Category: Career-Development-Plans

There are increasing gaps between traditional/formal education and market requirements, i.e. for getting jobs. Formal education, also, may not directly lead to initiating businesses or joining the labor-market even in cases where the education is technical/applied as experience can be a pre-request to enter the labor market, change job, advance in a specific sector/area or even improve professionalism. National and global labor markets are becoming more dynamic and diverse, and job requirements may different from country to country or even from region to region because of cultural, social structure and languages. This is naturally in additions to “personal chemistry” and communication capabilities. “Informal” merits, e.g. personal interests, background and motivation can be very important as well.

Roadmaps and national/international instruments for shaping “Career-Development-Plans” involve Self-Assessment of interests and resources, Exploring Options and Identifying Possibilities, Preparing, Developing Revising and Assessment as well as Implementing Plans. These issues are very much related to Capacity Building and Management of Human Resources, and can be combined in step-wise and succession programs. In this context, “Career-Development-Plans” may involve re-shaping formal education and/or supplementing it with additional educational or training/practicing and follow-up modules through internships, on-the-job-coaching, job swapping, mentoring, brown-bag-lunch (quality/soft skills/safety), web-based and vestibule training, secondments, language courses/training, cultural and social adaptation. Also, integrating “informal” personal merit with “formal” ones. In cases of Management of Human Resources combined assessment programs (learning-behavior-reaction-results), e.g. individual-occupational-organizational or individual-community, can be of great value for adaptation.

EdX – Free Interactive Online Classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities

MIT “Massachusetts Institute of Technology” and Harvard University along with other world’s best universities offer FREE online classes and MOOCs. EdX initiative, which was launched May 2012, is offering highest quality courses, created by schools and partners who share joint commitment to excellence in teaching and learning, both online and in the classroom. Currently, there are 300+ courses in many areas of study, including biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, finance, electronics, engineering, food and nutrition, history, humanities, law, literature, math, medicine, music, philosophy, physics, science, statistics and more. These courses and MOOCs are available in English, Chinese, Mandarin, French, Hindi, Spanish, (Latin America). So far, x-Consortium involves 400+ faculty and staff teaching courses and discussing topics online where 100,000+ certificates were earned by edX students from around the world. As of 22 October 2014, more than three million users  joined over 300 courses online. EdX is a massive open online course (MOOC) provider and an online learning platform and differers from other MOOC platforms, such as Coursera and Udacity, in that it is nonprofit and runs on an open-source software platform.

Charter Members of Edx colleges and universities drive the edX vision and mission, including the founding members MIT and Harvard, along with the other leading global institutions of the x-Consortium. Member institutions are a carefully selected group of universities, NGOs, businesses and other high-profile quality course builders.

Check the web-site of Edx to find our the participating universities and institutes, available cources and classes and how to register and join On-line e-learning.

Technology and Innovation for Rural Sustainability

Appropriate and sustainable rural technologies are very rare as most of the global attention, driven by economical interests, is focused on urbanization. Such technologies are very poorly needed because of several reasons. They are, also, imperative for promoting successful long-term and large-scale sustainable urbanization. This is, even, essential in agricultural regions where rural communities are major parts of the national socio-economic structure, which is the case in many developing countries in particular Africa. This is at least necessary in the transition periods prior to large-scale and long-term transformation to urbanized societies where gradual, appropriate and sustainable integration of rural regions is necessary.

Urbanization has caused an accelerating drain of un-favored groups to mega and large cities ( The random and rapid expansion of urbanized regions has promoted an ever accelerating pile-up of slum-communities in many regions around the world ( which indeed is not sustainable both from the economic and environmental perspective.

Some parts of the problem are associated with the negative impacts from global education, research and technology driven-policies around the world by being supported by national and international institutes and organizations including the United Nations and World Bank. Management of research, education and development programs fails to involve people from the developing countries to contribute in solving problems and difficulties in their native countries or at least to find partners from the developed countries willing to participate in solving the enormous problems and difficulties in this respect.

Fortunately, the global community started to recognize such problems and to take steps and  efforts, though limited in extent, for achieving successful socio-economic development that is very much related to reducing poverty and the associated impacts of environment and climatic threats. An innovative example “Ecological System Designs for the Indigenous Community of Maruata, Michoacan, Mexico” is given here where researchers from the developing countries are demonstrating how to bring about successful ecological designs for living better, cheaper and ecologically sustainable.


