Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Jade Mountain gets gold for being green http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Jade-Mountain-gets-gold-for-being-green_77654 WASHINGTON DC, USA &mdash; The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced that St Lucia&rsquo;s Jade Mountain resort has become the first hotel in the Caribbean to receive the coveted LEED GOLD certification status.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Achieving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold, as Jade Mountain has done, demonstrates an exceptional level of leadership in the industry. I congratulate both the owners (Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy) and the project team for this significant achievement,&rdquo; said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chairman of the USGBC.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;LEED certification is a tremendous tool for the hospitality industry, not only as a path to achieving operating efficiencies for property owners, but also as a way to let guests know that their accommodations have been designed to provide the most comfort and the least impact on the planet,&rdquo; added Fedrizzi.<br /> <br /> Nick Troubetzkoy, who designed and built the multiple award-winning resort which overlooks the Piton Mountains rising from the Caribbean Sea in front of Jade Mountain, said: &ldquo;The beauty of St Lucia&rsquo;s landscapes, the warmth and character of its people, and the unlimited potential to create something very special here captured my imagination. &ldquo;<br /> <br /> Troubetzkoy described Jade Mountain, artfully sculpted into the mountainside, as &ldquo;a response to almost every hotel I&rsquo;ve ever visited ... where I found myself disappointed by what I encountered&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> So he set about redesigning the basic concept of a holiday-related hotel experience. &ldquo;I wanted to create individualised spatial environments that would enable guests to forget the fact they&rsquo;re in a hotel room &mdash; and in essence to forget every preconception and to experience the psychology of a dynamic and monumental space on an intuitive and primal emotional level.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Eliminating the fourth wall in all rooms, or sanctuaries as they are known on property, gave Jade Mountain another clear distinction.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We aimed to give our guests the feeling of entering a private space fully integrated into the island&rsquo;s ecology, where they could simply relax, breathe in the air, while basking in the surroundings and enjoying a wonderful sense of calm and peace &mdash; versus being boxed into a traditional hotel room breathing recirculated, machine-processed air,&rdquo; Troubetzkoy said.<br /> <br /> His devotion to sustainable design means the resort has its own rainwater-fed water purification plant system and recycles treated sewage water, which irrigates a nursery which, in turn, propagates thousands of tropical plants for landscaping.<br /> <br /> The design, which merges the free flow of air and the free flow of water through the infinity pools and waterfalls of the sanctuaries, according to Troubetzkoy, is a direct reflection of the natural attributes of the land of St Lucia itself: &ldquo;When you combine water with air and the earth itself in this way, you unlock a profound potential for an almost magical level of enjoyment and celebration &mdash; a magic that may very well be the ultimate achievement of Jade Mountain and St Lucia.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The Green Building Council adjudicators felt Troubetzkoy had succeeded and noted: &ldquo;This is a very impressive accomplishment for such a unique project, and we congratulate you and your team on implementing some pioneering, non-traditional approaches to the LEED prerequisites and credits.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> The US Green Building Council monitors the way buildings are designed, constructed and operated through LEED, a leading third-party verification system for sustainable structures around the world.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Bevan Springer<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13363675/235224_62289_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13363671/235236_62290_repro_w300.jpg Local Environmental Wednesday, October 19, 2016 2:00 AM PHOTOS: Celebrating birds http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/PHOTOS--Celebrating-birds_77615 Photo 1 - Students of Port Royal Primary proudly display bird scavenger hunt cards they completed with the assistance of officers of the National Environment and Planning Agency in observance of International Migratory Bird Day, October 9.<br /> <br /> Photo 2 - This proud student of Port Royal Primary will soon be using her creative skills to bring birds to life, having received a Migratory Birds of the West Indies colouring book from the NEPA team during the recent activities for International Migratory Bird Day. