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Richmond Vale Academy The St. Vincent Climate Compliance Conference 2012-2021

February 2015


Towards a Sustainable and Healthy St. Vincent Global Warming and Climate Change are real; temperatures are rising steadily, droughts and extreme weather are becoming more frequent. The ice is melting and sea levels are rising. Also in St. Vincent we can feel the effects of a changing climate.


Especially the through system that devastated St. Vincent on Christmas 2013 is a clear sign of a changing climate, followed by a period of drought in 2014. Climate Models project that over the coming years and decennia

What are GMOs?

Genetically Modified Organisms are a new type of crops, which through a process of manipulating genetic material from different plants and animals, big agricultural companies have constructed a new type of food. The effects of this unnatural process are not widely tested, yet the food is already in our supermarkets and our fields.

rain will come less frequent but in bigger amounts at a time, so there is no doubt that a series of events is awaiting us, affecting the life of everyone in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.


For long enough humanity and society have wrecked the planet. Long enough have we depleted fossil fuels, long enough have we destroyed the natural world around us for our own profits. Long enough have big agribusinesses destroyed our soils with their chemicals and unnatural ways.

SVG should be concerned

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) - seeds and foods - are entering our nation. We in St. Vincent have reasons to be concerned. GMOs are a treat to our health, are a treat to our environment and are a treat to our seeds. We need to understand all aspects, before taking any decisions.

Natural resources are running out, biodiversity is dying out little by little.

It’s time to take action, and it’s time to take action right now! In all corners of St. Vincent awareness is growing. Model gardens are being developed and improved , the first steps towards an organic agriculture are being taken. The concept of Permaculture is growing in the minds of many Vincentians and models are there to be visited.


And what about GMOS? Are we going to allow the big agricultural


Permaculture is for everyone and anyone who is interested in a sustainable future. Permaculture design can be practiced in limited urban spaces as well as the rural farm-land. It offers the possibility of developing a diverse skill set that allows for greater resilience in increasingly uncertain times.

businesses to smuggle these dangerous crops and seeds into our country? Are we letting them continue without being aware about how they are ruining the planet, how they are ruining our health, how they are taking advantage of us?


It’s time to take action! It’s too late to be a pessimist! The solutions are there, the right choices have to be made today, for a more sustainable and healthier St. Vincent, so we can secure the future of the generations that follow.

Organic Model Gardens

Climate Compliance activists from across the nation have joined hands and are establishing and developing organic model gardens in St. Vincent. Such gardens, which serve as a model for everyone to follow, are currently being established in Villa Flat, Richmond and Rosehall.

GMOs – Why Vincentians should be concerned ! ! ! ! ! !

As Vincentian organic farmers, living on a Permaculture farm – Chatoyer Gardens — with our two small children, we would like to bring Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to other Vincentians attention.

Are you a farmer, a parent, an individual who is interested in your overall personal health, that of others and/or that of the environment in which we live –our country; our land and waters? If yes, please read on...



When these man-made genes get out into the wild, how are they going to interact with Nature? Nature evolves; “super weeds” and “super pests” are

As an organic farmer, I would like to be able to save seeds to replant crops yearly, to preserve and continue increasing plant varieties on our Permaculture farm. The

born. Nature keeps on finding ways to put up a resistance in order to survive.

Even though the biotech companies said that there would not be an increase in herbicides and pesticides usage, there has been a dramatic increase. Dr. Terry Vrain, former research scientist for Agriculture Canada, said that “super weeds” look like normal weeds, but they have become resistant to the technology. 38 different weeds have developed a tolerance to the herbicide Roundup in Canada. The ease of the magic chemical no longer performed and the farmers had to go back to weeding by hand.(4)

What is the biotech solution to “super weeds”? They have now introduced a much more potent herbicide, 2,4-D (abbreviation for Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), one of the ingredients in Agent Orange, the herbicide widely used during the Vietnam War.(5)

How long will it be before a yet stronger herbicide, which will do more harm to the environment, is required? It is uncertain. Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception wrote, “unstable genes make accurate safety testing impossible. It also may explain some of the many problems reported about GM foods. For example, nearly 25 farmers in the US and Canada say that certain GM corn varieties caused their pigs to become sterile, have false pregnancies, or give birth to bags of water. A farmer in Germany claims that a certain variety of GM corn killed 12 of his cows and caused others to fall sick.”(6)

