Caribbean represented at royal wedding

The Caribbean was well represented on Saturday at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, requested a flower from all 53 countries of the Commonwealth embroidered on her veil for the #royalwedding.

Caribbean flowers on the veil

United Kingdom Ambassador to CARICOM, Her Excellency Janet Douglas, tweeted the list of the Caribbean flowers that were featured on the Duchess’veil.

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‘Purpose fit solutions’ needed to close CSME implementation gap

“As a region we are not where we want to be with the implementation of the CSME, and as we consider the sub items on the agenda we must do so in a manner to report and achieve progress going forward.”- Chair of COTED, the Hon. Chet Greene
As Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers with responsibility for trade meet in Georgetown, Guyana, calls have been made to ramp up the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The Ministers are in Georgetown for the two-day Forty-Sixth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) which opened on Wednesday at the CARICOM Secretariat. The CSME is one of the main agenda items of the Meeting.

Speaking at the opening session, both Chair of the Meeting, the  Hon Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration of Antigua and Barbuda, and Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General, placed emphasis on the CSME and wanted swifter action on its implementation.

“…Article 15 section 2 (b) confers on this Council the responsibility to, “promote the development and oversee the operations of the CSME”. As a region we are not where we want to be with the implementation of the CSME, and as we consider the sub items on the agenda we must do so in a manner to report and achieve progress going forward. Certainly, the confidence of our people and our businesses within the integration process must not be shattered”, Minister Greene said.

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COTED must position itself to address rapidly changing trade environment – Chair

The rapidly changing trading environment demands that the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) find an “appropriate mix of methodologies and strategies” to address the Council’s expanding agenda.

This is according to the Hon. Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration of Antigua and Barbuda, who is chairing the Forty-Sixth Meeting of the COTED.

In remarks at the opening session of the Meeting at the CARICOM Secretariat on Wednesday 16 May, 2018, the Minister referred to both internal and external trade matters that could impact the Community’s progress towards sustained economic prosperity. These include the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), market access for products, the review of the Common External Tariff (CET), the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the future of trade with the United Kingdom after BREXIT and  the impasse between the USA and China. (more…)

 

COTED plays crucial role in advancing integration – CARICOM SG

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, said matters under consideration at the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) presented an opportunity to provide solutions that would advance the regional integration movement.

He was speaking on Wednesday morning at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, during the opening session of the Forty-Sixth Meeting of the COTED.

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Communities innovate to address Sargassum seaweed on coasts of Saint Lucia

Sargassum is free-floating brown macro-algae that lives in the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. In the open ocean, the floating seaweed provides important ecosystem services by acting as habitats for a diverse group of marine animals. It provides food, shade, and shelter to many types of specialized fish, crustaceans, and turtles. When it reaches the coastline, it provides fertilizer for the plant ecosystems that protect the shoreline from erosion and promotes biodiversity of marine bird and wildlife.

Since 2011, excessively large quantities of Sargassum have accumulated in the Caribbean Sea, only to wash ashore in several Caribbean countries. Massive Sargassum seaweed blooms are becoming increasingly frequent in the Caribbean. The seaweed covers the beaches in huge, stinking blankets that sometimes measure up to 10 feet in depth. As it rots, the seaweed emits a toxic gas known as hydrogen sulphide, which smells of rotting eggs.

The seaweed creates an extreme lack of oxygen in the sea close to shore, killing off native species and resulting in dead zones by first robbing the water of nutrients before they die and absorbing oxygen out of the water to decompose.  It fouls the beaches, not just for the visiting tourists who contribute to the local economies, but also for several endangered species of marine turtles. The turtles have to dig through several feet of seaweed to lay their eggs or climb beyond the seaweed mats to find clear sand. Later, their hatchlings get entangled in the seaweed on their way to the ocean and die.

On the east coast of Saint Lucia, a local youth by the name of Johanan Dujon noticed how the piles of seaweed were causing trouble for the local fishermen by damaging their equipment and boat engines, as well as complicating their daily lives by making landing difficult upon return from fishing trips. The budding entrepreneur recognized an opportunity to capitalize on this freely available resource to create valuable organic agricultural inputs, which could in turn reduce and eventually replace the environmentally harmful synthetic chemicals used to grow food in St. Lucia. In 2014, Dujon founded Algas Organics and began experimentation with formulations to make this idea a reality.

Read more at: Global Environment Facility