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June 9, 2017

Sustainable agriculture helps Indonesian farmers to weather drought

Conservation pays off. Initially drawn by the opportunity to spend less money on fertilizers and less energy on weeding, Indonesian farmer Hamdi found that switching to sustainable farming methods had an even greater impact on his livelihood: conservation agriculture helped his crops survive drought.

Despite providing major benefits to both farmers and the environment, conservation farming has been slow to convince many farmers away from conventional methods, including burning crop residues, which releases carbon and exacerbates climate change. The Indonesian government is working with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to integrate it into the country’s agricultural policy.

Haitian students learning in Creole outperform peers

By children, for children. That’s the idea behind the Mother Tongue Books project at the Matènwa Community School on Haiti’s Gonâve Island. Not only do students get to write and illustrate their own stories, but they do it all in Creole, their native language. They study in Creole, too, instead of in French, the primary language used in schools despite the fact that less than 10% of the Haitian population speak it fluently, including even teachers.

Students at the Matènwa Community School have been shown to outperform their peers in schools that follow a French-based system.

Artists from around the world protest Trump’s wall

“Tear down this wall!” Last Saturday, 30 years after Ronald Reagan gave his famous quote calling for the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany’s Dresden Symphony Orchestra hosted an outdoor concert in Tijuana, Mexico, right next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence. At the event artists also painted the wall with positive messages and with designs to make it look invisible.

Originally planned to take place on both sides of the border, the music festival was denied a permit by U.S. officials. A small group of Trump supporters showed up to protest the performance.