About Eco Cuba Network
“One day we’ll have to build a monument to the ‘special period’ because it has forced us
to find truly sustainable ways to meet our food, energy and health care needs.”
– Rosa Elena Simeón, Minister of the Cuban Ministry of Science,
Technology and the Environment, 1994 – 2004
In its 2006 Sustainability Index Report, the World Wildlife Fund, utilizing a combination of the United Nations Human Development Index (a measure of how well a nation is meeting its nutrition, water, health care, and education needs, etc.) and the Ecological Footprint (natural resource use per capita), determined that there is only one nation in the world that is currently living sustainably — and that nation is Cuba. The Report states, “No [other] region, nor the world as a whole, met both criteria for sustainable development.”
- How did Cuba, a small island nation of 11 million people, struggling with issues of poverty, devastating annual hurricanes, and the US embargo, achieve this extraordinary distinction?
- What can environmentalists in the US learn from Cuba’s struggles and successes?
- Can Cuba benefit from the intellectual and material environmental resources available from the environmental community in the US?
Eco Cuba Network, a 20 year old collaboration between US and Cuban environmentalists, explores these questions, promotes environmental interchange with Cuba, and works within both countries to implement the ideas generated by the Network.
Our goals are two-fold:
- to create a program of mutual benefit for both our people, as we work together to avert economic catastrophe and environmental collapse and to create a more ecological and sustainable hemisphere
- to motivate the large, influential and growing sector of environmentally-conscious US citizens to educate Congress and the Obama Administration on the need to end the US embargo of Cuba, especially the restrictions on travel and communication.
The people of Cuba and of the US share an ecosystem through our common embrace
of the Gulf of Mexico. We share a hemisphere and a common world. We share as well,
with all humans, a common dream of living peacefully and sustainably with each other
on this beautiful planet, which is, ultimately, our only home.
Eco Cuba Network organizes delegations to Cuba of environmentalists in every field:
- sustainable agriculture
- renewable energy
- natural health care
- biodiversity/ecosystem protection
- environmental education
- grassroots environmental activism
- interdisciplinary fields of social welfare, urban development
- environmental protection professions working to bring sustainability and environmental integrity to their places of business
- In depth study of Cuba’s environmental policies and practices
- Ongoing exchange between Cubans and US participants on our delegations
- Production of video, print and internet materials on Cuba’s projects in sustainable development and environmental protection
- US attendance at environmental conferences in Cuba
- Invitation of Cuban environmentalists to attend conferences in the US
- Ever widening professional and grassroots participation in ongoing efforts to end the US embargo of Cuba
AGROECOLOGY Conference delegation, November 2011
Cuba – US: one ecosystem, one earth, one ocean.
From high above, what we need to do is so obvious.
Let’s work together to protect this precious region of our planet.
Environmentalists, like migratory birds, sea creatures and ocean waves know no borders!
Eco Cuba Network is a project of Green Cities Fund.