Ready for Climate Change The Saint Vincent Climate Compliance Conference
2012 â€“ 2021
Table of Contents Introduction ................................................................. 3 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ................................ 11 Making Saint Vincent climate compliant...................... 17 CCC course description ..................................................22 Brief overview of the 6 month CCC course ...............24 The first 5 years (2012 to 2016) ...................................... 35 CCC participants .......................................................39 Beach and river clean ups ................................................42 Relearning farming techniques .......................................46 Soil protection and enhancement ..............................50 Using support species ................................................55 Organic plant care ......................................................56 Water harvesting ........................................................57 Biodiverse gardens ......................................................59 Incrementing food sources ........................................62 Organic commercial crops ..........................................66 Promoting the use of renewable energy .........................69 Solar panels ................................................................69 Solar water heaters .....................................................70 Biogas digesters ..........................................................71 Energy efficiency ........................................................72 Data collection with the climate station ....................72 Stakeholders at the geothermal energy project ...........73 Biodiversity projects ........................................................74 Protection against invasive species .............................75 Richmond beach coastal conservation project ...........76 Restoration of the La Soufriere cross country trail .....79
Tree planting campaigns ................................................82 â€œHold your own Moringa treeâ€? rally ...........................83 Planting of trees in disaster areas................................87 Treelympics 2014 and 2015........................................88 Supporting local agriculture ............................................91 Chateaubelair farmers market ....................................93 Public awareness .............................................................95 Lessons in public schools ...........................................96 Radio and TV programs ...........................................99 Public awareness actions...........................................103 Publications ..............................................................105 Awards .....................................................................107 Open house events ...................................................108 Conclusion ...................................................................112 The next 5 years (2017 to 2021) ................................... 115 Food and water ............................................................119 Energy security ...........................................................124 Ready for climate change .............................................129 Acknowledgements ................................................... 135
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, after years of climate change related effects, was devastated by the severe weather disasters of 2010 and 2011. In response, Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) took decisive action by initiating a program called “The Saint Vincent Climate Compliance Conference 2012 – 2021” (CCC).
The CCC aims to bring people together to identify and undertake concrete climate change adaptation1 projects. Established in 2002, RVA is a registered non-profit research and education institution situated in the Chateaubelair area of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Since opening, students from this country and from around the world have participated in courses centered on poverty reduction, environmental conservation and climate change awareness. The Academy’s educational programs give students the opportunity to directly influence positive change on the environment and in communities. 1
“Adaptation has been defined in different ways. The UNFCCC defines it as actions taken to help communities and ecosystems cope with changing climate condition. [...] The UN Development Program calls it a process by which strategies to moderate, cope with and take advantage of the consequences of climatic events are enhanced, developed, and implemented.” Source: Climate change adaptation definitions. Retrived from http://www. vcccar.org.au/climate-change-adaptation-definitions.
As a consequence of its actions, RVA has been the catalyst that motivates and mobilises - both students and local community members - to build resilience into their lives; whilst simultaneously developing themselves personally, academically and socially. Since 2012, the school is honored to have hosted in excess of 250 local and international students that have been divided in 15 work and study teams. Each student has participated in CCC research activities and completed a variety of climate change adaptation projects while working with the residents of St. Vincent. It is fair to say that without the dedication, courage and ambition of these people, the Academy would not be as far along as it is. Believing that everyone should be given the opportunity to participate, irrespective of their circumstances, the CCC program works with a diverse range of stakeholders ranging across cultural, social and economic boundaries. Participating members include local community and family members, international volunteers, community organisations, institutions as well as government bodies.
During these first five years, the CCC has impacted upon the lives of 50.000 people in Saint Vincent and abroad.
This program has been the platform of need, from which a springboard of hope has been built; to enable and empower several groups and communities. People have dived into action for positive climate change, from 2012 to 2016: R5 25.000 trees have been planted.
R5 Farmers have been supported by using more sustainable agriculture techniques.
R5 15.000 students across SVG have been taught hundreds of lessons.
R5 20.000 climate compliance newspapers have been produced and distributed. Furthermore, lessons on global warming and climate change have been given to 3.000 people visiting the Academy and to another 5.000 students and teachers at universities and colleges in Colombia, Guyana, Costa Rica, USA, England,
Germany, Denmark, Norway, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Jamaica. It is, therefore, because of our dedication to climate change adaptation that we have chosen to celebrate our achievements and to share the lessons learned by writing this book. Within it, you will learn of the reasons for the program, its methodology and its application; along with the outcomes gained and the distance travelled over the past 5 years and our vision and plans for the next 5. We hope you enjoy reading it. Teachers and Students of The Climate Compliance Teams
R5 Richmond Vale Academy
R5 Richmond Vale Academy
R5 Richmond Vale Academy
R5 Richmond Vale Academy
R5 +1 (784) 458 2255
R5Richmond Vale Academy, Chateaubelair Post Office, St. Vincent
R5Richmond Vale, Saint David, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, also known as â€˜Hairoun (a)â€™, is located to the south of the Caribbean Sea and has a population of 110.000 people. SVG is a small island nation but its history is quite remarkable and its landscapes are breathtaking. The country has had a long history of resistance against European imperial powers. The people of St. Vincent, the Caribs, managed to protect their homeland from the French and British settlement for 200 years. They were so vigilant that this territory became the last of the major Caribbean islands to be colonized. During this struggle, African slaves escaping from shipwrecks or the surrounding islands were welcomed to settle on the islands. They mixed with the Caribs and are now known as the Black Caribs or the Garifuna people. In 1719 Britain took control over the country and remained in power until 1979, when St. Vincent and the Grenadines claimed its independence and its right to control its own affairs.
The country consists of a main island called Saint Vincent and of 31 smaller islands and cays called The Grenadines. The country imports the majority of the food, which heavily affects the local economy. Half of the population lives in rural
areas of which 25% are employed in farming. The farming population is aging and few young people are going into farming. Due to the effect of global warming and climate change the overall rainfall will decrease. However, it will fall more violently and in fewer days. This will lead to more destruction of agricultural crops and fields due to drought as well as flooding. The main island St .Vincent has plenty of water and only a few months of dry season. Only 7% of agricultural land is irrigated and most farmers use a lot of imported pesticides, herbicides and Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potash (NPK) fertiliser. SVG is heavily dependent on imported fossil fuel for electricity generation, transportation and cooking. It has an energy mix of 90% fossil fuels and about 10% hydro power with an increasing contribution from solar photovoltaic (PV). Fortunately, this nation has many potential carbon neutral sources which include geothermal, solar and wind. In the main land, half of the energy usage is from households. Today, most people use imported LPG gas for cooking and the use of home solar water heaters is common. Currently, the government has installed solar panels in 3 government buildings and in a college; people are more aware of the benefits of using solar power. There are three hydropower plants in Saint Vincent. With improvements and investment, they can provide up to 20% of the countryâ€™s renewable energy. Additionally, the government
has partnered with a private company to build a 10 - 15 MW geothermal plant which will be in operation by 2021.
When compared by area, SVG is ranked globally as the second most disaster prone country. As part of the Caribbean, SVG is in the Atlantic Hurricane Belt. For this reason, damaging hurricanes and flash floods hit the area almost every year. Added to this annual threat, it is predicted that climate change will negatively affect the region by increased intensity of hurricanes, rising sea levels, decreasing rain falls and ascending temperatures. With hurricanes and tropical storms getting stronger and more damaging, the country will see more landslides and soil and coastal erosion. Furthermore, sea level rise and storm surges will affect the towns and fishing villages all over the country. This will have a direct impact on 85% of
Source: Wikimedia Commons
the population because they live less than 5 meters above sea level. Additional country facts: R5 The terrain of the main island and several of the Grenadines is mountainous. R5 Besides the main island, 7 other islands are inhabited. R5 The highest point of the island is the active volcano, La Soufriere, which towers 4.048 ft. over the rainforest below. R5 The climate is tropical, with an average of around 28 Celsius. R5 The country experiences two distinct rainfall periods the wet season ( June to November) and the dry season (December to May). R5 Total land area: 389 km2 (150 sq mi).
Making Saint Vincent climate compliant
In spite of these and many other challenges; such as high unemployment rates, few opportunities for higher education and various social issues; the people of SVG are making steady steps towards a more sustainable future. More and more people are aware of the dangers of climate change and are getting involved.
In many ways, SVG has the potential to model itself as a pioneering food secure, carbon neutral nation that is ready for climate change. There is a strong political will to change. In response to the projected climate change effects and the actual onslaught of hurricanes, rainfalls, and droughts; the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines prepared an “Initial National Communication” for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In addition, as part of the “Mainstreaming and Adaptation to Climate Change” project, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines undertook to develop and mainstream climate change adaptation strategies into its sustainable development agenda. A National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, National Disaster Management Plan, and a National Environment Management Strategy are also reported to have been established.
RVAâ€™s vision of a â€œClimate Compliantâ€? Saint Vincent falls under 3 key areas. Food and water compliance: Healthy food and water security St. Vincent will be food compliant when: R5 It is able to sustain itself with basic foods like staples from yam, dasheen, plantain, and cassava along with a basic variety of vegetables, fish and some meat which are all organically produced. R5 Farming has adapted to the changing climate with more sustainable agricultural methods such as intercropping, less chemical use, less tilling and more composting.
R5 Marine reserves are protected and fishing is sustainable. 20
A water security ensures that: R5 All people have equal access to safe water reserves when disasters destroy the public pipelines. R5 All farmers have a water collection and an irrigation system to secure on-going production. R5 Compost toilets and low water usage toilets are in use to save water in dry seasons and when water pipelines are down.
Energy compliance: Production and use of renewable and carbon neutral energy An Energy Compliant St. Vincent:
R5 Produces all its energy from renewable resources: - Hydro (20%) - Geothermal (60%) - Solar and other sources (20%) R5 People use carbon neutral sources for cooking such as biogas.
