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Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)


Sustainable development research

Saving soils at degradation frontlines: sustainable land management in drylands
Healthy soils are fundamental to life. They grow the food we eat and the wood we use for shelter and fuel, purify the water we drink, and hold fast to the roots of the natural world we cherish. They are the ground beneath our feet and beneath our homes. But they are under threat, especially from human overuse and climate change. Nowhere is this more evident than in dryland areas, where soil degradation – or desertification – wears away at this essential resource, sometimes with sudden rapidity when a tipping point is crossed. Preserving and restoring healthy soils in drylands is possible, and it concerns all of us. Sustainable land management points the way.

Mountain Farming is Family Farming now available in French and Spanish

The publication 'Mountain Farming is Familiy Farming' is now available in French and Spanish. It provides an overview of the global changes affecting mountain farming communities and the strategies that they have developed to cope. Each study presents a set of lessons and recommendations for mountain communities, policymakers, development experts, and researchers working to support mountain farmers and protect mountains areas.

Read CDE’s Annual Report 2014

​CDE’s annual report 2014 is now available for download. CDE’s research contributes to maintaining soils and land as important bases for stable natural ecosystems, farming, and food security. Our annual report illustrates how knowledge can help to promote sustainable and productive use of land, furthering global development.

Flavours from our soils

We invite you to join us in celebrating the World Day to Combat Desertification and the International Year of Soils on Wednesday, 17 June 2015! Farmers from South Africa and Switzerland will discuss the challenges of growing wine and rooibos in drylands, and present their land management strategies to the public. An interactive exhibition will be offered enabling participants to learn more about the diversity and functions of soils.

Preventing hunger from eating up our future: Agroecology and food sustainability

​One out of nine persons worldwide goes to bed hungry every night. At the same time, hunger is said to be the world’s greatest solvable problem. But just how can we grow enough food without depleting the planet’s resources? This and related questions are the focus of an event to take place on Wednesday, 3 June 2015. Organized jointly by SWISSAID and CDE, the event will feature a presentation by Miguel Altieri, one of the most renowned scientists in the field. Jordan Gama, President of the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement, will report on ongoing developments in Africa.
University of Bern | Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) | Hallerstrasse 10 | CH-3012 Bern | Tel: +41 31 631 88 22
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