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Caribbean’s ability to address climate risks boosted by increase in funds

Caribbean’s ability to address climate risks boosted by increase in funds

WASHINGTON, Jun. 17, CMC – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says an increase of more than 20 per cent from the previous year by the world’s six largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) has boosted projects that help the Caribbean and other developing countries cut emissions and address climate risks.

The Washington-based financial institution said climate financing by the MDBs rose to a seven-year high of US$35.2 billion in 2017, up more than 20 per cent from the previous year.

The MDBs’ latest joint report on climate financing said US$27.9 billion, or 79 per cent of the 2017 total, was devoted to climate mitigation projects that aim to reduce harmful emissions and slow down global warming.

The remaining 21 per cent or US$7.4 billion of financing for emerging and developing nations was invested in climate adaptation projects that help economies deal with the effects of climate change, such as unusual levels of rain, worsening droughts and extreme weather events, the IDB said.

The IDB said that in 2016,  climate financing from the MDBs had totaled US$27.4 billion.

The latest MDB climate finance figures are detailed in the 2017 “Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks’ Climate Finance,” combining data from the African Development Bank , the Asian Development Bank , the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank , the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB and IDB Invest) and the World Bank Group (World Bank, IFC and MIGA).

The IDB said these banks account for the vast majority of multilateral development finance.

In October 2017, the IDB said the Islamic Development Bank joined the MDB climate finance tracking groups, adding that their climate finance figures will be included in reports from 2018 onwards.

The IDB said climate funds, such as the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) , the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund, the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF) , the European Union’s funds for Climate Action and others have also played “an important role in boosting MDB climate finance.”

In addition to the US$35.2 billion of multilateral development finance, the IDB said the same adaptation and mitigation projects attracted an additional US$51.7 billion from other sources of financing last year.

Of the 2017 total, 81 per cent was provided as investment loans, the IDB said.

Other types of financial instruments included policy-based lending, grants, guarantees, equity and lines of credit.

Juan Pablo Bonilla, IDB’s manager of the Climate Change and Sustainability Sector, said the bank channeled nearly US$800 million principally to increase resilience of water-related operations and other built infrastructure.

Bonilla said the region, Sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia and the Pacific were the three major developing regions receiving the funds.

“In 2017, Latin America and Caribbean ranked highest among world regions accessing MDB climate finance,” said Gema Sacristán, IDB’s chief investment officer. “This represents an unprecedented and steady increase for the Latin America and Caribbean region over the last two years, with the IDB Group as the region’s partner of choice for investing sustainably in the region.”

The IDB said climate finance addresses the specific financial flows for climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.

“These activities contribute to make MDB finance flows consistent with a pathway toward low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development, in line with the Paris Agreement,” the IDB said.

It said the MDBs are currently working on the development of more specific approaches to reporting their activities and how they are aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

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Hakai magazine - 21317456_917456491739700_7023303973981631530_n

The Eastern Caribbean Is Swamped by a Surge of Seaweed

Massive rafts of floating sargassum are killing wildlife and preventing fishers from launching their boats.

by Ryan Schuessler

June 11, 2018

Barbados’s Long Beach, typically a picturesque vision of white sand and blue water, is buried beneath a vast expanse of thick, rotting seaweed. It’s a stinking nuisance that has turned deadly.

“We have found three dolphins dead,” says Carla Daniel, the director of public awareness and education with the Barbados Sea Turtle Project. Daniel and her colleagues believe the dolphins got caught on June 4 in sargassum seaweed that has been washing up on Barbados and across the eastern Caribbean in mounds up to two meters thick. A necropsy of one dolphin revealed it died of stress.

Seven endangered green sea turtles have also died so far. “For the majority of animals, the sargassum can be a problem because it traps them,” Daniel says.

Under normal conditions, floating sargassum is a thriving ecosystem. It provides a vital habitat and food source in the open ocean for fish, turtles, and crustaceans. There are even a handful of species found only in floating sargassum mats, including the aptly-named sargassum fish. But when it grows too thick, the seaweed clumps in dense, tangled mats so expansive and impenetrable that sea turtles and other surface-breathing animals can’t break through.

The current losses are reminiscent of 2015, when the worst sargassum influx to date killed more than 40 green and hawksbill sea turtles, their bodies found in the thick rafts of seaweed. “For an endangered species, that’s unacceptable,” says Hazel Oxenford, a biologist at the University of the West Indies in Barbados.

