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Pia Jensen

Aug 19, 2017
11:02

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I really like the methodology of this project - utilizing inclusiveness, permaculture practices, plant diversity, economic drivers embedded... like the reforestation project I proposed for Cecalli in 2013, this concept can be replicated in other communities to create greater resiliency and security for food, water, health and finances.

The big hurdle I experienced with the Cecalli project (also in Nicaragua) was the great divide between cultural practices when it came to developing a local network of supporters. I thought getting thumbs up from locals wouldn't so hard, but, it turned out to be very difficult. Bringing in other organizations seems like a good way to "get around" that issue and it strengthens the proposal's success potential.


Alexander Hurley

Aug 31, 2017
02:27

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Cool idea! I do hope you are able to finish up the proposal with the graphics and other things that are listed to still be inserted. 

Also, one hurdle that you might have is to meet these rural families with farming and cooking practices that empower the local culture rather than pushing it away with foods/methods that are too new or too foreign. It would be a shame to push out traditional food culture altogether instead of building it up in both climate smart and culturally respectful ways. 


Pia Jensen

Sep 4, 2017
11:22

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That's a great idea, Alexander. Having experience with Nicaraguan culture, I think it would be easy enough for Ron & Cade to keep cultural food practices intact. Change doesn't come easy in small communities, especially.

Traditional cooking methods can be enhanced (e.g. introduction of Rocket Stoves to significantly reduce wood burning and to create biochar for soil development). Covered outdoor kitchen and dining is very inviting to community get togethers. Being surrounded by the farm will be conducive to connecting people (residents and visitors) directly with where their food comes from and will highlight farming tradiion.


Source: http://www.mesasostenible.com/about/

Introduction of new foods (through increasing seed stock for the gardens) doesn't have to mean pushing away traditional food culture. I don't have a kitchen, so, I watch a lot of cooking shows and have seen some great recipes using traditional Latin American foods to elevate the dining experience and increase nutritional value.

I know that Cade has a difficult internet access issue, but am sure he'll be glad to expand on this.


Pia Jensen

Sep 6, 2017
08:21

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Alexander - this page describes the recipes Chef Ron creates using local ingredients and shows respect for traditional food culture http://www.mesasostenible.com/recipes-1/


Julia Radice

Sep 6, 2017
06:51

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I really like this proposal. I particularly appreciated the education component to ensure lasting impact - and at the same time had some similar concerns as Alexander but I think given your response you have the right approach. 


Pia Jensen

Sep 6, 2017
11:03

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Really glad to hear that, Julia. I was hoping to confer with Cade today, but, he and Ron went to Florida and they've been helping friends prepare for Hurricane Irma. Hopefully they'll be back online tomorrow.


Anastasia Kouki

Oct 1, 2017
07:36

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Hello MESA Sostenible team,

And let me give you my congratulations for your work and your proposal. It really makes you feel the real essence of the basic environmental principle "Think globally, act locally".  

Your proposal is very well built, with timeline structures and professionalism, perhaps reflecting the professional experience of its creators. I believe what I might add or mentioned you might have done it already: mostly I am referring to tools that might help you broaden the audience of your aim. A PESTEL-DG, analysis might help you to identify the context you are working and the one you might work in the future, a SWOT analysis, will help you assess your strong points as well as the risks you might face. I strongly believe, that by the time and resulting, your projects can be a national best-practice paradigm, so perhaps you need to start nocking some doors and let them know your example. For example, you can ask for funding or moral recognition from organizations, such as WHO, since what you do promote healthy cooking, and eating, WB, that supports sustainable projects, EU: 1) European Environmental Agency for partnership and support, 2) EU Erasmus+ for Strategic Partnerships in youth mobility and cooperation so you can make programmes with European countries to come and see and learn from your project and exchange knowledge.  Of course, there will be terms to follow, but I believe you can make it.

