Stark warning issued to Caribbean concerning climate change

(Image via Jamaica Observer)
(Image via Jamaica Observer)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – A warning has been issued to governments across the Caribbean to do more to make countries resilient to climate change as there is a price to pay if nothing is done.

According to a report commissioned by the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme, the Caribbean is “in the front line” and at greater risk from more severe impacts than many other parts of the world because of its geographic location because most regional states are smaller islands where people live close to and depend on the sea.

The Caribbean Marine Climate Change Report Card 2017, which was conducted by scientists and researchers said more intense storms, floods, droughts, rising sea levels, higher temperatures, and ocean acidification are major threats to all regional economies and pose a danger to lives as well, both directly and indirectly.

“As the seas, reefs and coasts on which all Caribbean people depend are under threat, much more needs to be done to protect these resources and the authors recommend building more resilient environments to prepare for, and protect against, climate change,” the report noted.

Read more at: Jamaica Observer

St. Kitts/Nevis Prime Minister to attend PANCAP Regional Parliamentarians Forum

Pancap_PM_Harris
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris (centre) with Dr. Edward Greene, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in the CARIBBEAN (left), and Deryck Springer, Director of PANCAP

Friday, May 12, 2017 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) will host the Hon. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis at the PANCAP Regional Parliamentarians Forum from 30 – 31 May, 2017 in Kingston, Jamaica.

In addition to Prime Minister  Harris, parliamentarians from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago are scheduled to attend the Forum.

The Hon. Delroy Chuck, Minister of Justice, Jamaica will deliver the keynote address during the opening ceremony on Tuesday, May 30.

Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan, Deputy Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, Dr Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General, Directorate for Human and Social Development, Dr Edward Greene, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean, Canon Garth Minott, Chair of The Regional Consultative Steering Committee for the Implementation of Recommendations to end AIDS by 2030 and UN partners are expected to attend the Forum.     (more…)

Roots and tubers: A potential cash cow in the Caribbean

Slimdown 360’s instant mash products have a shelf life of 1 year (Photo via Spore)
Slimdown 360’s instant mash products have a shelf life of one year (Photo via Spore)

Root and tuber crops (RTCs) such as arrowroot, cassava, dasheen, eddoe, ginger, sweet potato, tania and yam are farmed throughout the Caribbean and remain a staple of traditional diets. Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and some eastern Caribbean countries are self-sufficient in RTCs with Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines leading regional exports.

However, with the capacity to create value-added products for local consumption and export, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has identified cassava, sweet potato and yam with the highest potential for development.

RTC crops can withstand up to 98 per cent of hurricane disasters and have good potential even as regional climate patterns change, as planting material can be sourced locally, and farmers are familiar with RTC production. RTCs are also valued for their ‘good’ complex carbohydrates, which provide better glycemic indices (food’s effect on a person’s blood sugar), compared to imported refined carbohydrates; they are also high in dietary fibre and low in calorie count, which are important considerations for health-conscious markets in Europe.

Read more at: SPORE

COTED urged to reassess orientation of external trade

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A review of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) external trade relations, strengthened capacity, and Member States’ strong support of each other will ensure that the Region is in a better position to confront the challenges it faces.

This is the view of Suriname Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn, Chairman of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) now underway at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana.

In remarks at the opening of the two-day Meeting Thursday morning, the Minister alluded to global development challenges, including the consequences anticipated from the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union (EU).

“For us to be better equipped and face all these challenges we must first work on strengthening the capacities of our communities and strongly support each other, to achieve economic growth and welfare for all of us in the Region”, Minister Welzijn said.

(more…)

Full, safe, unhindered access to Single Market needed for sustainable growth – COTED Chair

Chairman of COTED,  the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Suriname
Chairman of COTED, the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Suriname

The private sector’s full, safe and unhindered access to the CARICOM Single Market was important for the promotion and  sustainability of economic growth, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Suriname, the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn, said on Thursday.

Delivering remarks at the opening of the Forty-Fourth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Georgetown, Guyana, Minister Welzijn, who is chairing the Meeting, said that development depended on public-private partnership.

 “After all it is the private sector that trades and does business,” he pointed out.

His remarks were made in the context of one the main  item for discussion at the Meeting – the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).  The Minister said that his background in the private sector provided a full understanding of the concerns and frustration of entrepreneurs who were facing trade difficulties within CARICOM. (more…)