But the current surge of seaweed is expected to be much worse than the one in 2015. “You can see on the satellite that there’s a lot more coming,” says Iris Monnereau, who works with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Barbados. Satellite observations show hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of sargassum floating in the central Atlantic. The challenge is in predicting where it will go next and where it might reach land, a situation that causes a whole other set of challenges.

In Barbados, the dolphin death toll has already risen to at least six—and it is expected to keep rising. Photo by the Barbados Sea Turtle Project

In Barbados, the dolphin death toll has already risen to at least six—and it is expected to keep rising. Photo by the Barbados Sea Turtle Project

Thick mats of sargassum seaweed can prevent animals from reaching the surface to breathe. Photo by the Barbados Sea Turtle Project

Barbados, the easternmost nation in the Lesser Antilles, an island chain in the Caribbean Sea, was just one island in the region on which the seaweed made landfall. In Dominica, a sargassum mat came ashore in the town of Marigot a few days before Barbados was inundated.

“It’s the worst we’ve seen it. [The seaweed] took up the entire bay,” says Andrew Magloire, who has worked in Dominica’s fisheries sector for more than 20 years. “The fishermen could not go to sea for two or three days. They couldn’t get the boats out because it was so thick.”

Sea weed – invates Marguerita Bay, Montserrat

In Montserrat, conservationist Veta Wade says “huge walls of sargassum” have come ashore on the island’s eastern coast.

The seaweed’s arrival in Barbados started as a trickle around January, Monnereau says. But the amount arriving has ramped up dramatically since early June. “It’s really come back in full force,” Monnereau says. “It’s just been disastrous.”

Historically, small quantities of the floating macroalgae naturally drifted into the Caribbean from the Sargasso Sea to the north. Since at least 2011, however, sargassum from a new source—the north equatorial recirculation region (NERR)—has begun inundating the region with thick mats of seaweed.

The massive rafts of sargassum produced in the north equatorial recirculation region have been washing ashore in recent years not only in the Caribbean, but also in Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and West African nations including Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. Illustration by Mark Garrison

The massive rafts of sargassum produced in the north equatorial recirculation region have been washing ashore in recent years not only in the Caribbean, but also in Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and West African nations including Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. Illustration by Mark Garrison

Conditions in the NERR, an area near the equator where large currents circulate, sporadically spurs the growth of sargassum—although the exact trigger for the blooms remains unclear. Evidence points to some combination of excessive nutrients from agricultural fertilizers and pollution; increasing nutrient flows from the Congo and Amazon Rivers and in dust blown from the Sahara Desert; and increasing sea surface temperatures caused by climate change. Under normal climatic conditions, sargassum can double its mass in just 11 days, Oxenford says. A warmer sea will dramatically boost its growth potential, she says.

These mass accumulations of seaweed devastate marine and costal ecosystems: they prevent vital sunlight from reaching coral reefs and seagrass beds, and their decomposition saps the water of oxygen and releases toxic hydrogen sulfide. The result is a rapid degradation of seagrass beds, mangroves, coral reefs, and other shallow coastal ecosystems. A 2017 study showed how an influx of sargassum caused the mass die-off of seagrass beds in Mexico, causing damage that may take years or decades to repair.

The phenomenon’s impact on local fisheries is also becoming clear. And the news isn’t all negative.

“As bad as [sargassum] is, [it] has a lot of life in it,” says Barbadian fisherman Allan Bradshaw.

Since the sargassum rafts began appearing in the eastern Caribbean in 2011, fishers have been landing more mahi-mahi than ever before, Bradshaw says. Juvenile mahi-mahi congregate near sargassum rafts. “Never before would you have seen those in such vast quantities,” Bradshaw says.

But Barbados’s crucial flying fish fishery has taken a hit. While the mechanism remains unclear, the arrival of such massive amounts of sargassum have coincided with a dramatic decrease in flying fish landings. Compared to the first six months of 2014, when Barbadian fishers landed 981 tonnes of flying fish, the catch plummeted to just 278 tonnes a year later, during 2015’s major influx of seaweed—a 72 percent decrease in one of the island’s most important fisheries.

Although impacts of the sargassum influx on fisheries has been mixed, unprecedented challenges emerge when the massive rafts—fueled by increasing temperatures and nutrient loads—come near shore.

