Investment Needs of US$35 Trillion by 2030 for Successful Energy Transition

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The global energy transition is off-track, aggravated by the effects of global crises. Introduced by IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) today, the World Energy Transitions Outlook 2023 Preview calls for a fundamental course correction in the energy transition.

A successful energy transition demands bold, transformative measures reflecting the urgency of the present situation. Investment and comprehensive policies across the globe and all sectors must grow renewables and instigate the structural changes required for the predominantly renewables-based energy transition.

The Preview shows that the scale and extent of change falls far short of the 1.5?C pathway. Progress has been made, notably in the power sector where renewables account for 40 percent of installed power generation globally, contributing to an unprecedented 83 per cent of global power additions in 2022.

But to keep 1.5?C alive, deployment levels must grow from some 3,000 gigawatt (GW) today to over 10,000 GW in 2030, an average of 1,000 GW annually. Deployment is also limited to certain parts of the world. China, the European Union and the United States accounted for two-thirds of all additions last year, leaving developing nations further behind.

IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera said, “The stakes could not be higher. A profound and systemic transformation of the global energy system must occur in under 30 years, underscoring the need for a new approach to accelerate the energy transition. Pursuing fossil fuel and sectoral mitigation measures is necessary but insufficient to shift to an energy system fit for the dominance of renewables.”

“The emphasis must shift from supply to demand, towards overcoming the structural obstacles impeding progress. IRENA’s Preview outlines three priority pillars of the energy transition; the physical infrastructure, policy and regulatory enablers and well-skilled workforce, requiring significant investment and new ways of co-operation in which all actors can engage in the transition and play an optimal role.”

The Preview warns that a lack of progress further increases investment needs and calls for a systematic change in the volume and type of investments to prioritise the energy transition.

Although global investment in energy transition technologies reached a new record of USD 1.3 trillion in 2022, yearly investments must more than quadruple to over USD 5 trillion to stay on the 1.5?C pathway. By 2030, cumulative investments must amount to USD 44 trillion, with transition technologies representing 80 per cent of the total, or USD 35 trillion, prioritising efficiency, electrification, grid expansion and flexibility.

Any new investment decisions should be carefully assessed to simultaneously drive the transition and reduce the risk of stranded assets. Some 41 per cent of planned investment by 2050 remains targeted at fossil fuels. Around USD 1 trillion of planned annual fossil fuel investment by 2030 must be redirected towards transition technologies and infrastructure to keep the 1.5?C target within reach.

Furthermore, public sector intervention is required to channel investments towards countries in a more equitable way. In 2022, 85 per cent of global renewable energy investment benefitted less than 50 per cent of the world’s population. Africa accounted for only one percent of additional capacity in 2022. IRENA’s Global Landscape of Renewable Energy Finance 2023 confirms that regions home to about 120 developing and emerging markets continue to receive comparatively little investment.

La Camera said, “We must rewrite the way international co-operation works. Achieving the energy transition requires stronger international collaboration, including collective efforts to channel more funds to developing countries. A fundamental shift in the support to developing nations must put more focus on energy access and climate adaptation. Moving forward, multilateral financial institutions need to direct more funds, at better terms, towards energy transition projects and build the physical infrastructure that is needed to sustain the development of a new energy system.”

IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook (WETO) provides an energy transition pathway in line with Paris Agreement goals, limiting global temperature rise to 1.5?C. The forthcoming 2023 edition will contribute to the first Global Stocktake concluding at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates and will propose effective ways to accelerate progress over the next five years towards 2030.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.

US lawsuit seeks to protect habitat of endangered corals

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

An environmental group filed a lawsuit Monday accusing the U.S. government of failing to protect 12 endangered coral species across the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean that have been decimated by warming waters, pollution and overfishing.

The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity said it filed the lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service more than two years after the agency proposed to protect more than 6,000 square miles worth of coral habitat but never did so.

The critical habitat designation would cover 5,900 square miles off Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida and the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. It also would cover 230 square miles around islands including Guam and American Samoa in the Pacific.

Such a designation could improve water quality in the coastal zone, limit excessive fishing and protect spawning grounds, according to the environmental group, which said “absent bold and immediate action” coral reefs worldwide could collapse over the coming century.

A spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries said the agency does not comment on litigation.

