India researches the value of Saltwater plants

A policeman inspects the 12-gauge shotgun Joseph Charlebois uses to hunt game birds, during a routine
monitoring expedition in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth Saturday last. The inspection of guns and requisite permits
during the season is a function of NEPA, in collaboration with the police.

Sesuvium portulacastrum, also called shoreline purslane or sea purslane; Paspalum vaginatum, also known as seashore paspalum, biscuit grass, saltwater couch, silt grass, and swamp couch; and prosopis juliflora, a kind of mesquite tree, are a few of the 350 known species of salt-tolerant plants that ... Read More

Overfishing, climate change double threats Overfishing, climate change double threats
Washington, DC — The combination of overfishing and climate change may be putting the oceans' ... Read More

The Baldpate (above) and White-winged Dove are two of
the four game birds that can be hunted during the 2015
bird-shooting season. Bird-shooting season opens this weekend
THE 2015 Game Bird-shooting Season opens this weekend, Saturday, August 22 and will run for five wee ... Read More

TAMIL NADU, India — In this June 16, 2015 photo, an
Indian villager holds a sprig of Suaeda maritime, said to be
good for firewood. It grows in the wild within a mangrove
forest on the coast of southern state of Tamil Nadu near
Chidambaram, India. (PHOTOS: AP) Saltwater Crops the future?
VEDARANYAM, India (AP) — On a sun-scorched wasteland near India's southern tip, an unlikely ga ... Read More

Solar system to reduce cost at Ebony Park facility

Monday, August 17, 2015    

Solar PV panels are becoming increasingly popular.

THE Government has commissioned into service a solar power system at the Ebony Park pumping station in Clarendon, which is to deliver energy worth some $564,000 annually and reduce electricity cost for irrigation by $6 million per year. With the new power system, farmers in the area will now receive improved water supply from the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) facility. Speaking at the ceremony on August 11, Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier said the N ... Read More

Ground broken for 100,000-gallon water tank at Mason River

Monday, August 17, 2015    

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill
(left) and Member of Parliament for North Clarendon Horace Dalley break
ground for construction of a $35.7-million water storage facility at Mason River
in the parish on Friday. (TEXT AND PHOTO: JIS)

MINISTER of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill broke ground Friday for construction of a 100,000-gallon concrete tank in Mason River, Clarendon. The storage facility, to be built at a cost of $35.7 million, is part of a $202.2 million project for the upgrading of the Mason River Water Supply System. It will serve some 7,000 residents of Mason River, Kellits, Sandy River, Rhoden Hall, Elbow Corner, Douglas Castle and McKnie. The project, on which work got underway i ... Read More

Bye, bye HCFCs

BY KIMONE THOMPSON Associate editor -- features thompsonk@jamiacaobserver.com | Thursday, August 13, 2015    

Director of SEAL Sprayed Solutions Limited Vaughn Morris (right) says thank you to
environment minister Robert Pickersgill after the presentation of the symbolic cheque at
NEPA’s head office in Kingston, yesterday. With them are UN Resident Coordinator Dr Arun
Kashyap (left) and NEPA Project Manager Nicol Walker. (PHOTO: JOSEPH WELLINGTON)

GOVERNMENT yesterday paid just over half a million dollars to spray-foam manufacturing company SEAL Sprayed Solutions for ceasing to import and use a chemical that contributes to ozone depletion and global warming -- hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The amount -- $545,750 -- represented the final tranche in a series of payments made possible under the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The total sum, pa ... Read More

Seaweed no threat

Wednesday, August 12, 2015    

no threat
...But don’t eat it, says NEPA

GOVERNMENT'S environment regulator yesterday moved to distill fears that the wide swathes of brown seaweed washing ashore present risk to humans, but warned against ingesting it. The seaweed, a type of open ocean alga called Sargassum, occurs naturally in the north Atlantic Ocean and has been washing up in copious amounts around the region. When decaying, it causes a foul odour and attracts biting sand fleas. But according to the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), "the occurrence ... Read More

Haunted by Copenhagen

BY KIMONE THOMPSON Associate editor -- features thompsonk@jamaicaobserver.com | Wednesday, August 12, 2015    

THOMAS... I’m very sceptical of the outcome of Paris at this time.

THE year was 2009. Chaos loomed outside the Bella Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark. Many people were unable to enter the venue of the 15th UN summit on climate change and were left standing in the cold. To make matters worse, they were left disappointed as negotiations for a legally binding agreement to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 and keep global temperature rise this century to 1.5C did not materialise. Instead, after eight draft texts and all-day talks among 115 world le ... Read More

Rare seabird found in Dominica

Wednesday, August 12, 2015    

Senior Biologist at Environmental Protection in the Caribbean Adam C Brown
with the Black-capped Petrel (Diablotin). (PHOTO: EPIC/BIRDSCARIBBEAN)

A team of scientists from Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) and Dominica's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries have recorded -- for the first time -- 968 Diablotin, also known as the Black-capped Petrel, over the mountains of Dominica, a Lesser Antillean island for which the last confirmed date of nesting of that species is 1862. The rare seabird was once abundant on Dominica, but was thought to be extirpated in the late 1800s due to overhunting and the introduction of mammalia ... Read More

Climate change caused by ocean, not just atmosphere

Wednesday, August 05, 2015    

The ocean conveyor moves heat and water between the hemispheres, along the
ocean bottom. It also moves carbon dioxide. (PHOTO: NASA)

MOST of the concerns about climate change have focused on the amount of greenhouse gases that have been released into the atmosphere. But in a new study published in Science, a group of Rutgers researchers have found that circulation of the ocean plays an equally important role in regulating Earth's climate. In their study, the researchers say the major cooling of Earth and continental ice build-up in the Northern Hemisphere 2.7 million years ago coincided with a shift in the circulation of th ... Read More

Gov't exporting second batch of organic bamboo charcoal

Wednesday, August 05, 2015    

THE country is to ship its second major supply of organic bamboo charcoal to the US this weekend, a 24,000-lb venture which is to rake in some $5 million, according to the Ministry of Industry, Investment, and Commerce. State minister Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams made the disclosure at the Planning Institute of Jamaica yesterday where she signed a deal, on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, with the Organisation of American States (OAS) for the financing of a pre-processing plant in Peckham, Clare ... Read More

Little Birders

Wednesday, August 05, 2015    


Children who participated in the birding camp at Hope Zoo and Gardens display some of the art they created and the trophies they won. The week-long camp, which was part of the activities of BirdsCaribbean’s 21st International Meeting, ended July 24. It used the internationally developed BirdSleuth curriculum to teach kids about various bird species and how to identify and conserve them. (PHOTO: LIONEL ROOKWOOD) Read More

The Winners are...

Wednesday, August 05, 2015    

This Greater Antillean Grackle, also called Cling Cling, cool
off at the fountain at the entrance of Hope Zoo. (PHOTO:

CONGRATULATIONS, COLIN DOUGLAS AND MONIQUE MATHIS! You've beat the throng and correctly identified the Greater Antillean Grackle (Quiscalus niger), commonly called Cling Cling. Some of you thought it was Jamaican Blackbird, also called Wildpine Sergeant and Black Bananna Bird. Others thought it was the Great-tailed Grackle, but the lesson to be learned is that not every black bird is a Blackbird. The Cling Cling is so called because of the sound of its calls. According to A Photographic Guide ... Read More



Should Education Minister Ronald Thwaites have withdrawn his 'leggo beast' comment?

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon