Category Archives: December 2011

Haitian Youths Receive Panos/UNICEF Youth Journalism Training on The Rights of the Child

Communications and Technical Consultant with Panos Caribbean, Leandre Marc Nahum, conducting Youth Journalism Training in Haiti in November 2011 with the help of a UNICEF representative

Panos Caribbean recently partnered with UNICEF to conduct youth journalism training training with young people from the Metropolitan Region, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Director of  Regional Programme 2: Children and Youth, Nicole Simeon explained that the one-week training which was conducted between November 7 – 12, 2011 was aimed at the strengthening the capacity of children by raising their awareness on the Convention on the Rights of the Child ahead of the “at the approach of November 20, 2011 which is observed annually as International Children’s Day.
The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children’s welfare.
Approximately 30 young people ranging from ages 14 – 17 and hundreds of journalists were trained on the Rights of the Child after which mini radio reports were produced
For one week, the children selected with the support of IDEJEN
were trained with an American journalist, Shia Levitt, a professional radio journalism trainer. This training helped them over the one week to produce mini-stories (about 2 minutes each) on the various articles of the Convention on the Rights ofthe Child, as part of the commemoration.
The radio programmes (approximately 12, on the basis of a report for each child) will be broadcast on five radio stations in Haiti; Caribbean Guinen,  Ibo, Kiskeya Métropole).
“Despite a relatively short time of the training, these children,  some of whom do not even attend school, were quickly able to grasp the essentials of the training and could were able to conduct interviews and produce the scripts for their reports,” Nicole stated.
‘Their eagerness to learn and their involvement in projects that involve issues close to their hearts show how  receptive they can be to new things once their confidence is built,” she continued.

AOSIS Vigilant in Climate Negotiations but Side-Lining Media – Durban, South Africa Climate Change Talks

CCMP journalists interviewing 'treepreneurs' during a field trip in Durban, South Africa. Journalists from Asia, Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America have are attending and reporting from the conference as part of the climate change media partnership fellowship programme designed to improve media coverage of climate change issues in developing countries. Under the Climate Change Media Partnership, Internews, Panos and the International Institute for Environment and Development, IIEP, have joined forces to support developing world journalism and perspectives from the heart of the international climate negotiations

By Indi Mclymont-Lafayette, Journalist

Durban, South Africa. December 9, 2011 - The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)  have been pushing for strong targets  at the climate change talks in Durban, South Africa but while active in the negotiations, their interaction with the media covering the United Nations Climate Meeting has been poor.
Since November 28 when the UN meetings started the AOSIS has been arguing that the small islands are at risk of extinction if developed countries do not curtail their emissions to reasonable levels that will cut or reduce the impacts of climate change.
The 43 member island grouping  - which includes the countries from the Caribbean, Indian and Pacific Ocean-  enlisted the support of the Least Developed Countries and the European Union negotiating blocks to support their position calling for an extension of the commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
This Protocol is a legally binding agreement which calls for developed countries to reduce their emission levels.  Yet while AOSIS has been busy fighting for the survival of the islands, it has been falling down on its interaction with the media.
On Tuesday, December 6 it staged a ‘demonstration for survival’ which 3 members of the Caribbean media were unable to locate because of poorly communicated directions.
“I spent two hours trying to find this demonstration because I really wanted to get the small island voices into my story. So far since I have been here I have only been able to hear from the more developed countries. The small islands need to organize themselves better because they have so much to lose,” said one journalist who did not wish to be named.
AOSIS second media slight happened on Wednesday, December 7, when they did not show up at a media clinic featuring 50 journalists from various countries. Organised by the Climate Change Media Partnership, this media clinic provided the opportunity for negotiators from the key negotiating blocks such as the European Union, the Least Developed Countries and the United States to discuss their positions with Journalists.
While AOSIS had initially confirmed their participation they did not turn up.
“It is unfortunate that the Alliance of Small Island States missed the opportunity to speak to around 50 journalists from 25 countries and, specifically, to rebut the statements made by larger, more powerful nations including the United States, Japan and the European Union,” says Mike Shanahan of the Climate Change Media Partnership, who himself comes from an island that is just nine miles long and five miles wide. “This was a chance for people all around the world to hear the concerns of the small islands. The media is a highly effective channel for communicating to vast audiences about the threats climate change poses and why international solidarity is needed, so I hope that AOSIS will be able to join our press briefings at future climate change conferences.”
Many small islands are already experiences the devastating impact of climate change including stronger more frequent hurricanes, severe flooding, longer droughts and sea level rise. (End/09/12/11)

‘Stop the Delaying and Act!’ Jamaica tells Climate talks in Durban -Supports AOSIS move to extend Kyoto Protocol

Panos Caribbean's Regional Director of Community, Media and Environment; Indi Mclymont-Lafayette being interviewed by Reuters at Climate Communications Day during the Global Climate Change Talks in Durban, South Africa.

By Indi Mclymont-Lafayette, Journalist

Durban, South Africa. December 9, 2011 - Jamaica on Thursday night challenged the negotiators at the United Nations Climate Talks in Durban, South Africa to stop the vacillating and take concrete action to ensure that multilateral regime on climate change can be effective.
“We have been dithering and vacillating for too long and the time for concrete and decisive action is now,” said Keith Porter, who delivered the speech on behalf of Jamaica’s delegation. “… here in Durban we are at a crossroads in the process. There are some difficult but important decisions that must be made if the multilateral regime on climate change is to remain effective.
Porter apologized for the absence of Minister Horace Chang due to ‘urgent matters of national importance’ and stressed that Jamaica was aligning itself with the statements made by Argentina on behalf of the Group of 77 and China as well as Grenada on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
“As AOSIS has consistently articulated, a pledge and review system which could lead to temperature rise in excess of 4 degrees will undoubtedly threaten the survival and viability of small island developing states (SIDS),” said Porter.
The AOSIS has been pushing for an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, which sets targets for emission target cuts by developed countries. Several developed countries such as the United States, China, Japan, Russia and Canada are not in favor of a second commitment period of the protocol.

The Jamaican delegation to the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). From left, Head of the Meteorological Office in Jamaica, Jeffrey Spooner, Nicolette Williams, Clifford Mahlung,Jamaica's chief negotiator and a representative of the Alliance of Small Island States, (AOSIS) Hopeton Peterson, Keith Porter and Leonie Barnaby of the Ministry of Environment

“We need this protocol and also believe that it is necessary to develop and finalise a complementary protocol to cover the countries that are not party to the Kyoto Protocol,” said AOSIS in its address to the high level segment of the climate talks on Tuesday. “The mandate for this protocol has to be a priority here in Durban and we look forward to concluding negotiations on it. Delay is not an option.”
On Friday, AOSIS joined with the negotiating blocks of countries from the European Union and the Least Developed Countries to press their demands.
They have also been calling for agreement on the implementation of agreements made at the last climate talks in Cancun, Mexico last December as well as resolution on other outstanding issues such as the way forward for the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Committee.
“The major emitters have not seen that climate change is very critical to the lives and survival of a large group of people who are not the cause of the problem but will suffer the most.  Until that message fully reaches home we can’t solve the problem,” said Clifford Mahlung, Jamaica’s chief negotiator. “There has been some progress on funding for adaptation and we welcome that but if the root of the problem – the emissions of these large countries – is not tackled, then it would be like paying us to die. The small islands will not survive if we do not curtail emissions.”
The UN climate talks have been running since November 28 and are expected to close on December 10. (End/09/12/11)
The Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) speaks with Indi McLymont-Lafayette, Regional Director, of Community, Media & Environment at PANOS Caribbean. Indi discusses the impacts of climate change in Jamaica and the role of Panos to communicate development issues and the knowledge gaps in the region. – December 13, 2010

Jamaica’s voice absent in high level Climate discussions now on in Durban, South Africa

Elections & Budget Restrictions Prevent Jamaican Government from Sending a high level Representative to Durban

VOICES for Climate Change performing artistes re-planting 400 mangrove plants in the Portland Cottage community in Clarendon, Jamaica with the help of members of the Portland Cottage Community. The artistes are part of Panos Caribbean’s VOICES for Climate Change Education project which is carried out in Collaboration with the National Environmental Education Committee (NEEC) with funding from various environment partners.. The project utilizes popular entertainers to spread the climate change and biodiversity conservation message. - On June 16, 2011.

By Indi Mclymont-Lafayette, Journalist

Durban, South Africa. December 7, 2011 – For the first time in four years Jamaica’s voice will be noticeably absent from the high level presentations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban South Africa where world leaders will be making their input to the climate discussions.
The opening speeches for the high level segment will run from December 6-8 but Jamaica was not named as a speaker over the two day period even though the island had a 6 member delegation present at the conference.
Head of the Jamaican delegation, Leonie Barnaby said that she was still trying to see if Jamaica would be given a chance to speak. It however appeared highly unlikely as the UN speaking system is based on rank with the heads of state and heads of government being the first to speak, followed by Deputy Heads of States, Ministers and then other heads of delegations. Since Jamaica does not have a Minister or high level delegate present their chances of speaking are minimal and the island was not listed in UN programme of speakers.
According to the 2012 Global Climate risk Index just launched in Durban, Jamaica is ranked 22 in the world among countries which have been affected by the impact of climate change (storms, floods, hurricanes, drought etc.) Jamaica and small islands in the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Oceans have been classified as a climate change hotspot based on the fact that they are at risk of sinking due to sea level rise. They also face other climate threats such as increasing temperatures, sea level rise, droughts, more intense hurricanes and flooding.
Despite this, Jamaica will not be among those making a statement. This is due in part to the upcoming general election and possibly budget restrictions. Roughly 7 other Caribbean islands will be presenting at the high level segment. They are Grenada, Belize, Dominica, Barbados, Cuba, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago. The number of high level representation of Caribbean islands is also less this year partly due to elections in Guyana, St Lucia and the Bahamas.
Speakers at the opening ceremony include South African President Jacob Zuma and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Statements will be made from heads of state, heads of governments and other heads of delegation over the reminder of the week. The annual Climate Change Conference is a platform which provides a greater level of visibility of what’s happening and the needs that must be met to reduce the effects of climate change.
At the conference, the Caribbean and other small islands are fighting to get firm emission targets of 1.5 degrees and 350 parts per million. If these targets are not met they argue that the small islands will not survive the impacts of climate change. (End 07/12/11)

