Public Awareness


Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Milkweed Editions, 2013 | ISBN: 978-1-57131-335-5

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist and mother, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In a rich braid of reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. Further information …

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Healthy eating: nutritious indigenous foods you may never have heard of
The Guardian, 23 December 2013

LONDON, UK: The proliferation of the western diet, which is high in refined sugars, fats, processed grains and meat, has been blamed for a rise in global obesity and diet-related illnesses. As awareness of healthy eating has grown in the west, sales of once obscure grains such as quinoa have skyrocketed. Amid growing concern that unhealthy eating habits are crowding out healthier traditional crops, Food Tank: The Food Thinktank has compiled a list of indigenous fruits and vegetables that should be championed, including amaranth, cowpea, pamir mulberry and bunya nut. Read the article …

Traditional knowledge key in adaptation
Fiji Times, 12 December 2013

SUVA, FIJI: Traditional early warning systems used by ancestors to predict an incoming natural disaster have been an integral part of saving lives long before the introduction of technology. This was the topic of discussion among villagers at a Pacific Community Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Partners in Community Development Fiji workshop at Nayavuira Village in Rakiraki. PCDRR community consultant Taina Naivalu said the traditional knowledge passed on through generations would assist where technology could not, and urged village elders to pass on this knowledge to the younger generation. Read the article …

Slow Food and FAO launch “Quinoa in the Kitchen”
FAO release, 3 December 2013

ROME, ITALY: The Slow Food movement and FAO officially launched the book, “Quinoa in the Kitchen,” to continue to promote awareness about the super-food’s potential, as the International Year of Quinoa 2013 draws to a close. The book gives an overview of quinoa’s roots in the history and culture of the central Andean high plateau, geographically extending across the borders of Peru and Bolivia, which together account for the vast majority of quinoa production in the world. Since quinoa is still new to many beyond the Andes, the book includes a selection of quinoa recipes created by some of the world’s top chefs. Read the release … Download the book [pdf] …

Documenting traditional foodways of Kenya
Bioversity International release, 26 November 2013

NAIROBI, KENYA: A Bioversity International initiative sought to document traditional foodways in two contrasting communities in Kenya – Isukha and East Pokot, one agricultural, one pastoral. Foodways are where food, culture and tradition intersect. The partners of the initiative aims not only to better understand and preserve the unique food cultures of these communities, but also to recognize their valuable skills, practices and the agricultural biodiversity that the communities use and conserve in their landscapes. The result: four publications filled with photos and information collected by schoolchildren who were given and trained to use digital cameras; edited and put together with the help of school teachers, community leaders and researchers involved in the project. The first two books describe the way food is grown, collected, prepared and eaten in the Isukha and East Pokot communities, including the cultural aspects associated with them. The third, presents a collection of photographs taken by primary school children from the two communities. Finally, the Practical Guide provides useful information for those who might want to replicate this methodology elsewhere, be it for foodways or other indigenous knowledge and practices. Read the release, including links to the four publications …

Mapping UNFCCC REDD+: a visual guide to the systems and structures supporting REDD+ within the UNFCCC
WWF, Union of Concerned Scientists, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, November 2013

This visual guide includes graphs on: REDD+ design elements necessary to obtain and receive results-based finance; REDD+ national strategy or action plan; national forest monitoring systems; national forest reference emissions levels and/or forest reference levels; measurement, reporting and verification; nationally appropriate mitigation actions; international consultation and analysis; and safeguard information systems. Download the guide [pdf] …

Introductory Curriculum on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Conserving and Enhancing Forest Carbon Stocks (REDD+)
Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, Rainforest Alliance, and World Wildlife Fund, 2013

This new course provides an introductory level of understanding on climate change, deforestation, forest degradation, and REDD+. It contains up-to-date information on policy and implementation as well as improved interactivity. It is divided into three courses: in Course 1, Introduction to Climate Change and the Role of Forests, the focus is on background information on climate change, the drivers of deforestation, and strategies for reducing deforestation and forest degradation. Course 2, REDD+ Policy, covers the essential aspects of the technical, political, financial, social, and environmental issues related to REDD+. Finally, in Course 3, REDD+ Implementation, the focus is on the basics of implementing REDD+ activities at various scales. The course is freely available to anyone who is interested. Access the course …

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