Peru climate talks

Indi Mclymont Lafayette (right), regional coordinator for Panos Caribbean, in discussion with Clifford Mahlung, coordinator for capacity building with the Alliance of Small Island States, at the Peru climate talks on Wednesday. (Photo: Petre Williams-Raynor)

Panos Caribbean\\\'s Regional Director shares lens time with Amerindians from Lima,Peru

Panos Caribbean\\\'s Regional Director shares lens time with Amerindians from Lima,Peru. Panos is one of the civil society organisations attending the United Nations Climate talks in Peru. The talks end on December 12.

Lancement:Identification et Enregistrement des électeurs en Haïti : entre attentes, défis et perspectives

 

PANOS CARIBBEAN GOALS

1. Strengthen the voices of the vulnerable, marginalized and excluded people: Enable Caribbean People to conceive drive and communicate their development agenda.
2. Develop media, information and communication partnerships: Communicating towards development.
3. Policy reform.
4. Become an innovative and effective regional institution making the most of its strengths and resources.

Come hear the ‘Reasoning’

Minori Russell.

Minori Russell.

Panos Caribbean’s Voices for Climate Change Education artiste Minori Russell is to launch her EP in Kingston on February 29.

Called ‘Reasoning’, the EP is to be unveiled to the world at the Comfitanya Restaurant and Lounge near the National Stadium in Kingston at 9:00 pm.

“I believe that music is a powerful and effective medium to communicate with people and the kind of songs I write are usually the type of conversations that I would have or would love to have with people around me, specifically the youths,” she said, explaining the rationale behind the name of the EP.

Minori Russell.

Minori Russell.

Russell and three others from the Voices programme — which functions to spread climate change messages in Jamaica and beyond the island’s shores — recently wrote and performed songs for the ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ campaign.

Russell’s song from that effort — Keep on Trying — is included in the five on her EP. The others are Streets, I Am Woman, No More Worries, and Nine Days.

She has urged Jamaicans and others to turn out to her EP event on Monday, noting that it is “fresh-out-of-the-plastic creative and soulful music that I’m introducing to the world”.

Fans can next see Minori in performance at a Women’s Expo in March and at the charity show Percussionist Paradise in April.

New ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ album gets audience approval

Artiste Aaron Silk with producer Linford 'Fatta' Marshall. Marshall, the principal of Fat Eye's Music Productions, produced three of the four new songs on the EarthInspired album. (Photo; Adene Chung)

Artiste Aaron Silk with producer Linford ‘Fatta’ Marshall. Marshall, the principal of Fat Eyes Music Productions, produced three of the four new songs on the ‘Earth Inspired’ album. (Photo: Adene Chung)

Earth Inspired, the new album released under the ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ campaign yesterday (February 11), has won the approval of its first listeners.

“We are excited and the sky is the limit,” said Claire Bernard, Deputy Director General at the Planning Institute of Jamaica, who was present at the launch, held at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston.

The ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ campaign is the work of Panos Caribbean; the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre; the Saint Lucia Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology; the Caribbean Development Bank, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States; the Regional Council of Martinique.

It has supported the region’s negotiating positions prior to and during the recent climate change talks held in Paris in December, with the focus, throughout, on ensuring that global temperatures are limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This is given the catastrophic climate risks — including sea level rise and extreme weather events — to the small island developing states of the region.

With Caribbean players succeeding in having the 1.5 captured as one element of the target in the outcome document from Paris, the ongoing campaign is seeking to ensure no loss of momentum as countries look to ratify the new global deal.

To that end, it has, through a small grants window, worked with artistes Aaron Silk, Minori Russell and Pam Hall, to produce songs with the 1.5 message.

Pam Hall is all smiles, following her performance of 'Environment Blues' with daughter S'Vone at the launch of the Earth Inspired album last evening. (Photo: Petre Williams-Raynor)

Pam Hall is all smiles, following her performance of ‘Environment Blues’ with daughter S’Vone at the launch of the Earth Inspired album last evening. (Photo: Petre Williams-Raynor)

The trio, along with Lloyd Lovindeer, have produced four songs. All four artistes are all members of Panos Caribbean’s Voices for Climate Change Education programme, which has worked with the Planning Institute of Jamaica and other entities, including the Meteorological Service, to deliver climate messages.