Moreover, you can communicate with citizens and consumers associations supporting sustainable farming and consumption especially in Scandinavian countries and northern European - I could even mention Faire trade organization and similar institutions- in order to secure markets and buyers for your products that can sustain long-term traveling to Europe and elsewhere. You can also communicate with companies and ask them to support you in the context of their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes, or even international NGOs, like Gates Foundation, or Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation. 

Good luck on achieving your goals!

Anastasia


Pia Jensen

Oct 2, 2017
10:35

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Anastasia - thanks for the helpful comments and pointers. I think Cade will be replying to your suggestions relatively soon. Their internet connection situation is inconsistent. Your pointers are well received.


Cade Pia

Oct 3, 2017
08:59

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Hi Anastasia,

Thank you for your enthusiasm and great suggestions for MESA Sostenible. 

When researching and putting together the project development plan, we conducted a SWOT analysis. However did not include this in the ClimateColab proposal. I wish we would have now, given your feedback. 
This is a quick outline of the predominant considerations in our SWOT analysis:

Strengths

  • Diverse tropical savannah natural environment with abundance of macro and microorganisms
  • Enthusiastic and stable local community with a strong vision for environmental, social and economic development
  • The region is gaining attention of tourists and other industry sectors are beginning to develop
  • Governing regulations are conducive to social enterprise development

Weaknesses

  • Regenerative agricultural practices is a new concept for local farmers
  • Cross-cultural understanding between community and foreigners
  • Attaining the required funding to fully establish MESA Sostenible
  • A developing political environment

Opportunities

  • Early stage introduction of environmental regenerative practices for community and environmental development
  • Understanding for future generations of a model for best practice
  • Health and nutrition education and improvement in community
  • Economic stimulation through community cooperative

Threats

  • Continued use of chemical inputs into land and cross-contamination
  • Adaptive resilience to regenerative practices for land and community
  • Sustained project funding 
  • External national political changes that impact the operation of the project

 

Partnership

We believe that partnerships with national and international organization will play a vital role in expanding the reach of the and establishment of the project, whilst gaining understanding as a best practice. Thank you for highlighting key organizations that align with our goals. I will take note and reach out to these organizations. 

Update
Currently, we are building a well, planting productive gardens, constructing livestock structures and grazing areas on the land. As you mentioned, funding is a foremost resource needed to begin a project like this. By demonstrating the drive of the team, community involvement and developing the initial stages, we hope to gain more support along the journey with our community.

Thank you for your questions and comments. I would like to follow up with you about any comments you have about my above response.

Kind Regards

Cade
 


 


Pia Jensen

Oct 4, 2017
07:56

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Dear Cade & Ron - no matter the final decision of this opportunity - I think you've put together a great concept/platform for the food security transition. And,once the judges choose the semi-finalists, if yours moves forward, you can edit the proposal again to add the SWOT information. :)


Pia Jensen

Oct 6, 2017
01:47

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Tropical storm, Nate devastated the El Tambo community.

"Today is October 5th, tropical storm Nate has devastated the western coast of Nicaragua with horrific flooding. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Thousands of families have been left homeless and all their belongings lost." ~ Cade https://www.gofundme.com/eltambo-nate

I'm recommending the farm plan be adjusted to include swales, berms, and a raised location to secure seeds and emergency support supplies.

Photos from the El Tambo community.


Cade Pia

Oct 7, 2017
07:19

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Thank you, Pia, for opening the discussion about the devastating impact of tropical storm Nate that occurred late this week.

 

CURRENT ACTION:

As tropical storm Nate made landfall on Thursday it collided with another tropical depression from the Pacific west coast. The two storm cells combined and created a storm of intensity that no one had prepared for or was aware of the magnitude of the disaster that was about to strike.

As I got updates from our team at MESA Sostenible the catastrophic damage was growing. I had to do something and quickly. As I write this we have reached 98% of our current $4,424 goal to provide 82 flood affected families with $50 worth of fresh food and water in the surrounding communities.  