Why are we continuously poisoning our environment and ourselves with chemicals? GMO seeds are designed to be used with chemicals. When these seeds are brought into a natural environment, they may have a toxic or lethal impact on other living things. For instance, in India, civil society organizations in four villages in the Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh conducted a preliminary investigation saying that “at least 1,820 sheep were reported dead after grazing on post-harvest Bt cotton crops; the symptoms and post-mortem findings

GMO seeds are a threat to our organic seeds and local varieties in more than one way. “There can be no biosecurity with transgenics: they cause genetic erosion (loss of genetic diversity)” says Silvia Ribeiro, the Latin American director of the ETC Group (8). Not only will the seed be compromised because of the genetics, but that seed would now not be able to be saved and replanted because it has a patent on it by the biotech seed company –they could now charge the farmer for saving seed! Did anyone realize how devastating crosspollination could be? Dr. Mercola writes about cases of widespread contamination: in 2007 a “pollen drift from GM maize (MON810) fields were found to have contaminated hundreds of conventional and

organic farmers in Spain [...] A 2009 Greenpeace report documents the profound socioeconomic and human impacts the contamination has had; telling the stories of real people who have experienced losses not of their own making: “ There are no safeguards for MON 810 cultivation, and co-existence of GM and nonmodified crops is impossible.”(9)

Does a farmer know that he could loose export markets because of GMO contamination? It is happening all over the world. Dr. Terry Vrain speaks of Canada loosing their flax and canola export due to GMO contamination.(10) Certain Thai exports were recently banned due to threat of contamination by GMOs.(11)

What happens after a farmer cannot afford the seeds and the chemicals each year and his family goes hungry? He commits suicide. News articles released by CNN, the Huffington Post, the BBC and many more stated that over 200,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1997, around the time when the World Bank’s structural adjustment policies forced India to open up its seed sector to global corporations like Cargill, Monsanto and Syngenta. Vandana Shiva writes, “Farm saved seeds were replaced by corporate seeds, which need fertilizers and pesticides and cannot be saved [...] Corporations prevent seed saving through patents and by engineering seeds with non-renewable traits. As a result, poor peasants have to buy new seeds and what was traditionally a free resource, becomes a commodity. This new expense increases poverty and leads to indebtness.(12)”

presence of BT toxin in the blood of pregnant women and

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" –as

their babies, with possibly harmful consequences.(13)

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine said.

Please learn about all aspects of GMOs before making

We must not forget that “unlike most other developed

In our looking at the GMO issue, we Vincentians are faced

any decisions. There is a lot of information on both sides:

countries – such as 15 nations in the European Union,

with a proposed bill on “biotech safety”, which is essentially

1) Research paid for by the US biotech industry through

GMOs - A HEALTH TREAT Numerous scientific studies are showing that GMO foods are linked to tumors, cancer, and birth abnormalities in organs and body parts of lab mice and rats. One such example released on September 19, 2012, by Scientists from France's University of Caen, published images of rats with tumors after they were fed a diet of GM Corn (1). Jeffery Smith, author of Genetic Roulette: The Dangers of GMOs, wrote that GMO foods have been “linked to toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals”.

What are we eating? What are we feeding our children? Do you know? The average individual has no idea what GMOs are, nor do they know that 90% of all soy, 85% of all corn and 75% of the processed foods we are eating are GMO (2).

The Non-GMO Verified Project website states, “The sad truth is many of the foods that are most popular with children contain GMOs. Cereals, snack bars, snack boxes, cookies, processed lunchmeats, and crackers all contain large amounts of high-risk food ingredients.”(3)

Lana Asprey, M.D., author of The Better Baby Book, wrote “GMO food have become common only in the last twenty years. It’s no coincidence that during that time, the US population has suffered a 400% increase in allergies, a 300% increase in asthma, a 400% in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a 1,500% increase in other autism spectrum disorders. Food related illness doubled between 1994 and 2001. Soy began to be genetically modified in 1996. In 1996 alone, soy allergies increased by 50% and soy became one of the top 10 allergens in the nation.”

At Chatoyer Gardens, we do our best to incorporate Slow Food in our daily living –we harvest fruit, vegetables and herbs for our meals, and we take our time preparing them fresh. We enjoy knowing that our food is grown naturally, without the use of chemicals.


Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia and even China – the U.S.

a bill to “supposedly” regulate the importation of GMOs and

some form of direct grant or “indirect” grant, through

has no laws requiring labeling of genetically engineered

LMOs (Living Modified Organisms). The bill was initiated in

local government agencies and academic bodies, such

foods.”(14) And as of October 2013, there were at least

2007, but to our understanding very few Vincentians know

as the University of the West Indies.

twenty-six countries that had total or partial bans on

anything about it.

2) There is also research done mostly in foreign countries,



by foreign agencies or foreign universities, mostly in the


EU and Russia.

Here in St. Vincent at Chatoyer Gardens, like in 64 countries

to say NO to GMOs and LMOs entering our blessed

It is more than suggested that one of the reasons that the US

around the world and the Slow Food movement, we support

islands! At the end of the day, it is our health and our lives

is so pro-GMOs is because of the lobbying power of these

required labeling of all products containing GMO

that we are dealing with. Think of your health, your children’s

biotech companies. The US government is not carrying out

ingredients, including meat and dairy products where

and future generations. Think of your country’s health.

long-term risks assessments and there are few objective

animals have been fed with GMO feed. Therefore, giving

Are GMOs worth the risk?

studies. For example, the built-in pesticide in BT Corn was

Vincentians the freedom to make a choice about what

not supposed to survive in the human body, that our saliva

they eat.

would eradicate it. However, scientific studies now show the


We Vincentians, as a Christian Nation deserve the right


Alexandra Paolino Punnett Chatoyer Gardens


What are Genetically Modified Organisms? GMO is the abbreviation for Genetically Modified Organisms, but what does this really

3) Longer Lasting Plants

mean? Genetically Engineered or Modified food means that the DNA of different

Crops are genetically modified so they last longer and in this way are more fit for transporting

species is combined to create a type of plant or organism that does not exist in nature

them over long distances.

or is not created by cross-breeding.



6 Big Companies control

Farmers have been breeding and optimizing species for many generations, but this is

and dominate the

different. Traditional breeding makes it possible to mate a pig with a different pig to create a

agricultural sector.

new variety of pig, the same with hybridizing different tomato seeds for example. They never

The agricultural market for

combined totally unrelated species such as plants and animals together.

seeds, fertilizers and

pesticides is dominated by

With Genetic Modification however - or genetic engineering -

scientists have managed

these 6 corporations. These

to artificially extract the genes from one plant and force it into the genes of another

are the same corporations

plant. This in order to create species with specific capacities.


that work with biotechnology,

The major benefit of all commercial GMO’s is that they are bred to either tolerate direct

plants. The “big 6” are

application of herbicides and/or have the ability to produce their own pesticides. There are 3

Monsanto, Dow Chemicals,

main types of GMOs:

Dupont, Bayer, Syngenta and

or Genetic modification of


BASF. Their power goes far beyond the agricultural market as they are well involved in 1) Pesticide Resistant Plants

American and global politics, in this way influencing global agriculture with their seeds and

These crops, typically Corn and Soy, are now resistant to specific types of pesticides. These pesticides are from the same companies that engineered the crops.

2) Insecticide Induced Plants

products. This makes them a major player in the wrecking of our planet.


GMOs have not been bred to increase yield, become drought tolerant, improve nutrition or to

Scientists have genetically modified crops so they produce a poison which kills insects.

have any other benefit to the consumer. So at present they have no health or other benefit,

These plants are designed to kill life.

their benefits are purely economic.


GMO on your plate Many people may not be aware of the hidden dangers in the food they are consuming day to day. Genetically engineered food refers to organisms that have been taken from one species, for example, an animal, bacteria, or virus, and then chemically inserted or forced into another unrelated organism. This in turn creates a completely new organism that we would never see existing within nature otherwise. Since there is so little we know about these new GMOS, this also means we know very little about the health risks associated with them as well. So why would anyone want to consume them? Are you willing to take that risk? As a consumer it is your right to know what you are eating and it is your right to choose for yourself.

to these GM crops, many artificial sweeteners are produced with organisms that are genetically modified. Aspartame can be found in sweeteners such as Equal and Nutrasweet. It is also used in many diet soft drinks and other juices. Aspartame can actually be found in thousands of products. If you really have a sweet tooth you are better off going for the products made with 100 percent cane sugar or natural fruit sugars. Below is a list to guide you so that you can be a smart shopper, protect yourself, and protect your family. (16)

Oils/Fats/Shortening-“Vegetable oil” usually is GM, as are corn, soybean and canola oil. Your best bets are coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, safflower oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil.

