Tropentag: A science conference you should never MISS- Divya Rajeswari Swaminathan (Junior PhD Researcher, University of Bonn)

This is the second time I am taking part in Tropentag it offers a great avenue for networking with professionals in different fields of research. I never miss the keynote sessions at Tropentag because I get to hear from senior academicians on various topics. I enjoy reading the news posted on the blog of Tropentag as well. Each year I find young and enthusiastic researchers registering and making presentations at the conference, this I find very encouraging. The presence of organisation such as GIZ at Tropentag offers me the chance to interact with them for possible research collaboration and job opportunities. 2 Through Tropentag I have been able to link up with professionals in Geography and have together come out with a proposal for a PhD research. Last year I was a student reporter at the Tropentag at Bonn, this year I am a PhD student registered at the University of Bonn. This can only happen at a conference like Tropentag. I was appointed as a Tropentag student reporter last year where I received training in online journalism. I can now post research findings on a blog in a way to catch the attention of internet users.

Agroforestry as a means of ensuring poverty alleviation and contributing to food security

Agroforestry has the potential to provide numerous benefits including; maintenance of soil fertility, reduction of soil erosion, conservation of water, carbon capture, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction and contribution to food security - this is according to Mr. Martin Juvanov of GIZ. He was speaking during the GIZ session at Tropentag 2011 on the topic “agricultural research for development of sustainable land use based on agroforestry systems in semi arid areas in Bolivia”. He started by explaining that land degradation and impact of climate change is a major challenge in Bolivia. He also referred to more frequent and more intense natural desasters like water scacity, drought in semi-arid regions, increase of hailstorms, flush floods, lanslides in highlands, increasing food insecurity, higher temperatures, and shorter growing season for farmers as major indicators of climate change impacts in Bolivia. Technical and structural challenge Mr. Juvanov also discussed some technical and structural challenges facing people in Bolivia as; 1. Non-sustainble use of natural resources 2. Reduction of productivity 3. Increasing of poverty among people 4. Insufficient exchange/flow of information and knowledge and 5. Inssuficient intersectional cordination Set up of GIZ technical cooperation in Bolivia He gave an overview of the work and involvment of GIZ in Bolivia citing their major roles as; 1. Implementation of national sector programmes

Call for proposals to the ESPA research programme

An opportunity for funding cutting-edge research that delivers improved understanding of how ecosystem function, the services they provide, the full value of these services, and their potential role in achieving sustainable poverty reduction was announced through the Ecosystems Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA). ESPA's goal is to ensure that, in developing countries, ecosystems are being sustainably managed in a way that contributes to poverty reduction and inclusive/sustainable growth. This announcement of opportunity invites proposals for research consortium projects that will address this agenda. All projects are required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the web-based form by the closing date of 8 December 2010.

FRESH wind blows in the study programme in Hohenheim

A student initiative called FRESH (acronym for Food Revitalisation & Eco-Gastronomic Society of Hohenheim) have been working for almost two years to suggest, fundraise and conceptualize a new course module on the Ethics of Food & Nutrition Security. Among the other actions of FRESH are a very fertile organic student garden in campus and leading the dialogue for more regional, more seasonal and more ethical food in the University canteen. This is the first module of this nature in Germany, where students not only request, but are also actively involved in its design and facilitation. The course is now in the study programme of the University of Hohenheim and since Monday, September 27, open for registrations.
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