Experts meet to discuss anti-pollution strategies

Participants from the seventh steering committee meeting of the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Centre for the Wider Caribbean for
the Oil Spills Protocol, in Curacao in May. (PHOTO: COURTESY UNEP CEP)

IT is no secret that over 80 per cent of the Caribbean Sea is polluted by land-based sources and activities such as deforestation, untreated wastewater, oil spills, agricultural runoff, farm waste, and litter. This affects livelihoods, people's health, island economies, and ecosystems. To address t ... Read More

The US$50-million Soapberry Wastewater Treatment plant which comprises 16 ponds, treats 30 per cent of the Corporate Area’s wastewater. (OBSERVER FILE PHOTOS) Scientist pushes for treated effluent to be part of water resources
REUSING wastewater might not be able to alleviate the current crisis of water shortage and raging bu ... Read More

Japanese Prime Minister Abe (left in gray suit)  in Trinidad.
(PHOTO: TRINIDAD EXPRESS) Japan gives Caribbean US$15m for climate change projects
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Japan is providing US$15 million to help several Caribbean Com ... Read More

PICKERSGILL... this is a challenge, and it is one that is made
worse by higher temperatures and windy conditions Worst of the drought is yet to come, Pickersgill warns
Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill did not speak with water ... Read More

What is to become of us?

BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court desk co-ordinator henryp@jamaicaobserver.com | Monday, July 21, 2014    

This fishing village is to be
demolished for development of a
marina and entertainment complex as
part of the development of the Forum
Hotel property.

Scores of fisherfolks are bittterly complaining of being hard done by, as the state-run Urban Development Corporation (UDC) moves to clear a strip of fishing beach slated for development as a marina and entertainment complex, on the old Forum Hotel property in Portmore, St Catherine. The fishermen claimed to have been left off a list of persons who are to be relocated to a nearby plot of land on the nearby Port Henderson Road. They also charged that in their place, several persons who were neit ... Read More

Riverton Meadows plagued by raw sewage

BY SUZETTE BONAS Sunday Observer writer bonass@jamaicaobserver.com | Sunday, July 20, 2014    

Raw sewage flows
on this street in
front of homes in
Riverton Meadows.

RESIDENTS of Riverton Meadows in western St Andrew say they have been paying up to $9,000 bimonthly to clear their sewer systems. However, at that rate, many people have been unable to regularly clean their units, resulting in raw sewage seeping onto their properties, overflowing into the streets and settling in potholes. "Every two to three weeks each one of these yards has sewage that overflows onto the road," resident Owen Moore told the Jamaica Observer. Robert Harris, another resident, s ... Read More

'Coal does not have a future'

Friday, July 18, 2014    

HUNTER LOVINS... climate
change is not about polar
bears, it’s about business

JAMAICA'S private sector was yesterday warned not to allow coal-fired plants into the country's energy mix as they are financially and environmentally unsustainable. Addressing the Climate Change Learning Conference for the Private Sector at the Pegasus Hotel, president of Natural Capitalism Solutions L Hunter Lovins said of all the fossil fuels, coal, which is being proposed for the trans-shipment port on Goat Islands, as well as for the mothballed bauxite plants in Manchester and St Elizabeth ... Read More

ISA issues two new contracts for exploration

Friday, July 18, 2014    

Whatever presdient of the historic 20th session of the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority Antonio Francisco da Costa e Silva Neto (left) had to say surely had Secretary General Nii Allotey Odunton in stitches.

AS of May this year, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) had issued 16 contracts for exploration of the deep seabed, covering some 900,000 km2 in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. Twelve of the contracts are for polymetallic nodules, two for polymetallic sulphides, and the other two for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts. The most recent contractors are Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, whose contract took effect on January 27 this year, and China Ocean Mineral Resour ... Read More

OVER-FISHING for conservation

Wednesday, July 16, 2014    

A fisherman debones lionfish at Forum Fishing Beach in Portmore, St Catherine. (PHOTO: KIMONE THOMPSON)

GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands — Comfort Suites Grand Cayman, which is franchised by Choice Hotels International, Inc is working to help rid the Cayman Islands waters of the invasive lionfish introduced to the Caribbean from the Asia-Pacific region. Partnering with local dive company Ambassador Divers and the Cayman United Lionfish League (CULL), the hotel has launched a fishing tournament which is counter-intuitive to the norms of sustainable fishing. "Our lionfish tournament, held four t ... Read More

'I won't stop eat parrot'

Wednesday, July 16, 2014    

Pounds of parrotfish for sale at a popular
fishing beach in Portmore, St Catherine.

Jamaicans at home and abroad have reacted strongly to the proposal that the parrotfish be banned in order to restore the island's corla reefs and beaches. The Jamaica Observer reported a week ago that director of the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society mooted that the species be declared endangered, arguing that a single parrotfish can excrete up to 800 lbs of sand in its lifetime. He was backed up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world's oldest and largest ... Read More

Hidden in plain sight

BY KIMONE THOMPSON Associate editor — features thompsonk@jamaicaobserver.com | Monday, July 14, 2014    

The headquarters of the International Seabed Authority on Port Royal Street,
downtown Kingston is on the same compound as the Jamaica Conference Centre.

THE Jamaica Conference Centre and its location on Kingston's waterfront are not unfamiliar to most people. The International Seabed Authority (ISA) secretariat, on the other hand, although it's on the same compound and sits right next to the centre, is Greek to most people, even Kingstonians. It's almost as if it were hidden in plain sight. Take my most recent visit to the ISA, for example: The driver had no clue where I meant or what I was talking about until I said the words "conference centr ... Read More

Warning for Caribbean countries as sea level continues to rise

Monday, July 14, 2014    

Fishing boats lay lie on the beach at the Old Harbour Fishing
Village in St Catherine. A United States report on climate
change charges that sea level rise combines with other
climate-related impacts and existing pressures such as land
subsidence, causing significant economic and ecological
implications in the Southeast and Caribbean regions.

ST GEORGE'S, Grenada (CMC) — Director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Track of the Public Health Department of St George's University is predicting a bleak future for the Caribbean amid concerns that the rate of sea level rises beyond the anticipated three millimetres mark. Hugh Sealy, who is also chairman of the board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) said sea level rise for the Caribbean is inevitable regardless of what decisions are taken now. "No matter what we do ... Read More

Nicaragua Canal path chosen, environmentalists worried about lake

Friday, July 11, 2014    

A view of expansion work taking place at the Panama
Canal, which is scheduled to be completed in early
2016. Nicaragua is ploughing ahead with a plan to dig a
Chinese-funded rival to the Panama Canal.

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — NOW that Nicaragua has picked a path for a Chinese firm to dig a canal connecting the Caribbean and the Pacific, environmentalists are worried about a huge lake on the route. They fret about the effects of ship traffic on the health of Lake Cocibolca, the largest freshwater body in Central America. The business community meanwhile has welcomed word of a route being chosen with some scepticism, saying it will await reports on the environmental, trade and financial asp ... Read More

Consumers reeling as drought hits St Lucia

Friday, July 11, 2014    

CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) — The St. Lucia Water and Sewage Company (WASCO) on Wednesday placed the entire island under a water emergency schedule as the drought worsened. Initially, the emergency had been confined to the north of the island, but WASCO managing director Vincent Hippolyte said that there had not been sufficient rainfall to meet the demands of consumers. "Despite the rains and the greenery, drought conditions exist because the rivers are not moving. They do not have the volu ... Read More



Did the NWC prepare adequately for the current drought?

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