Richmond Vale

Global warming as crime against Humanity by Jomo Thomas

Global warming as crime against Humanity by Jomo Thomas
Plan Talk, Nov. 1 2017 With increasing frequency, the Caribbean has been experiencing heavy rainfall, devastating floods, monster hurricanes, very hot days and nights as well as prolonged periods of droughts. So far this year, the region has witnessed two category 5 hurricanes that that wreak havoc in Dominica, Tortola, St Croix, BVI, Turks and Caicos, St Martin, and Cuba   In responding to this absolutely life changing, indeed existential threat, Professor Anthony Chen, speaking at a climate change forum hosted by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute, suggested that Jamaica should seek economic restitution from global polluters at the international Court of Justice (ICJ). It is a cause all Caribbean nations should embrace. As Dr Chen noted that the dangers and threat of global warning has been well established since the 1990s, but the countries responsible have not taken any significant steps to reduce greenhouse gases. The Trump administration has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accords and the Head of the Environmental Protection Agency is a global warming/climate change denier. No serious planner in the region can fail to factor the deadly issue in yearly if not daily or monthly brain storms. Towards the end of 2013, Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent experienced devastating storms. The Christmas Eve storm took 13 lives and caused more than $300 million in damage, about 17 percent of Gross...
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Richmond Vale

My experience working with Biogas

My experience working with Biogas
My experience in the biogas project was very interesting because it was the first time I heard about it. I learned a lot about biogas, how to build one and I can see biogas can change people's lives because people can save money by reducing cooking expenses by as much as 80%. Cooking is easier and quicker than cooking with charcoal or firewood, it reduces your household waste because the biogas system converts organic household waste, improves your house because you have a source of energy for cooking and it produces your own organic fertilizer and helps the environment. Biogas is made up of five sections: a mixing tank, inlet chamber, digester, and outlet chamber and last an overflow tank. Also biogas is made from food waste. Cow dung is the main source for a biogas digester as the bacteria in dung has more potential than others. The biogas is also the future of waste processing as 40% of the waste in the average rubbish bin is food waste and it's all going to landfills which pollutes the soil and other resources and create methane gas which contributes to climate change. So the digester not only diverts this but also creates useful output from the otherwise wasted food, gets energy and brings back valuable nutrients to the soil. Inside the digester tank is where the digester of the...
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Richmond Vale

Mi experiencia en RVA (Spanish & English Version) by Nelson Ramirez

Hola a todos! Acabo de iniciar mi experiencia en el programa impartido por RVA llamado “ Luchando contra la pobreza ”. Es mi tercer día en el centro de estudios y estoy gratamente sorprendido en varios aspectos:   1. La belleza natural que rodea la escuela es impresionante, estamos cerca de ríos, cascadas y del mar.  Al atardecer en la puesta del sol, se puede apreciar paisajes de una belleza única.                       2. Los temas que están propuestos en el programa son súper interesantes, muy actuales y el material de apoyo es muy completo. Este material de apoyo ha sido en su mayoría elaborado por los estudiantes y profesores de la escuela.   3. La diversidad cultural que se encuentra en la escuela hace muy enriquecedora esta experiencia (en el centro de estudios se encuentran más de 15 nacionalidades), adicionalmente la posibilidad de comunicarnos en el inglés como idioma común para todos hace que esta experiencia sea apropiada para aquellas personas que desean mejorar sus habilidades en el manejo del idioma inglés. Nelson Ramirez – Colombia English version   Hello everybody I am Nelson from Colombia, this week started my experience as a part of the team called “ Fighting with the poor ”. It is my third day at Richmond Vale Academy and really surprised for...
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Flashbacks to our first weeks – watch the video!

This video is a compilation of the different experiences we had during the first seven weeks in six-month climate compliance program. The collection includes among other things: Visit to animal production site Charcoal lecture Breadfruit festival face painting activities Visit to soil lab Hike to volcano Open day festivities Working on a home garden. Video was created by Mikel. Hope you enjoy it! [embed]https://youtu.be/_rbymk6sDtQ[/embed]
Richmond Vale

Do you know this numbers?

