Global Express
An interactive quarterly for those who care about the future

Where are you headed?: Enviroment


[cover image]

I think we're getting the message: It's up to me. And it's up to me to rehabilitate the environment too.

Did you know that the big "clean up" campaigns now sponsored by governments in many big cities began when a Sydney man got a group of friends together to get the junk cleared from his local area? The idea took off.

A research molecular biologist, Ian Robertson, is working with PhD students from the University of Zimbabwe on a 'virus-busting' programme to zap destructive viruses and allow for far greater potato production there. The project has been conducted simply, harnessing everyone's bright ideas - like using peanut butter jars for culture, cotton wool instead of agar jelly, and an adapted second-hand air-gun to do the job of a sophisticated and expensive 'gene gun'! And this all started because Ian Robertson remembered a technique he'd learned for making tissue culture when he was a student in Edinburgh.

The Bococks, a farming family in Alberta, Canada, have been on their land for three generations. They organised a community campaign which achieved stricter control of pollution in their state, years before it was "fashionable". They started using alternative energy sources, storage systems to reduce waste, and a system of crop rotation to reduce the need for chemical fertilisers. Bill Bocock says, "Farmers have a calling not only to feed the world but also to promote a quality of life that makes that possible."

And another group of environmentally with-it farmers are the 'British Farmers for International Development'. They have links with a farmers' group in the Sangli district of India. The British farmers send money to their Indian brothers and have also sent seeds for drought-resistant trees. This is not government-backed. It started when Pat and Kristin Evans of Worcestershire met farmers abroad, less well off than themselves, and took their plight to heart.

Nada Bond, Australia

Last update: 2000-02-12 17:19:51 (EEST).
Copyright © 1996-2003 by Global Express. All rights reserved.
Contact us at