Minori Russell — who is to launch her EP in Kingston later this month — kept the audience entertained during her performance.

Minori Russell — who is to launch her EP in Kingston later this month — kept the audience entertained during her performance.

The four songs are titled Below 1.5, Keep on trying, Environment blues, and For us to survive. The campaign theme song titled 1.5 to Stay Alive and seven others earlier done under Voices comprise the album.

The campaign theme song features the vocals of Banky Banx from Anguilla; BelO from Haiti; E.sy Kennenga from Martinique; Jessy Leonce, Ace Loctar and Shayne Ross from Saint Lucia; David Rudder from Trinidad; Aaron Silk from Jamaica; and Taj Weekes and Deridee Williams from Saint Lucia.

The other titles are Global Warning; Breath of fresh air; To the leaders; Moral Duty; Free da Ghetto Youths; Mother Earth’s Cry; and Our Planet’s Aid. They feature the vocals of Boom Dawn, Fyah Juice, and Richie Ramsay, along with Lovindeer et al.

Meanwhile, Roy Teddy Miller, of BESS FM, himself had high praise for the new album and has suggested a place be made for the artistes on platforms like the upcoming Reggae SumFest and the Jazz and Blues Festival.

For more information:
Visit: www.1point5.info
Email: indi@panoscaribbean.org and/or petre@panoscaribbean.org
Tele: 876-920-0070-1

Panos Caribbean launches new ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ album

Voices for Climate Change Education artistes — some of whose vocals are featured on the new album — are seen here in performance a few years ago.

Voices for Climate Change Education artistes — some of whose vocals are featured on the new album — are seen here in performance a few years ago.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, 11 February 2016 — Caribbean audiences are up for a musical treat, thanks to a new album set for release later today, under the ‘1.5 to Stay Alive’ campaign.

The campaign — the work of Panos Caribbean; the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre; the Saint Lucia Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology; the Caribbean Development Bank, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States; the Regional Council of Martinique — has supported the region’s negotiating positions prior to and during the recent climate change talks held in Paris in December.

Throughout, the focus has been on ensuring that global temperatures are limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, given the catastrophic climate risks — including sea level rise and extreme weather events — to the small island developing states of the region.

With Caribbean players succeeding in having the 1.5 captured as one element of the target in the outcome document from Paris, the ongoing campaign is seeking to ensure no loss of momentum as countries look to ratify the new global deal.

To that end, it has, through a small grants window, worked with Jamaican artistes Aaron Silk, Minori Russell and Pam Hall, to produce songs with the 1.5 message.

Together, the trio, along with Lloyd Lovindeer — all of them also participants in the Panos Caribbean Voices for Climate Change Education programme — have produced four songs.

The songs are titled Below 1.5, Keep on trying, Environment blues, and For us to survive.

This evening, at a Cocktail launch at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston, government and civil society actors, including members of the media, will witness the live performance of those songs.

From left: Artistes Nazzle, Minori, Boom Dawn, Colah, Natacia Ryman, and Black Dice are joined by children Kyla Scott and Collief Smith, who themselves participated in the mob, following the activity on November 20.

From left: Artistes Nazzle, Minori Russell, Boom Dawn, Colah, Natacia Ryman, and Black Dice are joined by children Kyla Scott and Collief Smith, who participated in a flash mob organised in Jamaica under the ’1.5 To Stay Alive’ campaign.

The campaign theme song titled 1.5 to Stay Alive — along with seven others earlier done under the Voices for Climate Change Education programme — rounds out the album.

The campaign theme song features the vocals of Banky Banx from Anguilla; BelO from Haiti; E.sy Kennenga from Martinique; Jessy Leonce, Ace Loctar and Shayne Ross from Saint Lucia; David Rudder from Trinidad; Aaron Silk from Jamaica; and Taj Weekes and Deridee Williams from Saint Lucia.

The other titles are Global Warning; Breath of fresh air; To the leaders; Moral Duty; Free da Ghetto Youths; Mother Earth’s Cry; and Our Planet’s Aid. They feature the vocals of Boom Dawn, Fyah Juice, and Richie Ramsay, along with Lovindeer et al.