Do you know this numbers?
  2°C 565 Gigatons 2795 Gigatons Do you know this numbers? For us and our future generations it is very important to know about it. Our climate changes very fast, faster than we want to be true.  To explain the numbers I have to start with a calculation: In all medias we can read about CO2 and that we have to reduce the CO2 emission. But first we have to know how much is too much? Jim Hansen and his Team at NASA studied exactly this and published which said, that we don’t know enough to know how much is too much. However any value for carbon in the atmosphere greater than 350ppm is not compatible with the planet on which civilisation developed and to which life on earth is adapted. But 2013 we already had 395ppm CO2 and it is rising around 2 points every year. Everything frozen on earth is melting and the result is: - The great ice sheet of the arctic is reduced by more than the half- The oceans are about 30% more acidic than they were 30 years ago- The atmosphere is about 5% wetter than it was 40 years ago We have burned enough coal, gas and oil to raise the temperature of the earth one degree.  Now to the numbers... 2° C That’s how much the world has...
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Richmond Vale

Why start organic gardening

Why start organic gardening
People start organic farming for a lot of reasons, as a hobby, a way to eat healthier, to reduce their grocery spending, to earn extra income, etc. There are also many people (like myself) who do it for philosophical reasons as part of a value system. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy my work in the garden or on the farm, it's tiring and in my case there is quite a bit of trial and error, but I do genuinely enjoy it. Which I guess is lucky for me because my reasons for doing it would have me out working with the plants regardless. Now I’m not going to go on a sustainability rant or try to convince you that the ideologies to which I subscribe are right for everyone. The purpose of this post is to try to put organic gardening into a big picture perspective, because I feel that looking at it in that way not only enhances its value, and the fulfillment that we can get from it, but also it can increase our yields and reduce the amount of work that we have to do.   I guess that to begin it would be worthwhile to define “organic”, because it's a termthat is subject to interpretation. In the commercial world it simply means non chemical, which in my opinion isn’t...
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Richmond Vale

Carbon Footprint 101: How to Calculate it and Reduce it

Carbon Footprint 101: How to Calculate it and Reduce it
Carbon footprint is one of those terms that has gradually — over the last 10 years or so — moved its way from the obscurity into everyday conversation. But what, exactly, does it mean? What is a carbon footprint, how can you measure yours, and how can a carbon footprint be reduced? The term carbon footprint is defined as the amount of carbon (usually in tonnes) being emitted by an organization, event, product or individual directly or indirectly. Everyone’s carbon footprint is different depending on their location, habits and personal choices. Each of us contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone) either by the way we travel, the food we eat, the amount of electricity we consume and much more. However, there are people, organizations, nonprofit institutions (like Richmond Vale Academy ) and even local governments who have begun talking about the carbon footprint and motivating each other to put in place programs to reduce their carbon footprint, like our Climate Change Activist Program . Click here to go straight to how to calculate it Click here to go straight to how to reduce it What are Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Greenhouse gases are a group of gases that are able to trap heat (longwave radiation) in the atmosphere, keeping the Earth's surface warmer than it would be if...
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Richmond Vale

The Caribbean produce less than 0.1% of the global pollution

The Caribbean produce less than 0.1% of the global pollution
Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Thursday championed the cause of Caribbean and other Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), which he said are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Addressing the 72nd session of the United Nation General Assembly, the Antigua and Barbuda leader noted that whatever position and nation takes on climate change, the evidence of global warming is now irrefutably stronger. “Two Category 5 hurricanes within 12 days, that unrelentingly pounded so many countries, can no longer be dismissed as ‘the vagaries of the weather’, nor can they be explained as ‘nature’s doing’. Hurricanes are stronger and bigger because they are absorbing moisture from increasingly warmer seas, caused by global warming,” Browne said. “And, that is a man-made phenomenon, whose manufacture is attributable to those nations, that consume 80 percent or more of the world’s primary energy, emitting dangerous levels of pollution into the atmosphere.” The prime minister outline how on September 6, Antigua and Barbuda was the victim of the ferocity of Hurricane Irma, the largest storm ever endured in the Atlantic in human history. He reiterated that Barbuda, the smaller of the two islands, was decimated; its entire population left homeless; and its buildings reduced to empty shells. Antigua and Barbuda was spared the full blast of Hurricane Maria just nine days later, although, Browne said sustained...
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Richmond Vale

