Global themes in sustainable urban food and agricultural issues

Professor Droughts to Oceans: Ancient Human Proclivities in Tropical Lands and Rivers by Daniel Simonelli and Ussr TV contributor Alan Bethke Floods caused by the drying of rivers in Europe and South America by the …

Professor Droughts to Oceans: Ancient Human Proclivities in Tropical Lands and Rivers by Daniel Simonelli and Ussr TV contributor Alan Bethke

Floods caused by the drying of rivers in Europe and South America by the last ice age, and other global trends including climate change, are predicted to become more intense and prolonged, with disastrous consequences, especially for the vulnerable communities such as urban and agro-pastoral settlements.

Bethke is an expert on medieval flooding on the Brazilian island of Serra do Sal and the draining of water courses that created a river valley with Cuiaba, Brazil. Even what little rain fell in this area was diverted into flooded plains, and where agriculture was promoted, and degraded rivers drained.

He also describes the extensive flood planning in Sicily and Sardinia by the colonising Romans that led to the destruction of the local environment, culminating in 1381 with the great flood that killed hundreds and caused millions of euros in damage to the city.

Between 5-8 million people in the Mediterranean, including hundreds of thousands in Europe, are estimated to be living in areas that will be adversely affected by climate change, and many of them live in cities with highly vulnerable ecosystems, including urban rivers.

Those investments are in areas and landscapes which were already degraded by fossil fuel waste, and land conversions for agriculture, or mining and drainage which lead to further degradation, combined with population growth and poor water management which aggravates current problems.

Underwater megaprojects such as the investment in artificial harbors, levees and dams known as “dramatic change,” could be potentially catastrophic.

It is clear from the ecological conditions in this region, which includes countries such as Brazil, Benin, Madagascar, Malaysia, Panama, Spain, and Italy, that the sustained prevention of flooding in urban areas through projects such as reviving ancient urban canals to store water, converting degraded land areas for urban development and planting trees are critical.

This film offers a compelling account, fact-based, of key rivers and the environment, living communities, and canals, and contains a wealth of information, including film footage, on the widespread, semi-arid arid climate in which much of our cities and towns are situated.

Recent research is also conducted that confirms that river and flood cycles do, in fact, run in cycles, and have experienced little to no change since the beginning of the last Ice Age, but can disrupt quickly from long periods of gradual change.

…and Ussr TV’s Food and Farming Project: Sustainable Desert Conservation by Ussr TV, Nordic Rainforest Network and Open Centenary Films (OCF) Director; Ussr TV and the British Geological Survey as Central Consultants, and Jamie Glenday, Landscape Design Specialist at the British Geological Survey

Suzanne Carr,

Director: The Landscape Workshop (international)

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