For more information:
Visit: www.1point5.info
Email: indi@panoscaribbean.org and/or petre@panoscaribbean.org
Tele: 876-920-0070-1

51% Coalition calls for sanctions against Warmington

Judith Wedderburn

The 51% Coalition: Women in Partnership for Development and Empowerment – of which Panos Caribbean is a member — has called for sanctions against Member of Parliament Everald Warmington, following utterances he made during a debate in the Lower House on January 19.

“On two occasions, Mr. Warmington referred to fellow Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna as a ‘Jezebel’, a term that is highly offensive to women,” said a statement from the group.

According to 51%, Warmington’s behaviour is not only an insult to the minister and all Jamaican women, but also an indication of his disrespect for the Parliament and the people he serves.

“As an elected Member of Parliament, Mr. Warmington should be setting an example to children, and young men in particular, regarding respectful behaviour – and in particular towards women. It is noteworthy that Mr. Warmington has complained about Ms. Hanna’s attire in the past and has even moved a motion on correct dress for women in the House,” the group said.

“Furthermore Mr. Warmington has become infamous for his inappropriate behaviour, which includes the use of profanity to journalists and using demeaning terminologies such as “garbage” which he used to describe Finance Minister Peter Philips,” they added.

Describing Warmington’s behaviour as “vulgar”, 51% said it has served “to create a toxic atmosphere in the Lower House, where the people’s business is conducted”.

“On this occasion, his abusive response to colleagues, who protested his remarks compounded the problem. In addition this utterance from Mr. Warmington contravenes the intent of the Sexual Harassment Bill, which is to be discussed in Parliament,” they noted.

“An offhand withdrawal of his remarks is not sufficient. The Coalition demands that Mr. Warmington immediately and publicly apologises to Ms. Hanna and to all women representatives present; and to colleagues in the Lower House in general, for bringing the House into disrepute,” they added.

“Furthermore, the Coalition is awaiting an apology to the Jamaican people. It also expects that Opposition Leader Andrew Holness and his colleagues will distance themselves immediately from Mr. Warmington’s reprehensible behaviour and will make clear statements indicating their strong rejection of such language. In light of this persistent behaviour we ask that all applicable Parliamentary Sanctions be enforced on Mr. Warmington,” the group maintained.

In addition to Panos Caribbean, Coalition members include social commentator Judith Wedderburn; independent blogger and social media activity Emma Lewis; gender and development worker Joan Grant Cummings; gender advocate Joan French; Sharon McKenzie; WE-Change; Young Women’s Leadership Initiative; Women’s Resource and Outreach Centre; Jamaica Household Workers’ Union; Women Business Owners; and Women’s Media Watch.

Strong regional collaboration credited for CARICOM’s successful climate change campaign

CARICOM ministers and negotiators in discussion at the recent climate talks, held in Paris, France. (Photo: Caribbean Community)

CARICOM ministers and negotiators in discussion at the recent climate talks, held in Paris, France. (Photo: Caribbean Community)

CARICOM’S well prepared and experienced team of negotiators, together with a focused, unified campaign, helped the Caribbean Community get its red line climate change issues represented in the final Agreement at the recently Climate Change conference held in Paris, France.

CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has hailed the strong regional collaboration, given the critical importance of climate change to the islands’ survival.

“We saw our community operating at its best on the international front in Paris,” Ambassador LaRocque stated emphatically as he reflected on the 30 November to 11 December conference that led to the approval of an historic Climate Change Agreement by 195 countries.

“The coordination was superb. I want to say hats off to our negotiators, led by Minister Jimmy [James] Fletcher, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development in Saint Lucia and of course the role played by all our Ministers and our Heads of Government. I was there feeling very proud. We were of a single mind. We were one body with several parts working together in unison to achieve a set of goals that we had set. We left Paris with our objectives being addressed in the Agreement,” the Secretary-General added.

Minister Fletcher agreed that the coordinated approach strengthened the CARICOM campaign.