Carla Daniel, the director of public awareness and education with the Barbados Sea Turtle Project, has been working to find and rescue animals that have been washed ashore with the seaweed. Photo by the Barbados Sea Turtle Project

Carla Daniel, the director of public awareness and education with the Barbados Sea Turtle Project, has been working to find and rescue animals that have been washed ashore with the seaweed. Photo by the Barbados Sea Turtle Project

This includes risks to human health. While the hydrogen sulphide gas released when the seaweed decays occurs naturally in the human body, it is dangerous in large amounts, causing headaches, dizziness, nausea, and even asthma. It can also cause “rapid and extensive damage to concrete and metals,” writes the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The smell and blight also has the potential to damage the tourism industry, an economic pillar to Barbados and other islands in the region.

Back in Barbados, Daniel and her team are picking through the thick sargassum mats that cover the beach, looking for turtles and wildlife that can still be saved. Going live on the Barbados Sea Turtle Project’s Facebook page last Thursday, Daniel released a turtle named Olive that had survived being washed ashore. The turtle, which is missing three of its four flippers, was taken out to sea and returned to, of all places, a small patch of sargassum.

But it’s a carefully considered placement. The seaweed, says Daniel in the video, will give the turtle a source of food and a bit of shelter, as sargassum naturally does in the open ocean. As long as the sargassum doesn’t get too thick and the current steers clear of the shore, Olive should be okay.

Daniel believes the threat of vast sargassum mats killing wildlife and washing ashore is “going to be part of our new reality.” But her team, which relies on locals to report sightings of stranded wildlife like Olive, has seen a huge outpouring of support in recent days. “People are very, very willing to help.”

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Maria Browne takes oath of office

Antigua’s new 13-member cabinet sworn into office

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar. 22, CMC –  An expanded Gaston Browne cabinet has been sworn in following the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party’s landslide victory at Wednesday’s general election.

Maria Browne takes oath of office
Maria Browne takes oath of office

Among the new faces is Browne’s wife, Maria, who successfully contested the St John’s Rural East seat once held by her uncle – Sir Lester Bird.

The Prime Minister will retain the finance portfolio within the 13 member cabinet,  while his wife will serve as Minister for Housing, Lands, and Urban Renewal and as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Public Safety and Labour.

The representative from St Peter and former Tourism minister Asot Michael returns to the cabinet after being ousted following an arrest in the United Kingdom in relation to a bribery investigation.
Although he was later released without charge, Browne promptly relieved him of his ministerial duties.

Sir Robin Yearwood would retain the Public Utilities Civil Aviation Energy portfolio, Melford Nicholas will hold on to the Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Information Technology ministry, while Michael Browne will remain at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
Molwyn Joseph will have responsibility for the newly-styled Ministry of Health, Wellness and Environment, while
E.P. Chet Greene will relinquish the Ministry of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts in exchange for a new assignment at Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration.

Newcomer Daryll Matthew will assume Greene’s former post. Matthew comfortably won the St John’s Rural South seat after his first outing as an ABLP candidate.

Samantha Marshall is retained as Minister for Social Transformation Human Resource Development Youth and Gender Affairs and Charles “Max” Fernandez, who previously had responsibility for Tourism, Foreign Affairs and Immigration, now serves as Minister for Tourism, Economic Development.
Dean Jonas, who was just given his second term as the St George MP, now receives a cabinet appointment as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs.
Lennox Weston, a senator and minister of state in the Ministry of Finance and Corporate Governance in the last administration, will retain that ministerial portfolio and Public Works has been added to his responsibilities.

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New IDB report finds investment shortfalls, inefficiencies limiting Caribbean growth

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Mar 24, CMC – A new Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) report has found that that investment shortfalls and inefficiencies are limiting growth in Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to the IDB’s 2018 Macroeconomic Report, released here on Friday, Latin America and the Caribbean should grow more strongly in the coming years, though the region will continue to underperform with regards to the world economy, due to both low levels and low quality of investment.

IDBThe report says the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow an average of 2.6 per cent in 2018-2020, “which is in line with historical growth rates (2.4 per cent) is the average growth rate from 1960-2017).”

But the report states this rate “lags regions such as Emerging Asia and Emerging Europe, which are expected to grow 6.5 per cent and 3.7 per cent over the same period.”

