Posted 11 days ago
I am originally from the West Indies and have been living and working here in the UK for the past 27years. I maintain my contacts back home and was recently made aware of some serious problems that are emerging. Any advice will be helpful.
What we need help with is to help small projects in the islands in educating the communities, to develop and market sustainable products that are gathered from the forest and our historical colonial trees to produce food, juices, jellies and preserves, even cosmetics and soaps. So that we do not lose them and the culture that these trees represent.
The coral reefs are being bleached and it is affecting the beaches, fishing and tourism. Once traditional and preferential markets in Europe have been ending. Farmers are not able to make a living. We need to develop small agribusiness and help farmers to transition to climate smart practices, to build and promote smart apps for farmers and gathers. We need for example to be able to map where the important fruit and forest trees are, we need to help propagate more trees and make the existing trees protected from mining, forest fires, landslides, soil degradation, timber thieves and poachers.
Ideas such as direct subscription to assist farmers by buying a tree or planting a crop, paying for it to be planted and taken cared of, with pictures and updates of its growth, first flowers and fruit, development, and final process of production- even consuming the product at the end are all possible and would be greatly appreciated. Imagine the joy of drinking the mango juice from your tree in the Caribbean for your English breakfast and being invited to visit the coconut tree that you once planted and drink from its sweet water in its cool island shade. You can own a piece of paradise and help save the Islands, their people, and be good to the planet.
Economic viability also means the reduction of migration away from these small islands to other areas such as America and to Europe. Making small businesses viable in these countries is critical to not only the geography, culture, life choices and the biodiversity in these areas but for us all on this planet. Please help- if this Cop 26 is to mean anything at least be aware that the islands need you- the hurricanes stripped the bark of the trees in Dominica, my friend is going back to the islands to help- what can we do to help them? Please point us in the right direction.
The islands have been well educated and have among the highest rates of literacy in the world and the once London School of Tropical Agriculture now called (The University of the West Indies) have produced graduates who are keen to work at biodiversity preservation, reforestation, community and Eco-tourism, agricultural projects and small scaled artisanal production. What I want to be able to do is to get the communities to value their trees and not cut them down to produce another cash crop, housing or at worse for timber or mineral exploitation. Help.