82 families x $50 food and water = $4100 (+ $324 7.9% gofundme fee) = $4424

This is a hands on the ground operation with Ron already at the farm just waiting for the funds to arrive. No admin fees, no wages, just pure aid.

??????We are overwhelmed with the generosity and support for the campaign so far. As Pia previously mentioned, here is the link. https://www.gofundme.com/eltambo-nate

Today I am going to stretch the funding goal to another 18 families (100 total) to get fresh food and water. There is so much more that needs to be done. We just need more help. 

Constant updates are posted on facebook which you can see here. https://www.facebook.com/mesasostenible/

 

FURTHER ACTION: MESA Sostenible

Pia I agree with you. A quick site survey yesterday of the impact of water on the MESA Sostenible land was done by Ron. We sustained minimal damage and our current development efforts have not been greatly impacted, at this stage. Ron has noted where the flow of water was coming from across the land and the depth. Swales and berms will be created in the upcoming months to minimize any further damage to the land and property. Over a year of planning and site selection has proven to be an imperative stage in planning for safety and preservation from flood damage.

We had already designed the buildings to be three feet off the ground. Adjustments will be made to further raise the buildings, taking into consideration the current events. 

I really like your suggestion of creating MESA Sostenible as a safe place for refuge during events like this. The design of the site and buildings are already conducive to sustaining a number of people. I am going to research and work on our site plan to see how we can further establish up the location as a place of safe refuge and aid distribution in unfortunate circumstances.

Some areas I think I would need to consider are access, shelter space, secondary power supply, fresh water storage, sanitation, food storage, communication methods and medical aid. Do you have any further suggestions?

I would like to welcome comments and suggestions from anyone with experience in establishing a center for refuge that is also a multiuse site like MESA Sostenible.

 

Today my thoughts are with those who lost it all this week.


Pia Jensen

Oct 7, 2017
12:41

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I love the way you transition so quickly into recovery and planning to mitigate disaster potential. Congratulations on attracting so much immediate support for donations! Current: $5,549 of $5,395 goal.

The first thing I'll suggest is Lifenet.

"LifeNet is a WiFi-based data communication solution designed for post-disaster scenarios. It is open-source software and designed to run on consumer devices such as laptops, smart-phones and wireless routers. LifeNet is an ad hoc networking platform over which critical software applications including chat, voice messaging, MIS systems, etc. can be easily deployed. LifeNet can grow incrementally, is robust to node failures and enables Internet sharing. A novel multi-path ad-hoc routing protocol present at its core, enables LifeNet to achieve these features." http://www.thelifenetwork.org/about.html

And/or a combination of hand-held walkie-talkies with at least a five mile radius (is that possible?) and a network of ham radio operators.

Solar panel for charging communications equipment.

When I was looking for international disaster relief organizations this morning I saw that some offer training for relief workers/groups.

25 Nov 2016 - 15 Oct 2017 Free online course: Public Health Principles in Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (6th Cohort)
05 Sep 2017 - 30 Oct 2017 Community based DRR course Center for Sustainable Development
18 Sep 2017 - 17 Mar 2018 Online course - Disasters and ecosystems: Resilience in a changing climate United Nations Environment Programme
25 Sep 2017 - 17 Nov 2017 6ª Edición del Curso Online Internacional "Gestión del Riesgo de Desastres. Amenazas y Vulnerabilidad en el Siglo XXI" Cátedra Reducción del Riesgo de Desastres. Ciudades Resilientes

Contact and partner up with UN Humanitarian Response Depots https://www.wfp.org/logistics/humanitarian-response-depot

Organisations involved in disaster management A range of technical guidelines for health action in crises and pre-deployment training courses are available. A set of technical hazard sheets on earthquakes, drought, floods and landslides, is also available. www.wcpt.org/disaster-management/Organisations-involved-in-disaster-management

Your Team - a sub-group: Disaster Response Team

To care for people during disasters you'll want to have at least one doctor and/or nurse in the community on your team. It may prove helpful to have a government agent from your region on the team to help coordinate in-country assistance. Once you've made a connection with one of the UN organizations you'll want to have a representative on your team as well.

