United Caribbean Trust
In memory of
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In 1994 Barbados hosted the first UN Global Conference on Sustainable
Development for Small Island Developing States. At that time, thousands
of people visited a parallel activity to the conference called the Village
of Hope. From that village has come the Future Centre, which educates
visitors and schoolchildren about the environment. As “An Interpretive
Centre for Lightening the Impact on our Environment,” the Future
Centre has an organic garden, a medicinal herb garden, solar-driven ovens
and ponds. Further information can be found on
The Future Centre Trust, has recently been replaced by the Counterpart
Caribbean. It is located in Edgehill, in parish of St Thomas in Barbados.
It is a permanent exhibition in Barbados focusing on the sustainability
of the country, created a rallying point for those concerned with protection
of the environment. The Centre focuses on role models from Barbados
and other countries in addition to practical demonstrations on eco-farming,
permaculture, composting, alternative energy, gray water reuse, as well
as other issues pertaining to the environment and development.
Its creation resulted from the 1994 UN Conference on Sustainable
Development of Small Island Developing States, hosted by Barbados. During
the conference, an NGO forum exhibition, entitled “The Village
of Hope”, included 300 displays which depicted “The Horror”,
environmental decay, and “The Hope”, environmental protection
if special action is taken.The linkage of art, spirit and technology
had been one of the key developments at the Village of Hope.
The Future Centre, under the patronage of the Governor General, was
established by a group of concerned citizens. Later, the project came
under the patronage of the President of the Caribbean Development Bank
(CDB). The Future Centre has an interactive exhibition on environmental
issues around the many themes of the “Village of Hope” located
in an old plantation house. Significant teaching themes include the
“Eco-logical Footprint” and Swedish “Natural Step”.
gardens hold a variety of exhibits, plants and an herb tire garden.
Vegetarian dishes served at the restaurant use organic ingredients straight
out of the gardens. The Future Centre Trust and other NGOs in Barbados
are ac-tively involved in the process of decision-making as well as
in multi-sectoral committees which make decisions pertaining to
the environment. The Trust is also involved in looking at alternative
ways to dispose of solid waste other than landfill, such as composting.
• Management of wastes (Chapter III of Barbados Programme of
• Energy resources (Chapter VII of BPoA)
• Science and technology (Chapter XIII of BPoA)
• The Future Centre was acknowledged in Barbados and overseas
as an important model for sustainable development awareness building.
• Public awareness about issues concerning the environment increased.
Children thoroughly enjoyed the activities provided by the Centre. Other
participants included leading businessmen and prominent overseas visitors.
• In 1998, the Future Centre with the Recycling Council of Alberta
(Canada) conducted an exploratory project focusing on recycling technology.
• A grant was given to the Dominica Conservation Association.
• The Future Centre in conjunction with other organizations in
Barbados continues to conduct free guided hikes twice every Sunday.
If a full moon is expected, a third hike is added. Two levels are available
for hikers, “energetic” and “stop and stare”.
The latter involves frequent stops, for the guides give information
about the flora, fauna, history or ge-ology of that particular spot.
• The main lesson learned is that a rallying point like the Future
Centre is probably the best way of moving systematically and gently
to a new way of thinking about the environment.
• Although it has the potential to be financially viable, it requires
a systematic flow of resources for the development aspects.
• Because of the impetus from the “Village of Hope”,
the Centre was able to draw on much expertise and voluntary help that
would not necessarily be available to other SIDS.
• Unsure as to the long-term availability of resources, a restructuring
was recently undertaken, including replacing the original Trust with
a link to an overseas NGO. The initial impetus has been lost somewhat
during the reorganization.The Centre has been adopted by Counterpart
For the development phase I of the Future Centre, and its pre-decessor,
Village of Hope:
Tel.: (246) 425-0073
For developments since 1999 contact:
Marilyn Gilmore, Basil Springer, Bob Hurley
Tel.: (246) 425-2020