R5 Electrical cars and solar water heaters are highly used. By 2021, the country is likely to be 90% climate compliant with energy through hydro, solar and geothermal.
Preparedness for climate change: Resilience and adaptation are embedded into cultural norms To be ready for climate change: R5 Vetiver grass, trees, mangroves and other vegetation have been planted across SVG to protect against sea level rise, soil erosion and landslides. R5 Climate change adaptation and mitigation subjects are added to the curriculum in the 100 government schools. R5 Pollution from plastic and other trash is reduced and is prevented from ending up on beaches and in the ocean as well as blocking drains and rivers. R5 The population has moved from high-risk areas like the oceanfront and river banks. R5 For emergencies: R5 Affordable housing models to rebuild homes have been created. R5 A manifold communication system is intact. R5 Community groups are trained and mobilised to help people in need. R5 Emergency shelters and clinics are well equipped. R5 Emergency systems are in place to transport injured people to hospitals by boat when roads are blocked.
CCC course description The Saint Vincent Climate Compliance Conference is ongoing. However, people are invited to enroll in the program, throughout the year, in courses ranging from one to six months. On commencement, the CCC participants join together with the teachers to form a small and cohesive team. Together they: R5 Embark on study and research activities about global warming and climate change. R5 Undertake tangible and practical actions to develop the RVA Climate Centre and the local communities. Some actions include: - Teaching in schools and communities. - Starting climate smart vegetable gardens.
- Planting trees with different community groups and individuals. Through the years, community visits, lessons and discussions have been held by the teams at many places such as: Richmond Hydropower Plant, Bequia Desalination Plant, Chatoyer Gardens, the Ministry of Agriculture, Tourism and Education, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, the Community College, the Technical College. At the end of each 1 month and 6 months course, a new team of participants replaces the team that has completed the program. This not only enables a longitudinal study of climate change and itâ€™s effects; it also allows a continuous fresh perspective and ensures that the adaptation plan remains relevant. RVAâ€™s small teams work closely with a larger group of Vincentians who are already involved with the programs in different ways. Active community participation, involvement, input and unification are essential components for the continuation of the projects. However, it is the seamless merge of groups that will make the country climate compliant.
Brief overview of the 6 month CCC course On arrival, new participants are involved in an intensive one month study and research curriculum centered on learning and reflecting about global warming and climate change; both in the classroom and through research activities. During this month, the participants go through the following program periods: R5 Period 1: “Gaia warning”
R5 Period 2: Digging deeper / Research activities Throughout the program, there are three anchor themes from where to choose all the climate compliance actions and research activities: R5 Food and water R5 Energy
R5 Protection against global warming and climate change
Period 1: “Gaia warning” In this period, participants have structured and teacher-led courses about global warming, climate change, sustainable agriculture, pollution, the oceans and other related topics. Participants also reflect on the actions that can be done together to adapt to the changing climate in the island and around the world. Duration of the period: 14 days
Period 2: Digging deeper / Research activities In this period the teams conduct research activities using RVA’s digital and physical library as well as the internet. Each team makes their own self-organized study plan with scheduled tutorials, peer-reviews and group discussions.
The purpose of this period is to provide a learning environment that initiates curiosity through reading, writing and lots of debates. Duration of the period: 14 days
Period 3: Making RVA climate compliant In this period CCC participants prepare and carry out the first planned Climate Compliant actions; using Richmond Vale Academy and the Climate Center as their testing grounds. The actions done can include: R5 R5 R5 R5 R5
Developing water collection systems Increasing the production in the organic garden Starting a new herb section Doubling up the number of plants in the nursery Developing the production of staples in the forest garden R5 Setting up a new on grid solar system on one of the buildings This period aims to:
Enable participants to materialize the ideas generated in the previous periods, by transforming the theory learnt into a practical action plan. The actions to be carried out will revolve around the key areas. Duration of the period: 1 month
The first two months In summary, during the first two months participants will be involved in gathering substantial quantitative and qualitative data at the school and around the near villages; through research and practical action. The aim of the first two months is:
To set the theoretical and practical foundation for the community actions to be implemented, during the remaining four months, in the rest of Saint Vincent. RVA places considerable emphasis on the importance of: R5 Working in close collaboration with community groups, individuals, ministries and schools. R5 Using of several data-collection2 techniques and methods during all the research stages. 2
The techniques and methods encouraged by the Academy include but are not limited to focus groups, group discussions, surveys, interviews and participants observations.
This is done, not only to ensure that the Vincentiansâ€™ vast knowledge and experience of climate change is considered and utilized but also because it enables the community members to be the owners of the projects and the solutions.
Period 4: Making St. Vincent climate compliant Using RVA as a base from which to work from, the focus of this period is:
To go out and engage the communities of SVG into working with the team; to achieve Climate Compliance for us all. This period is about leading by example, raising awareness and mobilising people to participate in community and individual actions. During this period and the following periods, team
actions can include tree planting, setting up biogas digesters, assisting families making home gardens, promoting the use of organic farming and teaching in schools. Duration of the period: 1 month
Period 5: Our next large endeavour #1 In this period participants identify an outcome that is relevant to them in the overall plan and goals3 for the 10-year Climate Compliance Conference. Then they actively explore how the team’s first “Large Endeavour” can help materialize the selected outcome. Preparations for this period can be made during period 4 and can include data collection, investigation trips and meetings with community leaders. Duration of the period: 14 days
The plan and goals are described in the chapter: “The next 5 years (2017 to 2021).
Period 6: A sweet follow up Building on the exploration activities in period 5, the purpose of this period is to plan and implement one main action with two secondary or complementary actions. Of particular importance is to consider the people that have been met and those that worked along the participants during the actions in period 5 and thus coordinate plans during period 6 to include them, or address their needs and concerns. Duration of the period: 14 days
Period 7: Our next large endeavour #2 The second “Large Endeavour” is purely practical and aims to involve actions where a larger number of people are participating at the time. This period is always a highlight for the team. Duration of the period: 14 days
Period 8: Our proud legacy In this final period, the team reflects on their 5 months experience and shares its achievements and lessons learned with other RVA teams and with the local communities. They do this by giving lectures, building user manual or dossiers, writing reports and by making other communication materials (such as blogs, photo albums and videos). The team also hosts and organizes an “open house event” at Richmond Vale Academy. In this event, guest speakers, local sellers and CCC participants get together to celebrate a big farewell amidst debates, tours and activities with more than a 100 people. Duration of the period: 14 days
Besides being deeply involved with the activities and periods related to the CCC, participants also work during the week in the organic garden, make food production, do fitness activities, collaborate in running the school and much more. All of these activities form part of the RVA experience and allow participants to develop their teamwork and overall skills.
Period summary #
Digging deeper / Research activities
Making RVA climate compliant
Making St. Vincent climate compliant
Our next large endeavour #1
Sweet follow up
Our next large endeavour #2
Our proud legacy
The first two months
The remaining four months
The first 5 years
(2012 to 2016)
From its conception, RVA realised that for sustainable climate change success, people from around the world needed to be invited to join with Vincentians to discuss and research about what actions to take and to materialize them. Through analysis and observation, RVA considered the basic framework of the program should focus on 3 key challenges: R5 healthy food and water security R5 renewable energy
R5 how to get ready for climate change To establish these challenges as a valid community and development need, a baseline survey was conducted in 2012 during 5 community events in the villages of Chateaubelair, Fitz Hughes, Coulls Hill, Petit Bordel, Rose Hall and Rose Bank. These community events were called “Let’s Talk Green”.
Each event featured: R5 Guest speakers such as prominent organic farmers, politicians, cultural personalities and community activists. R5 Presentations and films about global warming and climate change. R5 Space for discussions, debates and snacks.
R5 Cleanup actions on beaches, in rivers and communities.
As a result, many people got involved, became inspired and were mobilized to protect the environment. During the events, they also learnt more about healthy food security, renewable energy as well as how to get ready for climate change. A total of 250 people attended the events and, after all the conversations and surveys were finished, it was concluded that the Climate Compliance Conference would:
Start in each neighborhood by cleaning up, by protecting the environment and by reducing the blockage of drains (to prevent flooding).
Videos in Richmond Vale Academy’s YouTube Channel:
R5 Let’s Talk Green! The start of the Climate Compliance Conference!
CCC participants In the first five years, 216 people from 50 different countries and different age groups, joined Richmond Vale Academy to research, debate, take part in courses and get involved in practical actions. 166 participants were part of the CCC, in 3-4 weeks courses and 6 months courses, while 50 participants took part in the 18 months “Fighting with the Poor”4 Program. Each participant has made his or her own important contribution to the Climate Compliance Conference and to the school. In these years, 32 participants were Vincentians and, all of them, were awarded scholarships by Richmond Vale Academy and the Mustique Charitable Trust (MCT). Furthermore, the international participants came from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Guyana, Hong Kong, Holland, Hungary, India, Italy, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Mozambique, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, Russia, 4
The “Fighting with the Poor” Program focuses on studies about the world’s current and future situation. It also carries out a service period where participants do community development projects in Belize and Ecuador.
Romania, Republic of China Taiwan, USA, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Additionally, several universities have offered internship programs in collaboration with Richmond Vale Academy; students from Michigan State University USA, Colby Sawyer College USA, Universidade Manuela Beltran Colombia, University of Guyana, HTW Berlin Germany, Institue Superieur de lâ€™Environment (ISE) France; have taken part in the Climate Compliance Conference Program. YEAR
CCC PARTICIPANTS (2012 TO 2016) 3-4 weeks courses
6 months program
Videos in Richmond Vale Academy’s YouTube Channel: R5 Shelly Ann: “I want to make a change in my community.” R5 Nathalie - a very enlightening experience!