The Caribbean has five endangered species of coral, including the mountainous star coral, which is largely brown with fluorescent green streaks, and the pillar coral, which was moved from vulnerable to the endangered category in December. The other seven endangered species in the Pacific include the acropora jacquelineae, which resembles a flat plate that can grow up to three feet (1 meter) long.

Corals worldwide have suffered die-offs from pollution, diseases, acidification, over-fishing and an event known as “coral bleaching,” which is caused by warming oceans as a result ofclimate change.

Overall, 23 coral species, which are the building blocks of reefs, are listed as endangered and six as critically endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.

Barbados Stock Exchange becomes a member of the United Nations Global Compact

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
UN Resident Coordinator, Didier Trebucq and Managing Director of the Barbados Stock Exchange, Mr. Marlon Yarde (centre) are flanked by Leslie Gittens, Multi-Country Manager, United Nations Global Compact , and Tia Browne, Development Coordination Officer, Partnerships and Development Finance with the Resident Coordinator’s Office.

The Barbados Stock Exchange has joined the regional chapter of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.

To date, 20 regional companies have joined over 17,000 global counterparts in signing on to initiative spearheaded by the Office of the UN Secretary General. Global Compact supports companies to align their operations with sustainable business practices, with respect for the principles of human rights, labour rights, environmental responsibility, and anti-corruption.

Speaking shortly after becoming signatory to the regional body, Managing Director of the BSE, Marlon Yarde said joining the Global Compact was an incremental step that followed organically from their association with the United Nations’ Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (SSEI).

“This was a strategic move for the Barbados Stock Exchange, that only further reinforces our commitment to sustainability best practices. Now that we’re vertically affiliated with the UN’s sustainability arm, the BSE stands to benefit from broad and specific technical assistance and research that will allow us to champion sustainable and responsible business practices within our listed companies,” he underlined.

UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Didier Trebucq, lauded the steps taken by the Barbados Stock Exchange in recognizing the value of the UN initiative and urged other regional businesses to follow suit.

“Just over one year since recruitment commenced in the region, the Global Compact Caribbean Network is growing steadily, and I remain very optimistic about its success. I am confident the Barbados Stock Exchange will gain significantly from its membership, and I encourage other Caribbean businesses to come on board as we collectively work towards building more resilient businesses in the region, in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.

Responsible for leading the ongoing engagement with the private sector, Global Compact Multi-Country Manager, Leslie Gittens, said having recognized that many businesses in Barbados had not yet heard of the Global Compact, they were “ramping up efforts to increase awareness within the business community of this important resource.”

“Participants in the Global Compact Caribbean Network benefit from opportunities to network with peers and experts in various industries internationally, regionally, and locally, through online and in-person events. The resources and guidance tools on sustainable business practices available to members are vast, and studies have shown conclusively how participating in the Global Compact has improved customer relations as well as profitability,” he concluded.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.

Steely & Clevie Facing An “Uphill Battle,” But Have Been Strategic In ‘Dem Bow’ Lawsuit, Say US Attorneys

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: DanceHallMag


Two US-based lawyers have offered their views on Steely & Clevie Productions’ copyright lawsuit against Panamanian artist and producer El Chombo, Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, and a slew of other Reggaeton artists, producers, and record companies.

Multi-platinum and Billboard-charting hits such as Despacito, Rompe,DuraGasolinaShaky Shaky, and Dame tu Cosita are among the 56 Reggaeton songs named in the lawsuit as having allegedly infringed on the Dancehall label’s 1989 riddim Fish Market (Poco Man Jam), better known as ‘Dem Bow.’

According to The Guardian, Gregor Pryor, a lawyer who specializes in media and entertainment, posited that Steely & Clevie “may be facing an uphill battle” if they cannot convince the court that “the defendant ever actually heard, or could reasonably be presumed to have heard, the plaintiffs’ song before creating the allegedly infringing song.”   

The attorney, who is not involved in the case, said that it is hard to prove that someone has had prior knowledge of a song, which means that the courts will have to consider a song’s popularity.

Nevertheless, he said that the use of language such as “foundational” and “iconic” in the Jamaicans’ lawsuit “to describe the instrumentals are early attempts to signpost its popularity and show that access would have been likely.”    

“Whether this point is successful or not will depend on the plaintiffs’ ability to demonstrate that the work was as popular as they have suggested, which may prove challenging,” he said.

