Archive | Environment

Government reviewing dress code

Government reviewing dress code

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Aug 15, CMC – Less than a week after the Jamaica government announced it had suspended the no sleeveless policy after reviewing the longstanding practice of prohibiting women wearing sleeveless attire from entry into government buildings, another Caribbean island is following suit.

The Antigua and Barbuda government said it had appointed Social Transformation Minister Samantha Marshall to undertake a comprehensive review of the policy that prohibits people from wearing certain types of clothing when accessing services at government departments.

Marshall said that her ministry has already started the process and is also holding discussions with other Caribbean islands to learn from best practices.

“In the past, we have used what is the old-time sort of thinking in terms of dress code. Right now, we have to appreciate that we serve the people and we have to accept that there are ways in which persons may present themselves,” Marshall told the OBSERVER Media.

She said that if an individual is not dressed in a vulgar manner, he or she should be allowed to conduct their business.

Marshall said that the present policy is not mandated by law, but is a rather a rule that was adopted a few years ago.

“We are in consulting stages, we are hoping that within two to three weeks we can have an initial report to present to the Cabinet and we are hoping very shortly that there will be a change in the policy,” Marshall said.

Last week, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness in a statement said he has formally given instructions for the suspension of the no-sleeveless policy and instructed a full review of government dress code practices.

“It has been found, that while the practice exists to prohibit persons who wear sleeveless from entering Government buildings through “dress codes” established within particular Ministries, Departments and Agencies, there is no law or official government policy on which these are based. “

“To ensure the formulation of a proper policy, in the medium term, the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has been mandated to formulate, subject to consultation, a government dress code policy that is aligned with modern considerations as well as the climatic realities of Jamaica,” the statement noted.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Columns, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Fashion, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

Governments moving to ban plastics and Styrofoam

Governments moving to ban plastics and Styrofoam

NASSAU, Bahamas, Jul. 27, CMC – The Government has embarked upon a programme to ban the use of plastics and Styrofoam which are proving detrimental to the country’s eco and marine system.

In an effort to make the public aware of the planned policy, the first in a series of town hall meetings on Single-use Plastics & Styrofoam Ban was held earlier this week.

(file photo)

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis underscored the importance of banning the use of plastics and Styrofoam.

The aim is to also simultaneously address marine pollution and waste management and to ban single-use plastics, such as shopping bags, food utensils, straws and Styrofoam food containers by 2020.

“Reducing harmful waste streams such as plastics and Styrofoam is one of the first steps we are taking in to implementing a more effective solid waste management strategy that prioritizes waste prevention and minimization, while utilizing waste disposal as a last resort,” he said.

The Prime Minister referenced the New Daily website about a video that went viral on the “world’s latest garbage emergency” showing 30 tons of plastic debris washing up on a beach in the Dominican Republic. 

The New Daily also reported “A huge clean-up operation began on Wednesday with more than 500 local public workers, navy and army support mobilized to collect and remove the massive floating stockpile of plastic bottles, takeaway food containers and Styrofoam.”

According to the Prime Minister, these “shocking” events dramatize why there is a global and his Government’s push towards reducing plastic pollution in the oceans.

More than 60 countries have already committed to introducing levies and bans to reduce single-use plastic waste, he said, adding that plastic pollution is extremely difficult to remove from the environment.

“These plastics break down into much smaller micro-pieces which are often mistaken for food by birds, turtles, and fish. Tiny particles of plastics have been found to build up in fish brains, altering their behaviour,” Minnis said.

He also noted that like other Small Island Developing States, The Bahamas is highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

“Coupled with this, we have the prevailing challenge of finding waste management solutions that suit our small size and growing economy.Due to our geographic location, we are besieged by marine debris from the United States of America, and from the many international marine vessels which pass through our waters. This pollution will have a terrible impact on our tourism and fishing industries.”

The Prime Minister said that his Government remains committed to ensuring that significant action is taken to mitigate natural as well as human-made pollution, including pollution resulting from the poor-functioning and poorly managed dump sites throughout our archipelago.

“As the Ministry of the Environment continues to host town hall and consultation meetings with businesses, I want to encourage all Bahamians to do their part in reducing their plastics and Styrofoam use,” he added.