R5 Becoming Climate Compliant with Carandre R5 Meet Manuel, Diogo and Debbie R5 Kaye - Another Kind of School R5 Beautiful Diversity of people at Richmond Vale Academy
R5 What I like about Richmond - Local Residents R5 University of Central Florida at Richmond Vale Academy
Beach and river clean ups During the first two years, RVA was in the cleanup business. To address the community actions, decided during the “Let’s Talk Green” events, beach and river cleanup actions were carried out along with a bigger “Trash March” and a cleanup competition among 8 North Leeward Schools. Every time RVA made a community action, the media was invited to document and bring it to the public.
Overview of the trash pick-up actions the first two years #
ACTIONS FROM 2012 - 2013
Camp GLOW Peace Corps Clean Up
Church Camp Clean Up 2013
Easter Beach Clean Up 2012
Easter Beach Clean Up 2013
Generation Next Clean Up
Kids Club Clean Up 2012
Rose Bank Clean Up
Rose Bank Clean Up
Trash March from Petit Bordel to Chato
Trash Pick up Competition
UN Environment Day 2012
UN Environment Day 2013
World Coastal Clean Up
World Coastal Clean Up
In total, 730 bags, with 7.300 kilos (or 7.3 tons) of trash were removed. More than 500 people participated and helped clean the beaches in communities in Richmond, Fitz Hughes,
Chateaubelair, Troumaka, Cumberland, Spring Village, Dark View, Rose Hall, Rose Bank and Petit Bordel.
These actions continued in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Every year, a massive average of 1.7 tons of trash were removed with a participation average of 100 people.
The clean-ups led to recycling rallies where 40.000 bottles were recycled and enough used tyres were found to construct two playgrounds: the first at the community garden in Chateaubelair in 2013 and the second at Fitz Hughes Primary School in 2014.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academy’s YouTube Channel:
R5 World Coastal Clean-up Day St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2014
R5 The World’s Cleanest Country Competition - St. Vincent and the Grenadines R5 Stop Pollution and Prevent Trash!
R5 Richmond Vale Academy - The World’s Cleanest Country March R5 Recycling Rally with Richmond Vale Academy
Relearning farming techniques
Along with mobilising communities to protect the environment through clean-ups, RVA carried out extensive research in St. Vincent about agriculture and food security related topics. As a result, the research showed that: R5 Local communities need to see the implementation of new farming techniques in order to adopt them. R5 Many health, social, environmental and economic
benefits of buying and eating local produce are currently being overseen by Vincentians.
R5 A few decades ago the people in SVG fed themselves with a variety of organic foods. Today, the country imports US$40 million worth of food a year, farmers use imported chemicals and the population can no longer feed itself. St. Vincent relies heavily on agriculture for rural livelihood and development. However, local agricultural systems are affected by land degradation5 and climate change, which threaten food production. Furthermore, globalisation has forced the control of the nation’s agricultural production on to foreign food corporations. The corporations hire well-connected professional advocates, often lawyers, to argue or lobby for specific legislation in decision-making bodies; - that influence politics and public 5
“Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land. [...] It is viewed as any change or disturbance to the land perceived to be deleterious or undesirable”. Source:Knowledge Base. Retrived from http://www.cawater-info.net/bk/5_e.htm.
opinion. Corporate lobbyists change food standards, approve of pesticides and promote Genetically Modified seeds.
Transforming the RVA farm
As a practical solution, RVA decided to create its own model garden managed with sustainable and climate smart agriculture and to run its compound with renewable energy.
In order to relearn and share more sustainable ways of life, students and teachers continued doing investigation activities in several farms around Saint Vincent and in other academic and audiovisual resources. They also started testing and implementing many sustainable actions. For this reason, from 2012 to 2016 the use of chemicals at RVA was gradually stopped and the agricultural practices changed dramatically. The key outcome of this extensive research and practical actions include: R5 The farm has been redivided into different sections: R5 R5 R5 R5 R5
intensive vegetable garden6 herb garden forest garden commercial passion fruit fields pastures for animals
R5 pens for pigs and chickens
R5 RVA produces food that contributes to the 29.000 meals consumed in the school per year. The food produced includes: R5 R5 R5 R5
chicken eggs meat from chickens and pigs green teas a variety of fruits
R5 several vegetables 6
Intensive gardening is a more extreme form of companion planting gardening that is space saving and efficient. [...] The advantage of intensive gardening is the amount of garden space it saves.â€? Source: Intensive Gardening. Retrieved from https://www.maximumyield.com/ definition/1651/intensive-gardening.
R5 Community networks of local farmers have been established to provide RVA with food that is not being produced or grown yet. Such as staples, fish, coconut oil and specific vegetables. R5 Imported food brought to the kitchen has been reduced to a few items such as dairy, coffee, pasta and some spices. R5 RVA is presently using and demonstrating the following climate smart farming practices: Practices Soil protection and enhancement
Using support species
Specific actions R5 R5 R5 R5
Composting Biocharing Mulching Doing lasagna garden beds
R5 Complementary organic material R5 Dispersed shade systems
Organic plant care
R5 Fertilisers R5 Pest prevention and control
R5 Rainwater R5 Greywater
R5 Using and storing heirloom seeds R5 Polyculture
Incrementing food sources
R5 Edible forest garden R5 Egg and meat production
Organic commercial crops
R5 Passion fruit production R5 Banana production
Soil protection and enhancement The intensive garden at the Academy is 5000 square feet and has sandy and acidic soil. In order to grow organic vegetables, fruits and herbs it is necessary for the topsoil to have a structure that: R5 enables retention of water and nutrients R5 provides a cool and protected home for all the important microbes To this end, many techniques are implemented daily to: R5 improve the structure of the soil R5 reduce soil compaction R5 improve water cycling and capture R5 boost plant growth
The intensive garden at RVA is based on Permaculture7 principles, which view the garden as an ecosystem and use a holistic system approach management. 7
â€œPermaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.â€? Source: About Permaculture. Retrieved from http://www.permaculture.net/about/definitions.html.
A main source of fertility of the intensive garden at RVA comes from itâ€™s compost production. Compost8 is made by placing layers of nitrogenous (green) organic matter - such as kitchen waste and horse manure - with carbon based (brown) organic matter - such as dried plant material and cardboard - into a pile. This layer combination provides the diet required by soil microbes to rapidly decompose the organic matter in the pile. At the end of the process, a high-quality compost is produced and provides an excellent fertiliser for hungry fruits and vegetables. The teams have experimented with various compost systems over the years. Currently, there is a system comprising eight compost piles that are hand turned every week. These labour intensive piles, made up of fresh green leaves, dry brown 8
â€œCompost is the end product resulting from the controlled biological decomposition of organic material from a feedstock into a stable, humus-like product that has many environmental benefits.â€? Source: Organic Materials Management (2016, October 20). Retrived from www.calrecycle.ca.gov/organics/compostmulch/CompostIs.htm.
leaves, kitchen waste, cardboard and horse manure; produce close to a cubic meter of compost per week. Efforts have been made to find more labour efficient ways to produce a higher volume and better quality compost. For this reason, in the future, probiotic or efficient microbes will be introduced to the mix, to enhance the composting process.
Biochar9 is an excellent soil enhancer and carbon sequester. It’s structure helps the soil keep its moisture and thereby its capacity to hold nutrients. Another benefit of applying biochar to the soil is carbon storage. The carbon in the biochar can stay stable for hundreds or thousand of years and thereby contributes to a meaningful carbon sequestration. At the school, several experiments have been made to find the best way to make biochar. In 2016, a kiln was created, where 9
““Biochar” is simply a term used to describe black carbon that is produced intentionally for (1) carbon management (i.e., trying to slow down climate change) or (2) agricultural or environmental management applications (e.g., trying to improve crop yields).” Source: What is Biochar? Retrieved from www.theawhitman.wordpress.com/what-isbiochar/.
the wood gas (pyrolysis gas) from the char chamber goes back to the fire underneath the char chamber, so more wood gas can be released and the charring process can go faster. Even though the insulation system still needs to be worked on, this kiln design has proven to be quite efficient. It provides the garden with a weekly production of biochar.
Mulching Soft rotten wood, dry leaves and grass clippings are mixed with horse manure and biochar. This mixture is then applied to the top of the garden beds as mulch; to reduce soil erosion, control weeds and increase water retention. The mulch, itself in time becomes fertiliser, as it is transformed into rich humus by the soil microbes. Every week, the mulch layer in the garden beds are maintained by the students and teachers.
Doing lasagna garden beds Making lasagna garden beds is a method that results in a rich soil with less work required. Several beds in the garden are lasagna beds. The name “lasagna bed” has nothing to do with what you’ll be growing in the garden. It refers to the method of building the garden beds, which is, essentially, adding layers of organic materials that “cooks down” over time, resulting in rich, fluffy soil that will help your plants thrive.
Using support species Complementary organic material The lasagna bed, mulch and compost systems require a lot of organic material. For this reason, support species are grown in and around the intensive garden.
Support species are trees and vining beans that are capable of fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere. They release nitrogen from the nodules on their roots into the soil to benefit surrounding plants. The organic matter, deriving from them, is also noted for its high nitrogen content. Therefore, these plants provide the soil with additional nitrogen value when they are pruned and their cuttings are used in mulch and compost. Another example of support species is Vetiver Grass, which is used for erosion control as well as for mulch and material for composting.
Dispersed shade systems Banana plants, Neem, Gliricidia and Moringa trees have been planted around the garden to provide filtered light into the garden and to hold moisture. This dispersed shade system (DSS) is an important part of the garden as it lowers the ambient temperature in the understory, creating an environment more conducive to the planting of vegetables; particularly during the hot dry months of March and April.