World Largest Power Station – How Huge is Huge in River’s Technology?

The Three Gorges Dam represents the accumulated knowledge and know-how from all previous worldwide advances in dam technology including finding solutions for a wide-range of side effects apart from the main goal of generating power. It is the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity (22,500 MW), a hydroelectric dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, located in Yiling District, Yichang, Hubei province, China. It has several innovations and integrated solutions. Except for a ship lift, the dam project was completed and fully functional as of July 4, 2012, when the last of the main turbines in the underground plant began production. The dam has 32 main turbines, each with a capacity of 700 MW,  and two other smaller generators (50 MW each), with total electric generating capacity of the dam is 22,500 MW. The dam is intended, also, to increase the Yangtze River’s shipping capacity and reduce the potential for floods downstream by providing flood storage space. A partial solution for problems associated with the transport of nutrients because of silting behind the dam is, also, taken in consideration. Chinese government regards the project as a historic engineering, social and economic success, with the design of state-of-the-art large turbines, and a move toward limiting greenhouse gas emissions.


For comparison with the largest twenty dams in the world a global and historical survey is summarized  in this document:

Published on 31 May 2013
Largest Dams in The World


How Amazing is Amazing? – The Most Amazing Lakes In The World

10. Dead Sea (Bordered with Jordan, Israel and Palestine), its water is 9.6 times saltier than the ocean. No macroscopic living things can thrive in it and the high salinity makes life impossible to form with the exception of a very few bacteria and fungi. Because of the high salt concentration, the buoyancy of the water is so strong that a person cannot swim underwater and will push the body to float. The sea is also believed to have therapeutic powers to cure certain skin diseases.

9. Lake Berryessa Glory Hole, California. It is very important not only a tourist attraction but more so, it generates hydroelectricity. What makes it amazing is the bell-mouth spillway “Glory Hole” which is the largest of its kind with a diameter of 72 feet, a vertical drop of 200 feet and shrinks down to 28 feet. Once the water level reaches the maximum level, the spillway becomes submerged and it swallows excess water at unbelievable rate of 48,800 cubic feet per second.

8. Crater Lake, Oregon. It is formed during the collapse of Mount Mazama 7,700 years ago, 2,148 feet deep. It is considered the deepest in the United States and 7th or 9th deepest lake in the world. There are no rivers or any other bodies of water connected to the lake. Because of this, the water in the lake is considered one of the purest because of the absence of pollutants. The water is very clear and it has a visibility of up to 43.3 meters.

7. Lake Baikal, Siberia. Lake Baikal is a rift lake formed through continental crust being pulled apart. It is the deepest lake in the world with a depth of 1,642 meters (5,387 ft). Underneath the lake floor there is 7 kilometer of sediments placing the rift floor some 8-11 kilometers below the surface. Americans and Russian scientists studied the sediments with detailed climactic records dating as far back as 250,000 years. One of the most ancient lakes, its age is 25-30 million years.

6. Abraham Lake, Alberta, Canada. It is man-made lake in Alberta Canada. It is really beautiful during summer but what make it amazing is the frozen bubbles found underneath the lake during the winter season. These frozen bubbles are actually methane gas that is produced when bacteria at the bottom of the lake decomposes organic matter like animals, plants, and trees that died and sank to the bottom.

5. Taal Lake, Batangas, Philippines. It is a freshwater lake; it cradles the world’s smallest active decade volcano, the Taal volcano. The lake fills the Taal caldera which is a remnant and the spot where historical eruptions occurred dating back to 100,000 to 500,000 years ago. Within the Main crater lake is also a small island known as the Vulcan point. At 40 meters, Vulcan point is the world’s largest island within a lake (Main crater lake) on an island (Volcano Island) within a lake (Taal Lake) within an island (Luzon Island). It is confusing but that what makes it amazing…

4. Five Flower Lake, China. The Five-flower lake is one of the most popular and most beautiful lake among the lakes found in the Jiuzhaigou National Park in China. It is renowned worldwide and thousands of tourists visit it everyday. It lies at the end of the Peacock River at a height of 2,472 meters above sea level and has a depth of 5 meters only. This shallow lake reflects multiple colors and definitely a great sight to feast your eyes with. The bottom of the lake is littered with ancient trunks of trees crisscrossed everywhere.

