土壤保護行動 To Protect Our Soil Resources

idea-soil-resources-protection

土壤流失恢復不易 恐威脅未來世代

各國土壤專家在聯合國糧農組織(FAO)7 月25日舉辦的全球土壤研討會議上提出警告,表示因侵蝕、酸化、都市化、養分耗盡和化學汙染等因素,全球已有1/3的土壤因而劣化。為因應此危機,與會各國政府通過全球的行動計劃,透過強力的管制和投資保衛土壤資源。

土壤流失恢復不易 恐威脅未來世代

政府官員和專家齊聚羅馬參與為期3天的「全球土壤合作網」(Global Soil Partnership,GSP)會議,各界利害關係者在會議上均表達亟需政府保護土壤的訴求。

「土壤是糧食、飼料、燃料和纖維生產的基礎。沒有了土壤,地球無法供養生命。而土壤一旦流失,就無法在人類的生命周期之內恢復。」會議主持人,FAO副總幹事Maria Helena Semedo說,「目前的土壤劣化速度和程度已經威脅到未來世代的需求。」

此刻,全球土壤合作網急需資金和政治力量支持。FAO呼籲各國政府立刻採取行動,改善全球有限土壤資源的健康狀態,以確保未來世代能有足夠的糧食、水和能量。

生命倚賴土壤 照顧好還可減緩氣候變遷

全球人口預計將在2050年超越90億,糧食、飼料和纖維需求將成長60%;光是土壤就佔了全球生物多樣性的4分之1,土壤也是供應乾淨水源、抵禦洪水和乾旱不可或缺的角色,所有的動植物都依靠土壤的營養循環維繫生命。

此外,不僅石化燃料燃燒會威脅地球氣候,土壤的非永續管理也會讓氣候承受更大壓力。

非永續的土壤管理可能讓碳釋放到大氣中,加劇全球暖化。FAO指出,「只要歐洲地區的土壤釋放出0.1%的碳,即等同於每年1億輛車的全年排放量。」與會代表在會議上也認識到,地下1公尺深的低活性粘土,是全世界濕潤和半濕潤熱帶地區的主要土壤,有機碳含量是整個亞馬遜地區植披儲存碳量的兩倍。

FAO官員表示,土壤受到保護,氣候也會隨之得利。土壤的永續管理,透過碳匯和減少溫室氣體排放等方式,能對氣候產生正面效應。

2015年為國際土壤年 聯合國盼引關注

因此,FAO官員強調保護和管理富含有機碳的土壤的急迫性,包括泥炭地和永凍土區。

FAO官員也指出,目前已有相關計畫正在進行。一個全球土壤資訊系統正在規劃中,未來將用以測量土壤資源的狀態和改善情況。此外,為了提升永續土壤管理的公共意識,一項特殊的能力發展計畫也在進行中。

全球土壤相關團體已決定發展全球性的土壤永續管理、保育和重建的推廣計畫,以技術和具永續性、包容性的政策為基礎,以地方社群參與的方式來保護土壤。

2013年12月,聯合國大會宣布每年12月5日為世界土壤日。此外,聯合國已指定2015年為國際土壤年,讓土壤議題獲得更多關注。專家也將倡議讓土壤議題進入聯合國永續發展目標。

資料來源: ENS / 台灣環境資訊中心 via Go.Asia 

圖片: 台灣環境資訊中心

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A third of the world’s soils are degraded by erosion, nutrient depletion, acidification, urbanization, and chemical pollution, soil experts at a global conference warned today. There, governments approved a global plan of action to safeguard soil resources through strong regulation and investment.

“Soil is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production. Without soils we cannot sustain life on Earth, and where soil is lost it cannot be renewed on a human timeline,” said Maria Helena Semedo, deputy director-general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, which is hosting the conference.

“The current escalating rate of soil degradation threatens the capacity of future generations to meet their needs,” she warned.

