The small Caribbean island of Barbados has been recognised by the United Nations as particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. But the islanders do not just have rising sea levels and extreme weather to contend with. They rely heavily on imports to feed the densely populated nation and the thousands of tourists who visit the island every year.
One local entrepreneur's vision for how the islanders might start to produce food themselves has become a successful reality. Damian Hinkson has built a system of pumps in his garden that allows him to cultivate vegetables and fish simultaneously by circulating water between an aquarium and a plant pot. Hinkson's "aquaponics" system is now being distributed amongst his community and is enabling others to produce food in their own backyards.
Kristina Adams is another entrepreneur who is working to keep Barbados well stocked with its own food. She set up the island's first commercial fish farm to cater to the high demand for seafood from tourists. Built from modified swimming pools, Adams' farm supplies up to 450kg of tilapia to the island's restaurants every month. Adams is planning to make the farm more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable by installing solar panels and harvesting rainwater.
James Husbands has dedicated his professional life to renewable energy solutions. Husbands, who is considered the father of the solar thermal movement in Barbados, has for the past four decades been working to make his solar-powered water heaters mainstream. His company, Solar Dynamics, was the catalyst for the establishment of a nationwide industry and now one in every three Bajan homes uses water heaters powered by the country's greatest natural resource - the sun.
Marine biologist Darren Browne is working towards making business and biodiversity come together to protect the hawksbill sea turtle. Swimming with the animal is a popular tourist activity and generates a lot of income but with people feeding the turtle the wrong food they are putting the turtles' health in jeopardy, and making them more susceptible to hunters and injuries from tourist boats. Browne plans for his research to provide the basis for new regulation that will protect this critically endangered creature as well as the revenues it generates for the economy.
Join Russell Beard in Barbados as he meets the Bajans at the forefront of the country's environmental movement.
The earthrise team's trip to Barbados was partly funded by the United Nations Environment Programme as part of World Environment Day 2014.
earthrise can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Monday: 2230; Tuesday: 0930; Wednesday: 0330; Thursday: 1630.
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Source: Al Jazeera