Since 2016, the UK Friends of the Mustique Charitable Trust (UKFMCT) has funded the Environmental Education Programme in collaboration with the Richmond Vale Academy (RVA). The two-week programme focuses on training young Vincentians on environmental protection, ecological farming and climate change education and takes place at the RVA Climate Centre and Sustainable Farm.

RVA is a non-profit organization situated on 30 acres of land in Richmond, St. Vincent. It practices low carbon, high biodiversity farming, focuses on Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) which ensures food security in a changing climate and nurtures an intensive organic garden of fruits, herbs and vegetables. It implements innovative farming methods such as composting, bio Char used to improve soil properties, water harvesting, organic pesticides and chicken tractors which allow chicken fresh forage e.g. grass & bugs. One of its core functions is to educate about Climate-Smart Agriculture through workshops, tours and the implementation of the pass-it-on sustainable garden models.

UKFMCT 2020 Youth Environmental Programme
UKFMCT 2020 Youth Environmental Programme

The objective of the UKFMCT Environmental Education Programme is to bring about awareness to Vincentian youths about the impact of climate change and relevant adaptation techniques, increase the capacity of the local community to withstand the effects of climate change and environmental events and to improve nutritional and health outcomes. It incorporates in-classroom theoretical training and practical hands on training and participants visit major environmental sites in St. Vincent such as La Soufriere Volcano and Dark View Falls.

Current focus areas that have been added to the programme includes “How to make a sustainable backyard garden” and “Studies about herbs and their benefits”. The objective of these most relevant areas is to train participants to grow their own food for self-sustainability and possible income and to incorporate a healthy diet to strengthen their immune system.

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