Bringing Back Britain's Lost Rainforests • George Biesmans
Britain isn’t the first place that comes to mind when thinking about rainforests. Yet temperate rainforests once covered large areas of the British Isles, with only scattered pockets of these ecosystems now remaining. That’s set to change, with work beginning on restoring vast swathes of rainforest in places including Devon, Wales, and the Isle of Mann. These projects are part of wider efforts to bring back these unique habitats, spearheaded by the Lost Rainforests of Britain campaign. In a major milestone for campaigners, in 2023, the UK government launched a temperate rainforest strategy, including funding for research and restoration and a push for local governments to include temperate rainforests in their conservation approach. These ecosystems - like Wistman’s Wood - are home to a dazzling diversity of life, including a critically endangered kind of Horsehair Lichen found nowhere else on Earth. Characterized by heavy rainfall and high moisture levels, they are also perfect habitats for rare ferns, mosses, and wildlife, including pine martens and pied fly-catchers. The regeneration of Britain’s rainforests will also benefit local communities, purifying the air and water and reconnecting people to nature. Check out Guy Shrubsole’s book, The Lost Rainforests of Britain, to discover more and support the campaign.
Clinicians, Community Organizing, and Climate • Amy Boyer
Exposing Soil Fungi to Sound Waves • Scott Hannan
The phialides and conidia of Trichoderma harzianum.
Biden Halts Gas Export Permits • Juliana Birnbaum
The Big Benefits of a New Food System • Courtney White
Yam and cassava market at the market in Sawla in the Savannah Region of central Ghana, West Africa.
A major analysis of global food policy released last week concluded that a regenerative food system could create up to $10 trillion of benefits a year, improve human health, and help the climate crisis. The study was the first ever to quantitatively compare the costs of inaction versus transformation. Current food policies are causing widespread damage to human health and ecosystems. Changes include policies that would encourage less meat production and boost locally-grown food. The cost of food would likely rise, which might make the policies unpopular, but maintaining our current policies is untenable. One of the study's authors, Johan Rockström, said: “The global food system holds the future of humanity in its hand.” A recent article in the NY Times described how this transformation might get a boost from the U.S. State Department. Cary Fowler, the global envoy for food security, is directing American policy in Africa away from its conventional support for western grain crops and toward traditional foods such as cassava and millet. “These crops have been grown for thousands of years,” Fowler pointed out. “They’re embedded in the culture. They really supply nutrition.” There is a particular focus on plant and seed diversity with an eye on drought tolerance and nutrition– crops such as fonio, cowpeas, and sweet potato. See our Perennial Crops Nexus for more information.
Take Action on Nexus
Learn how to support the development of hemp plants and products to restore soils, sequester carbon, provide food and fiber, and sustain local economies in our Hemp Nexus.
1. Adam Burton / Alamy Stock Photo
2. Courtesy of The University of Adelaide
2. Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
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