Fishermen in Portland Cottage, Clarendon, Jamaica, tend to their fishing nets during a community event held by Panos Caribbean and other environment partners to raise awareness about the dangers and impacts of Climate Change and encourage and foster mitigation activities at the community level. The community has been affected by severe storm surge during at least one major hurricane in 2004 during which several homes were submerged and some washed out to sea. Several persons lost their lives. Fishermen in the community are also complaining of significantly lower sea levels as well as noticeable reductions in fishing yields. - JUNE 2012

Jamaica’s Voice Absent from high Level Climate Talks in Durban, South Africa – Upcoming Elections Prevents a Government Representative from Attending

As Jamaica Gears up for Elections on December 29th, the JLP Government has no representative at important Global talks on Climate Change to Present the Country’s Position

Two representatives of the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Office in Clarendon, (Sharlene Rowe & Judene Bailey) engrossed in a discussion with Gleaner journalist; Christopher Serju on the Jackson Bay Beach in Rocky Point Clarendon. The visit to the beach was the final activity of a one-day climate change and biodiversity workshop that was held in Mocho, Clarendon on March 29, 2011. The workshop is one of several community based activities which will be carried out by Panos Caribbean and The Mocho Community Development Association (MCDA) over a 15-month period to raise awareness of the issues of climate change and biodiversity in Mocho and Portland Cottage and surrounding communities.

Carol Francis – Durbam, South Africa, December 6, 2011 - The high level discussions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban South Africa will run from December 6-8 with Jamaica’s voice being noticeably absent for the first time in four years.

Jamaica is ranked 22 in the world, according to data published by The Global Climate Risk Index 2010 which analyses the extent countries have been affected by the impact of climate change (storms, floods, hurricanes, drought etc.)

Despite this, Jamaica will not be among those making a statement as the Jamaican delegation does not have a high level representative such as a Minister or head of state in attendance. This is due in part to the upcoming general election.

Speakers at the opening ceremony include South African President Jacob Zuma and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Statements will be made from heads of state, heads of governments and other heads of delegation over the reminder of the week.

The annual Climate Change Conference is a platform which provides a greater level of visibility of what’s happening and the needs that must be met to reduce the effects of climate change.

Scientists say that the lifestyle choices being made are altering the earth’s system.  This due to greenhouse gases emitted, by an excess amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Thanks to all the fossil fuels we burn, there is now more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Currently, 80 percent of the world’s energy comes from fossil fuels. Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean face a myriad of threats ranging from increasing temperatures, sea level rise, droughts, more intense hurricanes and flooding. At the conference, the Caribbean and other small islands are fighting to get firm emission targets of 1.5 degrees and 350 parts per million. If these targets are not met they argue that the small islands will not survive the impacts of climate change.

Also published on the Climate Change Media Partnership website. View article on that website here.

Jamaican Reggae artistes and community members from Portland Cottage re-planting 400 mangrove plants in the Portland Cottage community in Clarendon, Jamaica on in June 2011. The artistes are part of Panos Caribbean’s VOICES for Climate Change Education project which is carried out in Collaboration with the National Environmental Education Committee (NEEC). The project utilizes popular entertainers to spread the climate change and biodiversity conservation message.

Under the Climate Change Media PartnershipInternewsPanos and the International Institute for Environment and Development, IIEP, have joined forces to support developing world journalism and perspectives from the heart of the international climate negotiations.

Journalists from Asia, Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America have are attending and reporting from the conference as part of the climate change media partnership fellowship programme  designed to improve media coverage of climate change issues in developing countries.

The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is also the 7th meeting of parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire at the end of 2012, unless renewed.

One of the issues being debated at the meeting is whether a second commitment period will be agreed upon for the Kyoto Protocol or whether a new agreement will be formulated to replace the existing one. The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), including Caribbean islands such as Jamaica, are calling for firm decisions on the second commitment period. The meeting which will run from November 28 until December 9, 2011.

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