Roberto Perez in Falmouth on 17th September

Cuban Environmentalist visits Cornwall as part of UK tour.

Roberto Perez, a Cuban environmental educator and permaculturist, will be talking in Falmouth on 17th September about the experiences of Cuba in the early 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the consequent withdrawal of cheap oil – known as the ‘Special Period’.

Cuba had to make a rapid transition from a highly energy-intensive, western style agricultural system to traditional food cultivation, including urban food growing. It achieved this by involving the community and utilising permaculture techniques, which work with nature in a sustainable way.

Many people in the western world are drawing inspiration from Cuba’s success. We may not be facing the acute crisis that Cuba did but, nevertheless, the price of oil and diminishing supplies, coupled with the ever present threat of climate change, mean that there is an urgent need to review our current system of food production to a more localised one that does not depend heavily upon oil-based inputs.

Transition Towns and Climate Friendly Communities throughout the country will be hosting Roberto’s talks. Many have already organised showings of the award-winning film, ‘Power of Community’, which features Roberto and shows many innovative schemes for growing food, including roof-top growing, edible community gardens, use of oxen. It also points out how the health of the population improved as a consequence of a healthier life-style, with a reduction in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other conditions consequent on a typical western lifestyle.

The Cuban people achieved all this through co-operation, conservation of resources and community resilience. “We are delighted that Roberto Perez will be visiting Cornwall” said
Rob Follett of Transition Falmouth. “‘Power of Community’ has been inspirational for many of us in our quest to increase the resilience and sustainability of our communities to meet the challenges of resource depletion and climate change”.

As well as practising and teaching permaculture, Roberto Perez also works in environmental education and biodiversity conservation. He is the Cuban NGO member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. He lectures internationally on permaculture, sustainable agriculture and other environmental issues. He will be giving a presentation in Falmouth at the Women’s Institute, Webber Street on Wednesday 17th September 7pm for 7.30pm. The event is hosted by Transition Falmouth – www.transitionfalmouth.org.uk.

The week before Roberto’s visit a showing of ‘Power of Community’ has been arranged at Miss Peapod’s Cafe, Jubillee Wharf, Penryn 7.30pm on Wednesday 10th September.

See here for poster with more details of both events.

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