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Please find below the judging results for your proposal.

Finalist Evaluation

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With the added information on the connections between permaculture practices and climate, the project demonstrates the potential for significant impact in the region.

Semi-Finalist Evaluation

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Well thought out approach as long as local residents are truly engaged in all levels of decision-making. The focus on food security and reliance is especially vital given the recent impact of extreme weather on the region.

This is a project with many benefits, but they are not framed in terms of behavioral or cultural shift on climate. The few climate benefits that are articulated present themselves as afterthoughts.

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Cade Pia

Nov 6, 2017
06:33

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Dear Judges,

Thank you for reviewing our proposal and providing valuable feedback. We thank you for the opportunity to continually build upon and develop the encompassing scope of MESA Sostenible.

Taking all aspects of your comments into consideration. I have reassessed the Climate Change scope of MESA MESA Sostenible, conducted more research and expand our field of coverage.

Climate Change

A plan to create a cultural and behavioral shift from conventional agricultural practices to permaculture to mitigate, reverse and face the impacts of climate change for rural families and farmers in Nicaragua.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main driver of climate change. Our current state of overloading the atmosphere with CO2 is caused by burning fossil fuels, cutting down and burning forests, with the main driving industry, agriculture with livestock emissions, carbon releasing from soil tillage and chemical use (source 1).

According to Union of Concerned Scientists, the major impacts of climate change are:

  • Longer and more damaging wildfire seasons

  • More frequent and intense heat waves

  • Heavier precipitation and flooding

  • Accelerating sea level rise

So how can permaculture and regenerative agriculture be the answer to climate change?

Regenerative organic agriculture is integral to the climate solution. Regenerative organic agriculture refers to working with nature to utilize photosynthesis and healthy soil microbiology to draw down greenhouse gases (source 2).

How do the photosynthesis and the CO2 cycle work?

InfoGraphic Source: Carbon Cycle Organisation
 

By changing farming practices to regenerative systems, we can:

  • Increase soil organic carbon stocks

  • Decrease greenhouse gas emissions

  • Maintaining yields

  • Improve water retention in the land

  • Family farms can improve profitability

  • Traditional farming communities can revitalize

  • Develop biodiversity and resilience ecosystems

 

The impacts of increasing organic matter in soil:

With 82 families in El Tambo, we can encourage each family to convert or preserve one acre of their lands and implement regenerative and permaculture practices. By doing so, this will increase the organic matter in the soil through sequestering carbon with consistent plant and foliage coverage and through the photosynthesis process.

InfoGraphic Source: The Back Forty Down Under: Adapting Farming to Climate Variability by Christine Jones, Ph.D.

 

El Tambo and Climate Change Breakdown

El Tambo can stand as a community-wide model for carbon sequestering and fixing. The foundations of permaculture and regenerative agriculture do not need industrial or costly mechanical inputs. Without financial barriers to creating these practices, the basis of implementation lies in education, the existing focal point of MESA Sostenibles goals.

El Tambo CO2 Sequestering Calculation

82 families with one acre each, equals 36 tonnes of CO2 x 82 = 2952 tonnes of CO2 pulled from the atmosphere in El Tambo

 

Addressing and reducing climate change through CO2 sequestering is already ingrained in the foundations of the MESA Sostenibles permaculture model.

  • No-tillage - no carbon released from soil

  • Builds soil health to retain carbon

  • Does not use chemicals

  • Uses carbon fixing plants

  • Keeps soil covered at all times

  • Retains water in soil

  • Uses a wide variety of plants and vegetables

 

Model hands-on education area that demonstrates climate-smart regenerative and permaculture activities.

  • Food Forest

  • Rainwater catchment

  • Composting

  • Companion planted kitchen garden

  • Chop and drop

  • Community outdoor education center

  • Berms and swales

 

Recent Events

Tropical Storm Nate struck our region and MESA Sostenible on October 5th. We have seen first hand the devastating impacts of a climate change to our communities. Farming communities lost their entire bank accounts (stored in grain stocks), their homes, livestock, and livelihoods.

As a result, we have amended our projects foundations to take into consideration rising flood waters and be a first responder base. With over 50 volunteers and successful aid relief campaign, we were able to provide our communities with a significant amount of aid.

As catastrophic natural events become regular occurrences, we need to take actions to protect our communities, farms, and existence. Adapting to a permacultural and regenerative agricultural model will mean we can implement measures to mitigate the negative impacts of these events in the immediate term…. Land engineering - swales, berms, hugelkultur, and other systems designs that incorporate community support, food production, animal husbandry to benefit soil building and provide sustenance, and more.

Addressing climate change is now built into the model of MESA Sostenible. We are striving forward with the development of MESA Sostenible by involving El Tambo in each step of the process. We hope that Climate Colab will continue to support MESA Sostenible creating a cultural and behavioral shift towards climate change together.

I look forward to your feedback and questions,

Kind Regards

 

Cade