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Sun Jul 5, 2020, 07:39 PM

CUBA'S RIVER TRANSFORMATION CAME DOWN TO ONE KEY FACTOR

CUBA'S RIVER TRANSFORMATION CAME DOWN TO ONE KEY FACTOR
And it could help to clean U.S. rivers.

For most of the past 60 years, the United States and Cuba have had very limited diplomatic ties. President Barack Obama started the process of normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations, but the Trump administration reversed this policy, sharply reducing interactions between the two countries.

Scientific cooperation is a bright spot in this difficult history. Since the 19th century, U.S. institutions like the Smithsonian and the National Academy of Sciences have worked with Cuban counterparts to understand topics such as vector-borne disease transmission. Although political friction has often made such partnerships challenging, many scientists on both sides believe their countries stand to gain by tackling health and environmental challenges together.

We are geoscientists who study how landscapes change through processes such as erosion. For the past two and a half years, we and our team of U.S. scientists have been working with Cuban geoscientists to understand the environmental and water quality effects of progressive agricultural policies in Cuba.

In a recently published study, we show that Cuban rivers are cleaner than the mighty Mississippi. Why? Because Cuban farmers practice organic farming and conservation agriculture to reduce soil erosion and nutrient loss. In sum, Cuba is doing a better job than the U.S. at keeping farming from hurting its rivers, and its results offer useful lessons.



https://www.inverse.com/culture/cuba-clean-rivers

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