Meat- Unless meat is advertised as free range and grass fed, it is probably fed a diet that is all or high in GM grain like corn or soy.

A lot of this genetically engineered food may be hidden within the long list of ingredients that you find on food labels. You will need to take a little time to read over the labels on food if you want to avoid GM products. The foods that you want to avoid will have ingredients associated with corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar beets, and papaya that is grown in Hawaii or China. These GMO crops are also being grown in countries such as U.S.A. and Canada. In addition

Condiments/Prepared Foods- Look out for GM soy, corn and/or canola in these products unless labeled organic

Cereals- Most of these contain GM ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup and other corn products, soy and proteins from milk. Just because something is labeled “natural” doesn’t make it good for you.



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Dairy/Eggs- Unless it’s labeled organic or rBST-free, all dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) more than likely has milk from cows injected with rBST, a GM hormone. It’s also likely that the cows and chickens were fed GM corn, soy and canola.


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Fresh Produce- Sweet corn is GM


Cookies/Snacks/Chips- If they contain high-fructose corn syrup; soy, corn or canola oil; soy lecithin or other soy isolates; you will want to avoid these. Remember, most vegetable oil

from the U.S. is more than likely GM too.


Ice Cream/Frozen Meals- Most of these contain high fructose corn syrup, whey protein from rBST milk, and GM beet sugar, or other soy additives.


A more comprehensive and detailed list can be found at https:// non-gmo-shopping-guide.pdf



Lindsey Jenkins Climate Compliance Team #8 Richmond Vale Academy

1 Rat  reality  show:  Russian  scien2sts  to  broadcast  GMO  experiment.  Edited  (me:  September  29,  2012  15:47
 2  Gary  Hirshberg,  Chairman  of  Stonyfield  Farm,  the  world's  leading  organic  yogurt  producer,  on  Tedx  ManhaKan  2013  “Why  Gene(cally  Engineered  Foods  Should  be  Labeled”
 3  hKp://­‐more/gmos-­‐and-­‐your-­‐family/
 4  Dr.  Thierry  Vrain,  TEDxComoxValley  “ The  Future  of  Agriculture:  The  Gene  Revolu(on.
 5  hKp://,4-­‐Dichlorophenoxyace(c_acid
 6  Most  Offspring  Died  When  Mother  Rats  Ate  Gene2cally  Engineered  Soy  By  Jeffrey  M.  Smith,  author  of  Seeds  of  Decep(on
 7  hKp://www.i-­‐  
 8  Mexican  Farmers  Oppose  Expansion  of  Transgenic  Crops,  by  Emilio  Godoy,  MEXICO  CITY,  Jul  14  2014  (IPS),  hKp://­‐farmers-­‐oppose-­‐expansion-­‐of-­‐transgenic-­‐crops/
 10  Dr.  Thierry  Vrain,  TEDxComoxValley  “ The  Future  of  Agriculture:  The  Gene  Revolu(on
 11  Twenty-­‐Six  Countries  Ban  GMOs—Why  Won’t  the  US?  By  Walden  Bello  and  Foreign  Policy  In  Focus  on  October  29,  2013  -­‐  10:59  AM  ET
 12  From  Seeds  of  Suicide  to  Seeds  of  Hope:  Why  Are  Indian  Farmers  CommiPng  Suicide  and  How  Can  We  Stop  This  Tragedy?  Vanadana  Shiva  Posted:  05/29/2009  5:12  am  EDT  Updated:  05/25/2011  1:15  pm  EDT
 13  Twenty-­‐Six  Countries  Ban  GMOs—Why  Won’t  the  US?  By  Walden  Bello  and  Foreign  Policy  In  Focus  on  October  29,  2013  -­‐  10:59  AM  ET;  and  Gary  Hirshberg  on  Tedx  ManhaKan  2013
 14  hRp://­‐to-­‐know/labeling-­‐around-­‐the-­‐world
 15  Twenty-­‐Six  Countries  Ban  GMOs—Why  Won’t  the  US?  By  Walden  Bello  and  Foreign  Policy  In  Focus  on  October  29,  2013  -­‐  10:59  AM  ET;  and  Gary  Hirshberg  on  Tedx  ManhaKan  2013
 16  Mather,  Robin.  (2012,October/November).  Mother  Earth  News.  Retrieved  from  hKp://­‐food/how-­‐to-­‐avoid-­‐gene(cally-­‐modified-­‐food-­‐  zmgz12onzphe.aspx  


