I am extending warmest greetings to you during this festive time from an accomplished and joyful heart. Smiling! For us at Seedinglives, last year was a super success. And, we anticipate that the New Year (2019) will present more fulfilling moments, excitements and breakthroughs. This is not to say we are not mindful of unpredictable decisions, weather, hunger and digital violence. Greed, faith and mindset dangers! Human actions, believes and knowledges are the pivotal meristems of these complex issues. The solutions can happen once humans come together to effect substantial improvements through the angle of sustainability innovation. So, hopeful about an enlightened future! The future starts from what we do today and the coming days. The habits to avoid food waste, conserve soil microbes, use energy wisely, buy clothes only when necessary, revive biomes, commute with purpose, not to pollute urban rivers, and live peacefully with neighbours are insulin for arriving at a better future society. These and more are important greener choices to make if ‘sustainability’ is to be seeded for all.
The iconic readership we enjoy from you is a favoured light for us at the Seedinglives. And, we are humbled and happy to inform that Seedinglives is now fully present in 70 countries and still tasseling. We are astonished of the incredible greensteps and milestones achieved. Knowledge philanthropism gladdens and enriches our nerves to voluntarily contribute to conditions beneficial for people and planet. The science of living sustainably and food justice are integral part.
The decision to maintain lightening for 2019 is due to open conviction that to sustain good gains lightening is necessary, and to eliminate bad things lightening is again necessary. It is envisaged that cities, peoples, nations and families will see the brightest light and find deep treasures embedded in sustainability, and begin to initiate new actions in responding to and practicalising the UN SDGs. An assured good governance of the future gains by futuremakers, futureleaders, pacesetters, and changemakers is not possible without immersing young people in the right sustainability disciples and values. In this regard, our motivation to continually propagate the gospel of sustainability remains intense.
As fresh wave of human solidarity, peace and respect for one another blow in the world, we hope you will meet good people, flip good messages, and reap blessings of doing good in this sustainable New Year.
Looking for food spaces in cities The contribution of food growers to lightning and greening cities is widely undervalued and disrespected. Green cropping (sub-section of urban agriculture), in particular, continues to receive mixed responses from the media, academics and policy spheres in global South cities. This leaves complex vulnerability issues at the chest of marginalised urban dwellers who are involved in the practice. With regard to switching from carbon ills to sustainable urban conditions, their agro-food production practices are pushed to the periphery of urban policies. The green urban plots often suffer from policy disincentives. Their practice is irritating to the eye of many. Yet, the food croppers have remained persistent, resilient, and doing everything possible under difficult circumstances to demonstrate the relevance of what they do by putting fresh and healthy foods on the city markets. Leafy vegetables and Musa acuminata (previously Musa sapietums) are common. Nowadays, cash crops like cocoa, oil palms and mangoes as well as staple ones like maize and rice are farmed on rich loamy soils in the fringes of cities. Their green plots are keeping deprived city corners from social incompleteness and preventing endemic hunger. Although urban food growers have burning goal to do good things, climate change is becoming their biggest setback.
Issues demanding urgency Changing climate is fast-aggravating living conditions in all cities, but more disturbing in coastal savannas than in the Guinean savannas. It is universally known among scientists that climate change is due to overdosed carbons. Where did predominant proportion of the carbons originate from? Of course, mainstream industrialisation and urbanisation! In recent times, the level of carbon in the atmosphere is alarming. Evidence of carbon impacts on savanna cities have clearly manifested in the forms of vulnerability-producing floods, fires, migration, poverty and reduced ecological jobs. Over 2.5 million people are displaced by rainstorms alone. Food insecurity induced by climate change is destabilising city slum corridors, and could have been worse if not green cropping.
Benefit recounts Green cropping on open urban spaces is cushioning the burden of well-being cost on young people who are excluded from jobs or prone to hazards and disasters. The approaches to realising carbon-free cities are multifaceted; such as enhancing energy efficiency. But, cultivating and greening landscapes has increasingly become important in low-income societies. Greening is imperative in reviving damaged landscapes. Greening landscapes do not only favour decarbonisation in cities at microscales but also furnish multiple urban sustainability benefits, including adaptation to carbon shocks like floods and income insecurity. It also favours carbon assimilation, and reskills capacity of young people. In dryland cities, for example, cow-dung compensates for burning of fossil-fuel; it limits anthropogenic fires; lessens wood-cutting; and eventually cut CO2 emissions. And, converting cow-dung into compost prevents excessive evapotranspiration thereby giving roots to conservation and urban biodiversity assets to emerge. Enabling floral diversity to habour good birds and pollinating bees. In the topsoil, earthworms and microbes tend to flourish better and give bigger returns on land productivity. Conveying 225,520 metric tonnes of food harvested from urban plots to nearby markets or roadsides using non-fossil-fuel-powered (NFFP) transport system potentially palliates carbon escalation. This is because, in the processes of transporting the foods, the mileage is shortened and fossil-fuel consumption is avoided. Micro-climatic warming is nipped off. Also, food crops on urban plots do not make noise. As compared to other activities in the coastal savanna cities, green cropping is one of all-important activities that commensurate the skills and immediate needs of different categories of urban youth: neglected migrants, orphans, school dropouts and artisans. In urban areas where food prices are too exorbitant and equal access to social intervention is very limited or unforthcoming, green cropping is a first choice to avoid succumbing to deadly carbon ills. Thus, a strategy for fighting civil tensions! Think about organotivators! Many of the organotivars are microgardens for expanding the frontiers of sustainability sciences at the city level. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation catalogued how innovative microgardens are improving quality of urban horticultural and human-environmental systems in cities where humanitarian services are required. The greening activity generates disposable income, greener jobs, strengthens the nutritional base of dependent households, and considerably injects varied foodstuffs into the urban food economy. For vulnerable groups such as pregnant women associated with urban food cropping households, the activity is immeasurable in terms of gaining access to reliable and nutritious meals. Greening landscapes promote sustainable eco-prosperity and green urban economic development.
Green cities need greener foods The benefits of greening cities are abundant and verifiable from its practical context of nourishing natural urban ecologies and making human lives more meaningful. It is a hope-lightning, ‘ecopeace’ building, carbon-downsizing activity; and credited with the highest reputation of putting sustainable and safe diets on the table of those who would otherwise have nothing to eat for days and weeks. Almost 75-95% of cabbage, for instance, is supplied from green plots in and around cities. On this basis, it must be encouraged and re-defined so that everyone can see, taste and appreciate multi-functionality of cultivating and greening urban landscapes. Urban authorities need to develop new green policy framework that promotes socio-environmental sustainability as integral to the 2030 Agenda, New Urban Agenda and Paris Agreement. Green cropping must be valued as a low-carbon intervention for fully switching from unbearable carbon conditions to just and sustainable cities. Generally, urban agriculture deserves a new focus in urban development research and policy in emerging cities because it represents one of the core forces of a resilient, greener and sustainable future.