What does ‘climate-smart agriculture’ really mean? New tool breaks it down

Water catchment tank (IPS photo)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 14 2017 (IPS) - A Trinidadian scientist has developed a mechanism for determining the degree of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) compliance with respect to projects, processes and products.

This comes as global attention is drawn to climate-smart agriculture as one of the approaches to mitigate or adapt to climate change.

Steve Maximay says his Climate-Smart Agriculture Compliant (C-SAC) tool provides a certification and auditing scheme that can be used to compare projects, processes and products to justify the applicability and quantum of climate change funding.

“C-SAC provides a step-by-step, checklist style guide that a trained person can use to determine how closely the project or process under review satisfies the five areas of compliance,” Maximay told IPS.

“This method literally forces the examiner to consider key aspects or goals of climate-smart agriculture. These aspects (categories) are resource conservation; energy use; safety; biodiversity support; and greenhouse gas reduction.”

Read more at: Inter Press Service

CET, Rules of Origin critical to viability, competitiveness of indigenous industries – Review Consultation hears

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The protection of indigenous industries to ensure their viability and competitiveness on the global market and the harmonisation of rates across CARICOM were among the key concerns raised at a Consultation on the revision of CARICOM’s two trade instruments.

The trade and revenue instruments are the CARICOM Common External Tariff (CET) and the Rules of Origin.

At the brief opening ceremony of the one-day Consultation on 25 July, 2017, at the CARICOM Secretariat, CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr.Joseph Cox called for frank discourse against the background that the CET in its current format, was not sustainable and was not serving the purpose for which it was originally intended.

He said order, structure and modernisation were necessary for the instruments to work for the Region.

Regional stakeholders at the Consultation acknowledged the importance of the CET and the RoO to the economic growth of the Region. They recommended the careful consideration of derogations of the CET on some products, as well as the implementation of a modernised and simplified version of the Rules of Origin.

Consultant, Mr. Dan Ciuriek, said that the review of the regime was to ready it for free circulation, a fully functioning CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and to be effective as a springboard into the global economy.

Listen as Mr. Bernard Black, Senior Project Officer, Customs and Trade Policy at the CARICOM Secretariat, provides some insight into the discussion and the next steps that are to be taken.

Caribbean measurement scientists equipped to train others

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Efforts are being made to equip the Caribbean’s measurement scientists (metrologists) with training skills to assist the industry in addressing their calibration needs as well as their counterparts in National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) across the Region.

Eighteen such metrologists, practitioners in the science of measurement, from a number of National Standards Bureaux in the CARICOM Region, are in Barbados this week to participate in a Training of Trainers workshop at the Divi Southwinds Hotel, St. Lawrence Main Road, Christ Church.

At the weeklong workshop, which opened on Monday, July 24 and ends Friday, July 28, 2017, Finance Manager with the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), Mr. Mohan Nandwani underscored how important the event was to aid in the facilitation of regional trade.

“When we talk about quality, we are not just talking about science, we are talking about developing the financial infrastructure of the Caribbean; trade – that is what it is really all about. Quality will drive the trade that the Caribbean does and it is only through these kinds of workshops and so on that we can build that quality which will eventually feed itself into public and private sector development, and trade is the key here. This is what we are aiming towards,” said Mr. Nandwani on behalf of CROSQ. (more…)

CARICOM closer to developing regional regulations to improve energy performance in buildings

 

Members of the Regional Project Team, with invited officials in the front row (L-R): Mr. Glynn Morris, Programme Leader of the GIZ-implemented Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) Programme; Mrs. Sandy Peters-Phillips, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce, St. Vincent and Grenadines; Dr. Devon Gardner, Programme Manager for Energy in the CARICOM Secretariat; Mr. Ezra Ledger, Director of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bureau of Standards; Mr. Deryck  Omar, Chief Executive Officer of the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality.
Members of the Regional Project Team, with other officials. In front row (L-R):
Mr. Glynn Morris, Programme Leader, GIZ-implemented REETA Programme; Ms. Sandy Peters-Phillips, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce, St. Vincent and Grenadines; Dr. Devon Gardner, Programme Manager, Energy, CARICOM Secretariat; Mr. Ezra Ledger, Director, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bureau of Standards; Mr. Deryck Omar, Chief Executive Officer, CROSQ

Energy conservation and the implementation of an Energy Efficiency Building Code are critical to mitigate the impacts of climate change which pose great risks to countries, like St. Vincent and the Grenadines, within the Caribbean. This was the sentiment expressed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce in St. Vincent and Grenadines, Ms. Sandy Peters-Phillips, on Monday 24 July, 2017, when she addressed the opening of the Second Meeting of the Regional Project Team (RPT) for the Development of the CARICOM Energy Efficiency Building Code (EEBC).

The Meeting was held in Kingstown over two days, 24-25 July 2017, and, according to Dr. Devon Gardner, Programme Manager for Energy within the CARICOM Secretariat, signalled the “collective intent of CARICOM to act in a collaborative and cohesive manner to give life an Energy Efficiency Building Code for the Region”.

Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who was at the technical meeting session, provided critical insight into a number of key issues, especially the legal requirements and socioeconomic considerations at national levels, of which the RPT should be mindful. He indicated that the inclusive approach that was being pursued, with regard to the EEBC development, could contribute to balancing the technical options, which were being considered by the experts, with the national realities and provide an easier path for country adoption.

At this, the Second Meeting, the RPT reached consensus on a Draft Caribbean Application Document (CAD), just four months after the first meeting was convened in Kingston, Jamaica. The meeting also resulted in the endorsement of a programme of work for the effective, efficient and timely completion of the Regional EEBC.

Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, makes a point while addressing members of the Regional Project Team at their second meeting in St. Vincent on Monday, 24 July.
Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, makes a point while addressing members of the Regional Project Team at their second meeting in St. Vincent on Monday, 24 July

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People will know CARICOM is working when they see, taste, feel – The Bahamas Prime Minister

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New Prime Minister of The Bahamas delivering his inaugural address to the Conference
New Prime Minister of The Bahamas delivering his inaugural address to the Conference
“CARICOM is a community of the people we serve, not a club of officials and politicians. We need to cast our nets far and wide to engage the combined spirit and the collective brain-trust of the Region. We must blend various languages and accents in order to speak to the world with one voice about the aspirations of our people and the mission of CARICOM.” Dr. Hubert Minnis
Dr. The Hon. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, has signalled his readiness to help deliver the mandates of CARICOM to provide better, healthier and more prosperous lives for the people of the Community.

In doing so, the newest Member of the Conference of Heads of Government also expressed confidence in organs and institutions of the Caribbean Community to deliver benefits of integration.

His inaugural address to the Community, at the opening of the 38th CARICOM Summit, in Grand Anse, Grenada, Tuesday evening, was punctuated with an urgent call for unity. (more…)