Organic Model Gardens in St. Vincent In different places in St. Vincent the organic movement is growing and new model gardens are being established, and existing ones are being developed and improved. The idea of the Model Garden is to have an organic garden in the community where anyone can go to take a look and learn how to grow organic food, free from any chemicals .


The Inivershall Rastafari Movement have had a garden based in Villa Flat since 2005. Over the past 5 years Ras Yacob, Empress Modupe, & Patric St. Louis, have begun to develop the site as a Community Garden. Recently the garden has taken new steps into its’ development.

Luke Punnett and Alexandra Paulino Punnett, founders of Chatoyer Garden, have a Permaculture setup in the Vermont Valley. The Chatoyer garden has an intensive vegetable zone, which is is successful commercially, and more extensive zones bordered with food forest wildlife corridors, which are continuously reaching a growing level of production.

Richmond Vale Academy has on its’ compound developed a Model Vegetable Garden, designed according to Permaculture principles. Plans are made for the development of a food forest at the compound.

Recently activists from the Climate Compliance Conference started to set up a Model Garden in Rosehall. Selwyn Patterson, together with Climate activists and local farmers are working actively on the establishment of the garden.

The Model Gardens are open for anyone to go and learn how to grow food organically. Many more groups from St. Vincent are developing plans to start Model Gardens in their communities.


Contact Richmond Vale Academy or any of the other groups involved for more information or if you want support in starting your own Model Garden.


“Permaculture offers practical solutions”

WHAT IS PERMACULTURE? “Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems.

It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people. Providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.

Without permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable social order.”

Permaculture Design Manual


WHO CAN LEARN PERMACULTURE? Permaculture is for everyone and anyone who is interested in a sustainable future. Permaculture design can be practiced in limited urban spaces as well as the rural farm- lands. It offers the possibility of developing a diverse skill set that allows for greater resilience in increasingly uncertain times. Long-term access to land is critical for implementing designs and is the main impediment to the take up of Permaculture design.


PERMACULTURE IN SVG Permaculture offers design principles and practical tools, based on observations of nature, that allow us to transform our landscape to one offering greater abundance in a sustainable and chemical free way.

Permaculture offers a holistic viewpoint on sustainable agriculture, we learn that soil is ‘alive’ and needs to be ‘fed’, that the trees of the forest are ‘connected’ by threads of fungi called mycelium which transfer information and nutrients, that life is interdependent – the destruction of nature preceding our own.


Preventing erosion and recharging the water table Before we can begin the process of restoring the soil we must first prevent further damage. Water is a

critical resource; the management of it as it passes through our land is crucial to the success of our design. Permaculture teaches us to make a simple A— frame that can be used to establish the contour of the land, starting at the highest point on the land we can then dig and plant a swale (a trench along contour).

Swales can be planted at intervals down the slope of the land – passive water harvesting. This will lead to reduced erosion and greater water infiltration into the soil - where it enhances existing water table levels. This can mean greater resilience, by our tree crops in particular, to extended drought. It can also, over time, lead to the emergence of springs on lower slopes.


Increasing diversity As we observe natural tropical forests, we notice the diversity of plant species occurring in a pattern of typically seven layers. In our designs we mimic nature by providing for diversity, which leads to greater stability in our constructed ecosystem. In Permaculture we achieve effective diversity by using ‘plant guilds’ (i.e. beneficial associations of plants)


Soil regeneration Before restoring soil we need to understand how nutrients are cycled in tropical forests. We then seek to apply this knowledge to our farm and garden designs. In tropical forest systems nutrients are cycled primarily in the abundant biomass,which breaks down under sheltered conditions on the forest floor offering organic material to the hungry bacteria (microbes) and mycelium. This process gives rise to the most abundant and luxuriant forest systems known to man. For such a forest to develop there is a biological succession which takes place, which builds soil over time. The key to building sustainable forest and farming systems lies in understanding this succession and the use of Nitrogen Fixing Trees (NFT’s) and Green Manure Cover Crops in its development. In our regeneration of typically exhausted tropical soils we use the following strategies:


‣ Nitrogen fixing trees and other useful pioneer species ‣ Dispersed shade systems ‣Mulch (e.g. Glyricidia leaves, Leucaena, Vetiver grass, Cardboard...) ‣Green manure, cover crops ‣Compost and grass-fed animal manure

Obtaining a yield In our Permaculture design a primary principle is ‘obtaining a yield’. In Permaculture design our yield should come from varied sources and be spaced to accrue over time thus providing greater resilience in our income streams.

