Sustainable Agriculture

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Topic: Microfinance in crisis? Impact and financial transparency.

Date: July 19th and 20th

Location: Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Experts from ADA, African Microfinance Transparency Forum, e-MFP, Finance in Motion, GIZ, KfW, Interational Advisory Services, Internationale Project Consult (IPC), Microfinance Transparency and PlaNet Finance, responsAbility and students and professors from CERGE-EI, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Solvay Brussels School, Universidad Europea de Madrid, University of Bath, University of Mannheim will present and discuss their findings.

About the topic: Throughout the past three decades various microfinance actors have strived to improve the lives of low income households and businesses that have been excluded from formal financial services before. So far, however, only little academic evidence exists which clearly documents the impact of these efforts, challenging the need of microfinance investment vehicles to provide transparent data about the social performance of their investees. Moreover, critical cases of over-indebtedness in certain markets have increased the awareness of social investors, thereby intensifying the efforts to restore responsible finance practices and strengthen the transparency at the level of the microfinance clients. Throughout the workshop participants will discuss the topics of impact and transparency, contributing to find an answer to the question whether microfinance is living up to its expectations.

PlaNet University: Home

University Meets Microfinance (UMM) University Meets Microfinance (UMM) is a programme which fosters…


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Gender Perspective in Research

Check out the North-South Centre Conference: “Gender perspectives in research for development” (June 12, 2012),
Annual conference of the North-South Centre, ETH Zurich, Organisation/Location: ETH Zurich,
Dates: Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 9:00 – 18:00 h, ETH Zurich, Main Building, Auditorium Maximum (HG F 30), Rämistrasse 101, Zurich,
Free entrance and no registration required

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IAMO Land Use in Transition

IAMO Forum 2012: Land Use in Transition: “Potentials and Solutions Between Abandonment and Land Grabbing” (20-22 June 2012)

Organisation/Location: Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO) / Halle(Saale), Germany, Dates: 20-22 June 2012 in Halle (Saale), Germany,


IAMO Forum 2012: Land Use in Transition: “Potentials and Solutions Between Abandonment and Land Grabbing” (20-22 June 2012)

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Global biodiversity down 30 percent in 40 years

The world’s biodiversity is down 30 percent since the 1970s, according to a new report, with tropical species taking the biggest hit. And if humanity continues as it has been, the picture could get bleaker.

Humanity is outstripping the Earth’s resources by 50 percent — essentially using the resources of one and a half Earths every year, according to the 2012 Living Planet Report, produced by conservation agency the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Colby Loucks, the Director of conservation sciences at WWF, compared humanity to bad houseguests. “We are emptying the fridge, we are not really taking care of the lawn, we are not weeding the flower beds and we are certainly not taking out the garbage,” Loucks said.

The biannual Living Planet report is designed to call attention to the Earth’s “invisible economy,” said Emily McKenzie, the Director of the WWF’s Natural Capital Program. Natural resources — and the rate at which humans burn through them — rarely appear on policymakers’ balance sheets, McKenzie said.

But humanity is essentially in debt to Mother Earth, conservationists find. As of 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, humans were outstripping Earth’s biocapacity by 50 percent. Biocapacity is the amount of renewable resources, land, and waste absorption (such as sinks for carbon dioxide) the Earth can provide. In other words, it takes the planet 1.5 years to restore what humanity burns through in a year.

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Tropentag 2012 – Travel grant possibilities

Tropentag 2012 ‘Resilience of agricultural systems against crisis’

Travel grant possibilities:

* AgriNatura is offering 8 travel grants for MSc and PhD students of member
institutions (excluding german universities).
The deadline for a travel grant request is June 1, 2012.
Email: secretariat

For further information visit the AgriNatura website:

* High quality papers selected for oral presentation in the session “mineral
fertilisation and resilience of cropping systems” have the change of being
financially assisted to attend Tropentag by K+S sponsorship.
Possible candidates will be informed by Email.

* The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will organise in cooperation with
german universities three summerschools in the field of “biodiversity” for
DAAD-alumni. These summerschools will be held from September 12-18, 2012 and
will then make the participation at the Tropentag conference possible.