The IDB said the first part of the Macroeconomic Report, “A Mandate to Grow,” was released on the side-lines of the IDB’s Annual Meeting taking place in Mendoza and that the second part, on what countries can do to boost investment, will be unveiled Sunday.

It said even these moderate baseline growth projections may be at risk.

The Washington-based financial institution said a negative global asset price shock – perhaps triggered by faster than expected inflation – could shave off 0.7 per cent of regional growth per annum (2.1 percent of GDP over the next 3 years).

The IDB said an alternative scenario “sees higher than expected US growth coupled with somewhat higher interest rates and more action on trade policies.

“This combination may be neutral for the US economy that continues to grow strongly,” the IDB said, noting that the report argues it would be negative for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The report states the combined impact could trim the baseline scenario by 0.3 to 2.3 per cent growth for 2018-2020, with higher impacts on Mexico and the Andean region.

“The good news is that most of the region is back on the growth path,” said IDB Chief Economist José Juan Ruiz.

“However, growth is too slow to satisfy the desires of the region’s expanding middle class. The single biggest challenge is increasing the levels and efficiency of investments to make the region more productive, make growth faster, more stable and shield the region more from external shocks,” Ruiz added.

The report notes one of the main reasons for the region’s economic underperformance is low productivity growth and an innovative analysis of the region’s growth performance that considers the significant increase in labour skills, indicates that the growth in productivity has been flat between 1990 and 2017.

By contrast, Emerging Asia registered a 0.22 per cent average annual productivity increase over the same period. Only Sub-Saharan Africa performed more poorly, the IDB said.

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Minister of Business with responsibility for Tourism, Dominic Gaskin.

Congress adopts Declaration of Georgetown

By Rene Seon

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 23, CMC – The 24th Inter-American Ministerial Congress on Tourism has ended here with the adoption of the “Declaration of Georgetown” that forms the basis for the development of partnerships for the growth of the tourism industry in the Americas.

Guyana’s Minister of Business with responsibility for Tourism, Dominic Gaskin, who chaired the conference, noted that a lot of the topics discussed were “very relevant to Guyana.

Minister of Business with responsibility for Tourism, Dominic Gaskin.

“We have a lot to learn. We are fairly young as a tourism destination. To have all these expertise from different countries in the same room is very good exposure for us,” he said, adding “it was very valuable for us and it gave us a sense of where we are and where we need to go with tourism in Guyana.”

Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the Organisation of American States, Kim Osborne, said “what we had was strong indications of support, collaboration and co-operation between and among countries, to share dialogue and experiences, to share lessons learnt and good practices; to the extent that member states have offered co-operation to each other. We are grateful for the outcome of the meeting.

“Guyana did an amazing job at hosting and showing the product it has to offer. I think it hosting this ministerial congress really positions it as an emerging destination in the Americas with the flora and fauna, and amazing natural products. It is something people were not really aware of, and it was an opportunity to tell the rest of the Americas what Guyana has to offer.”

Earlier, a senior Caribbean tourism official said building resilience in the Caribbean tourism sector is a much broader subject than just focusing on structural resilience, as economic resilience is equally vital for the survival of the sector.

Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Hugh Riley, told the Congress on Thursday, that the issue of building resilience is important and timely, since the Caribbean “is the most dependent tourism region on the planet.

“No one wants to minimize the importance of rebuilding better and stronger, but economic resilience goes much further than just building codes,” Riley said, adding “every dollar spent on effective risk management and risk reduction is equal to three to five dollars in savings.”

He said it is money that the “CTO don’t have to spend on rebuilding of we do the right thing upfront.”

Riley said if the Caribbean and the Americas are serious about being economic resilient, advocacy must be a mandate and that a sustainable marketing fund should be created, because marketing the Caribbean brand collectively and effectively is critical.

He said that if the countries pooled their resources together they will be a “powerful force to recon with out there in this competitive business” noting that brand leadership is a fundamental factor in building a resilient Caribbean tourism sector.

Riley said a case for building the Caribbean brand is, losing global market share and growth rate is slowing down and that other countries have seen the importance of tourism and has now joined the business.

“The pie has increased but not our share,” he said, making mention of the two category 5 hurricanes that hit some of the Caribbean islands last year causing death, and widespread damage to infrastructure.

