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Cherish the Earth

Soil Management for Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Protection in the Tropics







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    Pakistan. Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan August 2010 2010
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    Over the course of July and early August 2010, Pakistan experienced the worst monsoon-related floods in living memory. Heavy rainfall, flash floods and riverine floods have devastated large parts of Pakistan since the arrival of seasonal monsoon rains on 22 July. Assessments of losses and damages are ongoing, but estimates place the number of affected people at more than 14 million. Over 1,200 people have died, and at least 288,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Province, intense rains during the last week of July and in early August were compounded by the swelling of major rivers due to rainwater surging down from the highland areas. The Pakistan Meteorological Department reports that within one week in late July, KPK received 9,000 millimetres of rainfall - ten times as much as the province normally receives in the course of an entire year. Baluchistan, Pakistan-Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, also experienced extreme weather, resu lting in widespread losses and damages. As the flood waters began to slowly recede in the northern provinces, rivers continued to swell to unprecedented levels and travel southwards by way of the Indus River. By early August, flood waters breached the river bank in at least eight districts of Punjab, devastating homes, and crops and livestock. At least eight million people in Punjab have been affected by the disaster. The flood wave continues to make its way through the southern province o f Sindh, where millions more are expected to suffer from the combined impact of torrential rains and unprecedented water levels in the rivers. The Government, especially deploying the Armed Forces' logistical capacity, has led the response to the disaster with the deployment of preparedness, rescue and relief actions. Hundreds of thousands have been rescued or preventively evacuated from riverine areas. In light of the devastation caused by the floods and the ongoing threat to lives and live lihoods, the Government (through its National Disaster Management Authority) requested the United Nations agencies and the humanitarian community to prepare an initial floods emergency response plan. Response Plan Key Parameters Affected population 14 million people Baluchistan Federally Administered Tribal Areas Gilgit-Baltistan Affected areas Khyber Pakthunkhwa Pakistan-Administered Kashmir Punjab Sindh Food Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Key sectors for response Health Shelter/Non-Food Items Total funding requested $459 million While the Government of Pakistan (National Disaster Management Authority and the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities) will lead the relief and recovery activities in flood-affected areas, the humanitarian community has been asked to support the response by covering gaps where the needs exceed the government’s response capacity. This means that the humanitarian community will be assisting only a portion of the overall caseload of affected peopl e, focusing on the most severely affected. The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) expects that critical needs of the severely affected families will include food, clean drinking water and purification materials, emergency health services, tents and shelter kits, cooking sets, mosquito nets, and other non-food items (NFI). Over the medium to long term, the food security situation in the country is likely to be affected by the significant loss of crops and agricultural land. Compounding the deli very of this aid will be the issue of access to areas where destroyed infrastructure has made it impossible for aid to reach people by road. In addition, the security situation in some of the affected areas – especially parts of KPK – remains unpredictable. Considering the size of the area hit by the floods, the number of people who will be found to need assistance is expected to rise as assessments continue and access improves. The combined population of the affected districts is around 43 m illion (out of a total estimated Pakistan population of 168 million). Currently, UN agencies, NGOs and the International Organization for Migration are planning to assist vulnerable flood-affected people in up to seven different geographical areas (Baluchistan, Punjab, Federally Administered Tribal Area, Gilgit Baltistan, KPK, Pakistan-Administered Kashmir, Sindh). The emergency response plan therefore seeks US$460 million1 to enable international partners (UN organizations and non-governme ntal organizations [NGOs]) to support the Government of Pakistan in addressing the needs of flood-affected families for the duration of the immediate relief period. The plan will be revised within 30 days to reflect assessed needs as the situation evolves and will include strategies for assisting people with early recovery from the floods.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    The FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in South-West Asia: A celebration of 50 years 2014
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    Locusts are an age-old problem that has plagued the Earth for thousands of years. A small swarm can wreack havoc and completely destroy a farmer’s entire livelihood in a single morning. Swarm invasions and damage on a larger scale can reduce the food security of a country or a region for years to come. It is not uncommon for household heads to go into debt during plagues and their children to be pulled from school to help the family cope with this increased burden. The Desert Locust is considere d to be the most dangerous of all migratory pests in the world. While historical accounts of Desert Locust plagues go back a several hundred years, it was only during the early twentieth century that systematic record keeping began, followed by the establishment of organized monitoring and control programmes in order to combat this ancient enemy. Prior to chemical pesticides and aerial control, plagues would rage out of control for a dozen years or more. More recently, new technologies have impr oved our ability to monitor habitat conditions and detect the first signs of locust increases so as to respond quickly before plagues develop. Although it is not possible to eradicate Desert Locust nor would this be particularly desirable, we are able to manage locust populations so plagues, when they do occur, are much shorter, smaller, and less intense.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Factors Affecting Productivity of Tropical Forest Plantations: Acacia, Eucalypt, Teak, Pine
    GLOBAL FIBRE SUPPLY STUDY - Working Paper Series
    1997
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    Gains from a good tree improvement program (starting with species/provenance matching to site) can usually result in considerable gain in wood yields from tropical forest plantations. Optimal nursery and silvicultural practices (including seed pre-treatment, application of nitrogen-fixing soil micro-organisms, optimal spacing for defined end use, selection of adequate site, fertilization, and irrigation) can considerably increase such gains further. This report summarizes literature on gains tha t might be expected by implementing tree improvements and optimal silvicultural practices for acacias, eucalypts, teak and pines in tropical areas. Results are presented for each genus in turn, first examining factors common to all the genera, and then focusing on unique factors. The data on tree-growth gains are extremely variable from study to study. They range from virtually no favourable response to tree improvement and optimal silviculture, to gains of many hundreds of percent over c ontrols. This of course complicates the matter of using such data in global fibre supply modelling.

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