Dominica bans Styrofoam and plastic items

ROSEAU, Dominica, Jul 27, CMC- The Dominica government says it will ban the use of Styrofoam and certain plastic items from January 1, next year.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told Parliament that that the decision is in keeping with his administration’s vision to have the island become the first climate resilient country in the world.

“Madam Speaker, consistent with the Government’s vision to create the world’s first climate resilient nation, our designation as “The Nature Isle” and our commitment to protect Mother Earth, effective 1st January 2019, a number of items considered to be inimical to the environment will be banned.

“These will include the following: plastic straws, plastic plates, plastic forks, plastic knives, Styrofoam cups, Styrofoam containers,” Skerrit said, adding that that the necessary legislation to enforce the ban will soon be prepared.

“We must in every way deserve and reflect that designation,” he said of the island being known as the “Nature Isle”.

He said the issue of solid waste management affects the perception of Dominica as the Nature Island and his government continues to grapple with the problem.

“In a previous budget address, I announced a decision to restrict the importation of non-biodegradable containers and plastic implements used in food service. This matter has not proceeded as quickly as we would have liked, as we wanted to ensure that we implemented that policy without compromising our obligations under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. (that governs the Caribbean Community (CARICOM))

“It is acceptable for a country to adopt measures which will help in the preservation of the environment,” he added.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional, Technology, TOURISM0 Comments

Police warned before robbery at Sweetes-T's

Police warned before robbery at Sweetes-T’s

Antigua Observer – July 14, 2018 – Two men have been detained in connection with the robbery that occurred at Sweet-Ts on Tuesday July 10.

According to an officer involved in the investigation, a vehicle has been confiscated and is being examined for evidence at the Liberta Police Station.

The police source said Closed Circuit Security Cameras recorded the car parked on a “dead-end” road not far from the business place that is located on Falmouth main road.

And, the two robbers who ran from the establishment after the attack, went to that vehicle which left the scene shortly before the police arrived.

OBSERVER media has also been informed that the police at Dockyard Police Station got a call minutes before the robbery, informing them that it was about to happen.

The call came from individuals at the restaurant who saw the robbers with guns, lurking around. The men were clad in dark long sleeve shirts, long pants, full face masks, hoodies and gloves. This information was confirmed by police sources and staff at the restaurant which is known for its ice-creams and milkshakes.

A manager at Sweet-Ts who did not want to be named due to fear for her safety, said some customers left and the workers ran to safety within the restaurant even before robbers walked up to the entrance, jumped over the counter and grabbed a bag with documents and ripped out the cash register.

Six workers and a few customers were present at the time of the robbery but none of them had any interaction with the thieves.

During the robbery, the gunmen were waving their weapons in the air, but, according to the manager, they never spoke.

“It all happened within 10 to 15 seconds. The police were called a few minutes before that but unfortunately  the police did not get there while the men were inside,” the individual said yesterday.

And, apparently, no other police stations were informed of the pending robbery so there was no collaborative response.

The robbers escaped with only an undisclosed portion of the evening’s earnings as the workers grabbed whatever cash and documents they could and put them away before the attack.

Dockyard Police responded soon after the incident but by then the robbers were gone.

Since reporting this robbery, residents have come forward stating that there were several robberies in Swetes, Glanvilles and Bethesda in recent days.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Crime, Environment, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Ross University opens new research and pathology building in St. Kitts Nevis

Ross University opens new research and pathology building in St. Kitts Nevis

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Jul. 12, CMC – The Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) has opened a multi-million dollar research and pathology building that will allow for an improved understanding of zoonotic and vector borne diseases in the region.

At the opening earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Shawn Richards said the government is looking forward to this new phase.

“My Government is also happy that this new phase will result in enhanced understanding and control of zoonotic diseases that are transferred between animals and people, such as leptospirosis, and vector-borne diseases such as chikungunya, dengue fever and Zika. As you know, those three vector-borne diseases are spread by mosquito bites,” Richards said.

“My Government therefore envisages that the RUSVM Research and Pathology Building will serve to strengthen our ongoing partnership by becoming a national reference centre or important focal point for studying and controlling vector-borne viral and bacterial diseases.”