He said even though all the islands in the Caribbean were not affected directly by the storms, there was collateral damage because of the misunderstanding of the geography of the Caribbean to onlookers, who thought the entire region was destroyed.

“If we have to tell our own story though, we have to have a pool of resources available to do so effectively. If a disaster strikes our countries are going to be focused correctly on rebuilding their infrastructure… they should not have to be worrying about the next dollar to market the region.”

Riley said that the message has to be right and ready.

“A fund has to be available to turn that faucet on because a disaster is going to occur at some point, and if we think that what happen in September last year was a one-time thing then we are hallucinating. It can happen at any time to anyone one of us. So we have to have be prepared for it and have that sustainable fund available to call on it when we need it.”

The next Congress will be held in Paraguay in 2021.


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As a courtesy to our readers and the many who enquired about the ferry service through this medium, we provide the following submitted to us ‘for information’…

The Access Division has made arrangements to ensure persons leaving Montserrat in the coming days make their international flight connections in Antigua.

On Monday March 19th, 2018, the MV Lovely 1, with a capacity of 350, will leave Montserrat at 7:00am. Passengers are advised to check in 2 and a half hours before departure to allow early boarding of the vessel. The MV Lovely 1 will depart Antigua at 3:00pm with passengers for Luciano’s show at Salem Park.

On Tuesday March 20, 2018, the MV Lovely 1 will depart Montserrat at 7:00am. Check in time is at 4:30am to facilitate the early departure of the vessel.

The MV Jaden Sun will be on standby in the morning and will take additional passengers to Antigua if necessary. The ferry is however, scheduled to depart Montserrat at 5:00pm; leaving Antigua at 7:30pm.

On Wednesday March 21, 2018, the MV Jayden Sun will depart Montserrat at 6:30am and arrive in Antigua at 8:00am. The MV Jayden Sun will then leave Antigua at 7:00pm and arrive in Montserrat at 8:30pm.

Two trips will be scheduled on Wednesday if necessary.

For more information please contact Mr. Roosevelt Jemmotte on 496-9912 or Crenston Buffonge on 392-8731.


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Express posted this 2006 picture of the volcano

UK newspapers endanger Montserrat, again

Express posted this 2006 picture of the volcano

by Bennette Roach

It wouldn’t be the first time that UK Newspapers have distorted and published information that turned out unfavourable and detrimental to the Island. We can point to the recent not so old publications regarding the development of fibre optic service to Montserrat, touted strongly and convincingly as a ‘game changer’ for economy starved British Overseas Territory.

Publication of articles like this with this kind of information is reminiscent of 1997-8 when the UK Government authorities broadcasted and said that there might be a ‘cataclysmic eruption’ that would cause Montserrat to completely evacuated. The result of that in spite of vehement denial of that situation from the Government and scientists on Montserrat, it was not until 2008 the UK relented on the misinformation.

Very cleverly written, if not with some dishonesty. If one doesn’t read carefully, you will miss that Professor Neuberg is not the one saying, ‘Sadly, Montserratians must continue to wait.’

 The only information attributed to Professor Neuberg is the following: “Except for the gas plume there is nothing visible on the surface, but the instruments show us clearly that the deformation is ongoing and the entire island is still inflating,”

With all the observations and opinions inserted, some of the information is far from up to date, even though they claimed they were reporting on very recent information. Like the population of Montserrat today.

Soufriere Hills mountain, March 5, 2018

As the Director Stewart observes the Express was even more damning in its reporting on this matter. Alarmist! This leads to an opinion that the article is planted with intention to deceive, and one that should be investigated at the highest level.

Ash and lava are visible inside the cone of the Soufrière Hills volcano, seen from Olveston, Montserrat, in January 2007. Photograph: Wayne Fenton/AP

The Guardian’s article: Montserrat Volcano remains a risk

The Express gives an update and asks – Montserrat’s volcano update: Is the terrifying volcano at risk of imminent  eruption

These newspapers have carried articles that when they are given these thoughts to report on, should cause them to worry about accuracy and honesty.

Here MVO director sets the record straight.

Statement on the Status of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat

Following the publication on 7 March 2018 of two articles in UK newspapers (The Guardian and The Express), members of the public have expressed concerns about the current status of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat (SHV), particularly with reference to ground deformation. Monitoring data recorded and interpreted by Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) shows no changes that suggest that new activity is imminent. The newspaper articles are misleading and, in the case of The Express, alarmist.