Organic plant care Fertilizers Plants are positioned on the garden beds according to their respective plant families. In this way, by mixing plant families, the nutrient and fertiliser requirements of the diverse plant families are naturally produced and therefore more easily met; than when growing a mono crop. In addition, RVA students experiment with liquid fertilisers - most commonly in the form of compost tea, nettle tea, moringa tea and the liquid effluent from the biogas digester. They are applied weekly, either as a foliar spray or directly to the root of the plants.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academyâ€™s YouTube Channel: R5 How to make Moringa fertiliser
Pest prevention and control A Permaculture garden is an array of colors and shapes that hold a diversity of plant families and species. Some plants are specifically placed to attract beneficial insects whilst others have been planted to repel pests affecting nearby vegetables. Due to this design, the garden suffers minimal damage by pests. When an outbreak does occur, students implement various organic pest control solutions. Neem, garlic, hot pepper and bacillus thuringus (Bt) solutions are typically applied as a liquid spray.
Water harvesting Rainwater An irrigation system to water the vegetables and collect rainwater has been placed outside of the intensive garden. The system collects water from the roofs of the Academy and stores it in a 150.000 litre capacity pool. There are a few million fish (guppies) and tilapia in the pool to control the breeding of mosquitoes.
Greywater In collaboration with the faculty of Environmental Engineering of the Colombian university Manuela Beltran; a greywater system is also being built to collect and recycle water from showers and washing machines. The water will be collected in four 1.000 gallon tanks and will be processed through the system so it can be reused in the intensive garden. Over the next years, most of the water at the Academy will be harvested and reused for food production.
Biodiverse gardens More than ever, it can be argued that, with an ever growing human population, biodiversity is crucial to maintaining life and the earth’s balance and temperature.
Biodiversity is the diversity of life, it’s the rich variety of life forms on our beautiful planet. Using and storing heirloom10 seeds In the nineties, the ten biggest seed companies controlled less than 30% of the market. Today, the three largest companies control more than 50% and they are also the major pesticide producers. Seeds are becoming more expensive and with fewer varieties. From the beginning of this century, the variety of corn types has been reduced from 300 to 12 and cabbage from 540 to 28. In the same time period, 97% of the vegetable varieties that existed - around 1.900 - have become extinct and are thus impossible to recover. Genetically modified (GMO) seeds 10
“Heirloom seeds have been passed down through many generations of growers. Heirlooms are usually planted in small, isolated communities, and generally offer something of value to the grower, whether that is a unique flavor, a unique capability or tendency, or special adaptation to local growing conditions.” Source: Heirloom seeds. Retrieved from https://www.maximumyield.com/definition/3262/heirloom-seed
only work “once”. This means that they cannot be replanted; they are corrupted. Furthermore, most seeds used in St. Vincent are imported Hybrid seeds that also do not germinate after the first harvest.
To become self-sufficient with seeds the Academy decided to produce and store its own organic heirloom seeds. One of the greenhouses has been designated solely for seed production and it currently has eggplant, cabbage, carrot, lettuce and beans. The seeds are stored in an “organic only” fridge and are carefully inventoried. Additionally, to bring awareness about what GMO seeds are and the reasons why the public should be concerned about using them; several information campaigns have been made in schools, community events, radio interviews and through handouts of the RVA climate newspaper.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academyâ€™s YouTube Channel: R5 No GMO message to Ocean, Food Revolution Network
Polyculture In the garden several different species are planted together in the same bed, according to their ability to coexist and benefit from each other. This biodiversity is important in sustaining the health of the intensive vegetable garden and the gardenâ€™s ecosystem. Areas with higher levels of biodiversity are able to adjust to changes in the climate and to prevent diseases. Polyculture is a more practical and economical way to grow food than monoculture.
Incrementing food sources Edible forest garden
In the Academyâ€™s edible forest garden - fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs and other useful herbs - are put together in various patterns that forge symbiotic relationships which mimic natural and rich ecosystems.
RVAâ€™s two acre forest garden presently has 870 food trees and plants. The garden has been in development during a couple of years and it is becoming a beautiful, diverse and high-yield garden. Team participants and teachers are learning to design a more self-maintaining system by understanding other ecosystems better. Canopy, shrubs, bushes, flowers, ground cover, root crops and climbing layers have been planted and some of the species currently growing in the Forest Garden are: Mango, Moringa, Banana, Fig, Coffee, Gliricidia, Guava, Lime, Moringa, three varieties of Papaya, Pomegranate, Sugar Apple, Sweetsop, Tamarind, Barbados Cherry and Golden
Apple, Sour Orange, Tangerine, Cashew Nut, Carambola, Cassava, Tania, Mulberries and Pigeon Peas, Physic Nut, Marigold, Patchouli, Cowpeas, Passion fruit, Vanilla and Loofah, Lemongrass, Vetiver (Khus-Khus Grass), Sugar Cane, Tumeric, Cassava, Tania and Coconut.
Egg and meat production In the middle of the forest garden, there are pens for 100 egg layers and 7 pigs. They provide the school with all the eggs and pork meat and most of the chicken meat needed. The chicken tractors used in the commercial production fields are 1 x 2 meter cages that are placed between the Passion Fruit rows and are home for the chickens that make up for the Academy’s broiler production. The “tractors” need to be moved everyday so the chickens can eat the weeds and simultaneously fertilise the soil. This is a labour and cost effective system as there is no need to clean the chicken houses and feed costs are reduced. In the future, the school will utilise the chicken and pig manure more effectively by making a compost system that will provide the commercial fields with more organic matter. It will also produce its own fish in the water harvesting pool. Furthermore, as the farm is still dependent on imported feed, explorations are being made on how to produce chicken feed internally.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academy’s YouTube Channel: R5 Our Chicken Tractors
Organic commercial crops To generate income and reduce tuition fees, the school grows and processes Passionfruit and Banana, on six acres of land. Once harvested, the Passion Fruit is processed into concentrated juice and is sold fresh and as pulp. Annually, 100.000 passion fruits are produced, which is made into 10.000 lbs of pulp. The Passion Fruit and Banana production employs 5 people and supplies banana, passion fruit juice and pulp to supermarkets and hotels around St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Passion Fruit production
In 2015, the passion fruit enterprise became chemical free. This outcome was achieved by removing the need to use herbicides and chemical fertilizers between the passion rows.
Now, a weed wacker and chicken tractors are used to remove grass and weeds. The chickens also provide the soil with manure.
The second (and on-going challenge) is ensuring the farmâ€™s movement from a mono-cultural enterprise to a multicultural one by introducing alternative and compatible fruit crops to grow in between the passion fruit.
In 2015, the use of herbicides and pesticides on the bananas stopped. The 3.5 acres of crops were cut down and relocated to a half acre organic banana experimental area. This field is now mixed with gliricidia trees, which are regularly pruned to produce mulch. The small field is already producing beautiful bunches of bananas. The next phase of this experiment is to add cacao trees and vanilla so the field has more biodiversity and the school can benefit from these products as well.
Promoting the use of renewable energy Solar panels RVA decided to have an off-grid photovoltaic solar system in order to be self sufficient at all times and to remain operational in the event of a central system electricity failure due to climate change related or other disasters.
The Academy can produce (17.5 kW x 4 hours =) 70 kWh and its using about 60 kWh per day on light, pumping water and to keep food refrigerated. A 17.5 kW system has been installed with 70 solar panels and a battery bank of 120 batteries (which can hold about 156 kWh of energy). This means that the system can produce 17.5 kW per hour, if the sun shines with all its power for one hour. However, batteries are needed because the sun doesnâ€™t shine
all day long; some hours during the day it only shines 50%, due to clouds the time of the day or year. Some hours it only shines 10%. On average the sun only shines about 4 hours with full power per day.
Solar water heaters Less than 3% of the energy in the Caribbean comes from renewable sources. The main obstacle preventing people converting to renewable energy is financing. In St. Vincent, there is a company that gives credit which made it economically viable for RVA to invest in solar water heaters thus reducing its energy bill and carbon footprint.
Water heating accounts for up to 25% of the energy used in a typical household in the Caribbean.
There are 6 solar water heaters at RVA, the kitchen and most of the bathrooms have hot water sourced from solar energy. A solar water heater works with room temperature water that flows from the water tank to the solar collector. At the collector, it is heated up and then returned to the hot water tank. Hot water is then drawn on demand from the tank to the showers and sinks at the kitchen and showers.
Biogas digesters To become more sustainable with carbon neutral energy, a small biogas plant was built by the kitchen. The biogas plant consists of a very simple technology. The main part of the biogas system is a large tank, called the digester. Itâ€™s called a digester because it is a large black tank filled with bacteria that digests organic waste and converts it into methane gas. The biogas plant is fed daily with a mixture of water, manure and kitchen waste. The methane gas produced inside the biogas system is used in the RVA kitchen for cooking. The system also makes slurry
(wastewater) that is rich in nutrients. This water is used in our organic garden; it is poured over the plants to enhance their growth. However, this system is a work in progress and still needs some development in order to make the kitchen self sufficient with cooking gas.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academyâ€™s YouTube Channel:
R5 Making a small Biogas plant at Richmond Vale Academy
Energy efficiency Teachers and students have an efficient system to measure the amount of electricity used; parallel with campaigns on campus to turn off fans, lights and other appliances when not in use. Additionally, all the appliances at the school have been measured and changed to a more efficient version. To save more energy, half of the bulbs have been changed to LED Lights.
Data collection with the climate station In the summer of 2015, the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) set up a climate station at RVA funded by the World Bank. The climate station measures wind, water and soil evaporation, solar radiation and rainfall. The data collected is shared with students at the Academy and used to research changing weather patterns.
Stakeholders at the geothermal energy project RVA was happy to attend the first workshop in Chateaubelair Resource Center in 2013 and to become a stakeholder in the new Geothermal project. Since RVA hosted the pilot team from Reykjavik Geothermal Power Plant coming to SVG to make tests, the CCC has followed the progress and regularly attended meetings about the projectâ€™s progress. Several articles on the benefits of Geothermal energy have been published by RVA and distributed in SVG.
Biodiversity projects Global warming is a major threat to the diverse range of globally important plant and animal life. If for example, the present rate of global warming continues, biodiversity hotspots like coral reefs, will disappear in 20 to 40 years.
