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CITRUS INDUSTRY IMPROVES MANAGEMENT OF PESTS AND DISEASE IN DOMINICA

Citrus has been a major crop in Dominica since the decline of the sugar and banana industry. In the past most citrus was utilized for the local market; however a small but significant export trade is beginning to emerge. Unfortunately there has been a 50 % decrease of the total productive capacity of the citrus industry over the last decade. This decline can largely be attributed to the deleterious effects of Citrus Tristeza Virus, vector Asian Citrus Psyllid, and other pests. In recent times, the dreadful disease hauglongbing, better known as Citrus Greening Disease, was officially confirmed in Dominica. In order to manage and quarantine diseases, the Plant Protection and Quarantine Services of the Ministry of Agriculture requested that FAVACA identify two experts to provide technical assistance and expertise to effectively manage Asian Citrus Psyllid, including identification, mass rearing and releasing of tamarixia and other effective biological control agents, and train on the molecular diagnostic of Citrus Greening. Dr. Eric Rohrig, Biological Scientist with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry in Gainesville, Florida, and Dr. Xiaoan Sun, Plant Pathologist also with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry traveled to Roseau, Dominica December 1-9, 2012. The volunteers taught 30 extension agents and farmers to assess of the current disease status, monitor populations of vectors, use natural enemies to combat vector populations and share the results. The volunteers also trained participants on the rearing and record keeping of natural enemies. Lastly, the volunteers met with citrus industry stakeholders to create a strategic plan for disease and vector management in Dominica. While no country is known to have eradicated Citrus Greening Disease, Dominica's unique geography, climate, and agriculture systems increase the likelihood of success in eradicating the disease following the prescribed recommendations.

EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION TRAINING IN DOMINICA

The Achievement Learning Centre of Dominica seeks to provide high quality education and training to teachers and staff while creating a supportive and nurturing community for parents.  In order to further promote these goals, an expert was requested to provide instruction and practical lessons in early childhood intervention.  The Centre has a particular focus on families with children with developmental delays and autism.  FAVACA contacted Laura Seminario, a Multiply Impaired Specialist in the Prekindergarten Division of Special Education of the District Office of Miami Dade County Public Schools.  She traveled to Roseau, Dominica from June 28-July 1, 2012.  Seminario presented on early childhood instruction for children with disabilities, covering topics such as basic strategies for daily living, categorization of disabilities from mild to complex, and playing strategies for learning and socialization.  She also distributed donated materials she brought including books, assessment booklets, toys, and information on disabilities and curriculum strategies.  While in Dominica, Seminario went on three home visits where she consulted with parents, grandparents and members of the Centre on methods and strategies to engage children socially and improve their skill levels.  The volunteer suggested establishing visual schedules of the children's daily routines, recommended social play activities, and proposed a psychological evaluation for some of the children.  Seminario reviewed the curriculum to be used with the students with the director and staff of the school and provided suggestions and advice on improvements to directly address the needs of children with autism.

ORGANIC CERTIFICATION AND MARKETING IMPROVED IN DOMINICA

Dominica Organic Agriculture Movement (DOAM) in collaboration with the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the Dominica Ministry of Agriculture has been developing a local and organic food system for the island - a model for replication throughout the region - and educating policy makers and farmers on the benefits of organic farming.  DOAM approached FAVACA for experts in the production, certification, marketing and distribution of organic products grown in Dominica.  FAVACA recruited Tony Kleese and Mike Ortosky, co-founders of the Earthwise Company; Sarah Seehaver, Research Technician Soil Agroecology Lab at North Carolina State University; Chuck Marsh, founder of Useful Plants Nursery; Jim Riddle, Organic Outreach Coordinator for the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center; and Joyce Ford, an organic inspector with International Organic Inspectors Association (IOAS).  From June 5-14, 2012, the FAVACA volunteers provided a series of lectures and trainings to DOAM members, Ministry of Agriculture staff, and CARDI staff focused on the principles of organic agriculture, including farm biodiversity, pest, disease, and weed management, tropical soil nutrient management and organic certification standards and systems.  The volunteers also provided an overview of the current markets and demands for organic products both locally and internationally.  In another series of lectures and trainings, the volunteers offered an overview of group certification systems, soil testing techniques, covered crop and green manure strategies for tropical conditions, record keeping for farmers, and organic certification in the Caribbean.  The FAVACA team met with suppliers of organic inputs to discuss approved materials for use on organic farms.  Currently, input suppliers are selling items as organic that are not approved and would cause disqualification of organic status of the land for 3 years.  The team helped DOAM, CARDI and the Ministry of Agriculture develop a strategy for establishing a group certification and distribution system that meets international organic market requirements.  The training enabled the partner organizations to begin writing proposals to fund establishment of the distribution system.  The FAVACA volunteers also analyzed Arbeedee Limited's Hampstead Estate property in order to establish an organic training and demonstration farm, which would allow farmers to observe firsthand new and innovative methods being used for organic produce in Dominica.  The FAVACA team hopes the demonstration plot will not only guide farmers on organic practices, but will also increase the number of farmers growing organically.

