#FAO; #multilingualElearning; #GenderEquality; #ClimateChange; #Fisheries; #Malnutrition; #SoilSustainability; #LandSustainability; #Poverty
FAO/Canadian-Media: 2020 was a particular year and one in which we spent more time online than ever. From virtual meetings to e-birthday parties, our participation in online activities soared – including internet learning. The benefits are many: you can study what you like, when you like, wherever you like. And if you are looking for new courses to get those brain synapses going, you should check out FAO’s extensive catalogue of online, completely free, courses!
FAO e-learning Courses. Image credit: FAO
The FAO eLearning Academy offers multilingual e-learning courses on a variety of topics from food security and nutrition to socio-economic development and sustainable management of natural resources. These courses are created and peer reviewed by a wide range of experts to ensure content accuracy, quality and coherence.
So go ahead and take advantage of them! What topics are you interested in?
Ensuring gender equality in agri-food systems
Women are vital to the agricultural sector. They produce crops, tend to livestock, collect water, gather firewood and sell produce. However, their important roles are often overlooked. If we want more sustainable food systems, we need to start acknowledging and propelling the role of women. But where to start? Well, the Developing gender-sensitive value chains course is as good a place as any!
This course covers all the basics, from the FAO gender-sensitive value chain framework, to how to conduct a gender-sensitive analysis of agrifood value chains. It also discusses the best way to address gender-based constraints in the agricultural sector and provide women and men with equal opportunities.
Mitigating the impacts of climate change on fisheries
The fisheries and aquaculture sector is very valuable, providing many populations with nutritious food and generating income for millions around the world. But climate change is having a big impact, with shifting ocean currents and warming waters changing the distribution of fish stocks and altering the structure of ecosystems. If you’re interested in knowing more, the Climate-smart fisheries course is for you.
It includes general facts about the fisheries and aquaculture sector, the main impacts and implications of climate change on it and the main measures we can take to ensure that fisheries and aquaculture are climate-smart.
Promoting school meals to prevent malnutrition in children
School meals are a key way of preventing malnutrition in children, and governments and development actors are increasingly recognizing their importance and value. The benefits of FAO’s Home-Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programs go beyond education and nutrition to also improving the livelihoods of smallholder famers and strengthening local communities.
The Home-Grown School Feeding course goes into detail about planning these programs and ensuring that they are integrated into national contexts, offering different design and implementation options, including models for linking HGSF to local agriculture.
Improving nutrition through sustainable food chains
With growing populations, expanding cities and climate change negatively affecting agricultural land, it is more important than ever that we develop food chains in a sustainable way. The Sustainable Food Chains for Nutrition course aims to equip project designers and managers with the concepts, principles and tools they need to leverage value chain approaches to improve nutrition through agriculture and food systems.
Managing soil and land sustainably
Soils are a highly valuable natural resource, supporting biodiversity, food production, human health and regulating greenhouse gas emissions. But they are also finite - when soil degrades, it is not recoverable within a human lifespan. The Climate-smart soil and land management course focuses on protecting soils and farming sustainably. It provides technical knowledge and examines how wide-scale implementation of climate-smart soil and land management practices can help mitigate climate change and enhance adaptation to its impacts.
Reducing poverty in rural areas
Most poor people live in rural areas of developing countries, so rural development plays an important part in ending poverty. The Reducing rural poverty: policies and approaches course is perfect for brushing up your knowledge on this topic, giving an overview of rural development approaches since the 1950s including modernisation, the Green Revolution, Local Economic Development as well as regional approaches. It also highlights policy areas where interventions are needed in order to achieve empowerment, economic inclusion and resilience building.
Learners from all around the globe and staff from a variety of institutions have taken FAO’s courses – and now you can too! Head over to FAO’s eLearning academy and have a browse of the catalogue. You’ll boost your knowledge and get a certificate to add to your CV – or even put on your wall!
#Russia; #Archaeology; #BurialGround; #ElkToothOrnaments; #UnivOfHelsinki; #Research
Russia/Canadian-Media: A remote burial ground on the island of Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov in Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia, Russia was discovered roughly 8,200 years ago by the archaeologists where men, women and children of varying ages were buried in outfits decorated with elk tooth ornaments.
A total of 90 elk teeth were placed next to the hips and thighs of the body in grave 127, possibly attached to a garment resembling an apron. There were elk teeth pendants also on the waist. Red ochre had been sprinkled on top of the deceased. Credit: Tom Bjorklund
While wearing a shark tooth on a necklace might be common today, our ancestors were wearing jewelry fashioned out of elk teeth
Curious to find out who the people buried in outfits decorated with elk tooth ornaments were, and what the pendants meant to them, a study headed by archaeologist Kristiina Mannermaa, University of Helsinki analyzed the manufacturing technique of a total of more than 4,000 tooth ornaments or the way in which the teeth had been processed for attachment or suspension.
The results were surprising, as practically all of the teeth had been processed identically by making one or more small grooves at the tip of the root, which made tying the pendants easier. In fact, Kristiina Mannermaa calls the people found in the burial site the people of grooved elk tooth pendants.
"Interestingly, the grooves were not always made on the broadest side of the tooth, which would be the easiest option. In many graves, the grooves are on the thin side of the tooth where the unstable position of the tooth makes them harder to do. The artisan may have resorted to this method in order to tie them in a specific position," researcher Riitta Rainio from the University of Helsinki noted.
"Even though there are pendants made of beaver and bear teeth in the graves, the share of elk teeth in them is overwhelming," Mannermaa says.
The highest number of elk teeth were found in the graves of young adult women and men, the lowest in those of children and elderly people. In other words, elk tooth ornaments were in one way or another linked to age, possibly specific to the peak reproductive years.
Elk, being the most important animal in the ideology and beliefs of the prehistorical hunter-gatherers of the Eurasian forest zone, and their limited availability made elk teeth a valuable material to ancient hunters. Elks were not brought down very often, and not all members of the community contributed to hunting.
In addition to Mannermaa, and Riitta Rainio from the University of Helsinki, this study was also contributed by Evgeniy Yurievich Girya and Dmitriy Gerasimov from Peter the Great's Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography.
According to the study published in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, young men and women were the most common owners of the elk teeth.
The researchers believe this may have been an attempt from the young people to signify fertility among potential mates.