The United Nations Organization has designated 2011 â€“ 2020 as the â€œDecade on Biodiversityâ€?. For biodiversity, each specie, no matter how big or small has an important role to play in an ecosystem. Various plants and animal species depend on each other and the diversity of species ensures a natural sustainability for all life forms; a healthy and solid biodiversity is self-sustaining and can recover without external intervention, from a variety of disasters.
As part of the CCC Program, the importance of preserving biodiversity is emphasized. Practical actions are made to reduce the impact of invasive species and promote awareness and appreciation, through for example, the restoration of nature trails and the protection of wetland areas.
Protection against invasive species Lionfish is native to the Indo-Pacific and is currently an invasive specie in the Caribbean. They have a colourful and dramatic appearance that make them popular ornamental fish in saltwater aquariums. However, over the last decade, the density of the wild lionfish population in the Caribbean has expanded. It does not have natural predators in the area and thus poses a serious threat to other reef fish populations across the region, as well as coral reef ecosystems and the people who depend on them. St. Vincent and the regionâ€™s fishing and tourism industries, which depend on coral reefs, are at risk. Two species of Lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) are responsible for this recent and growing threat to the Atlantic and Caribbean reefs. Governments across the region are trying to respond. For this reason, RVA periodically carries out a number of lionfish hunts and awareness campaigns. Several meals of Lionfish have been served at the school.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academyâ€™s YouTube Channel:
R5 Diving in Saint Vincent - WE CATCH LIONFISH!
Richmond beach coastal conservation project The Richmond Coastal Wetland is a critical area which supports the overall biodiversity of many species of fish, shellfish, birds and marine mammals. Over the years the Richmond area, the only wetland area of this kind in St. Vincent, has been severely damaged. This is due to climate change related disasters and to people that, everyday, mine the beach for sand and gravel or cut and disrupt the freshwater flow for livelihoods. As a result, Richmond beach has suffered sea level rise.
Mangrove estuaries and wetlands are nurseries for many species and a healthy estuary represents food security for many people. Unfortunately, other wetlands and mangrove systems in St. Vincent have been lost over a number of years. “The main focus of this project over the next five years will be to establish a “full”, mixed species plot. The Richmond Beach Coastal Wetland area offers a possibility for long term survival and success because of the size and current existing features of the area and through the engagement of the academy. Both red and white mangroves should do well at this site, as they will benefit from the already existing mature shrubbery in the area. A number of different planting methods can be used. Both red and white seedlings can be introduced directly into the soil, as has already been done. In addition, encasement planting can also be done, using red mangrove seedlings in either bamboo or PVC tubes, closer to the water’s edge. The seedlings will need to be planted in individual, species specific transects, so that comparison monitoring can be done over time. Transect sizes will have to be varied according to species and ground conditions.” Reference - Tyrone W. Buckmire, Director, Grenada Fund for Conservation, Inc.
Understanding the importance of these ecosystems and how to preserve them is new for many people and it is important to bring this message out to the public. Lessons on biodiversity have been taught in several local schools over the past 2 years whilst partnering with the Lions Club, Police cooperative Credit Union, Parks Rivers and Beaches Authority and the Forestry Department. Furthermore, 5 planting actions have been carried out planting neem trees, fat pork, pandanas, coco nut, seagrapes, white and red mangroves. A Mangrove expert Tyrone Buckmire from Grenada has visited and advised the project twice. After all these actions, the area has been met with more respect and care by the local community.
R5 Groups plant 100 trees at Richmond beachfront
Videos in Richmond Vale Academyâ€™s YouTube Channel: R5 SVGTV News (28th of January 2015)
Restoration of the La Soufriere cross country trail The La Soufriere Cross Country Trail winds its way from sea level up to the top of the 4.048 ft volcano. The trail snakes across the width of St. Vincent and can be walked from either the Leeward or Windward coast. However, over the years, the Leeward trail was seriously affected by various weather systems, including Hurricane Tomas in 2010, which blew down a number of trees and resulted in several landslides along the trail. The trail from the Windward side was rehabilitated and is thus in good condition. The Leeward trail is longer and was more difficult to hike because of fallen trees.
Together with the National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority, the Forestry Department and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grant Facility, RVA restored the trail and taught in schools about the importance of protecting biodiversity giving lessons about climate change, biodiversity, climate smart agriculture and ecotourism in eight North Leeward communities. Ten persons were hired to clear the trail, remove logs, make look out spots, benches and repair steps. Fifteen information signs were also created to provide visitors with directions, advice and information. The Leeward trail is approximately 5 miles (8 km) long and offers visitors breath-taking panoramic views of the surrounding land and seascape, as well as close encounters with flora and fauna.
R5 Lesson guides for teachers (www.bit. ly/2kU13n9)
Videos in Richmond Vale Academyâ€™s YouTube Channel: R5 Hiking La Soufriere Trail
R5 La Soufriere Cross Country Trail
R5 Climate Compliance School Program
Tree planting campaigns From 2013 to 2015, the CCC Program carried out 4 major tree planting campaigns and planted a total of 25.000 trees.
Trees tie carbon, 1/5 of the Co2 is in the worldâ€™s forests. Furthermore, trees provide many important benefits such as: R5 R5 R5 R5
filter pollution from the air produce oxygen help recycle water prevent soil loss and erosion
R5 create shade R5 give shelter from wind and rain
R5 provide homes and food
Tree planting campaigns summary Campaign
“Hold your own Moringa Tree” Rally
Planting in Disaster Areas
Tree Planting at RVA Farm and Richmond Beach
2014 - 2015
“Hold your own Moringa tree” rally To mobilise a large number of local people, the CCC decided in 2013 to select the Moringa tree for its first campaign to boost the tree planting efforts in the communities. The moringa oleifera tree has been present in St. Vincent for many decades but, before the Rally, few people were using the tree. Moringa was chosen because of it’s very nutritious abilities. It goes by a variety of names, such as drumstick tree, horseradish tree, or ben oil tree. Almost all parts of the tree can be eaten or used. The leaves and pods are commonly eaten in many parts of the world. The leaves are an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals.
One cup of freshly chopped leaves (21 grams) contains the following: R5 R5 R5 R5 R5 R5 R5
Protein: 2 grams Vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA11 Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA Iron: 11% of the RDA Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA Magnesium: 8% of the RD.
Compared to the leaves, the pods are generally lower in vitamins and minerals. However, they are exceptionally rich in vitamin C. One cup of fresh, sliced pods (100 grams) contains 157% of the daily requirement for vitamin C. The food, people eat today, often lack vitamins, minerals and protein.
Moringa Oleifera can be an important source of many essential nutrients for people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 11
Recommended Dietary Allowances
The conference participants harvested seeds from trees in Troumaka, Coulls Hill, Layou and Orange Hill and set up a nursery at RVA with 10.000 plants. Under the headline “Hold Your Own Moringa Tree”, the participants distributed trees from a truck to many villages across the country. Several community groups distributed trees in places such as Villa Flat, Rose Place, Sion Hill, Vermont and Rose Hall. More than 300 people came to Richmond Vale Academy to “Hold their own”. A total of 10.000 trees were handed out and planted.
During the campaign, many of the planting events and the awareness actions promoting the health benefits of moringa, were aired on the main media stations. Furthermore, the Moringa Rally had other benefits, it increased the livelihoods of people who started producing and processing moringa commercially for tea, powder, pills, cream and soap.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academyâ€™s YouTube Channel:
R5 Moringa Tree Distribution Drive - WE MORINGA
Planting of trees in disaster areas In 2014, the Ministry of Agriculture, MCT and the Climate Compliance Conference teamed up to replant trees in Leeward Villages. These villages were declared level two disaster by the Government after the flash floods 24th of December 2013.
In October, participants went to identify community groups in North-and South Leeward. The community groups were successfully mobilised and took part in the planting actions. 10.000 trees were planted at many locations such as private lands, backyards, common areas, road and riverbanks. The majority of the trees planted were Moringa trees along with 300 other trees provided by the Forestry Department like: Breadfruit, Mahogany, Sweetsop, Carambola (Five Finger) and Tamarind.
Before the tree planting action, the CCC built a tree nursery at RVA and set all the seedlings. Inside the nursery, tables were built out of local materials, like Bamboo and Gliricidia.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academy’s YouTube Channel: R5 Mustique Charitable Trust 2014 Tree Planting
Treelympics 2014 and 2015 The Ministry of Health, Wellness and Environment invited the CCC to take part in a meeting where, with other stakeholders, they analyzed how St. Vincent could participate (and possibly win) “The Olympic Games in Tree Planting”. This tree planting olympiade was created by an NGO called ENO Environment Online. The NGO aims to engage schools around the world in a global tree planting competition. It was funded by the Finnish Government and was initiated at the RIO+20 conference in 2012. There are three categories in this annual competition. One category aims to plant the most trees while another aims to do so with the most schools. However, since SVG is a small country, at the meeting everyone decided to go for winning
During the two Treelympics, more than 10.000 teachers and students received lessons on the importance of trees prior to the planting actions. The RRACC project implemented by the OECS Commission, The Inivershall Rastafari Movement, Scotiabank and the Mustique Charitable Trust were the main sponsors of the planting and education actions held in SVG. In 2014 and 2015, the competition was held between 114 countries and St. Vincent won gold in the category: The Worldâ€™s most active country. Both victories put the county on the world map as a country caring for the environment. The Treelympics 2015 was carried out like the one in 2014. However, unlike in 2014 (where the trees planted were mostly Moringa trees) in 2015, a variety of fruit trees like Soursop, Mango, Papaya and Cherries were planted. Over the two years, 3.500 trees were planted.
the third category; to plant with the highest percentage of participating schools. Therefore, in the following months the CCC participants planted trees with 100 schools and some community groups.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academyâ€™s YouTube Channel: R5 Olympic Games in Treeplanting - St. Vincent in the lead! R5 Treelympics in the SVG TV News
R5 ENO Treelympics 2015 - St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Treelympics Website: R5 www.treelympics.org
Supporting local agriculture To share the examples of RVAâ€™s model farm, the CCC has hosted several open house events, workshops, tours and lessons each year for farmers, schools, community groups and individuals. Additionally, RVA is constantly creating or being part of projects that support farming initiatives such as farmers markets and home gardens.