Since the end of the last phase of lava extrusion on 11 February 2010, MVO has observed a slow, steady movement of the ground surface across the whole of Montserrat using data recorded by our network of very precise Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. The news articles in question report on research being carried out by MVO in collaboration with Professor Jurgen Neuberg (University of Leeds, UK) that seeks to understand this trend. The research suggests that, since February 2010, the underground magma system that feeds the SHV has been slowly recharged by the influx of magma at depth. This causes the pressure inside the system to increase, which is then seen as upwards and outwards movement of the ground surface around the volcano.

The news articles suggest that the research has produced new information. In the Express article this, when combined with a very small swarm of small-magnitude earthquakes on 25 February 2018, indicates that a new eruption may be imminent. This is not the case. Brief swarms of such earthquakes have occurred on more than one hundred occasions since 2007.

All the data recorded by MVO since the last surface activity in February 2010 follows a consistent long-term trend which was also characteristic of four previous pauses in activity. The overall earthquake activity has been relatively low; the observed deformation pattern shows slow inflation, and the sulphur dioxide gas output is between 200 and 400 tons per day.

The restrictions on access to some areas of Montserrat have been in place for many years and all visits to these areas, including for economic activity, are closely controlled and very carefully managed.



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Appreciation for communication will bring about unity

Appreciation for communication will bring about unity

March 16, 2018

This past weekend there was a prominent person who commented in the presence of a good cross section of women in the community, visitors included, that they “read the newspaper, yes, The Montserrat Reporter… it is always saying all things about me…!”

Without looking around, the wondering thought flashed, how many of these present, if any at all, would say the same thing. Moments later, a lady visiting since January 16, leaving right after the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, enquired where she can get a copy of TMR.

That was a very common recurring conversation, as only recently someone in Antigua personally sought, “how can I subscribe to get the newspaper?” They pointed out that it is just not convenient to do read it on the computer (a very computer literate person).

Much of the problems and difficulties faced over the past two weeks and affecting the festival have come from poor communication. Governors come and go, the last at the end of her first function made the observation at the end of teh event. But when she left, her communication effort left enough to be desired.

From here it seems much we do is lament. There is this This is a very serious situation that ‘communication’ without which (whether blind, mute, any disability) it is a must has hit a rock bottom, unthinkable. So this lament, is done with the hope that soon, very soon, there will be light and everyone, not just a few, will smile, realities of the dream and the efforts of what is being preached about the day, in the week we commemorate and celebrate.

Plenty has been said, even though no one event or writing has said all. The suggestion is that every one, the young, not so young, the old and the not so old, all is the way it is communicated and understood. Why? Everyone can come to a better understanding creating in their own minds whatever they want to, especially if based on their own sensible experiences.

Ah yes, it is dangerous when someone speaks their heart out about an experience as they cry for a ‘coming together in support of each other’ for another to say, referencing what they just heard, not just once, that the state they describe is ‘not true.’

Besides, inside and out of the debates, festivities and celebrations, we hope that by the climax of the week on Saturday, March 17, 2018, all will leave with disappointments included, everyone saying, it is possible to take in all, none of which may be complete in themselves, and we will hear a chorus, this is worth it.

This 250th year after that uprising by the ‘enslaved’, the new word which we believe it is hoped would change the ‘mentality’ harboured about the era, making it more comfortable to think and talk about it.

It seemed to some that unity was the cause of the failure. And the glaring truth is, not necessarily so throughout the Caribbean but definitely in Montserrat, unity is so lacking, as it saps even the perceived decency to fall deed in the same mire. That sadly is the position seen of Montserrat. And at the end of the day there are those who abuse and gloat and all, believing wrongly they are more intelligent.

Claude Hogan’s lecture delivery brings out the point, perhaps not as directly as we make it sound here, as he discussed the probably seemingly obscure topic of ‘masquerading’, noting a good aspect of communication. “What can he say about that?” was a question seriously asked. Will there be agreement that there was not a boring moment during that 55-minute lecture?

