This week: Australia’s silent salinity crisis, solar farms that grow food, land grabbing tops the list of the most critical environmental justice issues today and the real price of Madagascar’s vanilla boom.

Australia

Government’s plan to ‘ease the burden’ on farmers
The Australian
Mr Turnbull engaged in a three-day listening tour of outback towns in NSW and Queensland this week to discuss what additional support the federal government can provide.

Salinity crisis destroying Australia’s farmland, but farmers hope to stop it
ABC Rural
Australia has a silent crisis on its hands and the threat is looming just beneath the ground of the country’s most fertile food bowls.

Australian commercial fish populations drop by a third over ten years
The Conversation
Australia was thought to have some of the most sustainable fisheries in the world, but a recent count has found that fish numbers have plummeted by a third.

Opinion: Australia’s responsibility to ocean health doesn’t end with the Great Barrier Reef
ABC Rural
Australia’s commitment to the reef is well known, but ocean health goes beyond the preservation of this famous marine ecosystem. Community-based approaches play a central role in securing the benefits to Pacific coastal communities that flow from coastal resources.

Abroad

Tracking the battles for environmental justice: here are the world’s top 10
The Conversation
The Environmental Justice Atlas highlights the most pertinent findings of environmental conflicts facing the world today. Number one on the list: land grabbing.

Solar Farms Produce Power—and Food
Scientific American
Universities in the United States, Germany and elsewhere are testing the concept of “dual use farming,” as some advocates call it, where crops grow below canopies of solar panels.

Hunger surges amid deadly conflicts and poor weather conditions in many countries
UN News
Despite ample food supplies, persistent conflicts and adverse climate shocks are taking a toll on global food security, according to a new report launched on Thursday by the United Nation’s agriculture agency.

The real price of Madagascar’s vanilla boom
Financial Times
The crop is targeted by gangs and costs as much as silver, but high prices hurt the ice-cream market and do little to reduce poverty on the African island.

New Report: Measuring What Matters in Agriculture and Food Systems
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
This synthesis report offers an overview of the work developed by nearly 150 experts from more than 30 countries evaluating the nexus between the agri-food sector, biodiversity, ecosystem services and externalities including human health impacts from agriculture on a global scale.

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