It would be good if someone in the community owns a large transport truck that can navigate the river when other vehicles can not to bring in supplies, remove people, etc. It's possible that the Russian military stationed in Nicaragua can help with that. Not sure how you would contact them other than through the Nicaraguan government.


Pia Jensen

Oct 8, 2017
09:54

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Update from Cade & Ron:

"As you may have seen in the news, Nicaragua was devastatingly struck by tropical storm Nate on Thursday, October 4th.

The widespread flood damage is heartbreaking. Thousands of families lost their homes, their farms and left with the clothes they were just wearing.

At the moment, Ron and Ismael are safe, along with the MESA Sostenible property. We have not been able to contact Lenner and know his remote community next to a river was one of the hardest hit. All our thoughts are with him and his family at this very distressing moment. We would love to try to reach him, however, the river bed which also serves as the communities access road has been reported inaccessible.

Swinging quickly into action, we launched an aid relief campaign that has had an overwhelming amount of support but we need more aid as further destruction is reported.  

Click here https://www.gofundme.com/eltambo-nate

Please share and support this aid effort as we try and get food, water and shelter to neighbors, friends and loved ones.

All our love, the MESA Sostenible team."

I sent queries to several international disaster relief organizations and tweeted to them and other aid orgs on Saturday morning. Cade reports that none have contacted him yet as of this morning, Sunday.


Pia Jensen

Oct 9, 2017
02:57

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Update from Cade & Ron:

"Monday 7:30 am

As the generous amount of support continues, the team on the ground is in action. $13,095 in donations.

Yesterday a congregation of 45 volunteers met and formulated a cohesive response plan for relief operations.
The Tola region being aided by this relief effort was divided into three zones and volunteers assigned to a zone.

South Zone:
Base: Hacienda Iguanas
Region: Guascoto through to Nancimi and El Tambo

Mid Zone
Base: Rancho Santana
Region: Limon area through to Las Salinas

North Zone:
Base: Magnific Rock
Region: Las Salinas through to Astillero and further North

The central hubs are accepting, storing, and distributing donations to their respective areas.

The teams went into their assigned communities to assess needs.

A small preliminary round of aid that was able to be collected quickly has been distributed to those who could be reached in daylight hours.

Quote: "Some of our communities are very difficult to access due to poor roads and isolation. This is one of our major outreach challenges." - Katie, relief volunteer.

TODAY:
A meeting will be held this morning to provide updates to zone bases and further coordinate operations.

We will provide more updates and the relief efforts continue.

Thank you for your support and helping your/our friends, neighbors and loved ones in this dire time of need."


Cade Pia

Oct 10, 2017
07:19

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Pia thank you for keeping our ClimateColab community updated.

It has been a very busy time for everyone. Y

our detailed information on establishing a relief center is welcomed at this time. When I have a moment I will read over all the links.

As today we have raised an incredible $14,990 in donations. Thank you, everyone, for your support.

Here is an update of what is happening on the ground.

Update Tuesday 7:00 AM 

Widespread relief efforts continued on Monday with hundreds of aid packages delivered throughout the region. 

Here is a sample of some items in being distributed: 
Rice - Beans - Cooking oil - Sugar - Toilet paper -Salt- Coffee - Matches 

Volunteers on the ground have spent large sums of their own money, borrowed from friends and family and used credit cards to purchase as many urgent supplies as possible. 

The first transfer of funds was issued by GoFundMe at 12:30 PM PST yesterday to Ronald Combs in Nicaragua. Ron will distribute the funding to Zone Leaders for purchasing aid and reimbursing volunteers. As I receive the receipts I will post them on here. 

A strict transparent accountability policy is in place to ensure 100% of funds raised go to flood aid relief. 

