Reforestation and soil conservation programmes costing many thousands of dollars in this rural community have resulted in hundreds of small ledges built of straw or sacks of earth. In certain areas, the earthworks seem to be lasting, but in others, they are disintegrating.
As self-employment and cooperatives expand in socialist Cuba, they are making incursions into new areas, such as waste picking and recycling – for many a means of subsistence, but for others, a gold mine.
One evening in the small village of Ashton Hayes in Cheshire, England, someone started a conversation about climate change and energy at the local pub. It was 2005. Two years later, residents had cut their carbon dioxide emissions and energy costs by 20 percent.
A police cordon kept everyone out of the Buenaventura “corrala” on Thursday after the police evicted 13 families living in the occupied building in the centre of this southern Spanish city early in the morning.
Disillusioned with an economy that promotes individualism and ruthless consumption, thousands of people in Argentina are giving things away in street markets, organising car pools with strangers or offering free accommodation to travellers from abroad.
The furrows are hard to make out in fields of the Finca de Semillas, a farm on Havana’s outskirts, because its administrators, Esmilda Sánchez and Raúl Aguilar, protect every centimetre of soil with mulch.
Vilda Figueroa and her husband, José Lama, live in Marianao on the outskirts of Havana, where they share hundreds of recipes based on Cuban-grown foods and sun-drying, along with other ecological food preservation methods.
Women and young people are central players in dozens of small businesses and environmental protection plans that are changing the lives of poor rural families in the Andes highlands of southern Peru.
Work by the Group of 4 (G4) union of Haitian peasant organisations, alo
ng with assistance from the Dessalines Brigade - South American peasant leaders and agroecology experts supported by La Via Campesina - has been singled out for promoting “good farming practices and advocat[ing] for peasant farmers” in Haiti.
A new social programme launched by the Argentine government to fight hard-core poverty is providing unemployed mothers who are heads of households with education, training, work and an income.
“I was a hunter. I killed many animals,” said Rosalino Ortiz, a representative of Mashiramo, a campesino organisation that monitors biodiversity in Colombia’s Massif range in the southern department of Huila.
Microfinance is essentially social, but its expansion and evolution towards diversified financial services for those who are excluded from the conventional system has compelled it to develop new codes and practices to reinforce the message that its goal is people - particularly the poor.
More than 100 non-farming cooperatives this month joined the independent sector of the Cuban economy, which includes self-employed workers and farmers granted public land to work, as part of the policy outlined by the government for modernising the management of state property.
Homemade machines for pulverising fruit and sealing cans of preserves, created by inventive entrepreneurs, are one of the pillars of a slight rise in mini-industries in different parts of Cuba, where food production is picking up.
It all happened within ten days – Syria’s civil war fought metres away from Israeli orchards abutting the ceasefire line; Austrian peacekeepers hastily evacuating the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that separates Israel from Syria; fears of a total collapse of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). All while the cherry-picking season is at its peak.