3. Spotted Lake in British Columbia, Canada. The most notable feature of the lake is the multi-colored spots that are very visible and prominent even when viewed from the highway. The lake contains the world’s highest concentration of different minerals most notably, magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulfates. The lake evaporates and during summer only the minerals remain and they form natural walkways in between and around the spots. It is also therapeutic and known to cure diseases. Fences preventing direct access protect the lake.

2.Lake Hillier (Pink lake) in Western Australia. It is famous for its pink color. It is really amazing in that it’s color is not derived from beta-carotene released by an algae when light penetrates the water; which is actually the case for Lake Retba in Africa and the Pink lake in Western Australia. These two lakes derive its color from the red pigment being produced by Dunaliella Salina and Halobacteria that use sunlight to create more energy. Unlike these two, the pink water of Lake Hillier is permanent even if water is taken from the lake and transferred to a different container.

1. Plitvice Lake in Croatia. It is inside the Plitvice National Park in Croatia, the largest national park in the country and the oldest in southeast Europe. It is considered the most beautiful lake worldwide because of it’s spectacular display of colors at different times of the day, at different angles of light and at different seasons. It was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage in 1979 among the First Sites worldwide. Every year, more than 1.2 million tourists from all over the world visit it. It is most famous for its 16 lakes arranged in cascades.

Urbanized Water – Evolution, Threats and Feedback Impacts on Natural Water

Natural fresh water, does it exist? We used to have high quality natural waters but this was probably more than a couple of thousand of years ago, i.e. just before the Roman Empire. Natural fresh waters are very hard to find nowadays, only in remote regions far away from human impacts, e.g. frozen water in polar areas or some fossil water somewhere underground.

The Romans invented the culture of urban water systems that exist today in our cities around the world. Gravity-fed systems distribute water, from water treatment plants, around cities and ultimately dispose wastewater in underground sewer networks. From the Romans time until today urban water systems went through major transformation forced difficulties originated from: water shortages during the Romans; cholera outbreaks in the Industrial Revolution; and most recently polluted surface water systems (lakes, rivers, …… ), e.g. in Europe and the US that accelerated shortly after WWII. We are now facing more and more complex web of serious threats on natural waters due to the rapid technological and economical advances of the past century, the growing world population and an accelerating “production-consumption” wheel as a result of many emerging economies. Climate change, pile-up of pollution and waste, aging urban water systems (both water and wastewater), various types of peaks in particular energy- and water-related ones, constrains in world economy and geo-political conflicts. You name it.

In this post “” gives some background information of the evolution of urbanized waters and problems associated with wastewater treatment. In coming posts other urbanization-related issues will be given, in particular water treatment processes and the importance of the quality of natural waters on such processes.

Here is some description of how urbane water systems developed and the situation many cities are facing today. Urban water systems are starting to break down with these problems: 1) water infrastructure needs costly upgrades; 2) many sewer systems are becoming overloaded; 3) water scarcity appearing in drought-prone areas. Some possible fixes are, also, given: Water recycling, desalination, decentralization:

Wastewater Treatment Plants have impacts on the water quality of natural waters and there are growing fears that they are acting as pollution factories:

Also additional background information on how typical wastewater treatment plants work: see also this video:

Role of Human-Computer Interaction – From Awareness and Education to Sustainability

WWW (World Wide Web) is a system of interlinked hypertext documents, intended to provide global and effective communication systems through the Internet. Webpages can be viewed for their content of text, videos, and other multimedia where hyperlinks allow the navigation between different contents. The inventor of WWW, Tim Berners-Lee, realized in 1989 that his proposal for a more effective CERN communication system could be implemented throughout the world through hypertext “to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will”. This was jointly done in 1990 with Robert Cailliau.

Douglas Engelbart already in 1968 demonstrated the invention of “human-computer interaction” where “The Mother of All Demos” retrospectively illustrated the complete computer hardware and software system of all known fundamental elements of modern personal computing. It was the first to publicly demonstrate all features, elements and capabilities of modern computers as communication and information-retrieval machines where the previous idea of Vannevar Bush for a Memex was turned into reality. Memex was visioned by Vannevar Bush, in 1945, that it could implement what is known today by hypertext with the aim to help humanity to have a collective memory and to avoid the use of scientific discoveries for destruction and war, probably an early starting point for sustainability.

