A double honour
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Lawrence, Frank E. 2006. A double honour. Spore 121. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48003
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore121.pdf
Doctor Frank E. Lawrence, priest and environmentalist Lawrence has spent a lifetime helping rural people in his native Jamaica to understand more about sustainable community development.
Dr Frank E Lawrence has spent a lifetime helping rural people in his native Jamaica to understand more about sustainable community development. And Spore has been his constant companion, he says, as he goes about his task of helping communities with agroforestry, small animal rearing, value added food processing, bee-keeping, rain water harvesting and alternative energy projects. Spore is one of the most useful sources for providing information in helping and motivating small-scale producers, says Dr Lawrence, who is a minister of religion, an organic farmer and President of the Northern Jamaica Conservation Association (NJCA), an NGO which focuses on designing environmentally sustainable projects with income generating potential. Due to information and ideas received from Spore, our community won the coveted 2005 Michael Manley Award for Community Self-Reliance and Sustainable Development. In recognition of Dr Lawrence s work, the Jamaican government also singled him out for a personal award the Badge of Honour Award for Meritorius Service in the field of Sustainable Community Development. Sturge Town, the community which won the award, is one of Jamaica s oldest villages, set in a hilly, remote area. Its small-scale farmers rely on livestock rearing and the cultivation of vegetables, root crops, fruit, lumber and spices for a living. Lack of water and good roads hamper development, says Dr Lawrence, who believes local farmers need to be more involved in planning and decision-making. But all these problems can be helped by continuous motivation and creating greater awareness regarding self-reliance and sustainable development. Once he has finished reading Spore, Dr Lawrence passes on copies and articles to other people. He particularly enjoyed the In Brief item on Turning back to Traditional Trees in Spore 117, and the feature on Covering the Soil to Make it More Fertile in Spore 112. We found that very useful in reviving the practice of mulching in our organic farming approach, he comments.