Search Results for Tag: people
Feeding the world in a changing climate
Here is the second dispatch from our reporter Carl Gierstorfer, presently filming on location in the Philippines:
"Second day shooting at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Anyone talking about world food security cannot ignore IRRI's contribution. Many popular strains of rice, grown on millions of hectares, have been bred here. IRRI was founded half a century ago. But maybe its real challenges lie ahead. Until 2050 another three to four billion people need to be fed. The majority of them on rice. With less resources, an unpredictable climate, and not much more land.
Yet still, scientists here are optimistic: they think they can meet the challenges. Meet Sigrid Heuer, a German molecular biologist. She worked on a team that bred Sub-1, a strain of rice that can survive flash floods, which are expected to become more common due to climate change. Mining IRRI's seed bank, with more than 125,000 varieties, never disappoints the scientists. In the cold archives, there are long forgotten strains; rejected because they were not tasty enough, or had too little yield. But these loners might just have that special trait required in the future – like surviving underwater for two weeks. Or tolerating salty conditions. Scientists like Heuer look for these varieties; they isolate useful traits and breed them into popular strains. Sub-1 is simply Asia's most favorite variety with a gene that allows it to survive heavy floods.
IRRI is a little world in itself. More than 800 people work here; buildings and fields are spread out over a wide area; a settlement with its own fire fighters and strange 1950s architecture. I had a stroll around at night – have a look at the pictures. And, yes, alcohol is forbidden here. Some of IRRI's founders apparently were Quakers…"
DateJanuary 18, 2011
Tagsadaptation, biodiversity, food, people, Philippines, rice
Recycling in Bali – day 4: Tradition hard-pressed for answers
While shooting for our report about the garbage problem on the island of Bali, we were invited to attend a traditional Hindu dance ceremony in a little village temple. In Bali, Hinduism is blended with a very old religions entrenched in nature. Traditionally, people in the village used to live in balance with nature, like using banana-leafs to package or wrap food.
The dance in the video is a "flirting" dance. It's a way for the children to learn the rules and how to behave. But the traditional rules don't have an answer to the garbage problem. Many people dispose of their rubbish by just throwing it away, because they don't know what else to do. What they told me is, they see the problem and they wait for solutions.
(For those of you keen on finding out what our reporter looks like, check out the video at 1mins08secs.)
DateJanuary 14, 2011
Recycling in Bali – Day 2: Making a living on the trash dump
People living on a dump. These Balinese collect plastic bottles and other stuff that can be sold for recycling. For a kilo of bottles, they get around 5 Euros. That's how recycling works on the island. It's a basic system but the only one that works. There are high-tech dumps elsewhere. But they're not working because nobody is able to maintain the machines. It seems to be the only way to get rid of all the garbage.
DateJanuary 12, 2011