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13363670/235220_62295_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13363673/235222_62294_repro_w300.jpg Local Environment Wednesday, October 19, 2016 2:00 AM We recycle 80 per cent &mdash; J Wray & Nephew http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/We-recycle-80-per-cent---J-Wray---Nephew_77626 Local rum producer J Wray & Nephew hasn&rsquo;t always enjoyed a favourable reputation in the public sphere with regard to its environmental practices, but if recent developments are anything to go by, it&rsquo;s something the company is eager to shake.<br /> <br /> Since being acquired by Italian aperitif maker Gruppo Campari in 2012, J Wray has broadened its green footprint by either implementing or expanding on existing initiatives which it says are industry-leading. It recycles its production waste, treats wastewater before expelling it, and employs energy-saving strategies on its properties.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Eighty per cent of our solid waste is recycled,&rdquo; Jorge Gonzalez told the Jamaica Observer on a recent walk-through of the facility at 234 Spanish Town Road. <br /> <br /> That includes glass bottles, cardboard and plastic packaging, as well as domestic and trade effluent. Even wooden pallettes are repaired and reused. The only exception are bottle caps and labels.<br /> <br /> Gonzalez is the production supply chain director, which means he oversees the entire process from procuring the base raw material from the canefield, the manufacturing, through to product delivery. He knows first-hand how much waste is generated in the process. <br /> <br /> He said the company processes approximately 30 tons of cardboard, 58 tons of glass, and two tons of plastic wrapping per month.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This reduces the solid waste we send to landfills and as a bonus we receive a monthly rebate on all recyclable waste,&rdquo; he said in reference to the cardboard and glass bottle merchants from which J Wray buys.<br /> <br /> In a previous interview with the Observer, Gonzalez said green inittiatives at the workplace are good for both the company&rsquo;s bottomline as well as its brand security.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It shows that you can be trusted as a corporate citizen if you not only comply with the laws but are, in a way, protecting your brand,&rdquo; he said then. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It also fosters pride among employees and pride at the place you work is an important thing for us. Reducing the carbon footprint for us is the right thing to do and also it&rsquo;s a commercial message so it helps to build the bottomline,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> The wastewater treatment plant, which was built at a cost of US$7 million, has a designed capacity of 3,000 cubic metres per day and handles effluent generated at the north, south and east complexes on Spanish Town Road.<br /> <br /> The south complex at 234 Spanish Town Road has been ISO 14001:2004 since 2012. It is now seeking to upgrade to ISO 14001:2015. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13363601/235257_62297_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13363599/235258_62298_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13363602/235256_62296_repro_w300.jpg Local Environment Wednesday, October 19, 2016 12:00 AM Akoustiks wins parrotfish jingle http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Akoustiks-wins-parrotfish-jingle_76946 &ldquo;Say yuh nuffi practise fi eat parottfish<br /> <br /> Cause a dem clean di coral reef dem<br /> <br /> Jamaica listen dis<br /> <br /> Save di parrotfish cause a dem bring di sand pon wi beach dem<br /> <br /> Whether yuh a di buyer, seller, or di fisherman<br /> <br /> Say yuh can help save our island<br /> <br /> Nuh bring no parrotfish come a dry land<br /> <br /> Fisherman put away yuh hook and yuh nylon<br /> <br /> Mek wi stop try erode di soil of our land<br /> <br /> Save di parrotfish&rdquo;<br /> <br /> These <br /> <br /> are the lyrics of the winning entry in Sandals Resorts International&rsquo;s (SRI&rsquo;s) parrotfish jingle competition.<br /> <br /> It was penned and performed by a young vocal artiste from Seaview Gardens, Shaomi Shirley, who goes by the stage name Carey Akoustiks. It was produced by his manager Okeino &ldquo;Fresh Rymes&rdquo; O&rsquo;Gilvie.<br /> <br /> Shirley told the Jamaica Observer that although he considers himself environmentally conscious in some respects, he knew nothing about the reef-cleaning, beach-building attributes of the parrotfish prior to entering the competition.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It (competition) wise mi up &lsquo;bout parrotfish. I neva know say parrotfish bring 800lb a sand to the beach,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The young man reported that he is not a fish lover, and has never eaten parrotfish, but pledged to spread the message about their importance among his family and friends.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Apart from the criteria, it was the lyrics and the music,&rdquo; said SRI&rsquo;s Group Manager, Public Relations, Sheryl McGaw-Douse about why Shirley won. &ldquo;The message was clear and it came across as one that would engage the wider public and effectively spread the message in a catchy form. When you listen to it, after the 30 seconds it stays with you.