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<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/128091605″>Re-learning the Land: A Story of Red Crow College</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/multisensemedia”>Multi-Sense Media</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 Using Native and Edible Plants in Guerrilla Gardening!

Wild Cherry Creek Wood’s Rose (Rosa woodsii) seed bombs, made with seeds soaked in water, horse manure, straw and soil, 2006.

“Seed Bombing” can be a great way to re-introduce native, edible, low maintence plants to a more urban landscape. In light of this, we must be conscientious about what is in our seed mixture. Some folks selling seed bombs have put the seeds of known, listed noxious weeds in them! Not good. Native and edible are the two best options, in my opinion. With a little inguenity and some background research making your own custom seed bombs could be fun and exciting!

If you are thinking about doing some Guerrilla Gardening try checking out your state’s native plant society, the Colorado Native Plant Society  website is: http://www.conps.org/.  The next thing to do is double check any seed you might consider using, of  any plant species, against your State, County and local noxious weeds list. Here is the link to the one for the State of Colorado: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/Agriculture-Main/CDAG/1174084048733. Be  sure to  specifically check your county list for weed issues they might be tackling.  Many, if not all of the counties in Colorado have a Noxious Weed board. The last thing we want is to be the cause of more weed spraying.

I advocate modest collection practices of your local wild grasses, medicinal native forbes, and edible shrubs (esp. berry bushes).  Use these to make your seed balls with. Be particualrly modest in your collection because these plants are food for wildlife. By collecting a few seeds and starting them within our settlements we can increase the amount of these plants we have available to humans, while sharing these with the local biodiversity. We need to pay special attention to making this progress incrementally by placing the seed-stock into the local settlement area without compromising the balance of the outlying populations. Be sure to do the work of getting the plant properly identified and pay close attention to what it needs in regards to water, light, soils,  growth habit, etc. Then consider the proper timing of when that specific species seeds itself so you get the maximum effect.

Check out this website for some crafty seed bombing project ideas: http://www.guerrillagardening.org/ggseedbombs.html

Bombs Away!

 

 

So I have a habit of going on tangents, useful tangents mostly, and this instance was not an exception. It came to my attention that there were some climate negoitions happening in Cancun (see http://unfccc.int/2860.php). I poked around on some of the links one of my friends provided and that led me into a series of other websites including the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation- REDD wesite (http://www.un-redd.org/).  The REDD+ Scheme is a partnership of three UN Agencies FAO, UNDP, and UNEP. 

These organizations work together to:

(C)reate an incentive for developing countries to protect, better manage and wisely use their forest resources, contributing to the global fight against climate change. REDD strategies aim to make forests more valuable standing than they would be cut down, by creating a financial value for the carbon stored in trees.

 Industrialized countries are supposed to pay the developing countries carbon off-sets for their “standing forests” in effect attempting to build a value in these areas for not cutting down the trees. This appears to have been planned to build the infrastructure for the carbon trading agenda.

From one of the videos I watched on the REDD site I looked up Pavan Sukhdev, the Deutsche Bank economist, which led me to The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). In videos on this website I found some very concerning information which I feel shows a connection to Pharmaceutical  intrests in accessing the genetic material of these most biodiverse regions of our planet. Pavan Sukhdev specifically states that biodiversity ” includes the genetic material of species, because it is from that genetic material that we get medicines.” When asked what he wanted to see come out of the Cancun talks he said he wants to see negotiations for “access and benefit sharing” for bioprospectors. He makes no mention of those people being able to say  NO, that NO is an option too. They need to able to say “NO, we don’t want you taking genetic material from our collective heritage. It is not for sale.” That needs to be respected. According to the website TEEB:

aims to synthesize and present the latest ecological and economic knowledge to structure the evaluation of ecosystem services under different scenarios, and to recommend appropriate valuation methodologies for different contexts. It also aims to examine the  global economic costs of biodiversity loss and the costs and benefits of actions to reduce these losses.

So far as I can tell, since I have not read the report as yet, this reads to me that they are attempting to quantify biodiversity and the roles that biodiversity plays in the sytems of the planet. I  think that this means that a group of Indigenous people can make some income from this but also  if they needed to increase their use of an area there might be penalties. There is also a possibility that this might act to coerce Native populations to leverage their own biodiversity for credit or in a debt for nature swap scenario.  Are we not better off to focus on stabilizing the biodiversity in our own backyards by planting trees, growing more local food, and redesigning settlements to use much less non-renewable resources all-around, within the developed world? Is this just another level of domination by industrial countries assumptively trying to control more resources?

From “Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Natural Resource Management” by Charles R. Menzies

There are at least nine categories of traditional resources/indigenous intellectual property that can be identified which a people or community may wish to protect:

1. Sacred Property (images, sounds, knowledge, material culture, or anything that is deemed sacred and thereby, not for commercialization);

2. Knowledge of current use, previous use, or potential use of plant and animal species, as well as soils and minerals, known to the cultural group;

3. Knowledge of preparation, processing, and storage of useful species;

4. Knowledge of formulations involveing more than one ingredient;

5. Knowledge of individual species (planting methods, management practices, selection criteria, and so on);

6. Knowledge of ecosystem conservation (that protects the environment or may itself be of commercial value);

7. Genetic resources that originate (or originated) on indigenous lands and territories;

8. Cultural heritage (images, sounds, crafts, arts, performances); and

9. Classificatory systems of knowledge.

(from Safeguarding Traditional Resource Rights by Darrell A. Posey)

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