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Category archives for Biocultural Diversity

Help Me Define (Bio)Diversity

What does diversity mean to you? Is it important?

Young Fishers Literally Don’t Know What They’re Missing

Growing up seeing an already depleted ocean as normal, today’s Filipino fishers often lack the awareness of how rich their waters were just a generation ago. This project is helping bring those memories to light.

Two Days at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Located on the Florida Panhandle, the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) borders encompass over 245,000 acres, including Apalachicola Bay, wildlife…

Forests Are Worthless Until Cut Down

Dasho Neten remembers a time when “people simply acted on their values informally,” while now the general sense of citizenship wanes. As a farmer and prominent activist in Bhutan, Dasho Neten challenges us not to depend on the government to build our societies. “We need to wake up! There is an inconvenient truth lingering, and we need to ask: are we really moving towards self-reliance? Sometimes we need reminders, no matter how uncomfortable they may be.”

Establishing Yourself: Foodways in Ayurveda

I met Saha at Bija Vidyapeeth, the educational farm managed by the agricultural and activism nonprofit, Navdanya. Saha teaches Ayurveda around the world, from basic workshops to more complex courses. She spent most of her life in the air and space industry, but during a period of personal, physical crisis, Saha found herself in and out of hospitals until her mother took her to an Ayurvedic doctor. “Something that had been bothering me for four or five years was within two weeks under control, and within six months was gone.”

Re-wilding an Island

Last week I bore witness to the re-wilding of an entire island ecosystem. Invasive mammalian predators were eradicated from Ahuahu (Great Mercury Island) in 2014, and the original predators and keystone species are now returning naturally.

Insisting on Truth – Bhopal and Beyond

“I cut all the pictures out of my textbook…they were so…” My friend Anu doesn’t finish her thought. She doesn’t have to. I know the words that she can use, but they will never fully articulate the horrific, gruesome, tragic images depicting the event of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster, considered by many to be the…

Seeds of our Futures, Seeds of our Past

Dear Educators, I hope this message finds you well. I want to thank you for the work you are doing — sharing your knowledge and unyielding energy with your students. You are changing the world. And the world is changing quite a bit around us. While many of us had the opportunity last week to voice…

The Wild Space of the Skyrian Horse

I sleep on the sun-warmed roof of  the house. As I wake periodically through the night, gently and instinctively awoken by rustling, I notice the moon’s progress across the sky. For the first time I am fully aware of how the night sky changes overhead, the simple revelation of something I already know: the planet…

All Plants Are Medicine; We Just Need To (re)Learn How

“All plants are medicine,” Dr. Raghubir Singh Rawat, the herbal gardener at Navdanya, exclaims proudly with a hint of mystery to his voice. Dr. Rawat bends down to examine a seemingly mundane but prolific weed, “this is used for eye health,” he says before popping the small white diamond-shape flower in his mouth. He stretches above his…

Saving Rice in Pictures

Not pictured: the dozens of hands cutting, sorting and hauling rice. The sweat-soaked saris and brows. The awe of witnessing the preservation of biodiversity.      

Marigolds: an (agri)cultural staple

The first seeds I ever saved were marigold seeds. At the time, I was a garden educator at a small neighborhood environmental nonprofit in Camden, New Jersey. The Center for Environmental Transformation(CFET) is situated in the South Waterfront neighborhood, an old urban community enclosed by industrial facilities which not only restrict access to the nearby waterfront, but…

Solving Humanity’s Grand Challenges Requires a Healthy Ocean

Human well-being and human rights are inextricably tied to the health of the ocean, yet ocean conservation work is often isolated. Last month, as the United National General Assembly focused on tackling the grand challenges represented by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both the ocean goal (aka Goal 14, “Life Under Water”) and me, as…

Our Seed Stories – a Participatory Educational Media Project this School Year

Join me this school year on my journey to India to learn about seed saving, community food systems, and how to cultivate a future for biodiversity!

‘Things Shouldn’t Be Like This’: Lingering Effects of Peru’s Jungle Oil Spills

On August 10, the fourth oil spill since the start of 2016 was reported in the Peruvian Amazon. More than 20 similar spills have crippled the region over the past five years.