The deputy prime minister also stressed that the new research and pathology building will further strengthen the federation’s food and agriculture sector.

“In particular, the research and pathology building will revitalize animal agricultural research by strengthening best practices in monitoring and protecting our herd health, our public health system, and our food supply – from the farm to the dinner table,” adding that “RUSVM performs autopsies on livestock animals that die at the Basseterre abattoir, and the university provides this service free of charge. This partnership allows students to obtain the educational exposure in a manner that is socially acceptable, while at the same time allowing the Agriculture Department to make informed, science-based decisions relating to animal health and food safety. Our strong history of collaborating with Ross University in the control, prevention, surveillance and treatment of disease is further cemented with this new research phase, not only in the area of food security.”

The US$10.5 million building features 13,000 square feet of research space and comprises a pathology viewing area to enhance student learning and allows for multidisciplinary research to benefit human and animal health in the Caribbean

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Education, Environment, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

St. Kitts-Nevis Public urged to reduce use of plastics

St. Kitts-Nevis Public urged to reduce use of plastics

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Jul. 12, CMC – The government  has urged the public reduce their use of plastics in their everyday lives as plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges  with negative effects on human, plant, animal and marine life.

“We are realistic and we recognize that plastics have become an integral part of our lives and so what we are doing is creating awareness of the need to reduce the number of plastics that is generated, especially single use plastics,” said Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Diannille Taylor-Williams.

Taylor-Williams who was speaking on a local programme on Wednesday touched briefly on the initiative of a “Plastic Free July”, while at the same time encouraging persons to be more aware of their plastic use.

“…where we are today, there are some plastics but they are used multiple times and we all know about the durability of plastics and their flexibility. Plastic is even used in making clothes, and more and more vehicles are being manufactured using plastics but a vehicle is not a one use item,” she said. “That is why there is such a thing as a plastic-free July. Not that it ends in July, but this is where we heighten the awareness of the need for us to end plastic pollution.”

Vanessa Webbe, Tourism Officer in Nevis, shared similar sentiments and noted that St. Kitts and Nevis can succeed in its quest to reduce the use of plastics.

“I want to say assertively that we can eliminate the single use of plastics and I think overtime, reduce plastics. So let us continue the discussion and encourage each other and remind each other to go plastic free,” she said.

Last month, St. Kitts and Nevis joined the rest of the world to observe World Environment Day under the theme: “Beat Plastic Pollution”.

The Department of Environment uses the month of June annually to promote environmental awareness in schools, and among the general public.

This year an outreach focus for the month of June was on the timely international theme of reducing the global dependency on plastics.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Environment, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

oecs loo

Best practices for FAD Fisheries being finalized for Caribbean and Pacific SIDS

Best practices for FAD Fisheries being finalized for Caribbean and Pacific SIDS

 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 — BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, MONDAY, 2 July 2018 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has been working along with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to develop a set of best practices for small-scale fisheries centered around Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The best practices are being documented following a Pacific-Caribbean Nearshore FAD Fisher Exchange with representatives from 7 SIDS in the Caribbean and the Pacific who recently participated in a study tour in Barbados, Grenada and Dominica.

Fishers and Fisheries officials from the Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga were in the Caribbean for 12 days, up to the end of May, on a mission organized by the CRFM, in collaboration with the FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands (FAO SAP) in Samoa. They met with fishers and representatives of fisherfolk organizations in the region; government officials and policy-makers; exporters, processors and vendors from the private sector; as well as residents of fishing communities. Gaining knowledge about the use of FADs in the Caribbean will help the Pacific to fulfill the mandate of the 2015 Road Map for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries, which calls for the supply of tuna for domestic consumption in that region to be increased by 40,000 tonnes a year by 2024.

CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, said,

“The study tour was an important opportunity for fishers and fisheries officials from the Caribbean and Pacific islands to exchange information regarding their experiences in FAD fisheries development and management.”

The Pacific delegation had their first information exchange with fishers, fisheries officials and private sector vendors and processors in Barbados, where small tethered FADs (called ‘screelers’) are used to attract flyingfish. Next, they traveled to Grenada, where they met the Minister responsible for Fisheries, Hon. Alvin Dabreo. The Minister expressed his country’s commitment to strengthening collaboration with the Pacific SIDs and promoting the development of sustainable FAD fisheries.

