Category: People and Society

Sander Van de Moortel

Sander Van de Moortel

After obtaining his master’s degree in linguistics and, later, journalism, Sander Van de Moortel chose to  leave his native Belgium for more adventurous lands. After a stint as a product manager for a German IT firm, he landed in China in 2011 after taking a wrong turn on a bike trip through Viet Nam.

Comfortably trapped in Yunnan by his linguistic ambitions and his somewhat complicated relationship with China, Van de Moortel has been responsible for communications at the World Agroforestry Centre’s East and Central Asia office, and is now assisting the communications unit in the Southeast Asia office. His research is almost exclusively focussed on exploring Southeast Asia’s colourful patchwork by bicycle.

Save China’s wild bees to safeguard global food supply: New study calls for more trees and fewer chemicals on China’s farms

China has so far avoided the massive losses of bees seen in the West, but the country’s diverse range of native bees face their own set of growing threats. The authors of a new study, titled “Is China’s...

The banyan tree, Ficus benghalensis in Hawaii. Photo ©Mike Shanahan

Fig trees throw down a lifeline to a healthier planet

Fig trees were here when dinosaurs first roamed the planet. And today, just as they did 80 million years ago, Ficus species continue to bring nourishment, shade, water and numerous other gifts to people and plants. What’s more,...

What makes a farmer grow a tree? It depends.

Is it enough to recommend tree species to farmers? Or even to supply them with the right seedlings and advice on growing them? Across Africa bold campaigns, such as the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), are underway to...

In Kenya, farmers see early rewards from adding legumes and trees to their farms

Less than a year after supplying farmers with legume seeds and fertilizer tree seedlings, the Legume CHOICE project team caught up with farmers and traders in Kisii and Migori counties of Kenya. The farmers were already enjoying the...

Dr Happiness Osebele, geneticist and mother of five, one of 29 senior plant breeders from around Africa attending the African Plant Breeding Academy in July 2016 at ICRAF. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Catharine Watson

How Happiness is breeding plants for Africa’s future

  Plant breeders are improving food plants and building a more food-secure future for Africa. One has been working at it all her life despite early challenges.   A plant breeder called Happiness spent 17 months trying to...

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