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Showing posts from September, 2019

This farmer used an age-old technique to save his soil and now his farm is prospering

Gabe Brown, regenerative farmer: 'We need to realise that soil is a part of us.

Our soil is under threat. It's estimated that we've got just 60 years of topsoil left, with 24 billion tons of fertile soil lost every year. With most of the food on our plate dependant on soil, its declining health is a major issue. "The word humans comes from the word humic, which means soil," explains regenerative farmer Gabe Brown. "We need to realise that soil is a part of us." Regenerative agriculture The basis of regenerative agriculture is observation, explains Brown - who taught himself about how soils really function. "You have to look at the landscape and say, 'What's this soil really trying to tell me?'" On his own North Dakota ranch, Brown started encouraging cover crops and avoiding tilling were he could - and has seen a boost in soil health. Farming in this way comes big benefits too - regenerative agriculture could deliver up to $1.4 tri…

These are the best universities in the world

The University of Oxford topped the rankings for the fourth year in a row. Image: REUTERS/Hannah McKay
So vital is education to the future of society, billionaire Jack Ma has just stepped down from Alibaba to focus on it. But does it matter where you go to be educated? The former teacher, who studied for a BA in English at Hangzhou Normal University, told the World Economic Forum he was rejected from Harvard Business School 10 times, but it didn't deter him from building a world-beating company. Like Alibaba, universities in Ma's homeland China are starting to "expand their influence and presence on the world stage", according to the latest Times Higher Eduction World University Rankings 2020. Asia’s top two universities - Tsinghua (23rd) and Peking (24th) - are both in mainland China. With 81 institutions, China is also the fourth most-represented nation in the list for the fourth year in a row.


TimesHigherEducation

These are the world's five most-visited

cities The global travel and tourism industry is worth an estimated $8.8 trillion a year and much of that growing economic activity is concentrated among a narrow group of destinations. In its Global Destination Cities Index 2019, which tracks visitors and their spending habits, Mastercard found that numbers were up by an average 6.5% year-over-year since 2009, with tourism expenditure growing up an average of 7.4%. Some of the most-visited cities are experiencing much higher than average growth. With the 2020 Olympics being held in Japan next year, Tokyo (currently 9th) is forecast to see growth in excess of 10%. Here are the top five destination cities as featured in the 10th annual Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index: 5. Singapore In 2018, 14.76 million overnight visitors went to Singapore – that’s the measure Mastercard uses to differentiate between visitors and those on a short stopover. Half of the top cities on the list are in the Asia-Pacific region, which has registere…

world’s most tree-covered countries

The Central Suriname Nature Reserve is 1.6 million-hectares. Image: WikAcross the globe, there are deep pockets of green working as powerful lungs for all of us. Forests cover a third of the world’s land. They play a critical role in the ongoing battle against the impacts of climate change. They absorb harmful pollutants, regulate water flows, and support the habitats of migratory plants and animals.

But they are under threat. Since 1990, the planet has lost 1.3 million square kilometres of tree cover – an area larger than South Africa – to deforestation for forest and paper products and agriculture, according to the World Bank.

When trees are destroyed, greenhouse gases pour into the atmosphere. In the Amazon, recent fires have released 228 megatonnes of carbon dioxide. Swathes of the rainforest are burning in Brazil, which has recorded the highest number of August fires since 2010. What is the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact summit? Protecting this essential reso…