DOMINICANS LEARN ORGANIC COMPOSTING

The Dominica Organic Agriculture Movement (DOAM), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the sustainable development of the local organic industry in Dominica, together with the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI), an organization that provides for the growth and development of the agricultural sector in the Caribbean through science, technology, innovation, informational resources and sustainable natural resources, approached FAVACA for assistance.  They requested the necessary expertise to guide compost depots in formulating and producing inputs for farmers including compost, compost teas, organic fertilizers and pest control products using local materials and specific to Dominica soils and crop conditions.  FAVACA recruited Stuart Weiss and Dr. Danielle Treadwell travel to Dominica May 5-13, 2012 to train farmers, extension agents from the Ministry of Agriculture, DOAM and CARDI representatives, and members of the composting industry in Dominica.  Weiss is the Acting Agronomy Program Leader for the University of the Virgin Islands Agriculture Experiment Station and focuses on sustainable agriculture systems, nutrient recycling and composting, cover crop technologies, organic crop production, mixed crop-livestock systems, small ruminant production/invasive species control, improved pasture finishing systems, tropical forage production, and other related agro-ecology disciplines.  Dr. Danielle Treadwell is an Associate Professor for Organic and Sustainable Vegetable Production at the Department of Horticultural Sciences at the University of Florida.  Treadwell's research focuses on increasing the economic, environmental and social sustainability of conventional vegetable production systems as well as those that are certified organic by the National Organic Program.  By improving the ecological efficiency of management strategies, it is possible to reduce off-farm inputs, lessen environmental degradation and ensure the economic future of farming systems.  The volunteers created an agenda composed of lectures, farms tours, field discussions, and on-farm exercises and demonstrations to ensure farmers and participants understood how best to create organic compost.  They provided an overview of organic certification with focus on key regulations and a brief training on record keeping for farmers.  The volunteers also worked with farmers on green manure technologies and cover crops including cover crop rotations and applications for hillside farming.  They also covered agro-ecology principles such as increasing farm biodiversity, organic pest management, low-external-input farming practices, conservation tillage, and tropical soil nutrient anagement.  The training was held in four locations throughout Dominica to ensure a variety of farmers from across the country gained an understanding of creating organic compost and agro-ecology principals.

SPECIAL EDUCATION STRENGTHENING IN DOMINICA

The Achievement Learning Centre (ALC) located in Roseau, Dominica is an educational facility that provides high quality education and training to teachers while creating a nurturing and supportive community consisting of highly skilled staff.  ALC works with children with disabilities, those who have been referred from regular class setting, and the parents of children with disabilities to provide each student with the necessary skills and education so that they can make a meaningful contribution to society.  To strengthen teacher capacity in general and their ability to deal with children with academic performance challenges, Jill Brookner, Instructional Supervisor for Mentally Handicapped and Physically Impaired program with the Miami-Dade Public Schools, and Nancy Anastasio, co-owner of adult STEPS, a business that works with families of students with special needs, traveled to Dominica April 11-15, 2012.

Brookner and Anastasio worked with 45 participants including teachers, assistances, volunteers, program directors, and parents on various subjects related to general education, special education, and transition services.  Brookner and Anastasio provided instruction for teachers of students with disabilities discussing disability classifications, job expectations and the role of the teacher, class-builders and team-builders, effective teaching strategies, and brain-based learning.  The participants learned positive behavior strategies when dealing with their students such as full value contract, Conesus models, and behavioral intervention plans.  The teachers, staff, and parents at ALC were provide with high level training leaving them more prepared and educated when dealing with their students, and how to best serve the special needs community.  The classes provided by Brookner and Anastasio taught activities, strategies, and ideas that participants could immediately implement in their classrooms.  After the classroom trainings, the two volunteers held parent trainings/forums in the evenings. The FAVACA volunteers brought books, teaching materials, manuals, teacher supplies, and instructional materials, which the volunteers donated in order to support the implementation of strategies and techniques in Dominica.