Additionally, Pryor said that Steely & Clevie could also have to contend with the fact that the defendants have “a plethora of defences against copyright infringement at their disposal, which will make the plaintiffs’ argument more difficult to prove.”  

The lawsuit had initially comprised three separate cases, before they were consolidation into a single action in July 2022.

In April 2021, Steely & Clevie Productions’ made their first move when they filed a lawsuit against El Chombo and several other artists, producers, and record companies over their involvement in the release of Dame tu Cosita (which featured Jamaican artist Cutty Ranks) and the Dame Tu Cosita remix (which featured Pitbull and Karol G).

In October 2021, Steely & Clevie filed the second lawsuit against Luis Fonsi and several other artists, producers, and record companies over 10 of his songs, including Despacito (with Daddy Yankee) and the Despacito Remix (with Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber).

In May 2022, they filed the third lawsuit against Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee and several other artists, producers, and record companies over his alleged use of the Fish Market in 44 songs.

In March last year, the attorneys for Fonsi had responded to the copyright infringement lawsuit, pleading that they “have not engaged in any type of infringement,” that “there is no actionable similarity between the works at issue,” and by and large that they “deny knowledge or information sufficient to respond” to the majority of the allegations.

New York copyright lawyer Paul Fakler told the Guardian that Steely & Clevie has been strategic with their request for a jury trial.

“One of the key things in copyright law is that ideas are not protected, but unique expressions of ideas are.   So a lot of times when you have these copyright cases go to juries, you can get wacky results,” he told The Guardian.

Fakler also explained that when judges and juries “are faced with the intricacies of musical theory, the verdict often becomes less about the music and more about the story behind it”.

As a case in point, he cited the 2015 Blurred Lines case, in which a jury found Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams guilty of infringing on the copyright of a 1977 Marvin Gaye song, as a watershed moment in pop copyright claims.

In that case, according to an Ethics Unwrapped commentary by the University of Texas at Austin, Marvin Gaye’s Estate had won a lawsuit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for the hit song “Blurred Lines,” which had a similar feel to one of his songs.

The University noted that in 2013, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams had co-produced the hit single Blurred Lines, which earned them more than $16 million in sales and streaming revenues, and which had also been viewed hundreds of millions of times on YouTube and Vevo, and parodied numerous times.

“Despite its popularity, the similarity of Blurred Lines to Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit song Got to Give It Up sparked controversy. The family of artist Marvin Gaye was outraged; they believed Gaye’s work was stolen. Thicke filed a pre-emptive lawsuit to prevent the Gaye family from claiming any share of royalties. However, Thicke also stated in public interviews that he was influenced by Marvin Gaye and, specifically, Got to Give It Up when he co-composed “Blurred Lines” with Williams,” the article stated.

In March 2015, the jury ruled in favor of the Gaye estate, stating that while Williams and Thicke did not directly copy “Got to Give It Up,” there was enough of a similar “feel” to warrant copyright infringement. Gaye’s heirs were awarded $7.4 million in damages, the largest amount ever granted in a music copyright case.

In September last year, British pop singer Ed Sheeran was ordered to stand trial in the US over claims his hit song Thinking Out Loud plagiarised the beat of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, a track whose beat was also sampled in a remix of Shaggy’s megahit song, Mr. Bombastic in 1996.

The allegations were that Sheeran and his co-writer Amy Wadge “copied and exploited, without authorisation or credit Lets Get it on, including but not limited to the melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation and looping”.

According to a BBC report, a judge had denied Sheeran’s efforts to dismiss the case, ruling instead, that the similarities between his song and that of the late Motown singer/songwriter’s, must be decided by a jury. 

Follow us for daily Dancehall news on Facebook, Twitter and Google News.

Former government minister released from US prison, returns to Barbados

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Former Government Minister Donville Inniss who was convicted of money laundering in the United States of America, returned home late Saturday after spending two years in prison.

The 57-year-old former St James South Member of Parliament, who resided in Tampa, Florida, was convicted in January 2020 after a one-week trial on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of money laundering related to his laundering of US$36,000.

Prosecutors said he moved bribe payments from the Insurance Corporation of Barbados, through a New York dental company, between 2015 and 2016.

Inniss served a shortened sentence for good behaviour.

Speaking with reporters on arrival, Inniss said it was great to be home.

“Despite all the trials and tribulations I’ve been through the last four and a half years, these five minutes here of being back in Barbados among family and friends erased all of what I’ve gone through,” he said.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.