At Chatoyer Gardens our main yield comes from our farm. Our main form of marketing our diverse produce is to offer CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes. These go out weekly to customers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

We add value to local grass fed cow’s milk by producing a natural yogurt and soft cheese. We support local economy by offering, for example, cocoa sticks and virgin coconut oil. A small apiary supplies our own need for honey, is invaluable in terms of pollination and offers a further yield to our household economy.

We teach Permaculture and organic gardening, and consult on Permaculture designs offering further yields. Most of our food comes from our farm and local economy, where we encourage the use of bartering. We import substitute at every opportunity, for example we grow our own kitchen sponges – the loofah has been used traditionally in our culture as a sponge substitute. We have access to spring water that is piped to our house but we also catch rainwater from our roof and store it in tanks as a reserve for times when we encounter problems with our main line, the house is then gravity fed from this storage.

Yields can be designed to generate themselves over the short, medium and longer terms. An example of a worthwhile longer-term yield is sustainable forestry. Mixed stands of timber trees can be planted and sustainable yields can be realized in as soon as 6 years for some varieties of Leaucena (the weed variety is known locally as River Tamarind) and longer terms depending on the type of timber tree selected.

In a world of impending crisis, Permaculture offers practical solutions to building greater resilience into our lives and landscapes.

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Luke Punnett Chatoyer Gardens


Modupe Olufunmi Jacobs: “The people of this country deserve to know.” The Inivershall Rastafari Movement (IRM) is a nonprofit movement. Its focus is the cultural, spiritual, social, political and economical development of all peoples of African descent and with their model garden in Villa Flat they are leading by example the organic farming in their region. We interviewed Modupe Olufunmi Jacobs, member of the IRM, an activist for a sustainable St. Vincent and a leading voice in the GMO and LMO discussion.


such as canola and soya oil, flour, etc from countries like China, Canada, and the U.S.A.”


Whose responsibility is it to take a stand and how can this be done? " This affects all of us so we have to take a stand from the grassroots and on up.
 We need to do this through education and sensitization to GMOS, LMOS, as well as the Gramaxone, Round Up, Sevins, and their dangers and toxicity as well as the threat they pose

"What is your stance on GMO's?" " GMOS are criminal and should be made illegal. They were created by monstrous bio chemical companies like Monsanto who are known for making pesticides and other poisonous killers. Another way that demonstrates that they are criminal, for example, can be seen in places like Haiti and India. These companies were able to convince the powers that be; to believe farmers would get greater yields and more disease resistant crops if they used the Monsanto seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. However, the introduction of GMO seeds only brought woes

to farmers. There are many farmers in India who went into great debt to have GMO seeds and many of them failed to get the promised results." Some of the reasons farmers were unable to achieve these so called desired results include, natural disasters and crop failure. This placed farmers into high debt which made it impossible for them to purchase new seeds and ultimately led to many suicides when they could not meet their debts. "What makes Monsanto even more criminal is that they tried to get legislation passed, In India, and other countries where their products are sold; so that the surviving families of the farmers who committed suicide, would inherit the debt."


How do you feel about GMO seeds being distributed to farmers here in St. Vincent? "Given the information that we saw at the bio safety meeting that was held to discuss GMOS and LMOs on the 28th of January 2015, it would seem that GMOS are already here. This is clear from the charts which show that St. Vincent is already importing food from countries that are known producers of GMO products

to humanity. Here in SVG, I know of one community advocate, farmer, my "agro guru" Lennox Lampkin, who has always been advocating to raise awareness about the silent killers in the herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, banned in the U.S., Canada & UK, yet on the market here easily available to the average person. He is one of the vocal minority who call for accountability and transparency in the regulating and distributing of such toxic products. He is among those who informs our knowledge of GMOS and LMOS, Herbicides,Pesticides & fungicides in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Last year brother Lampkin, myself, and three other activist participated in an international demonstration against Monsanto. Here we were made aware of just how little Vincentians knew about GMOS and LMOS. We spent four hours giving out pamphlets and information about GMOS. Most Vincentians didn't even know what a GMO was or how it impacted or affected their lives."


