Regional tourism hits 30m

(Photo via Caribbean Tourism Organisation)

The Caribbean Tourism Office recently released its Caribbean Tourism Performance Report 2017 and Outlook, showing that the number of stay-over or tourist visits to the region reached 30 million in 2017 and bringing an estimated $37 billion in total visitor spending.

Ryan Skeete, director of research and IT at the organisation, presented the findings February 15, 2018, at CTO Headquarters, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados.

Read more at: The Bahamas Investor

Barbados Prime Minister to attend CARICOM Summit in Haiti

Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart. (Photo via BGIS)

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will leave Barbados on Saturday, February 24, for the Twenty-Ninth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The summit takes place from February 26 to 27, at the Marriott Hotel.

Following the Adoption of the Agenda and dealing with a number of Procedural Matters, Mr. Stuart and other regional leaders will examine the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), particularly Administrative Requirements in the Skills Certification Process as it relates to the Requirement for a Police Certificate of Character.

They will also look at Procedures to which Member States would adhere on the Refusal of Entry of CARICOM Nationalsand Foreign Exchange Difficulties Affecting Trade between Member States.

Against the backdrop of last year’s devastating hurricane season, significant attention will be placed on finding solutions to Disaster Management and Recovery.

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service

Haiti’s historic Port-au-Prince Iron Market ravaged by fire

A man looks for goods amid the rubble outside of the Marche Hyppolite (Hyppolite Market), also known as Marche en Fer (Iron Market), after a fire that affected part of the market and the surrounding stands in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, February 13, 2018. (Photo via REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares)

A fire ripped through the historic Iron Market in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on Monday night, destroying one of the city’s major tourist attractions.

The , or Iron Market, had been rebuilt following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The building also suffered heavy damage in a fire in 2008.

Traders lost their inventories and their livelihood as the blaze ruined one of the market’s two halls.

Read more at: BBC

World leaders join new drive to beat non-communicable diseases

 WHO is announcing today a new high-level commission, comprised of heads of state and ministers, leaders in health and development and entrepreneurs. The group will propose bold and innovative solutions to accelerate prevention and control of the leading killers on the planet – noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like heart and lung disease, cancers, and diabetes.

The WHO Independent Global High-level Commission on NCDs is co-chaired by President Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay; President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka; President Sauli Niinistö of Finland; Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Healthcare of the Russian Federation; and Sania Nishtar, former Federal Minister of Pakistan.

Seven in 10 deaths globally every year are from NCDs, the main contributors to which are tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity. More than 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 70 years die from NCDs annually. Low- and lower-middle income countries are increasingly affected, with half of premature deaths from NCDs occurring in those countries. Many lives can be saved from NCDs through early diagnosis and improved access to quality and affordable treatment, as well as a whole-of-government approach to reduce the main risk factors.

Read more at: World Health Organisation

UN Steps up Action to Make Urban Spaces More Climate-Resilient

UNFCCC photo for resilient cities article

UN Climate Change News, 15 February 2018 –  The 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur concluded this week with a call to use the new urban agenda as an accelerator to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and support climate action.

According to the UN, the world’s urban population is expected to grow by 2.5 billion by 2050, with over 90 per cent of this growth to take place in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

This presents an unprecedented opportunity to re-define urban development, including inventing in livable, low-carbon and resilient cities.

Experts at the meeting recognized the fact that climate change will exacerbate the vulnerability of human settlements to natural and man-made hazards globally. This will especially be the case in developing countries, coastal and delta regions, and Small Island Developing States.

Read more at: United Nations Framework on Convention on Climate Change