Growing, selling and buying food locally - rather than importing it from other parts of the world - is climate smart and beneficial for the local economy.
With willing hands, seeds and tools, the CCC has supported the following local farms and home gardens: The Inivershall Rastafari Movementâ€™s Urban garden Villa Flat, Chatoyer Organic Garden in Vermont , Fitz Hughes Primary School garden, Fitz Hughes Preschool garden and Shevala, Michael, Debbie and Sellyâ€™s home gardens and small farms in North Leeward.
Chateaubelair farmers market North Leeward, is the country’s largest agriculture center, and yet it did not have a local farmer’s market. Because of this, people had to travel to the capital in Kingstown to purchase the agricultural products needed for their daily diet and farmers in the region had to do the same, spending time, money and increasing to the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions, global warming and climate change. While researching for ways to enhance the economic sustainability of agriculture projects and to support local farmers, CCC participants found that a Farmers Market was an ideal way to help develop a community and reactivate the economy of the village. In 2016, RVA assisted a group of farmers to start their own weekly Farmer’s Market in Chateaubelair. During this time, a Facebook page was developed for the farmer’s market; 10 workshops about organic agriculture, ecotourism, ways to preserve vegetables and fruits and how to make
During the first six months, the market had an average of 10 farmers and vendors that served 500 customers, with approximately 20 different products. The most memorable day was the Extended Farmers Market event called â€œThe Fair of Flair Chateaubelairâ€?. It had music and other entertainment hosting 14 vendors with a variety of 40 products. Through the Farmers Market, RVA: R5 Encourages and enhances organic agriculture through workshops and spontaneous and sporadic conversations. R5 Promotes the reduction of transportation pollution by buying and selling local. The market also provides several other benefits for the community, such as improved health and wellbeing. The Chateaubelair market is in constant development and serves as a model for the neighboring local markets to be started in St. Vincent. Additionally, a farmers market manual was made and distributed to farmers groups that wanted to start their own markets.
jam were conducted. All of these actions were focused not only on creating economic development in the village, but also to strengthen social values based on the community working together.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academyâ€™s YouTube Channel: R5 Chateaubelair Farmers Market
R5 Vegetables Gardens for Food Sovereignty
Public awareness Since the start of the Climate Compliance Conference, significant focus has been placed on education. Our educational aim is:
To open new doors and get people to â€œthink environmentallyâ€?.
This is done by facilitating questions like: 96
R5 What is Global Warming and Climate Change? R5 How can we the people get involved?
R5 What are the solutions to deal with this problem?
Lessons in public schools Hundreds of lessons have been given across the islands in pre-schools, primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, technical schools, correctional facilities, Rotary & Lions Clubs, churches, business groups, youth groups, community groups and to farmers. A selection of lessons on Global Warming, Climate Change, Organic Farming and GMO Awareness were held in 2015 by various community activists, outreach officers along with participants and teachers from RVA: #
Calliaqua Primary School
Chester Village Church Group
Climate Compliance UWI Country Conference
Coreaz Hazell Managers Meeting
Diabetic Group Park Hill
Drum Circle Park Hill
Energy Efficiency Seminar
Energy Unit, Quetelles
GMO Awareness Coulls Hill Community
GMO Awareness Lessons
Jehovas Church Group
JP Eustace Memorial Secondary School
Karola Community Group
Marriaqua Community Group
Marsha Church Group Fancy
Martinique Garifuna Group
Naima Dynamites Mespo
New Testament Church Park Hill
Organic Farming Technical College
PADF Graduation, Methodist Church Hall
Police Youth Group
SDA Church Greggs
SVG AMP Drummers
SVG AMP Workshop
SVG Community College
Treelymics Lessons October November
Wesylann Holiness Church Layou
WINFA Youth Seminary, Troumaka
Youth Group SDA Colonaire Church
Another important public awareness collaboration, was the CCC’s involvement in the “Education Entertainment to Influence Behaviour Towards Climate Change Adaptation” project. This project was done together with the SVG Association of Music Professionals (SVG AMP). The CCC program assisted SVG AMP in their outreach activities to schools and communities. It provided education materials and presenters for the community and school visits as well as for the drum circle exercises.
More than one thousand people were directly influenced during SVG AMP outreach activities. External links
Videos in Richmond Vale Academy’s YouTube Channel:
R5 Testimonial: Winsbert Garraway, Chief Prison Officer, Belle Isle Correctional Facility
Radio and TV programs Several Radio and TV stations have aired programs about the reasons for Climate Change and a number of articles have been published in newspapers and magazines. Several radio programs have been hosted on Nice Radio, Star FM, NBC, Praise FM, Hitz Radio. Here the cooperation with two of the radio stations is described:
Since 2011, Radio Grenadines (RG) has provided a source of written online news, community articles and music and the opportunity for people to learn new skills. After years of operating online, RG saw the need to increase community engagement and their positive impact on the environment by:
R5 Improving the ability to conduct interviews.
R5 Having persons in the community capable of assisting with the hosting on talk shows. For these reasons, RG formed the “Raising awareness on climate change and other environmental issues in the grenadines through community media and internet radio” project; supported by The Global Environment Facility (GEF), Small Grants Programme from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Part of this project was to conduct 80 talk shows to address climate change and several other environmental topics. On these talks, listeners were able to call in and answer questions and win prizes. Richmond Vale Academy provided 20 factsheets for this project to be carried out. “The fact sheets assisted us greatly especially in the area of how climate change can affect agriculture and what ordinary persons can do to make a change especially in small island states” - Stanton Gomes, Radio Grenadines
WE FM and Hairouna Progressive Organisation Since the start of the CCC Program participants have engaged with the various media outlets in St. Vincent. Media such as newspapers, radio stations, National and Local TV stations have been engaged and supportive to bring the message of climate change adaptation and mitigation to the public. Every month since March 2012, the CCC Program has shared news, held discussions and engaged the public on various topics covering Climate Compliance.
“Before RVA’s public awareness campaigns, many Vincentians did not know what permaculture was. Dreams of getting gold in a global treelympics were farfetched and plastic bottles were an environmental menace. Organic food, GMO awareness and so on were not highly extent. Through RVA’s intervention with its 2012 -2021 Climate Compliance agenda, SVG is now a different nation with a more positive environmental attitude.” Demion McTair, Program Director WE FM Radio
“Here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we are attempting to become a green island, looking at energy, at the way we conserve our environment. I believe Richmond Vale Academy is one of those places where you can get the information and education and certified programs in terms of what you really need to know about helping to save this world, our planet.” Dr. Jerrol Thompson, Former Minister of Technology and Member of Parliament for North Leeward Constituency
R5 Factsheets (www.goo.gl/q2Akuo)
NBC Radio website:
R5 RVA appearances (www.goo.gl/z6Nh5v)
Climate change children’s book One of the radio programs inspired Vincentian author Jazey Wallace to write a children’s book on protecting the environment now printed with funding from the MCT. 100 copies have been distributed to 30 preschool and primary school libraries.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academy’s YouTube Channel: R5 The Angry Sun - Book Launch at Chateuabeliar Primary School
Public awareness actions The RVA Climate Compliance Conference has been honored to deliver presentations at: R5 The OECS with the RRACC project in the Climate Change Conference in Kingstown August 2014. R5 The SVG Country Conference on “Promoting a culture of safety; Building resilience to disasters and stimulating Sustainable Development” (UWI West Indies, SVG Red Cross Society, NEMO) March 2015. R5 The OECS Symposium “Communicating Climate Change Issues” in St. Kitts June 2015. R5 PACES Promoting Access to Renewable Energy workshop in Quetelles November 2015. R5 The S.T.E.M Graduation Ceremony August 2016.
R5 World Food Day in Bethel High School “The Climate is Changing, Food and agriculture must too” October 2016. R5 Energy Unit Ministry of National Security workshop “Combating Climate Change through Sustainable Energy” at the Methodist Hall December 2016 (A CARICOM/PACES/GEF Initiative). R5 Caribbean Sustainable Energy Independence Conference “Making it Happen” (Caribbean Development Bank / EU) in Barbados November 2016.
Publications Reports 1. Annual Report 2012 - 2013 2. Ready for Climate Change (this book)
Climate Comliance News 1. Moringa Edition December 2013 2. Towards a Sustainable and Healthy St. Vincent February 2015 3. Biosafety Bill and Permaculture May 2015 4. Treelympics Edition August 2015 5. For a Sustainable and Healthy St. Vincent April 2016
Educational Material 1. Fact Sheets, 20 in total, on Global Warming and Climate Change for the Project by GEF and Radio Grenadines titled: “Raising awareness on climate change and other environmental issues in the
grenadines through community media and internet radio.” 2. Lesson Guides, 4 in total, for teaching Biodiversity, Climate Change, Eco Tourism and Climate Smart Farming with the Forestry Department, Parks Rivers and Beaches Authority funded by the UNDP GEF Small Grant Program. 3. Climate Change Modules, 9 in total, that contribute to the curriculum and teaching in 8 schools in North Leeward on the project “Resilient Livelihood” Project by PADF - Pan American Development Foundation with funding from the Republic of China Taiwan and Michigan State University. R5 Module 1: Livelihoods and resilience R5 Module 2: Climate change and disaster risks
R5 Module 3: Disaster risk reduction part 1
R5 Module 4: Disaster risk reduction part 2 R5 Module 5: Adapting to climate change
R5 Module 6: Community risk assessment
R5 Module 7: Community-based disaster risk reduction planning R5 Module 8: Writing the community disaster plan R5 Module 9: Community emergency response training
User Manuals 1. Organic fertiliser Manual 2. How to BioChar
Awards In 2016 The Climate Compliance Conference Program won three awards:
Energy Globe Award for St. Vincent The ENERGY GLOBE Award was founded in 1999 by the Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann and itâ€™s one of todayâ€™s most prestigious environmental awards. Projects which conserve and protect our resources or employ renewable energy can participate. The CCC won the prize for the Treelympics Project.
