The decision by a Russian court to turn over 70 hectares of genetically unique species of plants to home developers caused an uproar world-wide, with scientists decrying the pending loss as “irreplaceable” and a major blow to agricultural biodiversity. Recently, however, the Russian government has stepped in and ordered a review of the decision — postponing the auctioning of land until at least October.
In a recent paper published on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences website (Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification, by Jennifer A. Burney, Steven J. Davis, and
David B. Lobell), the authors estimated the GHG emissions from U.S. agriculture for the period from 1961 through 2005–a period of great agricultural intensification–and show a massive decrease in GHG emissions as a result of this intensification.
The UN’s Millennium Development Goal of ending global under-nourishment by 2015 will not be met, but a new set of “mega” initiatives are being implemented to achieve more efficient delivery of “research outputs” to speed agricultural development.