Monday, June 7, 2010

Allan Savory Wins 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

Biologist Allan Savory has won the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge. The annual Buckminster Fuller Challenge was created to mirror Buckminster Fuller's enthusiasm for problem solving using a variety of methods.

Allan Savory (right) is an advocate for what he calls holistic management. The Zimbabwean biologist won for his concept Operation Hope, a plan that seeks to rebuild damaged or struggling grasslands by using grazing animals to thin out decay and move seeds around. The loss of productivity following destruction of agricultural land in Africa is referred to as "desertification."

The revolutionary concept is that, while many environmentalists argue that livestock grazing is harmful to the environment, Savory argues that it can have positive effects. The animals eat dead plants, which can block light required to reach seeds. Leaving those plants to decay on their own doesn't happen fast enough to offset desertification, he says.

The trick is to let grazing animals roam large areas, as they did thousands of years ago, rather than confine them to small parcels, as many industrial farms do. Spreading them out prevents damage to the landscape. Savory even advocates introducing predators like wolves to farms, to insure the herd keeps moving.

Click on the heading above to learn more about the Savory Institute.

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