Hypertext, including tables, images and other presentational content forms, is displayed on a computer display and other smart devices (mobiles, tablets, …..) with interaction to other text which the reader can immediately, or progressively at multiple levels, access via hyperlinks. An innovation of extreme importance for effectively and globally promoting communication, with high speed never known anywhere expect the speed of light, in all sectors and on all levels with tectonic changes and shifts within and between know and unknown boarders. Apart from economic, scientific and technical importance; populations around the world can easily access and afford sharing information, also for professional to produce and market products and services. Human-computer interactions are now advancing with unprecedented importance for public awareness and education on all levels especially for empowering individuals, groups and association in a wide spectra of new activities for engagement and shaping socio-economic sustainability on micro-levels, at any time and in regions and remote places that were never reached before. What we though was virtual yesterday is in fact very real today.

Since the birth of WWW an accelerating interest in human-computer interactions in all sectors of modern societies has emerged with tectonic changes in the flora of social media, public awareness and educational tools such as blogs and MOOCs “Massive Open Online Courses” focusing on Sustainability on different levels, specialities and content. Blogs and MOOCs are internet based and generally free of charge a matter of increasing importance for achieving socio-economic sustainability. They don’t have any entry requirements and are open to anyone anywhere in the world with an internet connection. MOOCs are linked to universities, may lead to certificates/diplomas and some universities give packages of MOOCs leading to degrees but this may be subject to fees.; is a general link with MOOC-list on sustainability issues with technical information, short specifications and descriptions of the courses. Some examples are given below: provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development. It describes the complex interactions between the world economy and the Earth’s physical environment. Ecological processes and constraints significantly shape the patterns of economic development, demography, and wealth and poverty. At the same time, human activities change the physical environments, increasingly in dangerous ways. is a free MOOC course on “The age of sustainable development” that gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development – that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.; Conducting business in more sustainable ways is becoming increasingly relevant today and a “must-have” in the future. The sustainability megatrend is driven by a growing population, accelerating urbanization, resource intensity, government regulation, climate change, and – most importantly – by the fact that consumers are increasingly demanding healthy, affordable, as well as socially and environmentally responsible products.; it provides the knowledge and skills to do this by investigating sustainability from multiple angles and exploring what small steps you can take to have a real impact upon all our future. It gives an introduction to the values and principles associated with sustainability and some of the knowledge and understanding required to make sustainable decisions in personal and professional life.; is a Collaborative MOOC on Responsibility, Sustainability and Ethics for Business and Leadership. The emerging model of offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) could pose a major threat to traditional model of management education with some estimating that up to 60% of traditional teaching could be disrupted or in part replace by MOOC offerings. Early adopters of online learning platforms will however find a limited choice of material and courses focused on the broad topic of “Sustainability, Ethics and Responsibility in Business and Leadership”.

Http:// will continue reporting on sustainability and emerging global trends.





Sustain-Earth.Com – Connecting People For Healthy and Wealthy Future

Professionals in all sectors and on all levels around the world are corner stones in shaping the future on our planet; they are, also, leaders that can direct its path. However, for our fellow citizens to be safe, secure and share their responsibility the conservation and sustainable management of our collective natural resources on the earth requires innovation, engagement, transparency and full participation in “serve and get served”. With these objectives we can turn past difficulties, existing obstacles and future threats to solutions, admittance and prosperity.

Seeking the reality – Parts of the Truth is not the Whole Truth

An Event is part of a series of event representing a reality that might be complex. In research we seek knowledge that allow understanding all sides of the complex reality. Education helps to prepare you for research and development which are essential components for achieving sustainable socio-economic developments. Follow, share and contribute in

Invitation – A NEW Logo For Sustain-Earth. is a platform and a BLOG for integrating and marketing sustainability in education and research, and popularization of sustainability in science and technology. It supports “Open Access”. It has built-in functions and instruments for coupling education, research and technology with society, market and population needs on national and international levels. It, also, acts for promoting “Business-to-Business” and creating “Career-Development-Plans” for professionals and graduates in the emerging applications of sustainability and socio-economic developments. is an instruments and vehicle for developing and implementing applied sustainability in all sectors and on all levels.

LOGO of "" has three colours. Main colour of "earth" is green a product of  "blue" for  clean water and "yellow" for clean energy.

LOGO of “” has three colors. Main color of “earth” is a dynamic green-product of “blue” for clean water and “yellow” for clean energy. A green main arrow representing the functioning and metabolism of “sustain-earth” through fueling life by constant clean water “blue” supported by clean energy “yellow”.

