Cross-posted from the US State Department Blog from the 16th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-16) in Cancun, Mexico
Addressing the climate challenge requires advancing policies and partnerships that span a number of initiatives, including protecting the forests. In the United States, forests cover 749 million acres (33 percent of the land). However, the variety of benefits we receive from forests and grasslands are threatened by climate change. For instance, nearly one-fifth of U.S. water supply originates on National Forest land, and U.S. forests offset 12 percent of total greenhouse emissions in the United States. Read more »
Louisiana black bear cubs.
The Louisiana black bear was once abundant in the Mississippi River Delta. But by the 1950s, the population was severely diminished in Louisiana, mainly due to habitat loss. Luckily, a voluntary land conservation program offered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is helping this threatened subspecies of the American black bear stage a comeback. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is speaking today at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, at 2:30 p.m. EST. He will be addressing actions that USDA is taking to strengthen the role of agriculture and forestry in helping to address climate change. The Secretary will discuss ways landowners can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration while improving their financial bottom line. The speech will be streamed live via web broadcast and the public is invited to watch his presentation at: http://www.connectsolutions.com/cop16/index.html at 2:30 p.m. today. Read more »
Celebrity chef and author, Art Smith, joins Sesame Street’s Elmo in a healthy and affordable cooking demonstration during the unveiling of a new Sesame Street Workshop initiative, Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget. This free bi-lingual (English-Spanish) multimedia outreach initiative, with funding and partnership support of UnitedHealthcare and The Merck Company Foundation, is designed to help support families who have children between the ages of two and eight, cope with uncertain or limited access to affordable and nutritious food. The event took place at the Capital Food Bank in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, December 7, 2010. Photo credit: Gil Vaknin/Sesame Workshop
There was plenty of warmth and goodwill keeping a bitterly cold Washington morning at bay as I joined the folks at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, at today’s rollout of their Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget, multi-media outreach initiative. The educational outreach materials are designed to help support families with children between the ages of two and eight, by nurturing their overall development through good nutrition to create positive outcomes that will last a lifetime. The campaign is aimed at the nearly one in four American children–seventeen million, based on our own USDA Food Security Report estimates–who don’t get the food that meets basic nutritional needs due to difficult economic or social conditions. There couldn’t be a more appropriate time, given our current economic circumstances, or a more fitting place to have the discussion than on Sesame Street, the best known street in the world, with Elmo and friends, some of the best known characters in America. Read more »
Plowing fiber optic cable in Northwest Kansas. (Photo courtesy of Rural Telephone)
In the days of the Great Depression, the National Recovery Act had as part of its focus the development of rural America. The primary initiatives of that era were development of electrical and telephone systems throughout the nation. Read more »
My family spent Thanksgiving morning at the D.C. Central Kitchen, where we helped prepare dinners for the homeless and needy in our nation’s capitol. While some might describe our act as ‘giving to others,’ truth is that it was a gift to us. I want my children, aged 10 and 11, to understand that not everyone has what they do and that we need to care about others and serve our community. We all had a blast, by the way, and it made this Thanksgiving one of the best ever!
This is not a soup kitchen, but a centralized kitchen facility that prepares around 4,000 meals daily which are delivered by a fleet of trucks to partner agencies like homeless shelters, rehabilitation clinics, and after school programs. Read more »