Electricity, internet, cell service is very unstable. 

Widespread aid efforts will continue today.

Photos, more information, and donations are at this link https://www.gofundme.com/eltambo-nate


Pia Jensen

Oct 10, 2017
08:08

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Thank you for the updates!


Pia Jensen

Oct 14, 2017
09:59

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Update from Ron & Cade - "Yesterday [13 Oct] an 18 man team hiked 3hrs into the jungle, crossing 50 rivers to reach a village high in the mountains. 2000 pounds of aid was delivered to 47 houses. Children, women, men, and horses wadded through the mud carrying the aid in just sack.

...This is Mission Possible.

We need more help from you now.
A remote community north of Zone 3 has been contacted and they need desperate help. We need to raise an additional $5,000 in 24hrs to buy food, medical supplies, and clothing for them. Donate and share. Let's do this! Share this link now and donate."


Pia Jensen

Oct 14, 2017
12:27

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Great news from Cade today - Mesa Sostenible's design for this El Tambo project won the 2017 Australian Landscape Architecture Awards https://www.foreground.com.au/public-domain/global-problems-local-actions-the-2017-australian-landscape-architecture-awards/


Anastasia Kouki

Oct 17, 2017
04:30

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Thank you, Cade, for your kind reply, I really like that there is a dialogue process in the whole scheme. Honestly, your proposal is the one that makes you want to be a part of it. If I can be of any help, let me know!!!

 


Cade Pia

Oct 19, 2017
09:14

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Your support is inspiring and heartwarming for all our efforts put in, thank you.

To help our community at the moment we are continuing our aid operation. So far we have raised $22,872 to buy food, water filters, clean wells, cleanup/building crews for houses and schools. The operation is called 'Mission Possible' and has had an immense impact on getting our communities lives back to normal. As our efforts continue, we are raising more support. It would be incredible if you could share the campaign with your network using this link https://www.gofundme.com/eltambo-nate We want to rebuild more damaged classrooms and houses back to their original state.

Our team at MESA Sostenible has decided they wanted to resume work as an effort to get life back to normal. The well and livestock shelters are under construction, along with tree planting and garden preparation.

The entire community of the Tola region has come together to make this 'Mission Possible'.


Caroline Liu

Nov 26, 2017
03:26

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Thank you for submitting your contest proposal.

A Climate CoLab Impact Assessment Fellow has conducted an impact assessment of your proposal which you can find under the “IMPACT” tab. Please review the documentation and model parameters. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can contact Qingshi at zeratel.

Regards,

Impact Assessment Fellows


Cade Pia

Dec 2, 2017
02:40

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Dear Impact Assessment Fellows,

Thank you for contributing the Impact assessment. Are you able to explain how you established to the impact assessment figures so I can further my research in this area?

Thank you

Cade Pia


Qingshi Tu

Dec 2, 2017
11:16

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Hello Cade,

   Nice work on the proposal! 

   We use the following formula to calculate the potential emission reduction of a proposal:

   “Emission reduction=Biz-as-usual emissions x adoption% x reach% x change in capital/stock x change in use/flow x change in energy intensity use x change in carbon intensity of energy”, a more detailed explanation can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uDjoosS72KFAF6INUhuELG55vV8lMU2k5w_FIg0-NGQ/edit

   Per your proposal, I made assumptions regarding two parameters: ’reach’ and ‘use/flow’

   ‘Reach’ stands for the fraction of the chosen sector (e.g., energy, transportation) that is affected by the proposal. For example, light-duty vehicles in the US emit about 60% all GHG emission in transportation sector, so the reach is 60%

   The sector I pick for the impact for your proposal is ‘Agriculture’ and I used a low (1%) reach for your proposal, because the emission from agriculture sector is huge.The 30% reduction in "Use/flow" is based on reduction in use of fertilizers due to the “no-tillage” practice, an average number between 20% and 40% reduction found in: https://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2016/10/16/how-agriculture-can-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions/

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