To learn more and get introduction on “” please visit “ABOUT”. We welcome any questions and inquiries through “CONTACT”. You are, also, most welcome with innovative posts at “CONTRIBUTE”.

China-European Innovative Cooperation For Cleaner Cities

Chinese and European experts are cooperating, through meetings, conferences, roundtables and workshops, to gain valuable insights into clean energy. Government and business stakeholders highlighted their willingness to strengthen EU-China cooperation on energy security. Sustainability concepts to do more with less harm are developed in Europe for successful applications of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” hierarchy in industry. Based on this, it is possible to re-design products that, after their useful life, they can be much environment-friendly than what is possible today.

The China-Europe cooperation involves a “Demo Zone Initiative” that supports the city of Urumqi in technological innovation, low-carbon urban planning and circular economy by introducing successful EU experiences and technologies. Urumqi is one of the most pol- luted cities in China and the world because of heavy air pollution from industrial sulfur dioxide emissions. The dominant industries are petrochemical, metallurgical and textiles. The goal of the “Demo Zone Initiative” is to establish a win-win method to be replicated in other Chinese cities using a toolkit for urban action and district energy planning with local project financing and public-private partnerships (PPP).

The Chinese-European cooperation, by being inter-sectorial and inter-disciplinary, has synergistic effects that bring added value to education, public awareness, construction, industry, transport, environment, decision-making, capacity building, education, research and development.

Click to access EC2_CleanEnergyPerspectives_Issue6.pdf

Renewables Changed Bitter AC-DC Rivals to Successful Marriage

Thomas Edison and his Direct Current “DC” technology lost the historical so-called “War of the Currents” to Alternating Current “AC” in the 1890s that was championed by the Edison rivals Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse. The argument was AC was far more efficient at transmitting electricity over long distances.

Edison, inventor of light bulb and the world’s first DC power distribution system in 1882 was not totally wrong to insist on the needs for DC distribution grid. The technological advantages of AC over DC at that time dedicated the success and expansion of AC power distribution grids initially developed in 1886 by Westinghouse and Stanley with major inputs from Nikola Tesla. An AC power system allowed voltages to be “stepped up” by a transformer for distribution, thus reducing power losses, and then “stepped down” by a transformer for consumer use. The AC technology became gradually mature for large-scale grid up-scaling. However, the advances of DC power distribution for long-distance power transmission took a revival in 1954 when the Swedish company ASEA, predecessor of ABB, the Swiss maker of power and automation equipment, linked the island of Gotland to mainland Sweden with high-voltage DC lines.

However, by late 19th century science and technology was too blind to recognize the problems associated with the use of fossil fuel, e.g. coal, oil and gas, for production and distribution of electric power. During the 20th century it has been an accelerating pile-up of threats not only from fossil fuel consumption what regards the green-house impacts on climate, but also the associated impacts on water resources from fossil fuel production in form of enormous and irreversible environmental pollution and degradation of ecological and water qualities.  With birth of renewables, e.g. solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower and wave power, and the continuous advances in associated DC and smart technologies the advantages of DC distribution grids became once more apparent. They are economic for high-voltage and high-capacity runs over very long distances, they are better suited to handle the electricity produced by solar and wind farms, which starts out as direct current.

Follow the emerging needs for transformation to renewables and the implementation of more sustainable management policies.

China’s Renewable Challenges for Efficient and Optimized Grid

China’s need for energy to serve its citizens and industries will accelerate tenfold in the period 2000-2035, i.e. from 1TWh to 9.6 TWh. Until now the share of renewables in China’s energy mix is about 17% while the major part of its energy, about 80%, is provided through fossil coal.

China’s challenges are related to its relatively very young renewable programs, and that the regions of highest energy demands are not matching China’s geographic distribution of its renewable energy production. Another challenge for China is the integration of its regional grids to a more efficient and optimized grid especially with consideration to the additional emerging renewable energies and the associated needs for storage. With these challenges a clear energy saving policy is needed for integrating renewable energy into China’s system. This is not an overnight and easy task especially if sustainable policies have to be taken in consideration for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions which will remain to be one of the most serious difficulties for China not only from climatic view point but also from environmental and air quality prospective.