“One of the things that made a big difference this time around has been the CARICOM coordination and the presence of the CARICOM Secretary-General. The SG’s presence here, encouraging us, allowing us to caucus, keeping the CARICOM team tight, has made a difference in how focused we’ve been and in ensuring that it’s the CARICOM position, and not just Member States’, that came across,” he said.

The view was also supported by Haiti’s lead Advisor and negotiator, Mr. Renald Luberice.

“I was very impressed to see the political involvement of CARICOM in support of CARICOM country delegations. This is the first time I’m seeing CARICOM being involved in this manner and it sent a very good signal,” Mr. Luberice said on the sidelines of the Conference.

CARICOM Heads of Government had set up a Task Force just over two years ago, under Minister Fletcher’s chairmanship and including representatives from Member States, to handle a series of important international engagements, including COP21. This Task Force of expert negotiators has since been constantly engaged in intensive negotiating sessions, including five meetings this year in France.

As many as seven CARICOM Heads of Government, including the Chairman, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of Barbados and the Lead Head of Government on Sustainable Development, Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony of Saint Lucia, made their presence felt at the start of the conference, setting the political objectives and giving directions to the Ministers and technical negotiators.

They helped to mobilise third-party support for CARICOM positions through direct engagements, including a series of high-level bilateral meetings. Prime Ministers Stuart and Anthony led the Region’s engagements with the United States President and the UN Secretary-General.

The CARICOM campaign, with its popular mantra “1.5 to Stay Alive” successfully promoted the ‘temperature rise’ and a short-list of other critical issues to the Region. The long-term temperature goal was pushed as an existential issue for the Region, and CARICOM negotiators were able to influence a number of countries in hard negotiations, to have language included in the final text, which takes account of the 1.5 degrees option.

“Going into Paris we had an uphill battle against those whose ambition rested on 2 degrees and for us that was just not acceptable, that was a red line for us. We were seeking 1.5 degrees or below. We came out of there with language which has set the long term goal of 1.5 with periods of taking stock every five years of where we are, in terms of countries contribution to mitigation, and to use every stock-take period to ensure we ratchet up the ambition to the point where we reach 1.5,” the Secretary-General noted.

“For quite some time we’ve been talking about the impact of climate change on our Community; that it’s an existential issue for us; that it’s not something that is coming, it is something that we are experiencing now. We’ve had some really odd and extreme weather events in several of our Member States – Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas. So we have begun to feel the impact of climate change. We have also seen coral bleaching which is a significant issue for us as it has an impact on the marine food chain and will eventually have an impact on our fisheries sector. So for us this Agreement is significant,” he added.

The CARICOM negotiators also addressed the special circumstances for the financing of the implementation activities in Small Island and low-lying Developing States, SIDS, and the text includes a baseline contribution of 100 Billion USD annually. The negotiators regarded the discussions on Loss and Damage arising from slow onset climate impacts as being among the most difficult in the negotiations.

In the end, the Region was able to get what it wanted – separate treatment of Loss and Damage (apart from Adaptation) in the Agreement and the permanent housing of the international mechanism to address Loss and Damage. The Region’s position on REDD Plus (forest conservation) is also reflected in the language of the text. This is of particular significance to Guyana and Suriname, as well as other Member States with forested areas.

The Caribbean Community now faces the challenge to use the Agreement as the basis for future climate action.

“There is lots to be done,” Ambassador LaRocque has noted.
“We need to ratchet up our capacity both at the regional level and the national level. We are saying there are resources that can be available to us and we need to be able to access those resources,” he added.

The Secretary-General said the Region will have to take steps towards both adaptation and mitigation.

“A critical part of mitigation for us is renewable energy, and there is a lot of investment required in this area. We recently put in place a renewable energy centre that should be operational in the new year and will also be a hands-on technical facility for Member States to allow them to realise the tremendous potential we have in geo thermal, hydro and other areas.”

“On the adaptation side, a lot needs to be done to adapt our entire countries to the effect of climate change. We must also be able to have the capacity to prepare for those, whether it’s the case of preparing projects or engineering. It’s a whole slew or areas. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), set up since 2005 to coordinate the Region’s response to Climate Change, will have a critical role in coordinating that effort among our Member States.”

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