Nature is getting ready for its close-up!
13 June 2013 | News story
IUCN Member, the National Geographic Society, is urging everyone to go outside to explore nature, whether in their own backyard, a local park or anywhere that nature thrives.
From 21-29 September 2013, National Geographic invites the whole world to take part in the Great Nature Project, an unprecedented attempt to document and appreciate Earth’s biodiversity.
Great Nature Project participants — anyone with a camera or camera phone — are asked to take photos of any plants, animals, or other living things they come across and share them with the world by uploading them to Twitter, Instagram or Flickr, using the tag #GreatNature.
Participants can also submit photos to the Great Nature Project on iNaturalist or Project Noah, which are online citizen science platforms.
The uploaded, tagged photos will be aggregated on greatnatureproject.org, where visitors to the website can view the images and take advantage of opportunities to learn more about biodiversity through educational and scientific resources.
The website launches in July 2013, but participants can register online now to become part of the September celebration.
Also from National Geographic Magazine: The Svarlbard Seed vault
Give Peas a Chance
Photograph by Jim Richardson, National Geographic
A conservationist cradles two vials of peas destined for deposit in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The remarkable facility set on a rugged Arctic island off Norway is the ultimate global safety net for food security. It's able to protect up to 2.25 billion seeds from even "doomsday" scenarios like asteroid impacts and nuclear war.
But crop varieties are already vanishing at an astonishing pace for more mundane reasons, from shifting local weather patterns to disuse by farmers adopting new hybrids. The vault represents a chance to save as many as possible.
"I'd say doomsday is happening everyday for crop varieties," said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which helps manage the facility. "Lots of people think that this vault is waiting for doomsday before we use it. But it's really a backup plan for seeds and crops. We are losing seed diversity every day and this is the insurance policy for that."
Even a seemingly simple crop, such as wheat, may have 200,000 different varieties. And each variety has a suite of individual traits that determine how it fares in high or low temperatures, during droughts, or against certain diseases or pests.
"Even conservative projections of changing climate now indicate that by mid-century huge areas of some countries, in Africa for example, will be experiencing climates that are unlike any that have existed since the beginning of agriculture in those countries," Fowler explained.
"How will they become adapted to future climates? One way they can is by tapping into this rich storehouse of diversity and breeding new crops with traits that allow them to succeed in those climates. It's essential to future food security," Fowler said.
Published July 2, 2012
This is an excellent article worth reading about this Seed Vault ... here is an excerpt from the original article:
Norway's Svalbard archipelago.December 27, 2007 Coloful houses lie near the mountains in Longyearbyen, a village on the island of Spitsbergen, part of