Agriculture on the Brink: Climate Change, Labor, and Smallholder Farming in Botswana
Howard E. Woodin ES Colloquium Series
Thursday, March 21
12:30 p.m. in The Orchard, Franklin Environmental Center 103
William Moseley, Professor of Geography and Director of the Food, Agriculture, and Society Program, Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN.
Botswana is a semi-arid, middle-income African country that imports 90 percent of its food. Despite its relative prosperity, Botswana also suffers from one of the highest measures of income inequality in the world, persistent poverty, and relatively high levels of food insecurity. This talk explores how political economy, climate change, and livelihood dynamics are synergistically impacting household food security. The major finding is that the marginalization of smallholder farming in Botswana has as much or more to do with domestic, regional and international political economy as it does with climate change. As such, international efforts to support climate change adaptation in Botswana will have a limited effect on smallholder farming livelihoods and rural food security unless such efforts take account of political economic constraints. Effective support must be based on a grounded understanding of the real drivers of marginalization and food insecurity. One initiative that merits further exploration is the government’s backyard gardening initiative, which could be viewed as a pro-poor climate adaptation strategy. The findings of this paper are based on semi-structured interviews with policymakers and surveys with urban, peri-urban and rural households undertaken in 2012 and 2015.
Middlebury Conservation Commission Open Meetings
Sunday, March 24
3:00-5:00 p.m. in the Sarah Partridge Community House in East Middlebury
Middlebury has a new Conservation Commission and to move forward successfully they need to hear from you. Through an interactive evening of maps and discussion, they seek guidance from you on what’s most important. What places do you most love in Middlebury? If you don’t come to represent your values, who will?
What I Learned in the Last Three Decades: A first glimpse of my new book
Thursday, April 4
7:00 p.m. in Wilson Hall, McCullough Student Center
Join Bill McKibben as he shares excerpts from his upcoming new book Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? which is being published exactly 30 years after his groundbreaking The End of Nature. This new book asks what we’ve lost in those decades–and what we might still hope to protect.
NOTE: Click here to check out Falter at The Vermont Book Shop, to learn more about the book and pre-order if desired. Shop local! Falter will be released on April 16 by Henry Holt and Co.