DOMINICA RECEIVES TRAINING IN HORTICULTURE

Over the past year, FAVACA has collaborated with the Caribbean Agriculture and Research Institute (CARDI) on food security issues in particular increasing the production of vegetables. Greenhouse and shadehouse production of vegetables is a new and growing industry in Dominica and farmers need practice in all aspects of the production cycle in particular for solanaceous (tomatoe, potato, pepper) and brassica (broccoli, turnips, cabbage) vegetable production. In order to increase to production levels, CARDI requested the assistance of an expert to provide training on vegetable production in a protected environment. Dr. Josh Freeman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, traveled to Dominica September 10-17, 2011 to provide CARDI members with training on vegetable production. One of Freeman's main areas of focus was to impart participants with the knowledge of how to properly graft tomatoes.  Farmers in Dominica have been suffering from a bacterial wilting of the leaves which has hindered production and also suffer from a virus that yellows the leaves. Grafting tomatoes with a base resistant to yellow leafing to the stalk of tomatoes currently grown should help reduce the losses suffered by farmers. Additionally, Freeman will be working with colleagues in the US on ways to combat the bacterial wilt in Dominica which is a variety not commonly found in the Eastern United States. Freeman provided additional training on optimizing seed germination, scheduling, proper environmental control in protected agriculture, growth media, flower production and fruit set, trellising systems, while also providing information on irrigation and optimum fertilizing times.

DOMINICA IMPLEMENTS NEW POST HARVEST TECHNIQUES FOR TUBERS

Agriculture is important to the economy of Dominica and contributes over 10% to GDP.  Root crops are a key component of the agricultural thrust. The main market has been for fresh trade however with increased production and increased quality standards there is the need to improve harvesting, post harvest handling and curing techniques of root tubers. The Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI) in Dominica requested an expert to provide training on improving post harvest techniques specifically focusing on the curing of sweet potatoes, yams and cassava to upgrade the quality of the product going to the market and extend the shelf life of the tubers for the small farmer and trader. Dr. Lorenzo George Wilson, Professor of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University traveled August 6-14, 2011 to provide training on post harvest techniques.  Wilson visited the Dominican Export and Import Agency (DEXIA) warehouse and packing house and the Dominican Agricultural Produce Export (DAPEX) receiving, grading, assembly and distribution center to assess the current packing procedures for tubers and to offer suggestions on modifications needed to help minimize damage during processing. Due to the structure of packaging boxes of produce, it is a common practice to pack 50-80% more in each fiberboard box than is the actual designed capacity of the box which results in very heavy individual units as well as damages to roots and tubers at packinghouses. Reducing the amount of produce per box will allow less produce to be damaged at the final destination.  Wilson held a training with farmers, handlers, exporters and government workers on reducing postharvest handling losses. Particular emphasis was placed on the importance of careful handling of all perishable horticultural crops that are being produced and marketed.  

COMPOSTING HELPS ORGANIC FARMERS IN DOMINICA

For the past three years, FAVACA has been working with the Dominica Organic Agriculture Movement (DOAM) to help improve and strengthen organic agriculture in Dominica.  While organic agriculture in Dominica is growing in popularity, farmers have found it difficult to transition their fields and maintain production levels.  It has also been hard to preserve the fertility of the soil without using chemical fertilizers.  Realizing these difficulties, DOAM requested FAVACA's support to provide training in soil nutrient management for tropical organic crop production systems.  Dr. George Fitzpatrick, Professor of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida's Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center and Dr. Mary Lamberts, Extension Agent and Agricultural Program Leader for the University of Florida's Cooperative Extension Service in Miami-Dade agreed to lead the training on organic composting and crop production systems July 16-23, 2011.  Fitzpatrick and Lamberts provided knowledge on basic principles of composting technology, measuring the chemical parameters (pH levels, soluble salt levels, moisture content, and organicmatter content) and physical compost, and judging compost quality by reading the pile temperatures and oxygen levels while also covering the health aspects of composting and pathogen control. Training took place in Bellevue Chopin, Castle Bruce, Calibishie, and La Plaine reaching over 160 people.  The FAVACA volunteers recommended that DOAM develop policies and procedures regarding raising funds for equipment for farmers and storing the equipment for shared use.