What message do you want to say to the people about GMOS and the issues around them that are arising? " I understand from the meeting that there is a proposed BioSafety Act of 2007. I urge the powers that be and the government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines to not only consult

with their legal and scientific team for drafting this proposed act into law, but also that they must engage,involve, and provide full transparency to civil society in respect to their position on GMOS, LMOS, and what this Bio Safety Act really means if it were to become a law. Does BioSafety also cover the

This 71 page document must be summarized in a language that an average illiterate farmer, the school children, and every citizen can understand and make an informed decision on the consumption and use of these products. Should it become a law, what would it mean to us? The people of this country deserve to know, as these issues are public health issues, they must be disclosed to the people."

distribution, handling and transportation of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides?

“Going organic will cost us less and help us to enjoy a healthier lifestyle” I am student of the One Month team at Richmond Vale Academy. Here we are studying many topics but today I want to talk about Agro organic farming and Permaculture ( permanent culture).

Going the organic way will cost us less, help us to save money and enjoy a healthier life style. No use of chemical to our garden, which I think is causing a lot of harm to our health and environment. So in order for us to stop it let's us go Permaculture and Growing Organic Food.

The reason for me to be part of the One month team is because I want to help my community by getting them involved in growing and eating local and organic which is the healthier way of living for our health and well being.

Marcha Williams Fancy, North village in St Vincent

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Permaculture help us to conserve our resources. The permaculture courses help us to be more conscious about the things that are going on around us I have learned how we can grow a variety of plant in the same area , by adding organic material , compost and mulch into the soil and will be repeating at different stages. We also learned how to make a “lasagna bed” by pilling green, manure, waste from kitchen ,ash and dry material onto the soil, to regenerate it. They teach us how to make very good use of lot of things that seems impossible at the first side to reused them.


“We had a lot of action, we started a mangrove forest, attended a GMO meeting, built a Model Garden and gained a lifetime worth of knowledge.” During my one-month course I learned a lot about GMOs – Genetically Modified Organisms. And from what I understand it’s a means of making money but poison the nation slowly. If it wasn’t for RVA and it’s Climate Compliance Course, I would still be unaware of this. Just imagine taking genes from a monkey and putting into something we eat because it makes the produce bigger. It’s bigger, but is it healthier? Definitely not!! So my slogan is: “Say no to GMO! No! No! No!”


I was invited to the one-month course of the Climate Compliance Conference, which simply deals with how to make St. Vincent more Climate Compliant in terms of living a sustainable lifestyle.


My name is Harlyn Williams from Ginger Village, a small village in the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The village is not recognized yet because of its size, but will be as soon as I get on my journey with the knowledge I learned at the Richmond Vale Academy.


Growing our own food organically – absolutely no chemicals – and less import will save us a lot in many ways. We wouldn’t have to buy all this chemically imported stuff, so less costs

on our pockets, and health-wise, meaning less visits to the doctors because we’re eating right.


RVA is a school after school, a place where you can learn a lot of stuff etc. how to more responsible, build your communication skills, teaches you agriculture and history, and a lot more – just to name a few.

It’s a place where you can get the information, your school left out or even the information people in higher authorities fail to reveal. In terms of health and education on a whole, for example they fail to educate us on GMO products and what it really means, and the dangers of consuming GMO products.


During my course we had a lot of action taking place where we did a lot of stuff, e.g. we were involved in planting over a hundred trees at the Richmond beach to create a mangrove forest to celebrate the 12 year anniversary of the Police Credit Union. Also there was the forestry department, Parks and Beaches, and us from the RVA.


We also participated in making a permaculture garden strictly organic utilizing all the ways we have from the school etc. all newspaper food pealing and dry dead leaves lying around.

We took part in the GMO meeting, where they tried to present it in the nice way as in Biosafety but thanks to the RVA for the education we know the truth and the dangers of GMO so it was “No! No! No!, No GMO!!”


