Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

Rural landscape in the Dominican Republic
Happy Earth Day from the Farmer-to-Farmer team! 

Here at Partners, we are committed to promoting economic growth in an environmentally sustainable way. Agriculture and natural resource management are inextricably linked to the health of our planet and many Farmer-to-Farmer assignments have an environmental component. Some include trainings in natural resource and forest management or biochar production while others focus on organic farming methods or integrated pest management.

You'll find a few examples below but please a look around the rest of our blog to read stories about Partners’ work in agriculture and the environment!

With help from Partners’ F2F program, the Jarabacoa School in the Dominican Republic was able to grow from teaching forestry alone to also training students in the more general themes of natural resources and environmental management. The focus on curriculum development brought volunteers with a university background in rural tourism and course curriculum development in natural resource management and forestry.  The curriculum designed for the Jarabacoa School has helped strengthen both the level of education being offered and also the accreditation process of the institution. F2F volunteers assisted in the management of protected areas within the school’s vicinity including the Sendero Enriquillo (trails) and the Salto de Jimenoa II. The Jarabacoa School’s first graduating class of thirty-eight students completed their studies in the summer of 2013 with the curriculum developed by F2F volunteers. In addition to working with students, volunteers have trained park rangers hosted at the school in the management of protected areas all throughout the Dominican Republic. 

Plants in re-purposed plastic bottles, Colombia
In January 2013, climate change and water resource management professionals Femke Oldham and Matthew Freiberg traveled to San Andres Island, Colombia, to demonstrate sustainable food and water systems to female inn owners comprising the Caribbean Paradise Lodging Association. Read more about their work here, here, and here.

In March 2013, F2F volunteer Rhonda Sherman of North Carolina traveled to Guyana to provide instruction to farmers, students and staff at the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), and the public on composting and vermicomposting – using worms to turn organic wastes into compost. Ms. Sherman, Extension Specialist in Solid Waste Management at North Carolina State University, sought to enable participants to better manage existing composting systems or begin backyard systems of their own. Read more about composting to benefit farmers and the environment in Guyana, here.

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