DOMINICA IMPROVES HIVE PRODUCTION AND PEST MANAGEMENT

Through a sustained program of apiary trainings in Dominica over the years FAVACA experts have provided the inspectors of Pure Blossom Hives and others instructors in the beekeeping industry on queen rearing.  After several years of practicing and implementing the new techniques, the amount of hives on the island has increased significantly.  Pure Blossom Hives requested the assistance of FAVACA to follow up on the training to provide experts on how and when a hive can be divided into two hives and the queen bee can be removed and transported across the country to expand the population.  David Westervelt, Tavares, from the Florida Department of Agriculture's Division of Plant Industry's Apiary Inspection Section traveled to Dominica May 29-June 8, 2011 and Bo Sterk, St. Augustine, traveled May 29-June 2, 2011 to work with Pure Blossom Hives to train on queen rearing and transportation. Unfortunately, the queens were not in the condition for queen rearing due to excessive rainy weather or lack of food. While inspecting the hives, Sterk and Westervelt did notice that some pests were present and provided members of Pure Blossom Hives with some information on pest management. While in Dominica, Westervelt and Sterk were able to work with another beekeeping organization, the Dominican Honey Coop to provide a beginning beekeepers training that the coop will be able to use in schools to get new young beekeepers and particularly women involved in beekeeping.  The Florida beekeepers also provide pest management trainings to the Dominican Honey Coop to ensure they monitor their hives for a variety of pests that could negatively affect hive populations.


DOMINICA LOOKING TOWARDS ORGANIC STANDARDS

The Dominica Organic Agriculture Movement Incorporated (DOAM) has been working to promote the development of organic agriculture on the island since 2005. FAVACA with support from the Jimmy Buffett Singing for Change Foundation and Tony Kleese of Eastern Carolina Organics have been helping DOAM increase their capacity to provide organic agriculture on Dominica.  Kleese developed Eastern Carolina Organics which focuses on helping protect high quality farmland through stimulating agricultural entrepreneurship. With the funding provided by Jimmy Buffett Singing For Change Foundation, DOAM had conducted several farmer and market surveys along with supply and demand chains and organic certification surveys. The market for certified organic crops on the island is in its infancy but the market surveys conducted suggest that a supply of organic produce could be organized. To evaluate the capacity of Dominican organic farmers to meet US, Canadian and European Union organic standards, evaluate the production and distribution structure, and the supply of products for the long-term, Kleese traveled to Dominica May 13-24, 2011. He helped to develop USDA's National Organic Standards and therefore was selected by DOAM to help with the evaluation of implementing organic standards on Dominica to increase the markets available to farmers for their produce.  After working with all of the organic farmers in the country, Kleese outlined a variety of recommendations on what farmers should do in order to begin applying for organic standards and potential problems farmers could have in pursuing organic certification.  Kleese also recommended changing the distribution system since the current structure often does not allow farmers to capture much of the final sale price of their produce.

FARMERS LEARN GREENHOUSE TECHNOLOGY IN DOMINICA

The ability to monitor and evaluate the agricultural inputs such as nutrient levels will increase the production of vegetables throughout the Dominica, yet most farmers and extension agents in Dominica do not have the knowledge to effectively monitor and evaluate these inputs. In October 2010 Dr. Kimberly Moore and Lucille Fisher provided training on how to start and maintain a protected agriculture system in a tropical environment. Moore and Fisher recommended that participants be trained on the use of greenhouse technology to help increase the production of greenhouse produce. CARDI/ Dominica requested a follow-up to the visit by Dr. Moore and Ms. Fisher to train participants on greenhouse technology with particular emphasis on the Ministry of Agriculture's extension staff. The requested training focused on the use of tools such as pH, light and EC meters; soil testing;  compost testing for nutrient content;  fertilization (types & proper use);  determination of fertilization requirements for optimum growth in vegetable greenhouses; bedding plants especially related to solanaceous & brassica vegetable production as well as lettuce production; and soil pasteurization. Dr. Kimberly Moore, Associate Professor from the University of Florida's Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center and Lucille Fisher also from the Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center traveled to Dominica from April 10-16 to train extension officers from CARDI and the Ministry of Agriculture on the use of greenhouse technology. As a result of this training, the extension officers are now able to teach farmers how to use a variety of tools to measure and monitor the health of the soil and nutrient levels in their greenhouses and fields. 

