Antigua and Barbuda adopts ‘different vision’ for agriculture

Codrington, Barbuda after Hurricane Irma  (Photo via UN)

With food security as its priority, the government of Antigua and Barbuda is pursuing a “different vision” as it moves to rebuild the agriculture sector of Barbuda which was destroyed following the passage of Hurricane Irma in September.

That vision focuses on improving resilience and dealing with the impact of natural disasters, Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, the Hon. Arthur Nibbs said Friday.  He was at the time delivering a statement to the 71st Special Ministerial Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Agriculture held at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.

The statement, titled Coping with Impact of Hurricane Irma ‘From Devastation to Restoration’ – Rebuilding the agricultural sector of Barbuda, provided some insight into what occurred on the island and details of the perspectives and programmes that will be employed.

Minister Nibbs told his colleagues that 99 per cent of homes on Barbuda were destroyed and 1407 persons were made homeless. The island became uninhabitable. Agriculture sector ruined. Crops, livestock, bees, the fishing industry, infrastructure, machinery and equipment were either wantonly destroyed or significantly damaged, he said.

Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda, the HOn. Arthur Nibbs, briefs his colleagues at the 71st Special Meeting of COTED on Agriculture
Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Arthur Nibbs, briefs his colleagues at the 71st Special Meeting of COTED on Agriculture

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Chile’s President to visit Barbados, Saint Lucia this week

President of Chile,  Michelle Bachelet (Photo via www.prensa.presidencia.cl)
President of Chile,
Michelle BacheletPresident

President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, will pay an official visit to Barbados on Thursday, August 24, the Barbados Government Information Service announced.

During her brief stay, President Bachelet will meet with Acting Governor-General, Sir Philip Greaves, in a courtesy call at Government House.

Later that day, she will join Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and several senior Government officials at Ilaro Court for a working meeting. (more…)

SG calls for new model for development finance

Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday
Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) believes that a new model for development finance needs to be considered.

Speaking during the accreditation ceremony for the new Swedish Ambassador to the Community on Wednesday at the CARICOM Secretariat’s, Turkeyen, Guyana headquarters, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque stated that GDP per capita should not be the principal measurement used in determining the development status of a country.

“We will continue to advocate for the use of a more accurate and realistic measure of development which considers vulnerability, including exposure to natural disasters and other exogenous shocks,” he said. “In the interest of realising our economic aspirations as a Community, we believe that a new paradigm in development finance needs to be considered,” he added.

Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund presented her credentials to the Secretary-General who noted that her accreditation was a continuation of years of building bilateral relations with the Member States of the Community and a bi-regional dialogue between CARICOM and the countries of the Nordic region. Sweden is one of the countries in the Nordic Group with which CARICOM has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Political Dialogue and Cooperation.

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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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CARICOM at Expo Astana

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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States are among exhibitors in the Republic of Kazakhstan participating in Expo Astana from 10 June-10 September, 2017. The theme of the Exposition is ‘Future Energy’.

The Caribbean Plaza comprises CARICOM Member States in a Joint Pavilion. In keeping with the theme of the Exposition, ‘Future Energy’,  those Member States, with a common voice, will showcase to visitors the characteristics of the Caribbean’s natural environment and how the Region faces its energy future. The Caribbean Plaza recognises the key role that energy plays in development and also recognises that alternative and renewable energy sources are key to sustainable growth.