Can new communities founded on novel personal beliefs lead to lasting change? The Farm is an experimental community founded in 1971 when several hundred 'hippies' moved from San Francisco to Tennessee to develop a new way of living. The Farm is a long-lasting example of an intentional community that has evolved and produced a number of world influencing innovations. Ina May Gaskin, a founding resident, became a world famous innovator in midwifery. And both she and the NGO Plenty International, [...]
Building a more resilient world requires redundancy. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seed bank located in the remote Norwegian Svalbard archipelago that aims to provide a backup to other seed banks and global biodiveristy. Wars, natural disaster, and conflict have destroyed seed banks in the past. This project help promote sustainable agriculture and prevent agro-biodiversity loss by maintaining the genetic diversity necessary to restore and enhance agricultural crops. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault provides [...]
How can people care for biodiversity amidst urban poverty and inequity, when the social, ecological and institutional worlds are fragmented? The Cape Flats Nature project was a project that aimed to reconnect people and nature in South Africa, to slow biodiversity loss and enhance the availability of urban biodiversity. Cape Flats is a plain on the edge of Cape Town that has rapidly urbanized, in which both ecosystem, society, and institutions are fragmented. Apartheid era South [...]
How much is stopping destructive behaviour essential to creating a good Anthropocene? Fossil Fuel divestment is a rapidly growing campaign aims to morally stigmatize the fossil fuel industry. Divestment is the opposite of investment, it is the removal of your investment capital from stocks, bonds or funds, and recently a global movement for fossil fuel divestment, also called disinvestment, is demanding that key people and organisations halt their investments in oil, coal and gas companies [...]
Is improving management of ecological commons a key pathway out of poverty? Foundation for Ecological Security is an Indian NGO that works to reduce poverty by helping communities organise to restore their ecosystems and enhance their livelihoods. The Foundation for Ecological security combines ecological restoration, a focus on building commons and community institutions, and sustainable rural livelihoods. They focus on entire landscapes and work with all the inter-related communities within these landscapes, and aim to promote ecological resilience by protecting and restoring biological [...]
How can learning and experimentation improve urban sustainability? Urban Designed Experiments are projects that embed ecological research into urban design to study and shape buildings, landscapes, and the infrastructure of human settlements. Designed Experiments are a type of project rather than a specific project, and several have been conducted in the USA. They combine elements of adaptive management with landscape architecture and urban renewal to co-create new urban landscapes that are sustainable and human-friendly. The projects are adaptable, flexible and are based on connecting educational organizations, grassroots organizations, local Governments, and local Stakeholders. [...]
Trees for Life is a rewilding project that aims to restore the wildness to ecosystems and the human spirit. Doing this requires it to work to change how people view what is natural and possible in Scottish nature and it has done this by building a broad effective coalition to achieve a long term task. The project works with extensively with volunteers to combine landscape transformation with education.
Yahara Pride Farms (http://www.yaharapridefarms.org/) is a coalition of farmers, business people, environmentalists, technical experts and government employees that aims to decrease nonpoint pollution in the Yahara watershed, Madison Wisconsin. YPF engages farmers directly in changes in farm management practices to decrease nonpoint pollution. YPF is experimenting with manure digestors, cover crops, deep injection of manure into croplands, and other new and innovative nutrient management practices. The programs include monitoring to evaluate the effects of the practices.
The values of satoyama landscape, Japanese traditional agricultural landscape, has been increasingly recognized in Japan, as provider of a bundle of ecosystem services to humans while harnessing unique and higher level of biodiversity. It has been understood that continuation of appropriate management of landscapes has created sustainable landscapes benefitting both humans and nature. The challenges faced to the satoyama landscapes today are more on the underuse of natural resources rather than overexploitation which comes from depopulation in rural areas and decline of agricultural sectors. Responding to this, new ways to maintain satoyama landscape is being explored by linking urban and rural areas and creating mutual benefits.
“Tribal parks” - are an example of Aboriginal people asserting their rights to govern and use land in ways without the prior approval of a national government. In Canada, some tribal parks have been converted into co-managed national parks (e.g. Gwai Hannas national park), while other exist in an interesting legal gray area where they form partnerships with some levels of government but are not formally recognized by others (e.g. Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Park ). These parks are interesting because they represent a way in new way in human, and historical values have been incorporated in the protection of ecosystems. They are also interesting because they have been asserted not by the state, but by colonized people who have historically been displaced by the state. By enhancing the diversity of land ownership and land governance systems these tribal parks potentially provide opportunities for experimentation and learning that can benefit broader society.