Cleaning Up the Mess's blog
Last week Kenyan-born Erle Rahaman-Noronha who has a BSc in Applied Biochemistry and an MSc in Zoology from the University of Guelph, Canada told us of the origins of Permaculture. This week, Rahaman-Noronha tells us in detail what the Permaculture Design Course entails.
Last week I explained how permaculture which has its origins in the ’70s describes a holistic system which connects many components on an agricultural site, has grown and evolved into a practice (permanent culture) that is embraced by urban communities—growing food and harvesting water and sunlight in their backyards—rural communities seeking empowerment, self-sufficiency and retention of their cultures and university communities seeking to bring a change in the status quo.
The GEF is the largest public funder of projects designed to address global environmental priorities at the national level. Projects funded by the programme fall within five focus areas: biodiversity conservation, protection of international waters, prevention of land degradation, climate change (mitigation and adaption) and reduction of persistent organic pollutants.
The minister dismissed her with the wave of a hand, saying: “That’s just a small part of the Savannah. When we ready we can pave the whole thing. There’s plenty more bush in the country.”
So many things became clear in that single statement. Apart from bush being a rural symbol and paving an urban one (speaking not just of the will but the capability and resources), this demonstrates a well-defined attitude to land, to natural resources, and the prevailing desire to get “out of the bush” to civilisation. And so we see house lots in which the house is built with barely any yard, and if there is a “yard” it is paved.
Our relationship to other living things—be they plants, trees or bush; bachacs or tarantulas, pothounds or pitbulls—remains for the large part, unilateral or utilitarian. Do they serve us? Do we need to avoid them? If they are harmful to us, then kill them.
We don’t usually perceive nature as something that we need to fit into, in our daily lives. We seldom think about the most important future resources—water, food and energy.
This week in Guardian Media environmental space, writer and blogger PAT GANASE tells us about two young scientists, one of whom, a Trinidadian student who are doing important research in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
If you could live on an island small enough for you to walk around in a couple hours, what would you need to give your life purpose?
Two young scientists have seized the opportunity to do research on a coral island in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
They join a growing band of colleagues who are not only interested in the animals and systems that build coral reefs in tropical waters, but who are investigating more deeply to build on previous work and adding their research to increase the body of knowledge about coral systems. Scientists in symbiotic relationships!
Amanda Ford is a student from England attending the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Anjani Ganase, from Trinidad and Tobago, did her first degree in marine biology at the Florida Institute of Technology, and then chose the University of Amsterdam for a master’s.
Permaculture was originally an agricultural term (permanent agriculture) created in the 70s to describe a holistic system that would connect many components on an agricultural site, and that after its initial setup, would provide its owners with all their needs and eventually become a sustaining artificial ecosystem much like a natural forest.
This view still applies, but over the last 40 years, permaculture itself has grown and evolved into a practice (permanent culture) that is embraced by urban communities growing food and harvesting water and sunlight in their backyards; rural communities seeking empowerment, self-sufficiency and retention of their cultures; and university communities seeking a change in the status quo.
It is preparing the population to deal positively with the changes that are upon us from an exploding population, resource depletion, an oil and energy addiction, global warming and climate change. In trying to write about what permaculture is, I decided the best way was to talk about the permaculture design course (PDC), the backbone of permaculture, what it covers and how it is applied on our farm.
On 27 July, the curtain rises on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. London makes history in being the first city to host three Olympic Games and promises to be the greenest ever. This is according to today’s guest columnist British High Commissioner, ARTHUR SNELL who tells us just what this means.
With memories of the spectacular opening ceremony to the 2008 Games in Beijing still clear in our minds, it is easy to understand why the Olympic Games is considered by many to be the greatest show on earth. The opening ceremony for London 2012 promises to offer its own brand of razzmatazz, after all its concept is choreographed by British film director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Trainspotting), but the real story to London 2012 is the assertion that the games will be the first truly sustainable Olympics in their history.
In the second of this two-part series in Guardian Media ongoing Cleaning Up The Mess space, Minister of Housing and the Environment Dr Roodal Moonilal, tells us that the Government’s application of solar power as renewable energy in police surveillance bays is just the start of T&T’s transition to a low carbon society.
The application of solar power as renewable energy in Police Surveillance Bays (PSB) represents the first significant undertaking of its kind on a national level. It demands considerable co-ordination, planning and collaboration among the many stakeholders for proper execution.
In the first of this two-part series in our ongoing Cleaning Up The Mess space, Housing and the Environment Minister Dr ROODAL MOONILAL tells us T&T has begun transitioning to a low-carbon society, starting with the application of solar power as renewable energy in police surveillance bays.
The Cabinet of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago approved the construction of Police Surveillance Bays (PSBs) along the Uriah Butler and Sir Solomon Hochoy highways. Consistent with its Medium Term Policy Framework for the period 2011 to 2014 regarding transitioning to a low-carbon society and promoting green technology, Cabinet also approved the application of solar power for the PSBs.
In the first two instalments Charles told us not to allow the ugliness of the plastic debris floating along our shoreline, in our rivers, on our beaches and drains, to become an accepted part of our national psyche, and warned that if we fail to take measures to begin recycling we could be faced with a crisis situation on our hands requiring drastic measures.
This week, Charles, using his experience of working with the largest contract manufacturing plastics plant in T&T, suggests a way forward.
Having built and operated the largest contract manufacturing plastics plant in Trinidad and Tobago, we have over the years acquired an intimate knowledge of plastics and its applications.
It is a major challenge to select the most appropriate grade or combination of plastics for particular applications, as one has to factor in the processes available to the manufacturer, the equipment to be used, the product to be made and resin prices and availability before selecting a particular resin for a specific use.
This results in a diverse range of plastic types and grades ending up in our dumps and the general environment.
This week in Guardian Media environmental series feature writer, editor and blogger Pat Ganase tells us just why growing our own food is not only good for our economics, but for our health.
LIVING LA VIDA
You are what you eat. So said the French doctor Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in his 1826 book. The idea that what we eat influences or has a direct bearing on health, state of mind, even personality is today not merely philosophical.
Look at how cheap high calorie food—replete with tasty fats and sugars—is reshaping the profile of a generation. Couch potatoes indeed! How can we be expected to clean up what’s around us when we can’t begin to clean up what goes into our own bodies?
A generation ago in Trinidad, children ate what their mothers cooked at home. This usually meant a meal that included locally grown vegetables or green stuff, carbs in the form of rice or roti, green fig, ground provision and, if any, a tiny but flavourful portion of meat or fish.