Santa Barbara Permaculture Network hosts Roberto Perez, Cuban environmental educator featured in the award winning documentary, “The Power of Community, How Cuba Survived Peak Oil” currently in the U.S. promoting the 11th International Permaculture Convergence (IPC11) to be held in Cuba in November of 2013.
The Living Planet Report from the World Wildlife Fund in 2007 identified Cuba as the only sustainable country in the world. The study involved two key parameters for measuring sustainable development, a commitment to “improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems”. Cuba was the ONLY country on earth to achieve satisfactory benchmarks in both criteria for sustainable development.
Formerly importing most of its food, Cuba’s agriculture is now 95% organic, with the city of Havana producing over 60% of its own fruits and vegetables within the city’s urban spaces. At the same time, Cuba has been engaging in a massive reforestation campaign, and has invested massively in alternative energy production, with a focus on solar and biofuels.
A small island nation with 11,000,000 people, struggling with poverty, devastating tropical storms, and the U.S. Embargo, how did Cuba achieve these goals and distinction? What can we learn from Cuba’s struggles and successes?
Born in Havana in 1970, Roberto Perez is the Environmental Education & Biodiversity Conservation Program Director of the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity, the oldest environmental organization in Cuba. A graduate of the University of Havana with a degree in Biological Sciences, he later did post graduate specialization in Community Based Natural Resources Management at the University of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Roberto has been part of the Cuban Permaculture movement since its introduction in the country in 1993 after the so called “Special Period”, caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union when Cuba lost access to oil, fertilizers, pesticides, and virtually all trading partners that the small island nation depended on to survive, facing economic collapse overnight. Roberto has traveled extensively presenting Cuba’s approach to sustainable living in the face of declining petroleum and other non-renewable resources.
As part of the Cuban Organizing Group for the upcoming International Permaculture Convergence in November, Roberto is touring the U.S. in support of scholarships for IPC11 attendees from sometimes cash poor, but skill rich countries, wanting to attend and share their work & projects with other Permaculturists from around the world.
Traditionally International Permaculture Convergences take place every 2 years and switch between continents & hemispheres. Past host sites have been Australia, USA, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Nepal, Croatia, Brazil, Africa & most recently Jordan in the Middle East.
The event takes place on Sunday, August 25, 6:30pm-9pm at the downtown Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 East Anapamu St, Santa Barbara, CA, 93101. Donation of $15-$20, no reservations needed.
Sponsored by Santa Barbara Permaculture Network
Event Co-Sponsors: International Permaculture Support Group & Eco Cuba Network
The Eleventh International Permaculture Conference & Convergence (in English & Spanish)
Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity the oldest environmental organization in Cuba.
Eco Cuba Network has been asked by the 11th International Permaculture Convergence, International Support Group (IPC 11) to provide support to US citizens to participate in the International Permaculture Convergence in Havana, Cuba, November 24 December 6, 2013.Eco Cuba Network