During their visit to Grenada and Dominica, the Pacific delegation teamed up with local fishers to make fishing gear which they used to harvest tunas and other species that had aggregated around the anchored FADs set near the coastline. Grenada operates a vibrant small-scale FAD fishery, which it introduced from Dominica, a leader in FAD technology and operation in the Caribbean. The participants explored and discussed the role of the fishing cooperative in promoting and supporting the development and management of the FAD fishery in that country.

The study tour was a critical part of the collaborative and consultative effort by the CRFM and the FAO to facilitate the exchange of fishery-specific information, as well as to collect, synthesize and analyze data PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE and information on the small-scale FAD fisheries in the Caribbean and Pacific SIDS. During the tour, participants conducted an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) relevant to the FAD fishery, to derive a set of best practices that would support sustainable development and effective management of small-scale FAD fisheries in the Pacific and Caribbean.

Back in 2012, Vanuatu introduced a FAD design based on the Caribbean model, which was modified to adapt to maritime conditions in the Pacific. 

ABOUT THE CRFM
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) was officially inaugurated on March 27, 2003, in Belize City, Belize, where it is headquartered, following the signing of the “Agreement Establishing the CRFM” on February 4, 2002. It is an inter-governmental organization whose mission is “to promote and facilitate the responsible utilization of the region’s fisheries and other aq

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Environment, Labour, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

express_logo

Clarification – Montserrat’s volcano at risk of imminent eruption? – 22 June 2018

express_logo

RODERICK STEWART • MONTSERRAT VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

TMR: Bennette Roach: June 29, 2018 – As a result of that article, On March 16, 2018 we front paged the following “UK newspapers endanger
Montserrat”. https://www.themontserratreporter.com/uk-newspapers-endanger-montserrat-again/ We noted: “It wouldn’t be the first time that UK Newspapers have distorted and published information that turned out unfavourable and detrimental to the Island…Following the publication on 7 March 2018 of two articles in UK newspapers members of the public have expressed concerns about the current status of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat (SHV)…The newspaper articles are misleading and, in the case of The Express, alarmist!”

The following article comes three months later and will help to restore some credibility… we would like to hear from ‘The Guardian’, who earlier had, according to sources, refused to recant.

The Expess: On 07 March 2018 we published an articled headline “Montserrat’s volcano update: Is the terrifying volcano at risk of imminent eruption?”.

The article said that the volcano was showing signs of intense activity. The article was subsequently amended on 03 April 2018.

The article claimed that ‘Montserrat’s dormant volcano last erupted in 1997, when the fiery mountain reared its ugly head after a two-year-longperiod of activity.’ This is incorrect.

The eruption started in 1995 and has continued ever since that date, with five “pauses” in the surface activity.

According to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) the volcano is currently in such a pause, which started in February 2010.

Inflation, earthquakes and gas characterise these pauses. The first paragraph said that volcano-tectonic earthquakes in February had ‘sparking fears of eruption.

The MVO state that nobody in the Monserrat government, or scientific community has developed a fear of an eruption because of these earthquakes.

According to the MVO five earthquakes in a week is not unusual for the Monserrat volcano because the average weekly rate since February 2010 is four.

One week recorded 62 such earthquakes.

This type of earthquake activity, known as a “swarm”, is considered to be perfectly normal at this stage in the eruption.

The article also said “But volcanologists monitoring the volcano have noted increased volcanic stirring underneath Montserrat.”

We have been asked to clarify that the MVO has regularly reported on activity and that since 2010 there has been gradual inflation of the volcano and the entire island due to the influx of magma at depth.

Professor Neuberg had been re-examining some of the data in a quest for an alternative explanation and concluded that there is no reason to change MVO’s interpretation.

The rate quoted of “35 cubic feet of magma building up beneath the island every seven seconds” is a new estimate, but remains the average rate since 2010.

Consequently there has been no “increased volcanic stirring”.

