The Benefits and Age-Old Success of Waffle Gardens: A history on one of the oldest sustainable farming methods of the Southwest

ABQ Stew

Located in the arid Southwest, on the Southeastern edge of the Colorado Plateau lives the A:shiwi also known as the Zuni people. Zuni Pueblo is the largest of the nineteen pueblos in New Mexico and perhaps the most isolated. Zuni Pueblo and its farming villages are nestled in valleys surrounded by Jurassic, Triassic and Early Cretaceous mudstone and sandstone mesas. Since the time Zuni was inhabited their survival was dependent on what the land provided. They developed different types of farming methods that enabled them to contest the variable water availability and inadequate soil quality that is common in desert soils. These methods include terrace gardening, a type of farming that allowed them to use the hillslopes of the mesas to divert water among several stair case terraces. On a larger scale is a type of agriculture known as dry-land farming or run-off agriculture which farmers used to grow…

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CARICOM prepares positions on imminent UN oceans agreement


Senior environment officials from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) met recently in Belize as CARICOM rationalises its position on the United Nations (UN) process to establish an international legally binding agreement on sustainable use of marine resources.

The two-day workshop held 20-22 February 2017, in Belize City, Belize, was titled, ‘CARICOM Regional Workshop on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction’.

Foreign Minister of Belize, the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, addressing the opening, said that CARICOM Member States had championed the negotiation and adoption of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), which was opened for signature in Jamaica. He also reminded that when the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea was constituted, two CARICOM citizens – Edward Laing of Belize and Dolliver Nelson of Grenada, joined the ranks of the first 21 Members of the Tribunal.


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Youth call for leaders to follow footsteps of Climate Vulnerable Forum


Meet the new kid in town – The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).

Their ability to impact the negotiations is not be underestimated. This group of developing countries from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean has been stealing the show at COP 21 over the last few days.

CVF is a truly diverse group of countries which initially composed of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam, but will be accepting new members during COP21. Brought together by their vulnerability, they define themselves as “an international partnership of countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet, “and they serve as a “South-South cooperation platform for participating governments to act together to deal with climate change.”

From day one, CVF has been among the major champions in the amplification of the 1.5° goal. In…

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Students and Minister Visit the CCCCC


Students of Compassion Primary School in Yo Creek Village, Orange Walk District, Belize visited the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) on Friday, November 20.

The teaching team that accompanied the students were elated, noting: “It is never too early to learn about climate change and that is why we wanted the children to visit the Centre on Children’s Day.” The students were eager to learn about how Climate Change is affecting their country, as well as the the mitigation work being undertaken by the Centre. They were further animated by the presence of Mr Omar Figueroa, Minister of State with responsibility for Environment, Sustainable development and Climate Change, who encouraged them to continue to show strong interest in climate change concerns and get involved with schools-based projects.

Carlos Fuller, the Regional Liaison Officer at the  Centre, introduced the students to a wide-ranging of climate change concepts and the broader regional…

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Effects Of Climate Change Seen Across Jamaica


As a child, Joan Buchanan always anticipated the summer holidays, when she would accompany her parents to the farm to reap a range of crops which would be flourishing after the May/June rains.

She still recalls the joy of going from tree to tree, sampling and reaping seasonal fruits and ground provisions such as mango, Otaheite apple, plantain, cassava, and callaloo, among others.

Now 59 years old, Joan has picked up where her parents left off and now uses the trade to provide for her family. However, the trees have become frugal in their offerings and the bountiful summer harvest she could anticipate is a thing of the past. This year was no normal summer. In fact, the season hasn’t been normal for the past two years.

In an interview with The Gleaner, the resident of Seaforth, St Thomas, lamented the devastating effects a prolonged drought has been having…

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When the Rastaman Speaks: Climate Change and Food Security


Dizzanne Billy, 24, is President of theCaribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) inTrinidad and Tobago, where she works in the areas of education and public awareness on a number of environment and development issues. She is a climate tracker withAdopt-A-Negotiator and a young advocate for climate change action.

“Rastaman ah (is) the usual suspect.”– Prophet Benjamin

Discrimination is not uncommon in the Caribbean. But Carus John-Bejai is breaking the mold. At 23, this rastaman is flying through a PhD at the University of Nottingham, hoping to shed critical insight for Trinidad’s farmers in a changing climate.

Carus has always been intrigued by plants. Following the support from his parents, he began to see his love for plants as a way of “improving the living standards of not only those who rely directly on the sector but of the global population as a whole.”

Big words for such a…

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon meets with Caribbean agencies focused on Climate Change


Deputy Director and Science Advisor of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Dr. Ulric Trotz, and other representatives of leading regional agencies focused on climate change issues met with His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, last week at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in Barbados.

Reflecting on the challenges posed by climate change and the way forward for the Caribbean, Dr Trotz noted that:

“Building climate resilient, low carbon economies in the Caribbean will require a transformational change by national governments, regional organisations, NGOs, the private sector and civil society supported by an unprecedented level of financial and technical assistance.”

The Secretary General applauded the Caribbean for its contribution and engagement on climate change and affirmed the importance of regional institutions in keeping on the front burner the concerns about the impact on the Caribbean.

“Regional organizations are critical to moving this agenda forward – and…

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Belize – Mexico : Student Exchange on Climate Change


The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the Embassy of Mexico to Belize are pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the first Belize – Mexico Student Exchange on Climate Change.

A contingent of 32 students and eight teachers from four Belmopan-based schools, along with four members of staff from the CCCCC and a representative from the Mexican Embassy took part in the inaugural exchange on Friday, June 19, 2015 in Chetumal, Mexico. The participating schools include Belmopan Comprehensive High School, Belmopan Baptist High School, Belmopan Methodist High School and Our Lady of Guadalupe High School; and Almirante Tomás O.P. Blanco Núñez de Cáceres of the Mexican Navy, a Chetumal, Mexico based primary school.

The exchange programme sought to enhance cross-cultural awareness of Climate Change among Belizean and Mexican students. The exchange also created an opportunity for collaboration between both countries to expand the network of Climate Change and…

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Growing a future – Coral restoration in Bluefields Bay, Jamaica


Fishers of Bluefields Bay tell stories of a time when the coral grew so high parts of the reef were impassable, when boats had to navigate around the coral tips emerging out of the Caribbean’s blue waters. Four decades later a trip underwater will show you a seafloor still covered with the skeletons of these same corals. Due to the effects of hurricanes, decline of algae grazers and climate change, the once lush thicket is only a story told around a bottle of Red Stripe beer and a cup of fish soup (since the fish is too scarce to cook any other way).

Until now. The climate isn’t the only thing changing for some communities around the Caribbean. In Bluefields Bay, Jamaica, the community has come together with the Government to establish one of the fourteen (14) fish sanctuaries island wide. Since 2009, the community based organisation, Bluefields Bay Fishermen’s…

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We are building a network of Climate Change Clubs!


The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) welcomed a group of 25 students from the Belmopan Comprehensive High School today for an interactive climate change exchange. The visit forms part of a broader engagement with young people in an effort to create a network of school-based environmental clubs with a strong climate change focus across the region. The initiative is being piloted by the Centre in five (5) schools in Belmopan, Belize with support from the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (MFFSD) under the “Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change” project which is funded by the European Union.

The participating schools are:

  • Belmopan Comprehensive High School
  • Belize Christian Academy
  • Belmopan Baptist High School
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe High School
  • Belmopan Methodist High School

Through this means of youth engagement, we  are using a mixture of specially designed games, discussions, music and other tools…

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