JetBlue announces additional service to Grenada

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) says the US-based budget airline, JetBlue will add additional service to the island in time for its biggest cultural festival, Spicemas.

From August 7 to September 1, 2023, the carrier will operate a second daily nonstop flight, a 162-seat A320, leaving New York’s John F Kennedy (JFK) airport at 9:50 pm and arriving at Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) at 2:47 am.

The returning flight departs GND at 5:01 am and arrives at JFK at 9:57 am.

JetBlue currently offers daily nonstop service from New York, and American Airlines offers a daily nonstop flight from Miami, along with a seasonal weekly flight from Charlotte on Saturdays.

Also, in line with the uptick in family travel to the destination, JetBlue has increased capacity on its regular service, from an A320 to the 200-seater A321, for the entire summer peak period from June 15 to September 5.

“We’re thrilled to welcome this expanded service from JetBlue, offering travelers more options to come to Grenada,” said Tourism Minister Lennox Andrews.

“JetBlue has always been a committed partner and we expect a surge in bookings, as this service allows the destination and our stakeholders the opportunity to welcome even more visitors for Spicemas and showcase how Grenada honors its culture and why we’re truly the Spice Isle of the Caribbean.”

“The USA is the largest tourism market for Grenada and continues to perform exceptionally well. In 2022, the USA closed off the year 2% over 2019. Currently, Jan-Feb 2023, the market is up 19% over the same period in 2019 and 3% over for the same period in 2022. Grenada continues to remain committed to US tourism growth and most recently welcomed a new sales manager in New York, Shanai St Bernard,” said the CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Petra Roach.

According to a Grenada 473 Connect Ambassador, Margaret Hector -the initiative is an excellent one on JetBlue’s part to add a redeye flight from JFK to Grenada for the Spicemas season.

“It brings into consideration the people who are avid carnival lovers and need to work during the day, or for those thinking of a last-minute weekend getaway. It speaks a lot about the love for our country, our cultural celebrations, and our strong diaspora community in the New York City area,” she said.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.

Immigrant advocate denounces new plan to limit Caribbean asylum seekers

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), has described as “unfathomably cruel” a plan by the United States and Canada to limit the entry of Caribbean and other asylum seekers at their borders.

NYIC, an umbrella policy and advocacy organization representing over 200 immigrant and refugee rights groups throughout New York, denounced the decision, saying that it “recklessly endangers the lives of asylum seekers” while demanding expanded protections for asylum seekers.

“Asylum seekers flee violent conditions to build better futures for themselves and their families,” Murad Awawdeh, NYIC executive director said, adding “they undergo extreme journeys across thousands of miles in search of safety and relief.

“To now restrict the movement of asylum seekers is to recklessly endanger their lives. Even Canada’s plan to provide a new refugee program for only 15,000 asylum seekers is a slap in the face. It is no substitute for both countries to honor their humanitarian commitments to offer asylum to all those who need it.

“President Biden cannot continue to shirk his responsibilities and take pages out of the xenophobic Republican playbook for political gain. He must honor his promise to protect asylum seekers by welcoming them with open arms,” Awawdeh added.

Last weekend in a joint statement following their meeting in Ottawa, US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection “enshrines our belief that irregular migration requires a regional approach centered on expanding legal pathways and humane border management and recognizes that we must address the underlying economic and security drivers of migration.

“The United States and Canada remain committed partners in advancing the principles of the Declaration. As part of its commitment to these principles, Canada will welcome an additional 15,000 migrants on a humanitarian basis from the Western Hemisphere over the course of the year to continue expanding safe, regular pathways offered throughout the hemisphere as an alternative to irregular migration, with a path to economic opportunities.

“Additionally, US and Canadian officials are now poised to implement an agreement to apply the terms of the Safe Third Country Agreement to asylum seekers who cross between ports of entry, which we anticipate will deter irregular migration at our shared border,” the statement continued. “We will remain in close coordination as we work to implement this new agreement.”

Both leaders also said they “remain concerned about deteriorating security in Haiti, committed to increasing international support for the Haitian people, including through security and humanitarian assistance, enhanced support for the Haitian National Police, and by holding accountable those who undermine Haiti’s stability.”

Haitians and Cubans have been among the refugees seeking to enter the United States through its southern borders.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.

