Eco Cuba Network

Eco Cuba Network, a 20 year old collaboration between US and Cuban environmentalists, 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.

US delegation to the International Permaculture Convergence, Los Cocos, Cuba, November-December 2014

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
  • professionals working to bring sustainability and environmental integrity to their places of business

We encourage:

  • 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

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 Cuban Network seeks to answer these questions in the interest of environmental protection and sustainable human development.

Recent Posts

Leah Garchik

Features Columnist San Francisco Chronicle

28th August, 2018

In 1967, while the war in Vietnam was raging, Tom Miller, who was practicing law in New York, read a report by MarthaGellhorn about the effects of napalm on the Vietnamese, especially children. He left his New York law practice to become a founder of Children’s Medical Relief International, a nonprofit with the aim of establishing a hospital in Vietnam.

By 1969, after two years of operation in temporary headquarters, Miller and physician and Abraham Lincoln Brigade veteran Arthur Barsky had overseen the construction of the Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a modern medical facility that treated victims of bombing and napalm, as well as children born with birth defects as a result of the use of Agent Orange. It was that center that treated Kim Phuc, the girl pictured running from her burning village during the war.

In 1973, Miller was working with victims in Vietnam when he met Tran Tuong Nhu. They were married that year. (And she later became press secretary to Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown.) They’re planning to travel to Vietnam next spring to mark the 50th anniversary of the center, and are raising money through Green Cities Fund (greencitiesfund.org) to buy equipment and support for what’s become a national teaching hospital.

The facility recently expanded from two floors to 11, one of which will be dedicated in honor of Miller and Dr. Barsky.

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