Squandering Our Genetic Heritage

The Pavlovsk Experimental Station near St. Petersburg, Russia, is considered a priceless repository of agricultural biodiversity. An estimated 90 percent of its seed varieties are not found anywhere else on the planet — more than 5,000 rare varieties of fruits and berries from dozens of countries. The seeds are irreplaceable jewels of genetic history that could be vital in developing new plant varieties as climate change threatens existing varieties of plants.

New Era for Commons-based Development in Africa?

Could Professor Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel Prize for Economics betoken a shift in development policies used in Africa? Korir Sing’Oei, an international human rights lawyer with a focus on indigenous and minority rights law and policy, believes Ostrom’s Nobel could have a significant impact on Africa’s poor.

The Enclosure of Apples

A century ago, in 1905, there were more than 6,500 distinct varieties of apples to eat, reports Verlyn Klinkenborg in the New York Times. People had their own favorite apples when it came to cooking and eating. They would use different ones for making pies, cider and apple sauce. They could choose from an exotic array of apples with names like Scollop Gillyflower, Red Winter Pearmain, Kansas Keeper.