Thursday, August 15, 2013

Roberto Perez: Cuba’s Struggle & Progress in Sustainable Agriculture

Please check out the event pages at Antioch University New England and Transition Keene for details on this excellent upcoming event:

Monday, August 19, 2013 (6:30pm-8:30pm)
Roberto Perez: Talk about Cuba’s Struggle & Progress in Sustainable Agriculture

Location: Keene Public Library

Roberto Perez, a Cuban permaculturist and environmental educator for the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity, will speak on Monday, August 19, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in the auditorium of the Keene Public Library. The public is warmly welcome to this free event. It is presented by Antioch University New England and the Keene Community Garden Connections.

Perez is on a speaking tour to raise scholarship funds for the IPC 11 Cuba: The 2013 International Permaculture Congress, which takes place in Cuba this November. He will talk about Cuba’s struggles and progress in sustainable agriculture and sustainable development. His work was highlighted in the movie The Power of Community, which detailed how Cuba dealt with its own Peak Oil when the Soviet bloc collapsed in the early 1990s.

Cuba formerly imported most of its food, but its agriculture is now 95 percent organic and the city of Havana produces more than 60 percent of its own fruits and vegetables within the city’s urban spaces.

Perez has been part of the Cuban permaculture movement since its introduction in the country in 1993. For seventeen years, he has worked at the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity, the Cuban nonprofit organization central to the Cuban permaculture movement since 1995. He has lectured and taught permaculture workshops and courses throughout the world, and has represented the Antonio Nunez Jimenez foundation in national and global events. He has a graduate degree in biology from the University of Havana and studied community-based resource management at the University of St. Francis Xavier in Nova Scotia.

Sponsors of the Keene event are AUNE’s Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation, Cheshire County Conservation District, Cornucopia Project, Monadnock Food Co-op, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire, and Transition Keene.

For More Information

Name: Monica Pless


Email: 609-439-6368

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

LOCAL SOLUTIONS: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference

In case you missed it, this op-ed by Antioch University New England's Michael Simpson and Abi Abrash-Walton (Keene Sentinel, July 15, 2013) is an excellent piece that captures the urgency of New England's shifting weather patterns and implications, not only for ecosystems but businesses, government and communities - as well as opportunities for action. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I love good questions, and Michael and Abby present a really great one for us think about:
"How can communities become “climate ready” by assessing vulnerabilities, reducing risks and enhancing resilience?"
To this end, Michael and Abby are heading up an amazing team of sustainability and resilience leaders to present the LOCAL SOLUTIONS: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference in May 2014. 

I'm excited about the Educators' Summit, of course, and about the extraordinary combination of leadership represented by the Educators' Summit Advisory Committee (which includes several of my mentors at AUNE).

From the event flyer: 

Antioch University New England and the US EPA are hosting a regional conference for local educators, planners, and decision makers who want to create healthy resilient communities that are better prepared to handle the impacts of climate change.
The Educators Summit will help middle and high school teachers design community-based, problem-solving curriculum that will teach students how to:
  • Conduct vulnerability assessments
  • Protect natural and social systems that maintain resilience
  • Create community action plans for adapting to forecasted changes
  • Build community support to implement adaptive responses
  • Use the government in responding to climate change
  • Network with schools, community planners and leaders working toward solving similar problems
I plan to go, and hope to see you there! Visit the Conference website at:

In the meantime, I'll be trying to grow more tomatoes, traveling by bicycle more often, and doing committee work as a "Catalyst" for AASHE's new Listening Project. Stay tuned!