In the competition “Climate Smart Agriculture: Among stories from Farmers in the Eastern Caribbean States” the IICA identified successful cases of climate-smart practices. Richmond Vale Academy won the prize for St. Vincent.
Saint Vincent’s Ministry of Agriculture Climate Smart Agriculture Award During the World Food Day 2016, RVA received the award acknowledging the efforts achieved. The award was supported by the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership within the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The event was called “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.” More than 1.000 visitors were present at the event.
Inter-American Institute on Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Award
Videos in Richmond Vale Academy’s YouTube Channel: R5 SVG TV News Tuesday - Treelympics Award
Open house events RVA has an established tradition of holding an open house 2 or more times per year. At these events, the general public, schools and groups are invited to learn from the sustainability models created at RVA. The Climate Center has become a learning center where hundreds of people visit annually to learn, discuss and get inspired. Since 2012, more than 1.000 people have visited the open house events annually.
Several of the open house events have had specific themes such as: R5 EARTH DAY Celebration in 2012. At this event the screening of the documentary One Day on Earth12 was done. R5 “Rallying the Region to Action Against Climate Change” (RRACC) With an exhibit hosted by OECS Commission, - A United States Government-funded climate change project in the Eastern Caribbean, in connection with EARTH Day 2014. R5 Climate Smart Farming EARTH DAY 2015. R5 Renewable Energy 2016, with the Official “opening”of the new solar system with a battery bank. Several guests and sustainability enthusiasts have found their way to the academy at the open house events hosted throughout the year. Here are some of the guests who visited: Windward Farmers Association, Marsha’s Vegetable 12
Trailer available in YouTube (One Day on Earth Official Trailer)
Co-operative, the SVG Association of Music Professionals, Peace Corps volunteers, Reykjavik Geothermal Company, Vinlec Electricity Company, The Hon. Prime Minister Goncalves, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Tourism, the Head of SVG Youth Department, the Ministry of Education Adult Literacy, Paradise Inn Hotel, the 4H Scout Clubs, the Garifuna Group, the Inivershall Rastafari Movement, the Football Association, a variety of non chemical and conventional farmers, SVG Bee-Keepers, the Forestry Department, the Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority, the Chief of Prison, The Purple Teabag Company, Jazey Beauty products, Iwans Arts and Crafts, officers Belle Isle Correctional Facility, the local police officers, Artists, SVG AMP, the Local MPâ€™s, the Cuban doctors, SVG TV News, NRK â€“ Norwegian TV, Jehova Church groups, headmaster Trinity Medical College, Star Garage, Book
Shop manager, environment organizations like the National Trust, tourist operators, representatives from the Venezuelan, German, Cuban and Taiwanese Embassies, Ecuadorian soldiers who help rebuild the bridges, the Community College, Peace Corps camp GLOW, STEM summer camp, the Greggs Rastafari Group, Technical College, several primary and secondary schools and more.
It’s a great pleasure and an honor to meet such a variety of people who are passionate about protecting the island’s beautiful environment and to be able to harvest ideas on how to get ready for climate change.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academy’s YouTube Channel: R5 EARTH DAY 2012
R5 SVG TV News - Open House at Richmond Vale Academy
R5 EARTH DAY at RVA in the News
Conclusion On the basis of actions carried out, lessons learnt, research done, advice received, studies made, lectures attended and discussions held with a wide selection of people across the country; a Climate Compliant St. Vincent can be seen in the near future. The program participants and teachers at RVA have decided which is the contribution they want to make; in order to have a green and clean SVG.
St. Vincent has all the components in place to be one of the first global â€œClimate Compliantâ€? countries that has healthy food, carbon neutral energy and is ready for climate change.
The next 5 years
(2017 to 2021)
As many people are active, engaged and involved: R5 in recycling
R5 in running community groups
R5 church groups are making gardens
R5 several actions are taking place to plant trees R5 authors are writing books about the environment
R5 media is active in covering environmental protection events R5 bans have been established on hunting threatened species such as the sea turtle R5 a ban on styrofoam is in place
R5 people are beautifying their villages, growing local and cleaning up beaches R5 more are getting into sustainable tourism
R5 discussions are being held how to transform the transport sector to a carbon neutral one R5 tax systems are being evaluated
R5 many more are taking a new fresh look at a Climate Compliant St. Vincent
The St. Vincent Climate Compliance Conference will continue to invite international climate activists to:
Join with the many community groups and together generate ideas, discuss and support all projects that are moving this amazing island nation forward to climate compliance. It is our dream that, over the next five years, at least 500 national, regional and international volunteers will unite the conference in shorter or longer courses.
PARTICIPANTS EXPECTED 3-4 weeks courses
6 months program
Our focus areas will be: 1. Food and water - Healthy food security through a network of home gardens, farmers markets and small farms. 2. Renewable energy - Energy security through the backup of a grid solar system in villages and the reduction of GHG through the use of biogas for cooking. 3. Ready for climate change R5 Public education and awareness through newspapers, internet, TV and radio, open house events, fairs of flair and conferences. R5 Protection against land degradation through planting of trees and vetiver grass. R5 Creation of ecosystem models to protect against sea level rise at The Richmond Beach.
Food and water An estimated number of 5.000 home gardens (each garden adds food security to 10 people) and 100 small farms (each farm gives food security to 50 people) are needed to provide food security to a population of 100.000 people. RVA has taken the first steps through the research made; with the creation of a model garden and by working with farmers. Over the next 5 years, Richmond Vale Academy will support: R5 200 families to start and develop a home garden in North Leeward. R5 Many farmers with the startup of 10 Farmers Markets. R5 5 small farms (of a size to give food security to 50 people).
In 2017, the CCC will start working with the first 20 families. These home gardens and small farms will provide families with healthy food that can add to their wellbeing and can generate a small income through the sale of surplus goods at the local Farmers Market. The family or school gardens will receive support in the form of training, labour and material assistance. A hands on approach will be used as family members, teachers, program participants and volunteers will work closely together throughout the project. To facilitate the replicability of the project, a home garden manual will be made and it will cover the necessary basic information; from creation to maintaining and further development of a garden. Furthermore, families and schools will take part in educational lessons, as this will enable them to further develop their agricultural production.
The gardens and small farms, together with onsite workshops and manuals, will provide a foundation for families and schools to become food secure.
Everyone is increasingly aware that the future effects of climate change will have a significant impact on small countries such as St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This means that, projects of this nature, have to be highly adaptive to a changing climate; while also being examples of farming techniques that mitigate the effects of climate change. For this reason, the gardens: R5 Will be created within a system of polyculture, where a diverse array of species will be planted and inter mingled in order to create a system that provides a greater resilience to environmental shocks like droughts or flash floods. R5 As part of the training, a large emphasis will be put on using organic and sustainable techniques to grow crops. This means that vegetable beds will be constructed in a way so there is no need for tilling the soil, as done in conventional farming. With lasagna beds, the project will keep the carbon in the soil and not in the atmosphere. The gardens will also have efficient water collection and water recycling systems to secure water supply all year round. Families will also gather a deeper insight in how to grow food without using chemical pollutants, which are both costly to the families as well as to the environment. Instead families will be encouraged to use their kitchen waste together with browns and greens around their house to produce organic compost.
Perennial plants and trees will be incorporated into the system because they provide multiple benefits such as improved soil structure; better water retention and reduced soil compaction. Furthermore, the perennials planted (such as bamboo, vetiver grass and other shrubs) will be used on hedges or contours to minimise occurrences of soil erosion. These species are also proven to be fast growing and for this, good for adding to the garden biomass and for sequestering large amounts of carbon. Trees such as gliricidia and leucaena will also be included in the garden with the aim to enrich the soil and thereby promote plant growth; as they have the increased ability of fixing nitrogen from the air into the soil The trees added will also contribute to itâ€™s disperse shade system.
Richmond Vale Academy Farm will continue to develop and serve as a model and learning center for people. To further mobilise people to grow more food and protect the water resources, RVA will continue to: R5 Host an annual open house event with a theme related to climate smart farming, nutrition and water compliance.
R5 Create and distribute newspapers and media articles. Additionally, RVA will create a network of 200 home gardens that will showcase how farming - without chemicals - is possible. It will also have a nursery that provides the academy and projects with 10.000 plants and trees per year. And, by 2021, 80% of the food served at RVA will be produced in own home garden.
Timeline for the CCC food and water actions Action
Plants in the RVA nursery
Self sufficiency at the Academy
Established Farmer Markets
Network with Home Gardens & Small Farms
Healthy food security open house event
Energy security The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is working on renewable energy goals with 60% geothermal, 20% hydro and 20% solar along with other renewable energy sources within a period of 15-20 years. The CCC contribution to renewable energy security for all, is in the areas of biogas and energy backup systems - through solar houses - when disaster strikes. Over the next five years RVA will set up 200 biogas digesters, 30 off the grid solar houses, host workshops, create publications and hold open house events while continuing to develop the model at RVA with 100% renewable energy by 2021.
Biogas digesters The burning of fossil fuels pollutes the atmosphere, which leads to Global Warming and Climate Change. A way of climate change mitigation is to use renewable energy sources. There are several renewable energy sources: solar energy, wind energy in addition to different thermal and hydro sources of energy and biogas. Biogas is distinct from other renewable energy sources because of its characteristics of using, controlling and collecting organic waste and at the same time producing fertiliser as a by-product. Biogas does not have any geographical limitations nor does it require advanced technology for producing energy and at the same time it is very simple to use and apply. St. Vincent is, to a large extent, dependent on fossil fuels; especially when it comes to cooking gas. Charcoal is also used for cooking, which requires cutting down trees. Deforestation leads to a decrease in the fertility of land by soil erosion, among other negative environmental impacts. Using firewood as energy is also harmful for the health because of the smoke and the air pollution it causes.