The UWI’s Tribute to Professor Sir Howard Fergus

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The people of Montserrat and The UWI Community mourn the loss of Professor Sir Howard Fergus, KBE, BA, PhD UWI; MEd Manc; Cert Ed who transitioned on Thursday, March 23.

Sir Howard was a lifelong educator as well as an accomplished poet, historian, and writer. He attended Erdiston Teachers College in Barbados from 1957-1959 and went on to study at The University College of the West Indies (1961-1964), graduating with a London University General Arts Degree in English, Latin and History. He received a post-graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Bristol in 1968, a Master of Education from the University of Manchester in 1974, and a PhD from The University of the West Indies in 1984.

He served as a Primary School Teacher from 1955 to 1960 and as Head Teacher from 1960 to 1961. From 1965 to 1970, he taught at the Montserrat Secondary School rising to the rank of Deputy Principal. He was Chief Education Officer from 1970 to 1974 and became the second Montserratian national to be Resident Tutor at The UWI Extra-Mural Centre on the island. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1994 and was made Professor of Eastern Caribbean Studies in 2002. He acted as Director of The UWI School of Continuing Studies on a number of occasions. Even after retirement in 2005, he continued to serve the University as a member of Council and periodically provided oversight for the Open Campus Country Site in Montserrat. In 2007, he was called out of retirement to briefly assist the Site in Saint Lucia.

Professor Sir Howard served as Speaker of the Legislative Council in Montserrat from 1975 to 2002 and acted in the role in subsequent years. He was the first Montserratian to act as Governor, the de facto Deputy Governor of Montserrat, from 1976 to 2010, providing quiet but purposeful guidance and sage advice. He was Supervisor of Elections from 1978 to 2001 and continued to be of support for successive elections.

In 1982, he became the Founding President of Partners of the Americas and also served with distinction, such regional organisations as the Caribbean Examinations Council, the Caribbean Conference of Churches and CARICOM. He was the Chairman of the CARICOM Foundation of Arts and Culture and was one of several eminent persons on the Independent West Indian Commission (1990 to 1992). In 1994, he was appointed by the British Government to the three-man Commission to review the Constitution of the British Virgin Islands. In 1995, he was appointed by Partners of the Americas in Washington as an Advisor to its International Fellowship Programme to assist with the management and development training of 40 fellows from the USA, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the same year, he was a member of a five-man team from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association which conducted a seminar on parliamentary governance in Botswana.

His many awards include, the (Officer of the British Empire) OBE in 1979; the Funkyman Award in 1986 for his contribution to culture; the first Lions Citizen of the Year Award, 1986-1987; the Montserrat Badge and Certificate of Honour in 1995; and the (Commander of the British Empire) CBE for public service also in 1995. In 1996, he received the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence for outstanding contributions in the field of public service. In 2001, he was made Knight Commander of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace.

Professor Sir Howard has left an admirable publication record. His poems have been published in several international literary journals such as Arts Review, Artrage, Sheffield Thursday and The Caribbean Writer and his articles have appeared in a number of international scholarly journals. A prolific writer, he published more than 40 books and monographs in the areas of history, education, politics, poetry, and literary criticism. He published in the Caribbean and in Europe and received such literary awards as The Caribbean Writer Poetry Prize and The David Hough Literary Prize.

Some of his works include:

Gallery Montserrat: Prominent Persons in our History (Canoe Press UWI 1996)
Lara Rains and Colonial Rites (Poetry) (Peepal Tree Press UK 1998)
Volcano Song: Poems of an Island in Agony (Macmillan, UK 2000)
Volcano Verses, (Peepal Tree Press, UK 2003)
History of Education in the British Leeward Islands 1835-1945 (UWI Press 2004)
Montserrat: History of a Caribbean Colony (Revised Edition) Macmillan, UK. 2004)
Breaking Down the Walls: History of the UWI School of Continuing Studies (with L. Bernard and J. Soares) 2006.

In establishing the Creative Writers’ Maroon in the 1970s, he provided a platform that allowed many Montserratians to hone their skills and have their work published in several anthologies that he edited. He championed the Alliouagana Festival of the Word from its inception in 2009 and regularly contributed to the Festival’s Souvenir Booklet. Several of his publications were launched at this annual literary festival and it was not long after he participated in the November 2022 Edition, that he lost the use of his legs. This in no way affected his creative juices and he continued to use poetry to comment on issues local, regional, international and personal. Many noted from his most recent work that he was in the process of withdrawing.