Middle East – Railways for 250 Billion US Dollars

Follow the mega constructions in the Middle East region for the transformation to more a sustainable future where railways provide the most environment friendly and sustainable large-scale and long-term transportation system. Mr. Loay Ghazaleh, Advisor at the Undersecretary Offices, The Ministry of Works, Bahrain, describes in a comprehensive, pedagogic and innovative slideshow the ME “Middle East” Railway Development and PPP “Public Private Partnership” Financing Framework over the next ten years. A major shift in the transport sector of the Middle East with enormous investments that can bring about huge feedback advantages regarding mobility of goods and citizens.  

ABSTRACT. The Middle East has allocated nearly $250bn to various railway projects over the next 10 years with ambitious plan to build around 67,000km of railway tracks throughout the region. The region has the opportunity to build the world’s most advanced passenger and freight transport systems. The presentation touches on all aspects of railway development and strategies in the region including different Public private Partnership (PPP) models and financing / funding advice to better develop rail projects as a sustainable means of transport.

Lessons to be learned – The Sustainability Program of North Ireland

While there are no “standard maps” for achieving successful sustainable socio-economic developments everywhere in the world, yet we can learn from exiting strategies and solutions. Naturally, nations around the world have own conditions, structures, needs and may exist in different stages of development with complex internal and external political, economical and trade relations. Assessing the existing models and strategies helps formulating short and long-term roadmaps that are appropriate and suitable to the socio-economic needs and conditions. Successful socio-economic developments can’t be based on random actions and have to follow robust strategies emanating from effective, collective and coherent interactions between all sectors and on all levels. In this context, cloudy and conflicting interesting “within and between” nations can be major obstacles for achieving sustainable socio-economic developments.

An example on how to build national roadmaps for bring about successful socio-economic developments even under economic constrains is given here.

From Editorial and Guest Bloggers – The African Roadmap Towards Sustainability

“” represents here the growing attention of Uganda’s political efforts for achieving sustainable socio-economic developments. “The Greens” or “Green Parties” are emerging in Africa, ROBINAH K. NANYUNJA, the President General of Uganda’s Green Party, and a Green MP Candidate for Kawempe North Constituency 2016 in Kampala Uganda, is addressing the needs for implementation of sustainability roadmaps where the green ideology puts environmental responsibility at the same level like other development sectors, means that it provides the necessary political will to curb environmental degradation, which is more often lacking with conventional governments. 

ROBINAH K. NANYUNJA is now a Guest Blogger at




The green ideology is a philosophy practiced and advocated for by a coalition of political leaders and activists, whose goal is to advocate for peace, security, unity, preservation of the environment and ecosystem for socio-economic development, all over the world. These political leaders and activists are called “The Greens”. The Green ideology rests on solidarity that can be expressed in three parts: Solidarity with all the people of the world; Solidarity with animals, nature and the ecological system; Solidarity with future generations. For more information on this Political Platform, please, visit:

The fact that the green ideology puts environmental responsibility at the same level like other development sectors, means that it provides the necessary political will to curb environmental degradation, which is more often lacking with conventional governments.  

ABOUT the author: ROBINAH K. NANYUNJA, is the President General, Ecological Party of Uganda, which is Uganda’s Green Party. She is a Green MP Candidate for Kawempe North Constituency 2016 in Kampala Uganda. Full BIO: 

Mechanized Agriculture in Sudan – Collapse of Sustainable Land-Water Management.

UNEP along FAO, ICRAF and a number of Sudanese NGOs and institutes describe how and why the agricultural sectors in Sudan were gradually degraded and moved rapidly towards more or less total collapse because of environment over-taxation. Since the introduction of mechanization of rain-fed agriculture by the British in 1944 several negative impacts, due to lack of control and planning, were piled up during the last half of the 20th century. This has caused large-scale destruction of environment and triggered severe negative impacts in other sectors as well. The traditional and mechanized agriculture account for 55 and 45 percent respectively of the rain-fed cultivated area. The importance of the irrigated sub-sector is reflected in the fact that while it makes up only 7 percent of the cultivated area, it accounts for more than half of the crop yields. However, irrigated land has own problems. Rapid, uncontrolled privatization, random investment and failure to couple education and research to market and society needs are major causes.

