ENERGY was among the issues addressed by Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade Arnaldo Brown, when he met earlier this month with the Jamaican Diaspora in Trinidad and Tobago.
The occasion was an event hosted by His Excellency David Prendergast, the Jamaican High Commissioner in Port of Spain, at Jamaica Place.
The gathering, which included Jamaicans studying at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine or residing in Trinidad and Tobago, followed the recently concluded 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, held from June 13-18 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The State Minister engaged nationals in a lively Q&A segment on not only energy but also topics such as the economy, foreign direct investment and Jamaica’s improved ranking on the ease of doing business index, fielding questions on agriculture, manufacturing, security, education, information and communication technology and the logistics hub.
“Jamaica’s foreign policy and the realisation of Vision 2030 necessitate the building of a sustainable and meaningful partnership with its Diaspora,” Brown noted.
He further recognised the significant contributions made by Jamaican nationals overseas over the years, through their support in the areas of health, education, social intervention programmes and remittances, among others.
Delita McCallum, Counsellor at the High Commission, delighted the audience with an entertaining skit. Attendees were also treated to Jamaican fare prepared by a Jamaican national operating a restaurant in Port of Spain. A registration desk was set up to facilitate registration with the High Commission.
The State Minister was on an official visit to chair a two-day United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC) Symposium on Sustainable Development Goals for the Caribbean Within the Post-2015 development agenda, followed by the 17th Meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC).
For more information, contact:
High Commission for Jamaica
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
NEGRIL, Westmoreland. 23 June 2015 — The Negril Area Environmental Protection Trust (NEPT), as part of its mandate to manage the Negril Marine Park, recently hosted an awareness-raising workshop to benefit local community stakeholders.
Held on June 10, the workshop attracted the participation of more than 75 participants, among them water sports operators and fisher folk from the five main fishing beaches in the park — Green Island, Orange Bay, Negril, Little Bay, and Broughton.
“The objective of the workshop was to highlight the breaches in the Negril Marine Park as well as to improve the stakeholders understanding of the importance of Special Fishery Conservation Areas, the Marine Park Regulations and the Negril Marine Park Zoning Plan,” said a release from NEPT.
“The overarching goal is to stimulate self-governance or regulation amongst the stakeholders. This will ensure that proper practices are carried out in the Negril Marine Park, thus reducing the expenses incurred in boat patrols and other costly enforcement activities,” the release added.
The day’s event was chaired by NEPT Executive Director Keisha Spencer. who, together with Antoneisha Dunn, a Marine Park Ranger/Fisheries Warden, engaged participants in a pre-test to gauge their understanding of the importance of a marine park, user zones within marine parks and the rules that should govern marine parks.
With that foundation laid, a series of presentations were done, including one from Jean Brown, president of the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society, on the history of the Negril Marine Park and the Negril Environmental Protection Area (EPA); and another from Ranya Reid-Edwards, an environmental officer from the National Environment and Planning Agency, on the Negril Marine Park Zoning Plan.
“This presentation [by Reid-Edwards] was key as user conflicts often arise in particular no-fishing zones and motorized craft activities in non-motorized zones. The plan is a five-year one and when gazetted will make the Negril Marine Park the first to have a zoning plan,” the release said.
Other presentations included Dr. Karl Aiken’s ‘Fish Sanctuaries In Jamaica: Success Through Enforcement’.
Aiken — a senior lecturer in marine zoology at the Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, Mona — highlighted the need for mechanisms to address the decline in fish stocks in Jamaica, the establishment of sanctuaries as an important mechanism, the success stories in Jamaica, and the benefits to fisher folks when they obey the laws governing special fishery conservation areas.
The workshop concluded with presentation of prizes and a documentation of next steps.
Participants received a variety of prizes, which were awarded for categories such as The Most Indigent Fisherman, The Longest Fishing Fisherman, The Most Knowledgeable Fisherman, The Most Principled Fisherman, The Model Fisherman, and The Best Attendant.
“Next steps from the workshop will include NEPT continuing its monthly outreach meetings with the fishing groups and more so to develop alternative livelihood projects that will support fisher folks [who] are currently engaged in spear fishing. Spear fishing is illegal in a marine park,” the release noted.
“NEPT will also work with the groups to build their capacity and to implement projects that will provide sustainable funding to improve the natural resources in the area and demarcation of the zones in the park to ensure compliance,” it added.
As a part of the next steps, the NEPT team engaged marine police officers in a familiarisation tour of the Negril Marine Park.
“The officers were taken to the northern end of the Negril Marine Park and key areas where breaches were highlighted such as the dive and snorkel sites, swimmers lane and non-motorised zone and conservation zones,” the release revealed.
“The boundaries of the Orange Bay Special Fishery Conservation Area were also shown to the Officers. The familiarisation tour was done as one means of strengthening the collaboration with the Negril Marine Police officers and also to aid in bridging current enforcement gaps,” it said further.
The Negril Marine Park was officially declared on March 4, 1998 and covers a total area of approximately 160 km2, extending from Davis Cove River in Hanover to St. John’s Point in Westmoreland. The boundaries of the park begin at the high water mark on shore to approximately two miles (3.2 km) out to sea.
For more information, contact:
Ms. Keisha Spencer
PANOS Caribbean and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) have made history, collaborating to produce a braille publication on climate change that is the first legal deposit of its kind to be made with the National Library of Jamaica.
The publication — titled “Climate Change, Gender and Persons with Disabilities in Small Island Developing States” — documents the vulnerabilities of persons with disabilities to natural disasters, while exploring how men and women are differentially affected.
Authored by multi-award winning journalists and communication professionals Indi Mclymont Lafayette and Petre Williams-Raynor, both of Panos, together with development professional Judith Wedderburn of the FES, it also provides insight into existing legislative and policy frameworks that address issues of climate change, gender and persons with disabilities.
The 44-page book shares, too, lessons learnt from the Panos project titled “Increasing the disaster response mechanism for persons with disabilities in Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica via a pilot early warning system”, which was completed this year.
“We are particularly pleased and excited about this legal deposit of a publication; it is not just a publication to put in the library but is contributing to another set of persons we can serve — persons with disabilities,” said a beaming Valerie Francis, acquisitions librarian at the national library.
Importantly, she noted, it is also a historic move and one that other creators should mimic.
“As far as I know, it is the first braille publication that I have got at the national library. But I know there is no fear of contradiction that since the Legal Deposit Act came into being in 2004, this is the first publication in braille,” Francis said.
Members of the blind community have given their stamp of approval to the new publication.
“The fact that the library is excited about having it there means that it is not just tokenism… It means that people are buying into the fact that persons with disabilities have rights, including the right to information,” noted Executive Director of the Combined Disabilities Association Gloria Goffe.
THE last two weeks of negotiations in Lima have not been dubbed a failure. However, it is widely regarded as not having gone as far as it should have, if a new and substantive international climate change deal is to be successfully brokered in Paris next year.
What has emerged from the talks is a draft decision document characterised by weak language — the adoption process for which has been deemed questionable, given reports there was little or no time given for any objections.
Among other things, the five-page document states that the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change “Decides that the protocol, another legal instrument or agree outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties shall address in a balanced manner, inter alia, mitigation adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, and [sic] capacity building, and transparency of action and support”.
This is thanks to a donation of Euro 50 million from Germany, made during the recent international climate talks, held over the last two weeks in Lima, Peru.
The donation puts the AF within US$19 million of its US$80-million fundraising target for this year.