The news of his passing has, nevertheless, left his students past and current and his colleagues in the region and further afield, reeling. Montserrat has lost a talented bard and statesman, an icon. He leaves to mourn his widow, Lady Eudora Fergus, his daughters Dr. Coretta Fergus and Carla Lee, son Colin Fergus, daughter-in-law, Teresena Fergus, son-in-law Derrick Lee and four grandchildren.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus, Dr Francis O. Severin, commenting on Sir Howard’s transition, said, “Apart from his real and genuine work as a regional educator, among several other contributions, and what Rex Nettleford referred to as ‘intellectual guerrilla’, his authorship along with Lennox Bernard and Judith Soares of the book ‘Breaking Down the Walls’ has left the Open Campus with a true treasure trove of its history, traditions and priceless value to the Region. It should be essential reading for all UWI Open Campus staff who may not grasp and appreciate the tradition they belong to since 1948.

Indeed, it ought to be fundamental reading for all Caribbean people, as it vividly and pellucidly demonstrates what the evolution of the extra mural department has meant for the Caribbean Region. We extend our sincere commiserations to his widow, his children and Montserrat”. May his soul rest in peace.

Credit: Gracelyn Cassell, Head, Open Campus Country Site, Montserrat

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.

How Indigenous Land Management Practices Are a Blueprint for Climate-Resilient Agriculture

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Source: Independent Media Institute

Several Hollywood action films center around an impending apocalypse in the form of an asteroid on a collision course with Earth–a glaring metaphor for the real-world implications of a rapidly accelerating climate crisis.

As this crisis unfolds before our very eyes, however, rather than look up to the atmosphere to see what can and should be done to curtail some of the worst effects of a rapidly warming world, maybe our gazes should also be trained downward at the soil beneath our feet, while pondering this question: If aggressive commercial agriculture exacerbates the climate crisis, are there key lessons to be learned from Indigenous land management practices that can help to restore environmental balance?

“I’m going to borrow from the founder of the Slow Food movement, Carlo Petrini,” said Enrique Salm?n, head of the American Indian Studies Program at Cal State University-East Bay, when asked this same question.

“In a conference, someone asked him, ‘What is the most important thing that Americans can do to help solve this food and climate change crisis?’ And he said, not missing a beat, ‘if everyone got rid of their refrigerators,’” Salm?n said, relaying Petrini’s response not so much to decry the refrigerator as a greenhouse gas emitter, but to signify its role at the heart of a system that has removed the average consumer from a direct connection to the natural world as a food source.

“We focus so much on the negative impacts from big agribusiness, and rightfully so. And it seems that, to the average American, there’s not much they can do about it. But in reality, they can,” Salm?n said.

Soil Erosion and Climate Change

From the stripping of valuable rainforests to pave the way for crops and cattle grazing to the mismanagement of carbon-storing grasslands, the link between heavily commercialized agriculture and climate change has been well established–as has its association with exacerbating the impacts from climate change.

Take soil erosion, which can be caused by the ritual plowing of farmland before and after growing seasons, along with the overgrazing of cattle. As layers of fertile topsoils are lost, this can lead to a host of damaging consequences, including a reduced ability for the remaining soil to retain moisture, depleted biodiversity within the soil itself, and increased rainwater runoff, which can contaminate and clog local waterways. Soil erosion isn’t a small problem, either.

A 2021 study found that the stretch of land constituting the U.S. Corn Belt–where 75 percent of the nation’s grain is cultivated–has completely lost one-third of its topsoils.

Calls to Revise Global Farming Practices

It’s no surprise then that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)–an organization of governments charged with routinely assessing the current state of climate change science–has called for a revision to global farming practices in order to build a sustainable food supply as the planet warms and dries out.

Dwindling water supplies, for example, pose a major obstacle to growers on the U.S. west coast, which has been undergoing the worst megadrought in 1,200 years for more than two decades. Record low levels in the Colorado River have hit farmers hard.

Indigenous Land Management Techniques

As proponents of Indigenous land management techniques point out, the careful cultivation of naturally available resources can offer an alternate blueprint. Despite the fact that Tribes in the U.S. live on just 1 percent of their historical land base, many continue to successfully practice their ancestral farming techniques in areas often disproportionately impacted by climate change hazards.

A 2021 study found that while Indigenous peoples make up only 5 percent of the world’s population, their land stewardship protects approximately 85 percent of the world’s biodiversity.