The New Climate Compliance Conference Book is out

The New Climate Compliance Conference Book is out
Dear Friends! We are very happy to share with you the new Climate Compliance Conference Book ! From the introduction; 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: 25.000 trees have been planted. Farmers have been supported by using more sustainable agriculture techniques. 15.000 students across SVG have been taught hundreds of lessons. 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...
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Richmond Vale

Climate change and Stronger hurricanes: Are they really connected?

Climate change and Stronger hurricanes: Are they really connected?
With Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma leaving destruction in their wake and Hurricane Maria looming in the Atlantic Ocean, the frequency and the power of the storms raises the question: How big of a role, if at all, does climate change play on these events? There are several vital ingredients needed for hurricanes to form. These include an initial disturbance in the atmosphere for the storm to form around, very warm sea surface temperatures to sustain the storm, and a lack of vertical wind shear so the storm is not torn apart during its formation. In the Atlantic Ocean, hurricanes often form near Cape Verde off the coast of West Africa. They then track westward towards the Caribbean and the US. Lots of factors can affect how strong these storms ultimately become, including how much time they spend gathering strength over the ocean, and the background weather patterns through which they travel. This storm season we have seen sea temperatures persistently about one to two degrees Celsius above normal over the tropical Atlantic Ocean, which has allowed stronger storms to form and develop. Atlantic sea temperatures have warmed over the past century , thus enhancing one of the key ingredients for hurricane formation. Hurricanes and Climate Change are they really connected? According to Ex-NASA Scientist James Hansen , there is a clearly connection between climate change...
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Richmond Vale

A brain-stormed organic approach to agriculture

A brain-stormed organic approach to agriculture
Caribbean countries are particularly susceptible to climate change related risks. For these reasons, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Ministries of Agriculture of the Eastern Caribbean States (ECS) and other partners launched a Regional Competition to identify, document and disseminate successful cases of the implementation of technologies and practices that are contributing to climate smart agriculture in the ECS. This competition is part of a broader effort to develop capacities and strengthen institutions to enable an effective response to climate change by the region’s agrifood sector. Richmond Vale Academy is featured in this book by IICA and the national winner for St. Vincent and the Grenadines featuring Climate Smart practises. The challenges posed by Climate Change Over the past several decades, multiple climate changes have occurred across the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), located in the Lesser Antilles, including increasing temperatures, changes in water availability and precipitation, and increasing instances of floods. The December 2013 floods, for example, adversely affected many agricultural zones across SVG and several regions are still recovering. These changing climatic conditions, especially over the last twenty years, have presented multiple risks to the country’s agricultural sector, affecting the productivity and quality of crops. Marked changes in rainfall dynamics, with more frequent and intense precipitation events, and more frequent and pronounced drought events that disrupt farming and...
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6 Month Gap Year Opportunity in the Caribbean - An Environmental Program

6 Month Gap Year Opportunity in the Caribbean - An Environmental Program
Today, thousands of people are taking gap years all over the world; travelling for months on end, doing it with relative comfort and ease. Today, a gap year can be anywhere, for any length of time, doing anything you want. You can build an orphanage in Belize; teach English as a foreign language in Israel, trek through the Himalayas in Nepal or travel around the 'banana pancake trail' in Southeast Asia. It really is whatever you want it to be. A gap year comes under many guises - backpacking, a career gap, a short gap (most of the times for 6 months); travelling, time out, a sabbatical - but they all mean the same thing. A gap year is constructive time out to travel in-between life stages. It usually means travelling, volunteering or working abroad. Often it means all three! Save the Planet in a 6 month Gap Year in The Caribbean! Climate change and global warming, are something real , and only we can do something to change that reality. If you are looking for a way to save the planet and meet new people, travel and live new experiences, then a 6 month gap year in the Caribbean is just what you need!   St Vincent and the Grenadines is one breath-taking nation made up of an island chain, part of the Windward Islands,...
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Richmond Vale

8 climate change facts that definitely make you think!

