Sunday, March 23, 2008


As part of the Crisis Policy Forum, the HotSpring collaborative innovation initiative is now planning an effort to tackle the problem of food supply management and chronic food and water scarcity in Africa. The lessons from this experiment in collaborative research will be applicable in many cases to other situations around the world, and we are open to spurring dialogue in those areas as outgrowths of this ongoing discussion.

Among the basic problems we now face, as a species, is the confluence of difficulties in providing reliable clean drinking water reserves, a viable and sustainable food web, by way of an integrated agricultural and distribution ecosystem, economic stability and cohesive political engagement within a defensible political framework.

Ethnic rivalries, resource-focused regional proxy wars, like the massive decade-long tragedy in DR Congo (in which as many as 14 states played a role), and political manipulations and their fallout, as we have seen in Kenya this winter, threaten to further undermine production and distribution systems.

Add to such conflicts the tens of millions of fatal cases of HIV infection, and we have a crisis of historic proportions where mass peril will drive political structures, borders and aspirations on an unprecedented scale. Small-scale logical enhancements to political and economic stability, democratization and integrated decentralization of administrative resources, are needed to reduce risk of mass starvation and heal mounting tensions.

Discussion is now open: please comment below. We would like to focus on practical solutions to:
  1. Problems related to infusing food supply with enough to feed all those in need;
  2. Environmental degradation: i.e. resilience services, ecological measures, ecosystem management;
  3. Land use deficiencies: how to improve;
  4. Animal and timber poaching;
  5. Economic corrosion and instability;
  6. Corruption and funding shortfalls;
  7. Cooperative measures for extending food supply to conflict-afflicted areas;
  8. Overcoming limits of transportation infrastructure;
  9. Contagious disease: treatment, education, socio-economic impact;
  10. Communications gaps: get relevant anecdotal and researched data to those who can use it.

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