Management of land-water resources in Africa is IMPERATIVE. However, past experiences show not only major failure but the great threats of the blind and random implementation of imported technologies, e.g. Sudan where its cultivable land is about 42 percent with frequent claims that it is the potential ‘breadbasket’ of Africa and Middle East. Agriculture, the largest economic sector in Sudan, became the heart of some of the country’s most serious environmental problems: wide-range of land degradation, riverbank erosion, invasive species, pesticide mismanagement, water pollution and canal sedimentation. Also rangeland’s vulnerability to overgrazing is high and its overlap with cultivation is a major source of potential conflict. The significance of these threats cannot be underestimated: not only are 15 percent of the population partly or wholly dependent on imported food aid, but the population is growing, per hectare crop yields are declining and the enhanced competition over scarce agricultural resources.

The agricultural sector in Sudan is the main source of sustained growth and backbone of Sudan’s economy. Unfortunately, the sector’s economic stake is declining more and more with the emergence of the oil industry. Sudan continues to depend heavily on agriculture, whose share fluctuates around 40 percent of the GDP. The crop and livestock sub-sectors together contribute 80 to 90 percent of non-oil export earnings. With these trends the country will face more unemployment and famine as fifty-eight percent of the active workforce is employed in agriculture and 83 percent of the population depends on farming for its livelihood.

Global warming adds new threats as the agricultural sector in Sudan is highly vulnerable to shortages in rainfall and there has been substantial decline in precipitation and climate change models predict that this trend will continue. Without major action to stop the wave of de-gradation and restore land productivity, the natural resource base will continue to shrink, even as demand grows. Resolving this issue is thus central to achieving lasting peace and food security.

Click to access 08_agriculture.pdf

Amazing High Tech Farm – A Complete Meal Using A Mobile!

Eric Maundu, owner and founder of “Kijani Grows” (“Kijani” is Swahili for green), isn’t a farmer, he’s an engineer with a computer science degree from USA. Maundu himself ran from agriculture in his native Kenya- where he saw it as a struggle for land, water and resources. In the USA he felt the negative impacts of urbanization, industrial waste and traffic pollution on contamination of soils and degradation in land-water resources. In industrial/urban areas and cities, freeways, roads, light rail and parking lots so there’s not much arable land and the soil is contaminated. With these threats in mind he realized he could farm without soil, with little water via aquaponics and with possibilities to use “self-cleaning” and recycling as well as that he could apply his robotics background to farming. An amazing combination of: physics; chemistry; biology; ecology; and computer science in one system.

No soil, instead Maundu is growing plants using fish and circulating water. It’s called aquaponics- a gardening system that combines hydroponics (water-based planting) and aquaculture (fish farming). It’s been hailed as the future of farming: it uses less water (up to 90% less than traditional gardening), doesn’t attract soil-based bugs and produces two types of produce (both plants and fish)., i.e. a full meal!

Maundu- by being trained in industrial robotics- has taken the agricultural craft one step further and made his “aquaponics” smart. Using sensors (to detect water level, pH and temperature), microprocessors, relay cards, clouds and social media networks. Maundu has programmed his gardens to tweet when there’s a problem, e.g. not enough water or when there’s news, e.g. an over-abundance of food to share. With these smart solutions the same information can be shared with farmers in Iceland and China.” Maundu believes that by putting gardens online, especially in places where solar-powered gardens are totally off the grid), is the only way to make sure that farming remains viable to the next generation of urban youth.

Do-It-Yourself: How Does Methane Biodigester Work?

There are many technical approaches and levels of complexity for turning leftover food and manure till biogas. Understanding the underlying science and concepts in a simple way can help to gradually construct and develop own solutions to achieve affordable, efficient and friendly fuctional facilities.

You have input material, i.e. initial reactants that are processed under reduced “anaerobic” conditions, i.e. air free from oxygen through using sealed containers, at a suitable temperature, and more or less neutral conditions. The temperature range can vary around 40 degrees celsius, and to be controlled using heat from the sun along with suitable insolation if necessary, i.e. depending on region and season. The initial reactants have to be crushed to facilitate the bacterial reaction where we have two types of bacteria, e.g. those creating acidity and those producing methane. There are high-energy organic matter, i.e. those with high sugar and high carbohydrate content, and low-energy organic matter such as grass and manure (more or less consumed organic matter). High-energy food promote production of acidity, i.e. “acid” type of bacteria while the other methane-producing bacteria are much more accessible in animal manure. The liquid leftover “effluent” from the whole process may be used fertilizer, however it can be beneficial to do some analysis to see the quality in relation to the composition of the reactants. In this context, adjustment of the control parameters, i.e. temperature, duration and acidity as well as the composition of reactants can be part of development and optimization of the production facilities.