The Food and Agriculture Organization is calling for urgent action to improve the health of the world’s limited soil resources to ensure that future generations have enough food, water and energy.

Government officials and experts are in Rome for a three-day meeting of the Global Soil Partnership, which brings together a broad range of stakeholders stressing the need for governments to preserve soil.

Now what is needed is funding and political support for the plan of action endorsed by the Global Soil Partnership.

The growing global population is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050, resulting in a 60 percent increase in the demand for food, feed and fiber.

Soil represents at least a quarter of global biodiversity, and plays a key role in the supply of clean water and resilience to floods and drought. All plant and animal life depends on primary nutrient recycling through soil processes.

Already stressed by the burning of fossil fuels, Earth’s climate could suffer more stress if soils are not sustainably managed.

Through unsustainable soil management practices, this carbon could be released to the atmosphere, aggravating global warming. “A release of just 0.1 percent of the carbon now contained in Europe’s soils would be equal to the annual emissions from 100 million cars,” the FAO said. Delegates at the conference learned that the first meter’s depth of low activity clay soils, which form the majority of upland soils in the world’s humid and sub-humid tropics, contains an amount of organic carbon double that stored in vegetation across the entire Amazon region.

When soils are protected, the climate also benefits, FAO officials said. The sustainable management of soil will have positive impact on climate change through carbon sequestration and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

In particular, they stressed the need to prioritize safeguarding and management of organic carbon rich soils such as peatlands and permafrost areas.

Progress is in the works, according to FAO officials.

A global soil information system is planned to measure progress made and the status of soil resources. To meet the need for public awareness of sustainable soil management, a special program for capacity development is underway.

The global soil community has decided to establish global programs for the promotion of sustainable soil management, soil conservation and soil restoration. Interventions will be based on technologies and sustainable and inclusive policies that directly involve local communities in actions to protect their soils.

In December 2013, the UN General Assembly declared the 5th of December to be the World Soil Day each year.

Even more attention will be paid to soils next year as the UN has designated 2015 as the International Year of Soils. Experts will advocate for the inclusion of soils in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: ENS / Taiwan Environmental Information Center via Go.Asia

Image: Taiwan Environment Information Center

 

非洲:靠自己擺脫糧食問題 Africa can feed itself in a generation

哈佛大學教授 Professor Calestous Juma 早前出了一部名為 The New Harvest 的書。書中說到,所有非洲國家的領導人必須將國家農業擴張作為政治決策的中心,  Professor Calestous Juma 認為增加基礎設施、機械化和轉基因農作物生產的將能大幅增加糧食供應。

坦桑尼亞、肯尼亞、烏干達分重盧旺達以及布隆迪的總統已開會討論如何進一步擴大非洲的農業,以達致糧食自給自足。 Professor Calestous Juma 指出, 雖然有近 70%的非洲人口正從事農業,那他們的營養不良人口 卻從 1990年的100萬倍升至250萬。

A new book called The New Harvest, by Harvard University Professor Calestous Juma said that all African leaders must make agriculture expansion a central topic in decision-making regarding their countries.“Improvements in infrastructure, mechanisation and GM crops could vastly increase production” Professor Juma claimed.

The presidents of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are already having meetings discussing how to further expand agriculture in Africa so that it can sufficiently feed its people. “While 70% of Africans may be engaged in farming, those who are undernourished on the continent has risen by 100 million to 250 million since 1990″, estimated by Professor Juma.

