is underway. The Earth is losing between one and ten percent of biodiversity per decade, mostly due to habitat loss, pest invasion, pollution, over-harvesting and disease. Certain natural ecosystem services are vital for human societies. Many fruit, nut, vegetable, legume, and seed crops depend on pollination. Pollination services are provided both by wild, free-living organisms (mainly bees, but also to name a few many butterflies, moths and flies), and by commercially managed bee species. Bees are the predominant and most economically important group of pollinators in most geographical regions.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that out of some 100 crop species which provide 90% of food worldwide, 71 of these are bee-pollinated. In Europe alone, 84% of the 264 crop species are animal pollinated and 4 000 vegetable varieties exist thanks to pollination by bees5. The production value of one tonne of pollinator-dependent crop is approximately five times higher than one of those crop categories that do not depend on insects.
Has a “pollinator crisis” really been occurring during recent decades, or are these concerns just another sign of global biodiversity decline? Several studies have highlighted different factors leading to the pollinators’ decline that have been observed around the world. This bulletin considers the latest scientific findings and analyses possible answers to this question. As the bee group is the most important pollinator worldwide, this bulletin focuses on the instability of wild and managed bee populations, the driving forces, potential mitigating measures and recommendations.

PES_Sourcebook.1

 

Lessons and Best Practices for Pro-Poor Payment for Ecosystem Services
USAID Pes Sourcebook. October 2007, Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources Management CRSP Office of International Research, Education, and Development Virginia Tech, 526 Prices Ford Rd,.Blacksburg, VA 24061

The USAID PES Sourcebook was prepared for USAID by the SANREM and BASIS CRSPs through the Global Assessment of Best Practices in Payments for Ecosystem Services Programs project. This Sourcebook focuses on conceptual and design issues related to payments for environmental services (PES), in the form of a loose-leaf three-ring binder. The information can also be downloaded so that updates and changes can easily be added over time without the need to republish the whole thing. We use a broad perspective on “payment”: Depending on the context, it could imply either cash or noncash incentives, rewards or compensation. The Sourcebook is meant to serve as both a ready reference and a repository of useful knowledge on PES. Because it is meant for managers and practitioners, it is not dense or technical.
The Sourcebook consists of a series of briefs on selected topics. The briefs include practical examples and graphics to explain various concepts. The aim is to make each brief a stand-alone document so that practitioners can directly access a particular section without necessarily reading all the earlier sections. At the end of many briefs, further relevant readings are suggested.