Since February 2010 the advice from MVO has always been that the eruption is not over and that surface activity may restart.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/clarifications-corrections/978179/Montserrats-volcano-clarification

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Environment, Featured, International, Local, News, Opinions, Regional0 Comments

Earthquake jolts BVI

Earthquake jolts BVI

EARTHQUAKE

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, Jun. 25, CMC – Sections of the British Virgin Islands were rocked by a minor earthquake shortly after 7:00 am (local) time on  Monday.

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) reports that the 3.4 magnitude quake had a recorded depth of 48 miles.

The epicentre of the tremor was located 19.8 miles north-northwest of the capital, Road Town.

The territory was last rocked by a significant tremor of 4.7 on  April 6.

Posted in Climate/Weather, Earthquake, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Magnitude 5.3 earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

Magnitude 5.3 earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jun. 22, CMC – Sections of the twin island republic were rocked by a magnitude 5.3 earthquake late Friday.

The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine campus reports that the tremor that occurred at 9:54 pm (local time), was felt 94 kilometres east of Carupano, Venezuela, 98 kilometres west of Port of Spain and 118 kilometres northwest of San Fernando.

It was located at latitude 10.78 N. Longitude 62.39W and at a depth of 78 kilometres.

In recent months, Trinidad and Tobago has been experiencing a number of earthquakes and earlier this year, a senior official of the SRC, Seismologist Dr Illias Papadopoulos,  warned the country to be prepared for a major quake.

Posted in Climate/Weather, Earthquake, Environment, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

CARICOM and Cuba to strengthen relations in key areas of cooperation

CARICOM and Cuba to strengthen relations in key areas of cooperation

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jun 14, CMC – The Cribbean Community (CARICOM)  and the government of Cuba have both pledged to continue to strenthen relations in matters related to trade and the arts.

This was the outcome of talks between CARICOM’s  Assistant Secretary General, Human and Social Development  Dr. Douglas Slater, and  Cuba’s Vice Minister  Rogelio Sierra Diaz, when they met at the CARICOM Secretariat on Wednesday.

The issues related to a Disabilities Project, the extension of Art programmes at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica, and trade.

In the discussions on the Disabilities Project, Slater, who spoke on behalf of CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque,  noted that a tri-lateral  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), among the Government of Guyana, the Government of Cuba and CARICOM had already been signed.

He explained that there was a decision to implement the Project in phases and outlined that a Centre has been constructed by the Government of Guyana and a  team from Cuba is already in  Guyana working on the Project.

He said when the initial phase was completed in Guyana and there was a clear way forward, the Project would be extended to the other CARICOM Member States.

In response, Diaz said firm steps had been taken and there was a lot to be thankful for. He said it was now important to acquire the equipment needed.

In relation to the phase of the Project that would extend it to the other CARICOM Member States, he said that the CARICOM Secretary-General and staff would play a key role in achieving the goals of that phase.

Both parties agreed that there were still some details that needed to be refined between CARICOM and Guyana.

The Cuban Vice-Minister also gave the assurance that Cuba would provide support, knowledge and training, but emphasized that the project belonged to CARICOM.

Turning to the matter of the extension of programmes in the School of Art at the Edna Manley School in Jamaica, the Cuban Ambassador said the Government of Jamaica had been contacted and the areas in which Cuba could provide assistance were identified. He explained that it was being proposed that there might be some additional infrastructural requirements for the project to move forward and various options to address this challenge were being explored.

Slater expressed an interest in further engagement on the matter and also gave an assurance that the CARICOM Secretariat would engage with the Edna Manley School to explore the available options.

Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Joseph Cox who was also present, spoke about a trade and economic partnership agreement that had been regionally applied in 12 Member States and highlighted that Haiti had now expressed an interest in joining the agreement.

We have commenced our engagements with Haiti in this regard and we will have further engagements with Cuba regarding their inclusion and that should happen in the very near future”, Cox said.

In relation to a Joint Commission in which the second protocol was signed in November 2017, he advised that Member States needed to accelerate their efforts to satisfy the legal requirements to be party to the Commission.

Under the agreement, more than 300 Caribbean products would have fees removed for export to Cuba.

The Cuban Vice-Minister said he understood that there were legal protocols that would have to be addressed, but implored CARICOM not to allow them to create further delays.

The goal of the protocol is to improve trade relations between CARICOM and Cuba.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Education, Environment, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Newsletter

Archives