Caribbean felt full brunt of climate change in 2017

CARICOM Facebook Christmas banner

Dominica hurricane

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,  CMC – In 2017, the Caribbean felt the full brunt of climate change with a warning that current trends indicate that there will be no respite.

Within a two-week period, Hurricanes Irma and Maria brought home the reality of the impact of climate change as they churned their way across the Lesser Antilles destroying everything in their paths. Hurricane Harvey had in August set the stage for what was to come; with devastation in Houston, Texas, amounting to nearly US$200billion.

“The unprecedented nature of this climatic event highlights the unusual nature of weather patterns that continue to affect nations across the globe,” the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said in a message to United States President Donald Trump, as Harvey made landfall in the United States after whipping up strong winds and heavy rains in the Caribbean.

It took less than a month for his statement to bear fruit. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two Category 5 storms left so many Caribbean islands devastated in September that the CARICOM Chairman and Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said “there can be no question that for us in the Caribbean, climate change is an existential threat”. (more…)

Caribbean, EU share similar goals for peace, economic integration – CARICOM Chair

President David Granger observes one of the photographs that were part of the display at the reception (Photo via Ministry of the Presidency)
President David Granger observes one of the photographs that were part of the display at the reception (Photo via Ministry of the Presidency)

Georgetown, Guyana – (April 6, 2017) President David Granger, Wednesday evening, said that international peace and economic integration were the ultimate goals of the Caribbean; goals, which he acknowledged were shared by the European Union, and were the basis upon which the signing of the Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community (TEEEC), also called the Treaty of Rome, occurred 60 years ago.  The President, was at the time, speaking at the Photographic Exhibition and Cocktail Reception in commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, held at the Umana Yana in Georgetown.

“The Caribbean today, like Europe 60 years ago, yearns for peace.  The Caribbean seeks international peace, which is characterised by a dignified and secure life for our peoples.  It seeks economic progress, which is undergirded by special consideration to the needs and vulnerabilities of small-island developing and low-lying coastal states such as Guyana,” the President said.

While congratulating the European Union (EU) on its 60th Anniversary, the President, who is the current Chair of the Caribbean Community, said that those common goals also saw the Caribbean, which is part of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), entering into mutually beneficial, preferential agreements with Europe.

“The Caribbean, as party to successive Lomé conventions and signatories to the Cotonou Agreement, looks forward to building on four decades of ACP-EU relations,” the President said.

Read more at: Government Information Agency

Unspoiled Caribbean Paradise

A view on the East Coast of Dominica
UNSPOILED: A view on the East Coast of Dominica

Have you ever found yourself vacationing in a stunningly beautiful place overrun with sunburnt tourists and thought, “I wonder how spectacular this was before the whole world showed up?” Well, Dominica is your answer.
ROSEAU, Dominica, Dominica News Online – “HOW’D YOU LIKE THAT LANDING?” MY DRIVER ASKED ME as I appeared out of baggage claim looking completely frazzled. This seems to be the common follow-up question when visitors touch down in Dominica for the first time.

“Looks like you gonna crash in them mountains, ah?” followed by a hearty Caribbean laugh.

This is how the island of Dominica (pronounced Doe-min-EEK-uh, and NEVER to be confused with that hotbed of baseball talent to the north) welcomes you: with a death-defying landing in the middle of jungle mountains at Douglas-Charles Airport. Right off the bat, you know this place is not to be messed with. It’s as beautiful as it is rugged, and it will push you to your limits to experience that beauty in full. A typical Caribbean vacay it is not — which is exactly why it’s one of the most underrated, untouched-by-tourists destinations in the hemisphere.

Read More: Dominica News Online 

 

 

 

Falling oil prices won’t derail Saint Lucia’s push for clean energy

Workers use electricity and firewood to prepare cassava bread in Canaries, St. Lucia. The country’s government says renewable energy can help with value-added in the agricultural sector. (Photo via Kenton X. Chance/IPS
Workers use electricity and firewood to prepare cassava bread in Canaries, St. Lucia. The country’s government says renewable energy can help with value-added in the agricultural sector. (Photo via Kenton X. Chance/IPS

At Plas Kassav, a roadside outlet in Canaries, a rural community in western St. Lucia, a busload of visitors from other Caribbean countries, along with tourists from North America and Europe, sample the 12 flavours of freshly baked cassava bread on sale.

In the back of the shop, employees busily sift the grated cassava and prepare it for baking. Next to them, an electric motor powers a device that turns grated cassava as it bakes into farine — a cereal made from cassava tubers — in a wood-fired cauldron.

This is one of the ways in which this eastern Caribbean nation of 180,000 people is marrying its tourism and agriculture sectors.

Read more at: Inter Press Service

Next Google could be in Caribbean

3rd left Prof Cardinal Warde, Dr Andrew Phillips with pupils of Evelyn Grace Academy. (Photo vi CaribeDirect by Tyrone Roach)
3rd left Prof Cardinal Warde, Dr Andrew Phillips with pupils of Evelyn Grace Academy. (Photo vi CaribeDirect by Tyrone Roach)

“The next Google could be based in the Caribbean,” or so says Dr. Cardinal Warde, professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and President of the Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology and Innovation (CADSTI).

Speaking at Microsoft’s London offices on 11th November for the first ever CADSTI STEM talk, Warde, originally from Barbados, told an audience of students and representatives from several Caribbean High Commissions in London, that the Caribbean needs to be aiming bigger and higher with respect to technology and entrepreneurship.

“The next large multibillion dollar high tech company can start anywhere in the Caribbean or in the Caribbean Diaspora. We think that our people are smart enough to do this,” said Warde.

Read more at: CaribDirect