Very well discussed, and may well be his best oration to date. Here is a small quote near the end of his delivery: “The UK has good practices in providing people and community security to allow development to happen…call on the British Government our Administering Power, to move safeguarding to beyond child ‘anti-sexualization’, illegal marijuana and the like, to dealing with social uplifting behaviours. They should help us build and restore systems of governance that rely on merit, fairness and equity…”

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IICA backs CARICOM efforts to turn the Caribbean into the first region resilient to climate change

 SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Mar 2, CMC – The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has pledged support for the efforts by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to become the first region resilient to climate change.

IICA said that its Director General Manuel Otero in keeping with the objectives expressed by regional leaders during the just concluded inter-sessional summit in Haiti, emphasized that the Institute pursues objectives similar to those outlined at the meeting.

agricultureHe said the fact that, as an organization entrusted with promoting agricultural development in the Americas, IICA’s work focuses on creating a more productive, inclusive and resilient agriculture.

“IICA, along with the President of Haiti, (Jovenel Moise) recognizes the region’s vulnerability to the severe effects of climate change, reflected in droughts, major hurricanes and floods, which are the most visible and increasingly intense phenomena experienced in the Caribbean and Central America.

“In this regard, it is timely to recall that strengthening cooperation in areas vulnerable to natural disasters was one of the concrete results achieved during the recent visit by the Director General of IICA to Ottawa, Canada, where agreements were reached with prestigious and active organizations such as the International Development Research Center (IDRC) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to increase urgent and committed actions to tackle the most destructive effects of climate change on family agriculture.”

IICA said that these same objectives were discussed earlier this week in Washington by Otero and the Deputy Director General of IICA, Lloyd Day during meetings with private sector representatives and with high-ranking officials of the United States government and multilateral credit organizations.

The statement noted that in response to the concerns expressed by CARICOM leaders, IICA will continue its efforts to strengthen South-South cooperation by promoting increased exchanges of knowledge and experiences and intraregional trade to mitigate the region’s vulnerability to the devastating effects of natural disasters.

“IICA also acknowledges the efforts of the member states of CARICOM and congratulates them for the agreement signed in Port-au-Prince, aimed at supporting the reconstruction of the countries affected by hurricanes Irma, Maria and Matthew, in the context of their public policies to promote institutional strengthening, actions to mitigate natural disasters and resilience to climate change,” the statement added.

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Jamaica Observer

Crime, high youth unemployment said hampering economic growth in Caribbean

Jamaica Observer
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Police at a crime scene in Jamaica. An IMF blog says violent crime in the Caribbean is significantly higher than in any other region, with 6.8 per cent of the population affected versus a world average of 4.5 per cent.

WASHINGTON, DC, USA (CMC) — Economic growth in the Caribbean is being hampered by high unemployment among young people regarded as the highest in the world, and crime, according to IMFBlog , a forum for the views of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff and officials on pressing economic and policy issues.

In its “Chart of the Week”, the IMFBlog noted that the 2008 global financial crisis had an especially strong effect on the unemployment rate for those between the ages of 15 and 24, which jumped on average by five percentage points between 2007 and 2013, from 21 per cent to 26 per cent.

“In some countries, for example, the Bahamas, Barbados, and Jamaica, youth unemployment rates are nearly three times that of those aged 30 and over.”

The IMFBlog noted that the difficult job market has led to an increase in crime in many of the islands.

“In several Caribbean countries, crime has risen sharply since 2004 and murder rates are now among the highest in the world.

“More specifically, violent crime in the Caribbean is significantly higher than in any other region, with 6.8 per cent of the population affected versus a world average of 4.5 per cent, according to a recent IMF book, Unleashing Growth and Strengthening Resilience in the Caribbean,” the IMFBlog added.

It said that about 40 per cent of the Caribbean population identifies crime and security-related issues as the biggest problem facing their countries, even more than pov­erty or inequality.

According to the 2012 United Nations Caribbean Human Development Report, young people are both the primary victims and perpetrators of crime in the region.

Victims of violent crime are mainly between the ages of 18 to 30 and from lower levels of income, while 80 per cent of prosecuted crimes were committed by people aged 17 to 29 years.

The IMFBlog argued, too, that efforts to fight crime will require an integrated solution.

“Balancing crime-suppression programmes with prevention — including youth vocational training that increases job opportunities in the formal sector and keeps youth off the street, targeting interventions in high-crime areas, and developing indicators to more accurately monitor the effectiveness of anti-crime programmes can deliver good results.”

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