PROTECTIVE COVERING MANAGEMENT TRAINING TO IMPROVE VEGETABLE CROPS IN DOMINICA

Dominican farmers have a large stake in vegetable production many of which are grown in protected agriculture systems such as greenhouses or shade houses however yields have not produced the expected results as in other islands. The current practice of growing the crops directly in the soil as if they were grown in the open field have resulted in the build-up of soil born pests and diseases forcing many farmers to plant in pots which has its own challenges. To help increase the health and number of crops grown in a protected agriculture system in Dominica, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) requested an expert in protected agriculture management to provide a training to help increase vegetable production on the island.

Veteran volunteers Dr. Kimberly Moore and Lucille Fisher from the from the University of Florida's Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center traveled to Dominica October 24-31, 2010.  Participants from CARDI, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Dominica Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the National Association for Youth in Agriculture (NAYA) attended morning technical sessions and afternoon practical sessions on nontraditional or alternative types of soil (media) such as moss.  Special focus was given to using locally available materials.  Additionally, Moore trained farmers on a variety of pest management options and how to administer treatments to help reduce the number of pests in the closed system. Water management and fertilization were also discussed to help farmers increase their yields and replenish the soil. Lastly Moore trained farmers on the best time to harvest for optimum yields and alternatives to conventional fertilizers since the costs continually rise and are becoming unaffordable. 

Fisher meanwhile provided a series of trainings on nutrient additions in alternative soils especially organic varieties. Special focus was given to solar cooking or soil solarization and other methods of transferring soil and media without spreading or transferring bacteria or disease which has been a problem as more farmers plant in pots. As a result of the training, 124 farmers, extension agents, and students are able to improve the establishment and management of protected agriculture systems.  CARDI's greenhouse and shade house will now act as a demonstration and training center for farmers to come and learn aspects of protected agriculture as a result of the training from Moore and Fisher. 

CREATING A BUSS ABOUT BEEKEEPING IN DOMINICA 

Beekeeping in the Caribbean has suffered great setbacks in the past several decades due to the introduction of Africanized bees, the Vero mite, and habitat loss due to man-made and natural disasters. One island that has been relatively protected from many of the setbacks in beekeeping is Dominica, however; due to the lack of training in key aspects of the profession, many beekeepers are unable to increase the number, quality, and health of hives. In order to help beekeepers obtain the necessary skills to maintain and increase beekeeping on the island, Pure Blossom Hives contacted FAVACA to provide experts in beekeeping to teach about queen rearing, royal jelly extraction, and pollen collecting. Veteran FAVACA volunteers from the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, Doug Corbin, Pensacola, and David Westervelt, Umatilla, traveled to Roseau, Dominica July 4-26, 2009. The volunteers provided training on a variety of aspects important in keeping a healthy hive, how to increase the bee population through queen rearing, and how to collect pollen which could lead to new commercial enterprises. Field visits and lectures were conducted across the country from Portsmouth and Colihauat in the North to Marigot and Riviere Cyrique in the East to Roseau in the South including the communities of Londonderry Farms, Stork Farm, and Roseau Central. Participants included members of the Dominican Organic Agriculture Movement and staff from the Ministry of Agriculture. The volunteers taught beekeeping to women and youth at the Dominica State College and several participants from the Carib Indians. The FAVACA volunteers also held a workshop for the beekeepers on how they could produce hive woodenware from local woods; they worked alongside Home Industries, a local hardware store, in the manufacturing of woodenware, hive bodies, supers, frames, lids, bottom boards, aluminum lid covers, queen cell molding tools and pollen traps. Previously, bee hives and tools were imported to the island but this workshop established a valuable source of bee woodenware in Dominica manufactured by local labor and resources. The last result from the training entails the participants working with educational institutions across the island to create both a primary school program for beginning beekeeping and to create a college level course for experienced beekeepers based on the Florida Bee College and Florida Master Beekeeping program.