上圖為非洲國家與全球農業生產效率的比較:
I: 拖拉機 /100 kmsq  農地: 非洲國家 13架  VS 全球 200 架;
II:農田灌溉率: 非洲國家 3.6% VS  全球 18.4%;
III: 每公頃農地用肥量: 非洲國家 9kg VS  全球 100 kg )

Professor Juma 建議透過轉基因農作物和生物技術能提升糧食生產效率。問題是,一些領導人忽略了農村土地發展,只集中在城市地區的發展,繼而未能將城鄉聯繫以及擴大土地和生產。另一個問題是部分國家投放在農業的資源只有約10%。Professor Juma 相信,只要政府願意投放資源, 要解決非洲國家糧食問題將離現在不遠已。

Professor Juma suggests that farming, GM crops and biotechnology should finally be adapted to make food production efficient. The problem is that some of the leaders ignore the expansion of rural lands and only focus on urban areas, thus fails to create a link between rural and urban and expand land and production. Another problem is that only 10% are being invested to agriculture, therefore; it is crucial to invest “where the mouths are.” So, in doing all these it may be able to reach the goal of feeding itself in the near future.

Source: BBC 
Special Credit: Jianne Soriano

未來食物 Future Food?

今天,人們面對著食品價格上漲、人口增長和環境變化(如氣候變化)等問題,全球糧食供應正面臨鉅大考驗。這促使專家們、科學家們、還有相關組織和未來學家努力尋找解決問題的方法,著手研究我們的「未來食物」。

「未來食物」一: 昆蟲。建議,昆蟲的養殖成本遠低於飼養牛隻。荷蘭科學家的研究指出,昆蟲包含與肉類相同的營養價值,並含豐富的蛋白質。現時己有不少國家將昆蟲烹調美味佳餚。

「未來食物」二:利用聲波改變食物的味道。有研究指出,食物的味道會隨著味覺、嗅覺、甚至聽覺而改變;進食時聽著不同的聲音會改變食物的味道,比如說,人們聽著海浪聲進食會覺得食物比較新鮮。然而,食物和聲音的關係暫時只屬研究課題,還有待專家找出當中的關係。

「未來食物」三:人造肉。荷蘭的科學家們正在進行「人造肉」的研究,嘗試在實驗室製造「肉 」,並已成功製造出第一個「人造肉漢堡包」。 牛津大學的一項研究發現,從實驗室培殖出來的「肉 」與透過傳統屠宰動物而獲取的肉相比,其溫室氣體排放、能源和水的使用均顯著較低。但由於「人造肉」 尚未被測試,目前很難說明它會否成為全球糧食需求不斷增加 下而衍生的「未來食物」。

「未來食物」四:海藻。雖然海藻是食物鏈架構中屬最低層,但它們有助於解決糧食短缺的問題。 一些可持續發展食品行業更預測藻類養殖可以成為世界上最大的種植業。 海藻可能是很好的糧食來源,然而,專家們還未全面研究其所有用途。

很難想像二十年、三十年後的「未來食物」會是什麼樣,就讓我們拭目以待⋯⋯

Because of the rising food prices, growing population and environmental issues like climate change, experts, scientists, organizations and futurologist are dealing with the problem of how and what we are going to eat in the future.

It is proposed that insects cost less than raising cattle and according to scientists in a researching facility in the Netherlands, they contain the same nutritional value of meat and is also a good source of protein. Countries across the globe have already started to consume and include insects in some of their delicacies.

Sonic-enhanced food, food whose taste has been altered to fit our taste has also been proposed. It has been found that taste can be adjusted by changing the sonic of a background track. The relationship of food and sound is still a researching topic as experts are not yet sure what exactly happens in the brain to trigger the outcome.

Dutch scientists were able to grown “lab-grown” meat or “cultured meat” and produced the first “test-tube” burger. A study by “Oxford University found growing meat in a lab rather than slaughtering animals would significantly reduce greenhouse gases, along with energy and water use.” But because it is not yet commonly used nor tested, it would be difficult to make it a source of production in the future with the increasing demand for food.

Despite being under the food chain, Algae helps solve the problem of food shortages. “Some in the sustainable food industry predict algae farming could become the world’s biggest cropping industry.” Algae’s are good sources; however, experts have not yet done sufficient research to find out all its uses.

So, wait and see what we are really going to have in the future…

Source: www.go.asia, Original: BBC
Special Credit: Jianne Soriano