Category Archives: About Panos
There is an old adage that says ‘There’s none so blind as those who will not see’. This certainly applies to whoever concluded that there are “only ants on the island” as a result of the trip to Great Goat Island on August 22.
I would like to draw your attention to the things that they did not notice.
1) A landscape essentially unchanged since Columbus visited it in 1493. Coastlines of this type are few and far between in the Caribbean and their value for tourism is increasing rapidly.
2) The complex of dry forests, mangroves, shallow bay, sea grass beds and coral reefs that include and surround the Goat Islands and Galleon Harbour and the free services they provide, such as coastal protection, fish nurseries and support for other natural resources. Each element is important on its own, but it is the juxtaposition of the elements that make them uniquely valuable. Remove or disrupt any part and the value of the whole is jeopardised.
3) The rich diversity of globally threatened biodiversity that the area supports. This includes the endemic cactus that someone observed – but did not recognise, and aquatic and nocturnal species that they could not have expected to see.
4) The rich and diverse cultural heritage on the island, from all periods of Jamaica’s history. None of these things are obvious to the untrained eye on a casual visit, but this does not make them less valuable. Indeed, an economic evaluation of the ecological services provided by Portland Bight Protected Area valued them at more than US$20 million — and that, without any investment at all.
What would the impact of the port be on the rich heritage of the area? As Mr. Kistle noted, it is impossible to say, in the absence of better information about proposed developments.
But as Professor Byron Wilson indicated, the first question is whether the Goat Islands are the best site for this development? Or are there other sites in Jamaica, where the port and logistic hub could be placed with equivalent development costs, the same or better benefits for Jamaica and less severe impacts on the natural environment?
This is the question that Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation has posed to the Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF), an international NGO that has experience working on many large infrastructure projects, including the Panama Canal.
CSF is currently coordinating an international team of experts who are carrying out a cost effectiveness comparison of proposals for the port at the Goat Islands and three other sites. The project is funded by the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund, an international consortium, including World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, World Wildlife Fund, and Conservation International. The results are due in September 2014.
As part of C-CAM’s continuing commitment to sustainable development in the best interests of the people and environment of Portland Bight and Jamaica as a whole,
I am looking forward to sharing these results with the rest of Jamaica and promoting an informed dialogue on this important project.
(Executive Director, Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation)
BY HORACE FISHER
Panos Caribbean’s long-awaited designation as a Regional Hub for Climate Change Information is now a reality.
The official launch of the hub and information portal took place last Friday (June 20, 2014) at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay, St James.
Panos, a regional communication organisation, does project management work in four primary programmes – Children, Youth and Violence; Public Health and Human Rights, Climate Change, Livelihood and Gender; and Media Development.
Regional Coordinator (Haiti and Jamaica) Indi Mclymont Lafayette declared that the development of the hub is three years in the making.
While the issues around climate change generally are topical, specific information on adaptation is in woefully short supply — despite its critical importance to small-island developing states, such as those that comprise the Caribbean.
“The regional hub is a place where adaptation work is highlighted and key information shared with relevant stakeholders, because, while much more is being done on climate change generally, adaptation issues are still emergent,” Mclymont Lafayette said.
“In the Caribbean, conservation work is being done by a number of organisations, however, there isn’t enough coordination or sharing of knowledge which [has] resulted in the duplication of projects. Therefore, we want to pre-empt this with the mechanism of the regional hub,” she added.
According to Mclymont Lafayette, Panos has worked in the Caribbean for some 20 years, with a geographic mandate that covers 25 independent countries and 13 dependent territories.
She admitted that there is a major challenge reaching all 38 territories, but said that through creative and strategic collaborations, the organisation has been able to partner with a variety of regional entities — including the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies — to advance its work in the interest of the region’s vulnerable and marginalised people.
Meanwhile, the information portal — comprised of a database of journalists, conservationists and other regional stakeholders — has been made possible through funding from the International Development Research Centre and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.
“This is the resource that we plan to make available to key partners, and we have a unique opportunity to chart a course for Caribbean sustainable development. I welcome your partnership and support in this journey as we launch this entity today,” concluded Mclymont Lafayette.
Panos Caribbean commemorates 25 years of working in the Caribbean in June 2011. As part of its activities to mark this significant achievement, the organization has released a short video: “Real People, Real Voices!” which explores some of Panos Caribbean’s recent activities and achievement.
Since its inception in 1986, Panos Caribbean has been working to help empower the most marginalized and vulnerable persons in the region through projects and other activities on issues related to children and youth, public health, media community & environment as well as gender.
There is a lot that we have been able to achieve over the past 25 years and some of our work and beneficiaries are highlighted in the video: “Real People, Real Voices!” which echoes Panos Caribbean’s tagline and motto.
Please take a few minutes to watch and hear the real people of the Caribbean talk about how Panos Caribbean has impacted their lives in real ways through our commitment to empowering people to take action to improve their circumstances, their communities and their lives.
Partnerships and collaborations are essential elements of Panos Caribbean’s operations. We develop partnerships with existing organisations, networks and agencies to enhance the implementation of our objectives, as follows:
- Local and national civil society organisations (CSOs) and community based organisations (CBOs): Joint project implementation; Assistance in gaining credibility and trust with beneficiaries; Panos providing support to their institution building.
- Regional CSOs: Joint project implementation; Panos providing support to their region-wide coverage and communication.
- International CSOs: Collaboration implementation of activities in the Caribbean; Infusion of knowledge of and interest in Caribbean activities.
- Other Panos-es: Joint project implementation; Panos Caribbean contributing to and initiating global outputs; Panos supporting their development in its areas of expertise.
- Community, local, national and regional media: Joint activities (in particular regarding youth journalism); Panos providing training, and supporting the production and dissemination of relevant media productions; Panos supporting their knowledge on development themes.
- International media and international news agencies: Dissemination of Caribbean media productions; Panos supporting their information base on Caribbean development themes.
- Networks of journalists: Panos providing training; Joint production of stories; Dissemination mechanisms; Panos providing institutional and programmatic support.
- Governments and authorities: Panos supporting their communication activities on themes of interest to Panos; Collaboration in project implementation.
- Local, national, regional and international donor agencies: Panos supporting their understanding of the role of media in development: Panos providing a project implementation mechanism; Panos supporting their information base and their local/ regional/international coverage and outputs.
- Other corporate sector (non-media): Panos supporting their understanding of the role of media in development.