8 climate change facts that definitely make you think!
Climate change and global warming are hot topics these days. Studies conducted by various scientists suggest that climate change is happening and it could have devastating and damaging effects on human life. So, what is climate change? Climate change is a change in the usual weather found in a place. This could be a change in how much rain a place usually gets in a year. Or it could be a change in a place's usual temperature for a month or season. Climate change is also a change in Earth's climate. This could be a change in Earth's usual temperature. Or it could be a change in where rain and snow usually fall on Earth. Weather can change in just a few hours and climate takes hundreds or even millions of years to change. Climate Change facts Climate change facts show clearly that we need to act. Change is happening; the Paris Agreement set the ball in motion – though has been criticised for not going far enough –; and as well as nations including Portugal, Denmark, Costa Rica and Scotland producing huge amounts of energy from the sun and wind; Sweden is soon set to become the first fossil fuel-free country in the world; largely due to public demand in the past few years. The effects of climate change has already started occurring in the...
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Anita Joined the Team of the First EPONA Workshop in SVG!

Anita Joined the Team of the First EPONA Workshop in SVG!
We are very happy to receive Anita in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which will be part of the first EPONA: The Secrets of the Wild Horses , to be held at the Eco Center in February 2018. Anita is a certified Eponaquest Instructor, EAGALA Instructor, Yoga teacher, One Horse Life Teacher and a certified Health Coach. In her 47-year long life, she have been curious about horses and how to learn from them. Attending a traditional riding school at a young age left her with many more questions than answers on how to connect with these wonderful animals. In the Stina Herberg Website , Anita said that: “The search for knowledge has not always been easy as I found that the knowledge I was searching for was not always easily accessible. It has taken me on several journeys, some far away abroad to foreign countries. There have been many incredible horse-people that has inspired me through the years, people like; Carolyn Resnick, Linda Kohanov, Anna Marciniak, Klaus F. Hempfling, Fredrik Pignon, Jean Francois Pignon, Marc Rashid, Bill Dorrance, Marjike De Jong, Karen Rolf and Alexander Nevzorov, and Stina Herberg, to mention a few.” But at the end, the best teacher to understand horses, is of course horses! Anita said that her horses teach her how to be strong and positive, especially after suffering from stress...
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Richmond Vale

Poverty in Saint Vincent and how we can make real change by Ammon

Poverty in Saint Vincent and how we can make real change by Ammon
By Ammon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is located between Saint Lucia to the north and Grenada to the south. Saint Vincent is a very mountainous country with a long history of indigenous peoples. The Island was first “discovered” by Spanish explorers in 1511 but was colonized by the French in 1719 and eventually by the British. The colony was ruled through slavery until 1834 when Britain abolished slavery. Saint Vincent was still controlled by the British until 1979 when independence was gained. These histories of Indigenous peoples and colonization provide the foundation for the economic and cultural problems that afflict the country of Saint Vincent to this day. The effects of slavery are devastating to any culture and Saint Vincent is no exception, you might even say it is the rule. Saint Vin cent was under slavery for a relatively short time compared to other colonies and had a very stiff resistance from the indigenous people of the island, the Garifuna, but this may have made the colonial crack down all that worse in the end. When the Garifuna were eventually suppressed their men were captured and deported from Saint Vincent (named Yurumein at the time meaning Homeland) to the coast of South America. Under the system of slavery people were taken from their lands and traditions and forced into a system that they did...
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How to Build a Biogas Plant by Alexandra

How to Build a Biogas Plant by Alexandra
By Alexandra Biogas is a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, called also anaerobic digestion. It is produced from biodegradable materials and more than half of the resulting gas is methane. In order to create an anaerobic digestion we started our project with a tank made for the purpose of storing water (picture on the left). We tried to seal it by gluing it, but since it was initially designed for water we couldn’t seal it properly and gas was escaping through the lid. This is the only design for tanks that you can find to buy in Saint Vincent, so we decided to import the IBC tanks from Ariaponics Ltd. in Trinidad and Tobago. IBC stands for Intermediate Bulk Container and is used for shipping different things, so you can find it everywhere around the world. One of the advantages of building a biogas plant made out of IBC tanks is the fact that it’s an open source design made by Solar Cities, so you can find a lot of information on their website. It’s very easy to build. For the first model we build we used 2 IBC tanks for digesters, one underground concrete tank filled with water and a water tank with the top cut and rotated 180 degrees in the concrete tank...
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War and Peace studies - USA vs North Korea

