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Authors

Rachel Mulroy

Abstract

The Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project is a sustainable model of agro-forestry that emerged contemporaneously with the more globally familiar Permaculture Design. Although the FACRP model has been recognized for their contributions to the Caribbean region and worldwide sustainability and environmental movements, they are not well known in the global North and West. Akilah and Kemba Jaramogi stress the importance of grassroots involvement as critical to adaptation and mitigation in combating climate impacts. However, there is a lack of acknowledgement and reciprocity within the movement that is linked to broader discourses on race, gender, and geography. The influence of these discourses impacts how permaculture practitioners in the global North and West perceive and acknowledge models rooted in feminism and/or traditional and/or Indigenous knowledge, as well as those models that emerged in the global South. An analysis of sentiment among permaculture practitioners of the global North suggests attitudes there are shifting toward an awareness of the need for more inclusive, equitable movements. As a feminist model of agro-forestry heavily influenced by Akilah's Merikin heritage as well as Rastafarian values, FACRP was built upon the framework other models are now seeking to establish. The Sustainable Development Goals recently released by the United Nations contain targets that FACRP has already been working toward, whether or not they previously formally identified them as such. FACRP further employs an integration of such traditional knowledge with current technological and scientific information, drawing in researchers and students from the Caribbean and the United States. Strategies such as their agro-forestry model, for instance, are employed through a gendered lens - with planting not only focused on reforestation for climate adaptation and mitigation, and habitat restoration, but on the usefulness of cooking herbs and medicinal plants as well. However, challenges remain - such as equitable treatment for FACRP's staff conducting fire prevention and management work. Although responses to ecological and climatic challenges are rooted locally in culturally specific contexts, the proper acknowledgement of whose knowledge and cultural traditions permaculture and other sustainable practices are founded upon is a necessary step toward building an equitable framework for global sustainable movements.

Note on the Author

Rachel holds a B.S. in Anthropology with a concentration in Archaeology from Bridgewater State University. She is a former professional organizer of environmental justice and anti-poverty campaigns in Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. Rachel currently serves as a public employee in her hometown, manifesting the policy initiatives she has fought for to build up a sustainable city. Her research interests are centered on generating sustainable systems by breaking down structural oppression. She can be reached at mulroyr@gmail.com.

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