A large amount of kitchen waste in St. Vincent is disposed of on landfills or discarded into the environment. This can cause public health hazards and diseases. Inadequate management of waste also leads to polluting surface and groundwater and can promote breeding of flies, mosquitoes, rats and other disease-bearing vectors. It also emits methane, which is a major greenhouse gas that contributes to Global Warming. Producing household renewable cooking gas thus has many benefits. Kitchen waste is organic material that has high calorific and nutritive properties, which are valuable for microbes that are converting the kitchen waste into methane. Richmond Vale Academy has set up a small biogas digester which produces biogas from kitchen waste. The biogas digester is designed from the indian model ARTI, but will be modified to reduce odor; to minimize the escape of methane gas and to prevent mosquito breeding. The design will first be developed, implemented and tried out at RVA and later introduced in the community. The first 5 units will be set up in 2017. After a trial period and the evident success, new grants and partnerships will be made for further implementation. The system works by applying 1.5 kilo of normal kitchen waste with 15 litres of water into a digester or fermenter
where the organic matter is decomposed. This in an anaerobic process and ends up producing 5 hours of methane gas which can be used for cooking. The families will set up their own biogas digester and will benefit directly economically, as they will be able to replace purchased cooking gas by home-produced biogas. An average family of 5-7 members use from 4-5 hours of cooking gas daily which costs US$ 25 per month and US$ 300 per year. One biogas unit costs around US$ 1.000, so over a period of 3 years, a family can pay back the investment. Another economic benefit is the slurry produced by the digester which is a highly nutritious organic fertiliser. As oil and gas prices are likely to rise it is economically viable for families to switch to biogas.
Small off the grid PV solar systems During disasters the grid systems fail and people are left without electricity. The participants in the CCC program along with community groups, family homes, schools and various individuals will set up a small â€œoff the grid solarâ€? system with a battery bank. These homes will be able to store medication, charge cell phones, and provide light in times
of disaster when the centralized system fails. The PV Solar System will be 2kw, with 8 panels and 5 deep cycle batteries; 30 of these systems will be set up over the next five years.
Renewable energy and annual energy efficiency workshop To raise awareness about saving energy, creating renewable energy sources and climate change in general; the conference will host an annual open house event. By 2021, RVA will be setting an example in St. Vincent by producing 100% of its renewable energy, cooking all meals using biogas and using only LED Lights. The conference will invite all schools in St. Vincent to come on field trips and, by 2021, will have at least 50 school groups attending workshops annually and carrying out actions for energy efficiency at their schools.
Timeline for the CCC energy actions Action
Biogas digesters installed in total
Off Grid Solar Systems Installed per year Annual Energy Workshop Number of Schools on Annual Energy Workshops
Energy self sufficiency at RVA
Ready for climate change RVAâ€™s Climate Compliance Conference contribution to get more ready for climate change is to plant vetiver grass with community groups and schools in all areas prone to erosion in North Leeward. Plans and results from this will be mapped and serve as a model for the rest of the country. The conference will furthermore continue finding solutions and develop the Richmond Beach Coastal Conservation Project as a model for protecting biodiversity and for an adaptation project to protect against sea level rise and saline intrusion. To reduce the amount of garbage in St. Vincent the conference will systematically work for a reduction or ban of non-biodegradable plastic bags and instead promote the use of paper bags. Another efficient way to reduce pollution is to increase the recycling of plastic bottles; the conference will assist the communities in North Leeward to set up collection points.
To bring awareness and mobilise key stakeholders an annual conference will be held at RVA where 100 people come together to discuss how everyone can get more ready for climate change and switch to a more safe and sustainable lifestyle. The climate compliance conference will also establish a solid network with partners and former climate compliance conference participants and bring biweekly media releases in Radio, TV and Newspapers.
Soil erosion control and tree planting campaigns Soil erosion in the country is a major environmental issue. There are many causes leading to an increased rate of soil erosion for example unsustainable land management, invasive species such as elephant grass, extreme weather patterns and more. This makes the issue much more complex than one would think, and therefore calls for an approach that offers multiple preventive actions in order to curb this growing negative trend. Since 2012, the CCC has been active in bringing awareness about the importance of trees and has carried out several actions to plant trees, pandanas and vetiver grass to protect against land degradation and enhancing nutrition.
The initial phase of this project has been to identify already existing and active community groups in 5 villages or more in North Leeward. Then preliminary meetings have been held in order to seek the groupâ€™s engagement in the project with emphasis on actively participating and thereby taking ownership in the long run. This is crucial for the project to succeed and might even empower more people to take proactive measures to protect their surroundings. Through this process a survey was made and distributed to many people in the selected communities and from this data, areas more prone to soil erosion have been identified. Furthermore the survey also established a baseline of peopleâ€™s perception of trees and identifying their needs in regards to the species selected for the project. Fruit trees are among the most favourable of the species since people highly value the produce they can get from them; fruit trees can even be turned profitable when sold at the local farmers market. It is also important to mention that in the initial phase it was discovered that Vetiver grass is an excellent agent for controlling erosion, also other species have been selected with some of the same traits such as deep or extensive root systems. The project does not only seek to plant trees and prevent soil erosion, but also to raise awareness about the causes and preventable measures people can take on their own to secure surroundings. Right now there is an ongoing effort to create
a platform for educational activities, where volunteers would meet locals and share their knowledge about the subject and at the same time encouraging members to seek out more information about the benefits of planting trees and plants. Hopefully, as this subject takes on a deeper root in the communities, more and more people will be engaged in prevention activities. To increase the impact of this effort the project has also included 10 schools with more than 200 students. The plan is to create several lessons concerning the importance of tree planting and soil erosion prevention.
Fencing & Planting
Expert consulted and plans made.
Recycling and clean up actions
Ban on non biodegradable plastic bags
Richmond Coastal Conservation Project
Trails and Signs. Planting and Reef
Education Visits. Planting and Reef
1 rally and Public awareness event per year
Climate Compliance Conference Stakeholders
Mapping, investigation and test planting
200 locations in North Leeward with preventative planting
Timeline for the CCC ready for climate change actions
Education Visits. Planting and Reef
RVA would like to thank all the program participants, community groups and leaders, parliamentarians, media houses, organisations and individuals for all the actions implemented. It has been an honor to be able to work together with so many different people, from different walks of life and every corner of this beautiful island nation. THANK YOU! The lessons, research and community actions described in this book have been carried out in close cooperation with Government Bodies such as The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Transformation and its Forestry Department, The Ministry of Tourism and the Parks, Beaches and Rivers Authority, The Ministry of Education, The Energy Unit/ Ministry of National Security, NEMO (National Emergency and Management Organisation), WINFA, CWSA Central Water and Sewage Authority and regional bodies like OECS - Organisation of East Caribbean States.
The Climate Compliance Conference has also worked closely together with several Community Based Organisations (CBO) like the Rose Hall Cultural and Development Organisation, Inivershall Rastafari movement, Hairouna Progressive Organisation, Chatoyer Gardens, Red Cross, The Petit Bordel Police Youth Group, Generation Next Chateaubelair, Hands to Mouth Troumaka, Police Cooperative Credit Union, The SVG Rotary Club, Rose Bank Development Association, SVG AMP (Association of Music Professionals) and Hairouna Progressive Organisation. Furthermore, valuable input has been seeked and shared at the following higher educational institutions like: The University of Guyana, Guyana School of Agriculture, St. Vincent Community College, St. Vincent Technical College, The University of the West Indies Mona Campus, The EARTH University Costa Rica, The Universidad Manuela Beltran Bogota Colombia, The Colby Sawyer College, North Hampshire USA, Michigan State University, Northeastern University Boston Massachusetts along with several universities in Norway, England, Germany and Finland. Various national and international media have generously covered the Climate Compliance Conference research and actions.
In St. Vincent we like to thank API, Agency for Public Information, Inns and Outs of St. Vincent, We FM, Hitz FM, NBC Radio, Radio Grenadines, Star Radio, Garifuna Radio, Praise FM, IWN, The Searchlight, The Vincentian, The News, Focus North Leeward, SVG TV News and IK TV. For the international media we would like to thank Telesur Latin America, NBN Guyana, Real News Network USA, Caribbean News Online, Caribbean News Service, Radio Antigua, Radio St. Lucia, Radio Montserrat, Radio Pamplona Colombia and Ren-TV Broadcasting Russia. Finally, all of the Academyâ€™s projects would not have been possible without moral as well as monetary support from the ENO - Environment Online Finland, OECS RRACC Project (USAID), European Union, The Republic of China Taiwan, Grenada Conservation Society, Scotiabank, Beachfront Restaurant and Bar, Mountain Top Spring Water, Mustique Charitable Trust, UNDP GEF Small Grant Program, PADF Pan American Development Foundation, IICA International Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, AIR All Island Recycling and The GAIA Movement Trust Living Green World Action and Recycle for Change. We sincerely hope you have enjoyed reading and learning about The St. Vincent Climate Compliance Conference 2012 - 2021, which is a conference for the ordinary people to come together and make changes for a more sustainable future. We look very much forward to new learning, actions and results over the next five years.
Videos in Richmond Vale Academyâ€™s YouTube Channel: Government related
R5 Greetings from The Minister of Foreign Affairs, St. Vincent R5 Greetings from Ministry of Health, Wellness and The Environment R5 Testimonial: Dr. Jerrol Thompson, Minister of Technology
R5 Testimonial - Bradford Latham, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Media related
R5 The Climate Compliance Conference on Guyana Today R5 Telesur - The Real News Network
R5 Water Recycling and Climate Compliance - API at Richmond Vale Academy