During the week we have 2-3 classes all together covering topics from compost toilets, health benefits of moringa to the exploitation of Haiti.  As a Climate Activist and Development Instructor it is important to get a better understanding about the world. In the Fighting with The Poor Program there are several studies such as reasons for war, situation in the middle east, The role of NATO, UN Security Council, Anti War Movements and how to stop wars. Here are some interesting facts being used in preparations of a new morning class that will be held in September in regards to the North Korea "conflict": The US has 800 military bases in 63 countries worldwide, and military personnel presently active in 156 countries. The US has been at war or in a military conflict for 224 of its 241 years in existence. The US defense budget is over $610 billion yearly, which is higher than the defense budgets of the next 8 countries combined: China (215), Russia (69), Saudi Arabia (63), UK (48), France (55), India (55), Japan (46), and Germany (41). The US is the only country that has ever dropped an atomic bomb on a population, killing about 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A December 2013 WIN/Gallup poll asked 67,806 respondents from 65 countries, "Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?" 24% of respondents said the US. The...
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6 Major Effects of Urbanization That Will Make you Think!

6 Major Effects of Urbanization That Will Make you Think!
In 1800 only about 2 percent of the world's population lived in urban areas. That was a small wonder: Until a century ago, urban areas were some of the unhealthiest places for people to live. According to The Department of Economic and Social Affairs , half of the global population already lives in cities, and by 2050 two-thirds of the world's people are expected to live in urban areas. But in cities two of the most pressing problems facing the world today also come together: poverty and environmental degradation. The majority of people move to cities and towns because they view rural areas as places with hardship and backward/primitive lifestyle. Therefore, as populations move to more developed areas (towns and cities) the immediate outcome is urbanization. This normally contributes to the development of land for use in commercial properties; social and economic support institutions, transportation, and residential buildings. Eventually, these activities raise several urbanization issues. Poor air and water quality, insufficient water availability, waste-disposal problems, andon density and demands of urban environments. Strong city planning will be essential in managing these and other difficulties as the world's urban areas swell.   Environmental Effects of Urbanization Urban populations interact with their environment. Urban people change their environment through their consumption of food, energy, water, and land. And in turn, the polluted urban environment affects the health and...
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Camping at La Soufrière Volcano by Alexandra

Camping at La Soufrière Volcano by Alexandra
La Soufrière is an active volcano on the island of Saint Vincent in the Caribbean. The name is French and some people call it a “Sulfur mine”. You can feel the smell of sulfur as soon as you reach the top.The height of the volcano is 1234 meters (4048 feet). La Soufrière National Park, which includes craters, hot springs and rivers occupies a third of Saint Vincent. [caption id="attachment_11381" align="aligncenter" width="654"] La Soufrière Volcano We set our mind to hike it and camp up there even though we heard a lot of stories from different people that is quite impossible because of the terrain or unstable weather. We took it as a challenge. Most of our grouphas hiked before so we were not completely inexperienced. We decided not to ask a guide to show us the way since we had one of the students done the trail for several times. He never camped up there, but our plan seemed perfect and we had everything in place, including the weather on the morning of the hike. 9 Tips for camping at La Soufrière Volcano: Take in consideration that the rainy season in Saint Vincent starts in May and ends in September. There is no water up there so you need to carry as much as you think you need. We had 5 - 6 liters/person for one...
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Chapter 2 St. Vincent from the New Climate Compliance

Chapter 2 St. Vincent from the New Climate Compliance
Hello again! Enjoy a new chapter from the new Climate Compliance Conference Book. In the Chapter 1 , we presented to you a little introduction about the Climate Compliance Conference, in this chapter 2, we're going to talk about St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Enjoy! Saint vincent and The Grenadines The country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, also known as 'Hairoun (a)', 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...
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