I could go on for ages for the knowledge I acquired in my one-month course and it is unbelievable so I’m encouraging all who is reading this at this present moment to get a hold of

the RVA – Richmond Vale Academy – they have a lot of information to offer.


And as a Vincentian I should say, we are mighty blessed to have them here. They are a home away from home, and you would enjoy it here. Mind you, you must be open-minded and willing to learn and I can assure you, you will be amazed of what is taking place here in St. Vincent at the RVA. They have some of the facilitators at the RVA, easy to understand and people from all over the world here. You name the nationality and there is a person there from that place, willing and ready to listen, teach, learn and also exchange culture.


At this moment, I’m willing and ready to go back and spread the lessons I’ve learned to my community and the rest of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I am definitely looking forward to working with RVA hand in hand to get the good news spread throughout St. Vincent and the importance of it getting out.


I would like to thank the RVA and it’s wonderful staff for giving me the opportunity to gain a lifetime worth of knowledge. Also I would like to put out a special thanks to my teachers, Selly and Laetitia. Thank you very much! And the whole of RVA, it was a memorable moment and will always be!!


Harlyn Williams Ginger Village

Join a One Month course Climate Compliance Richmond Vale Academy offers Vincentians the One-month course Climate Compliance to anyone who is interested to study and take action for a sustainable St. Vincent. So far 30 students from all over the island have joined the Climate Compliance for one month at a time. Vincentians are granted a scholarship for the course, which includes food and accommodation for 4 weeks Monday to Friday.


During the one month at Richmond Vale Academy students suds a variety of topics. The pedagogy followed is based on a combination of theoretical and practical training. The main focus is on organic farming and an introduction to the principles of Permaculture.


Theoretical knowledge gained, covers besides garden farming a variety of topics, Among others, some of the topics are; Climate Change and Global Warming, the planetary boundaries, alternative energy sources, recycling, tree planting, GMOs, Biochar production, pratical solutions for the changing climate and sustainability in general.


The practical part of the course consists of working in the organic garden, taking part in the running of the school, and most of all taking action in the communities of St. Vincent under the headlines of Model Gardens, Recycling, Education and Tree Planting.


Contact Richmond Vale Academy today to get more information about joining a OneMonth program with a scholarship. Your country needs you!



The St. Vincent Rainbow Warriors acting for a Sustainable and Climate Compliant Island

Generation C. C for Courage.


St. Vincent is going sustainable step by step by step. There is a lot of work to be done.


Several individuals and groups in St. Vincent have decided to work

together to make St. Vincent a greener and cleaner country.

One group is the informal coalition of people calling themselves “The Rainbow

Warriors" which consist of people from Rose Bank Development Association, Rose Hall Cultural Development Association, SVG AMP,

Georgetown Group, Fancy Organic Vegetable Group, Chatoyer Gardens,The

Inivershall Rastafari Movement, Richmond Vale Academy and various other farmers and individuals. People from the group get together in bigger and smaller groups and take practical action.

Climate Actions Calendar 2015 The Climate Compliance Conference and the Rainbow Group are carrying out actions in St. Vincent to protect the environment and spread awareness about how to build in resilience for the dangerous effects of Global Warming and Climate Change. Anyone is more than welcome to join our actions.

! February 21 - Recycling Rally North Leeward ! March 5 - Full Moon Drum Circle ! March 7 - Trash pickup Action Kingstown ! April 18 - River and Beach Clean Ups ! April 25 - Earth Day Celebration at RVA ! May 16 - Trash Pickup Georgetown ! May 23 - Global March against Monsanto !

Various actions have been taken like; start up organic gardens, host seminars for farmers, demonstrate how to produce organic pesticides and

how to operate a small biogas plant. Actions have been taken to

construct "Chicken Tractors", organizing a Recycling Ralleys and beach clean ups, Setting up water harvesting, promote renewable energy,

production of radio programs and more than 20 000 trees have been planted.

Other "Do good" initiatives have been to serve dinners to vulnerable people, spread positive culture with messages on climate change, arrange sports days for children and promote healthy living.


What characterizes the group is Courage. Courage to believe that together we can make a difference to get ready for a future with a changing climate.

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Celebrate EARTH DAY 2015 at Richmond Vale Academy ! 25th of April Exhibitions Presentations Guided Tour Guest Speakers

Richmond Vale Academy The St. Vincent Climate Compliance Conference 2012-2021

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