Salm?n calls these lands “refugia” of resilience in an increasingly arid environment, using a term to describe surprisingly hardy habitats. “In other words, these are places that [can show us] how to adapt to what we’re witnessing,” said Salm?n, during a presentation at the 2022 national Soil Health Innovations Conference.

During this presentation, Salm?n ran through a snapshot of some of these techniques, such as the Hopi Tribe’s no-till practice of planting corn very deep in the ground using digging sticks, to leave undisturbed the vast array of microbial life under the surface of the soil.

The Hopi also plant their corn and other crops on land at a low angle of repose. This helps the soil retain moisture, maximizes any potential water runoff from higher ground, and better regulates soil temperatures.

In contrast to parts of Nebraska and Iowa (where fields of corn can appear to stretch seamlessly off into the horizon), the Zuni Tribe in New Mexico breaks up the land into small one- or two-meter squares–a system known as “waffle gardens.” Along the edges of these square plots, the soil is raised up to six or eight inches, and the corn is planted inside.

“What happens is that just a small six- or eight-inch height of the wall keeps the winds from whisking away the moisture in the soil, and it helps create just enough of a shade to also keep the soil temperatures low,” Salm?n said.

Artfully placed check dams–human-made constructs to help mitigate water runoff and soil erosion–can play a pivotal role in completely revitalizing a barren area of land within as quickly as ten years. What’s more, Indigenous farming practices eschew the need for harmful pesticides and herbicides, said Salm?n.

“We really wouldn’t need [pesticides] if we altered our agricultural techniques,” Salm?n explained. “We would stop poisoning ourselves and our pollinators and our water and the soil.” Others agree.

Reconnecting Consumers With Nature

“We’re now seeing an impact in our mammal populations,” said Kelsey Scott, director of programs for the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC), an organization that connects and promotes Indigenous land uses, about some of the consequences of blanket applications of pesticides and herbicides, like neonicotinoids.

“Deer that have fed on fields planted with seeds treated with neonicotinoids, they’re now seeing a bottom jaw, lower jaw, half the size of what it should be at full maturity,” Scott added, pointing to a 2019 study out of South Dakota State University that found a link between the pesticide and health defects in white-tailed deers that also includes reproductive problems and impaired thyroid function.

While the gulf between the everyday consumer and Indigenous farming techniques may seem wide, however, it’s not insurmountable, says Scott, who listed a series of practical suggestions for anyone interested in bridging that divide. One is to learn about nature at the local level, and see its intended functions “and patterns” not in isolation but as a harmonious whole, Scott said. Importantly for a warming world, these systems have built-in mechanisms that support climate resiliency.

As an example, Scott shared an anecdote from one of her colleagues who discovered that his trees stopped producing sap before a storm arrived. “He was able to correlate that with the fact that the tree had an awareness that there was a weather system coming in, and in order to withstand it, it needed to reserve all forms of energy that it could,” she said.

For most consumers, the connection to farming is rooted in the end product–“the food”–Scott said. Perhaps the most effective way to flesh out and learn about these natural systems and cycles, therefore, is to visit places where Indigenous land management practices are being applied.

“If they can go and experience some connection with the land or find a local farmer or rancher where they can do a day tag-along, helping with operations, absolutely take up that opportunity because it’s such a unique experience,” Scott said.

With a real-world grounding under one’s belt, it can be easier to understand how managing the climate crisis doesn’t require a complete reinvention of the wheel as much as it does an acknowledgment of how thoughtful Indigenous cultivation of biodiversity has thus far stood the test of time.

One example is happening at the Onondaga Nation Farm in Central New York, which has amassed a treasure trove of seeds linking the present to its ancestral past. This includes more than 1,100 varieties of corn seeds–some of which are around 4,000 years old–as well as 500-year-old squash seeds. The farm’s rich bank of seeds is exchanged within an intertribal farming network called Braiding the Sacred.

“Without staples of Indigenous diets that have been very carefully stewarded in a symbiotic relationship over the evolution of time, societies wouldn’t have been able to make it through some of these [historic] natural disasters,” said Scott. “In fact, a lot of times, societies would have been healthier if they would have utilized or grown or harvested the crop in the same production style that the Indigenous community–who they more often than not stole the crop from–would have been doing.”

Credit Line: This article was produced by Earth Life, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.