TRAINING IN LEARNING DISABILITIES FOR SCHOOLS IN DOMINICA

The public school systerm in Dominica faced the great challenge of diagnosing and teaching children with learning disabilities due to lack of trained professionals. There is only one school on the island for specific disorders such as visual and hearing impaired students, but only a small handful of students have access to this resource. In addition, in 2006, Dominica started universal secondary school and many of the teachers are complaining that they are unable to reach and teach many of the students so that students are able to retain the information they are presented. Dominica has only one person on the entire island who is able to diagnosis learning disabilities and the majority of the population does not know that there is a difference between learning disabilities and other types of disabilities. Therefore, Peace Corps Volunteer Jennifer Helton and the Ministry of Education asked FAVACA for help in finding several volunteers who would be able to train teachers in diagnosing and treating students with learning disabilities. First time volunteers Nancy Anastasio, Helen Nelson, and Kathleen Elaine Brock all from Panama City, Florida traveled to Castle Bruce, Dominica July 7-21, 2007. All three volunteers are teachers who specialize in teaching students with learning disabilities for Bay County Public Schools. During their two week training sessions, the volunteers spent the morning hours teaching teachers how to identify different learning disabilities and how to effectively teach students according to the type of learning disability each student possesses. In the afternoons, Brock, Anastasio, and Nelson traveled throughout the North and Northeast region of Dominica to work with many of the parents who have children with learning disabilities. The volunteers were able to teach the parents how to help their children with their school work and the struggles of everyday life. According to Helton, “the event made such a huge impact. People are still talking about it daily and there are already many new projects and policy changes occurring because of their visit. I do not think these three wonderful women truly had a grasp of the level at which they effected and affected this island. Eyes are now open and at the perfect moment (with education policy being revised). The ministry just announced the opening of a literacy program for the blind and visually impaired to get everyone, adult- child, reading at their age level! Several teachers are asking for follow up from me with their schools and the CCF Roving Care Givers Programme wants to re-look at their policies and practices with children with Learning Disorders and other disabilities.”

DOMINICA SQUEEZES SUCCESS OUT OF CITRUS PROJECT

Farmers near the Morne Diablotin National Park have been suffering losses in their annual harvest of citrus and passion fruits due to the native Sisserou, protected parrots found only in Dominica. Albert Bellot, the national coordinator of the Global Environment Facility (GFP), requested assistance from FAVACA in order to conduct a feasibility exercise. Dr. Rene Goodrich, Gainesville, a specialist in citrus processing, and Tom Spreen, Gainesville, Chair of the Dept. of Food and Resource Economics, both with the University of Florida, were selected by the GFP to travel to Dominica November 30 – December 4, 2006 in order to assess the current situation farmers are facing, explore the viability of a new processing plant as a solution, and determined the uses for potential by-products. There were 25 volunteers from the GFP that participated in the field assessment.

NATURE ISLES EMBRACE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY.

Environmental friendly sources of energy are among the priorities for Dominica which has begun branding itself the Nature Isles and focusing on clean industries like Eco-Tourism. In collaboration with the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program (GEFSGP), FAVACA provided a workshop on the viability of various renewable energy resources and their capability to satisfy energy needs and security. Collin Guiste of GEFSGP requested a consultant to look at the capability of various solar energy systems to be used in a disaster situation and to provide sustainability for the islands energy needs. William Young traveled to Dominica April 16-21, 2006, to conduct the workshop for 61 participants. Topics included: Defining Alternative Energy, Conservation and Efficiency, Photovoltaic (solar electricity), Solar thermal (hot water), Wind, Geothermal, and using solar energy in disasters. Young is a Senior Research Engineer at the Florida Solar Energy Center, University of Central Florida with 18 years of experience in applied research, testing, and training in renewable energy and on the use of photovoltaics for disasters.

DOMINICAN ECO-TOURSIM BOOSTED BY TRAIL CONSTRUCTION.

Within the highly competitive tourism sector of the Caribbean the island of Dominica has been working to establish itself as an eco-tourist’s paradise. With fewer beaches than other islands but a wealth of natural areas the island is working to develop offerings to attract international eco-tourists. The community of Delice with the collaboration of United States Peace Corps volunteer Elie Schecter recognized an increase in tourism and approached FAVACA for assistance in nature trail development. Volunteer Steve Watson, Crawfordville, traveled to Delice to assist in the improvement of the Victoria Falls trail. Watson, a registered architect in the State of Florida, certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, has over thirty years of experience in the construction industry. He is currently Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Design and Construction for the Florida Park Service. Mr. Watson collected site data and worked to ascertain material and labor costs to build foot bridges in several locations along the White River trail. They are also working with the Southeastern Tourism Development Committee to attract eco-tourism dollars into the community. Mr. Watson traveled September 18-25, 2004. Along with the community participants Watson’s consultancy was leveraged to include six Ministry of Tourism, Industry & Enterprise Development architects who work throughout the country on similar projects.

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