Our friends at Amruqa, an essential oils and spice company in Papua New Guinea, have just received a grant from the European Union to improve their downstream processing of coconut oil. The grant is valued at $70,000 and will enable Amruqa to produce up to ten tons of coconut oil for the export market. The grant has been given under the Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade project launched between the European Union and the Land Resources Division of SPC. Check out the full article HERE!
From the 2014 archives
View the full blog post to see a description of today's Featured Photo and check back every Friday to see more photo's from our trips!
Mongolia has just finished celebrating the National Naadam Festival, which venerates Mongolia’s rich past. The celebration marks the “2,223rd anniversary of the Establishment of the Mongolian States and the 808th anniversary of the Great Mongol Empire.” The event included many Mongolian pastimes during the weeklong event, such as archery, horse racing, and wrestling. Check out the article HERE to see the detailed schedule of such a historic, cultural celebration!
Yangoru was once the second largest producer of cocoa in Papua New Guinea; however, in recent years yields have fallen dramatically due to crop devastation, caused by the cocoa pod borer. With the collaboration of the Cocoa Board of Papua New Guinea, a total of K1 million (in units of their currency, the Papua New Guinean kina) will annually be invested in seeding new cocoa plants. The plan is hoping to revitalize the cocoa industry of Yangoru and could generate opportunities to collaborate with other organizations.
With all of the attention given to Brazil’s World Cup and the upcoming Olympics, few remember the estimated 77 Amazon indigenous groups that are being uprooted in favor of economic development. Many of these indigenous groups are uncontacted prior and prefer to remain isolated due to past, violent interactions with various demographic groups. Additionally, these isolated tribal groups are largely susceptible to contract diseases for which they have no immunity (e.g. measles and influenza), obliterating the entire tribal population.
A substantial natural gas reserve has been discovered in Hides Field of Papua New Guinea by one of Exxon’s Australian partners, Oil Search Ltd. This news comes off the heels of falling output for Exxon over the past three years; therefore, this new natural gas field could reverse said trends. As of only May this year, natural gas production in Papua New Guinea has amounted to $19 billion.
Today we want to highlight our very first in-house H.I.T. intern, Dylan Kramer! Dylan joins our long list of fantastic interns from Christopher Newport University. He is majoring in Economics and Spanish and just returned from a study abroad semester in Spain. Dylan is with us for the second half of the summer and is working tirelessly to ramp up our blogging and overhaul our website. He's coming up with some pretty awesome stuff too so make sure you're checking back to see his work! Welcome to the team, Dylan!
Scientists have recently discovered a gene possessed by Tibetans that allows them to survive in their harsh, high altitude climate. Due to the high altitude of the Tibetan climate, the average person is unable to comfortably breathe; however, the Tibetans’ ability to thrive in an oxygen deficient setting has been attributed to the gene EPAS1. EPAS1 allows Tibetans to produce more oxygen-carrying hemoglobin without significantly increasing the thickness of the blood.
Runa Tea, one of our Heritable Innovation Trust partners in Ecuador, has had its fair share of media exposure (on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Forbes, and GOOD). Now, Runa Tea can add The Tonight Show to its media repertoire! Recently, during an interview, Channing Tatum spoke of Runa Tea, saying it gave the cast of Magic Mike, “the energy of the Gods.” The cast made a trip down to the Amazon of Ecuador after the casting of the movie, specifically to see how the unique, guayusa leaf tea was made.
This year we had a record breaking intern pool with 27 applicants! With such a high number, the process was more competitive and the final decision more difficult. After an extensive application process, we are proud to announce that our 2014 Peru interns have been chosen! This year we will be working with two terrific university students, one from the University of Virginia and one from Christopher Newport University. Congratulations to Conor Flynn and Jennifer Pluchinsky for joining our team!