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Malawi is reliant on tobacco for 60% of foreign earnings, but while demand is falling the cost of environmental damage caused by the industry is rising
For cigarette smokers and tobacco growers, the sight – and sweet smell – of the Chinkhoma auction house near Kasungu in central Malawi is heaven. Tens of thousands of metre-cubed bales of golden leaf, each with enough tobacco to make more than 50,000 cigarettes, cover the floor of a warehouse the size of three football fields.
Malawi, now the poorest country in the world according to the World Bank, depends on tobacco as a cash crop. Chinkhoma, in the heart of the tobacco-growing Central region, is where much of it is sold before being exported and made into cigarettes.
The impact of the industry is evident in the reduction of trees cut down or tobacco curing or construction of barnsContinue reading...
Originally posted on CCAFS’s News Blog. By David Valentin Schweiger (CCAFS Coordinating Unit) SAMPLES is a framework which aims to fill the gap in current greenhouse gas emissions monitoring in tropical developing countries. Climate change is a hot topic in Paris this year. The City of Light is not only hosted the Our Common Future […]
To accelerate conservation progress in Africa, improve support to African civil society organizations (commentary)
From the fRI Caribou Program's field crew in the Rainbow Lake area, here's a field update from July 29, 2015. Click on one of the photos below to open the slide show.
For the third shift of the season, the Caribou 6 and 7 teams decided that being in the field is not an excuse to stop learning. The trip to the Chinchaga fire base was the perfect opportunity to integrate the principles of continuous learning into our everyday lives. On top of the ever ongoing philosophical questions concerning the definitions of roads and lines, our groups have covered a good diversity of other academic subjects.
Social Sciences became handy early in the shift, when the teams were confronted with locked gates preventing them from accessing important parts of the study area. Smiles, kind words, and clear explanations of our intentions proved to be enough to obtain access to these protected lands.
Mathematics proved to be useful in a variety of situations. Questions such as “How many bison are there in this clearing?”, “How many times will we have to go back and forth on this tiny road to manage to turn this 1 ton truck around?”, “If I gave 100 pumps to fill ¼ of the gas tank, am now at 7/8, and want to fill the tank without overflowing, how much more should I pump?” were all part of the routine.
Some weather forecast skills were put to good use, in attempts to establish if there was enough time to do the plots, get back to the truck, and drive off the road before its surface was transformed into a slippery muddy path certain to test our ability to keep driving forward while going sideways.
Obviously, biology questions were a key component of the daily work. Wondering if that black thing is a bear or a stump, if the grouse will fly away from the road without having to honk at it, if that berry is ripe, if that big unidentified creature that ran towards us in the wood was sasquatch, or how tasty buffalo berry is, put our variety of different university degrees to good use.
In spite of all the fun we had learning academic subjects, the most welcome subject of the shift was certainly culinary arts. The trailer, with a functional fridge and an oven, proved to be a luxury that the teams used with great relish. If the roasted beets were welcomed with delight, they were quickly overshadowed by the sushi night (and sushi lunch the next day), as well as the decadent chocolate mousse, all proving that camp food can be every bit as delicious as “normal” food. The teams might have gained weight throughout this shift, but have mostly gained valuable knowledge in this intellectually rewarding sojourn at the fire base.FRI Subject Area: CaribouDisplay on Maps: Related Program: Caribou ProgramRelated Project: Analysis and improvement of linear features to increase caribou functional habitat in west-central and north-western Alberta
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