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The jingle competition is part of a broader awareness campaign the hotel chain launched in June in partnership with Rainforest Seafoods and the Jamaica Observer, which is part of the Sandals/ATL group of companies. It is called #Save the Parrotfish, Save our Island, and is designed to increase awareness of the decreasing parrotfish population and its implications for food security and the livelihoods of those who depend on the ocean. The campaign also lobbies for parrotfish management systems, such as the introduction of a closed season for parrotfish, adding the fish to the protected species list, or implementing sanctions for catching undersized fish.<br /> <br /> McGaw-Douse explained that the drive was initiated by SRI&rsquo;s Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Adam Stewart, who she described as an avid aquaphile.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;He lives on the water and he sees first-hand the effects of the dwindling parrotfish population, so he felt it was important to put our name on an initiative such as this to help stem the tide, because if we don&rsquo;t take care of this species, it&rsquo;s going to affect all the other fishes and we&rsquo;re all going to suffer,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> For topping the field of about 30 entrants, Shirley won a weekend for two at Sandals Resorts and a Rainforest Seafood gift certificate valued at $10,000. His jingle will enjoy airplay on FYAH 105.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13348915/233884_60983_repro_w300.jpg Local Environment Wednesday, October 12, 2016 12:00 AM LASCO REAP expands to high schools, churches http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/LASCO-REAP-expands-to-high-schools--churches_76927 St James, Montego Bay &mdash; Howard Cooke Primary, the reigning champion of the LASCO Releaf Environmental Awareness Programme (REAP), had the honour last Friday to host the fifth anniversary launch of the programme, where partners LASCO and Ideal Factory announced an expansion of the programme into high schools and churches across the island.<br /> <br /> For the past four years LASCO REAP has worked to build environmental awareness and encourage habits of environmental preservation among primary and prep school students. It encourages tree planting, recycling, energy conservation, school gardening, and well-kept school and community environments. Under the programme, which has grown from 50 schools in the first year to over 250 as of last year, some 12,500 trees have been planted across the island, over 150 gardens have been started and improved upon, and 1.2 million plastic bottles have been collected and sent for recycling.<br /> <br /> Under the expansion, 20 high schools have been invited to participate in the LASCO REAP National Schools Competition 2016-2017. Each school is tasked with starting an ecological initiative at the school, and recruiting and monitoring a minimum of three non-REAP primary/prep schools. They stand a chance of winning either $100,000; $50,000; or one of three consolation prizes of $25,000.<br /> <br /> The LASCO REAP National Church Competition 2016-2017, meanwhile, is open to 20 local churches. Each participating church will be assessed based on recycling, tree planting, gardening, recruiting of primary/prep/all-age schools, and reporting. Prizes are: $100,000 for first place, $50,000 for second place, or one of three consolation prizes of $25,000.<br /> <br /> Stephen Newland, CEO of the LASCO REAP initiative, expressed true delight over the growth and scope of the project and anticipates a positive year ahead.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The idea of expanding the programme was there from the start. But with all things you&rsquo;ve got to crawl, then walk, then run. And I&rsquo;m excited to walk down this path with the aid of Chairman, the Hon Lascelles Chin,&rdquo; declared Newland. &ldquo;To date, the LASCO REAP prep and primary programme alone has planted 12,500 trees across the island and collected 1.2 million plastic bottles. I&rsquo;m excited to see what our numbers will be like with the addition of high schools and churches to the programme.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> Marketing Manager at LASCO Distributors Ltd Kelia-Gaye Dunbar expressed her confidence in the new direction of REAP.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Incorporating high schools into the programme was a natural transition as that&rsquo;s where graduates from our current programme move on to. With the support of more schools and the church community, our message and initiatives towards environmental awareness and preservation will grow deeper roots and &lsquo;REAP&rsquo; greater results,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> LASCO Affiliated Companies has committed over $30 million to REAP since it began. For the 2016-17 programme, themed &lsquo;Together we grow&rsquo;, the affiliate sponsors include Fly Jamaica, RJR Communications Group, Forestry Department, Spartan Health Club, Recycling Partners of Jamaica, the 4-H Club of Portland, the US Peace Corps, Lithographic Printers, and Sutherland Global Services. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13348914/233955_60982_repro_w300.jpg Local Environment Wednesday, October 12, 2016 12:00 AM Commonwealth urges policy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Commonwealth-urges-policy-_76374 New research by the Commonwealth Secretariat has revealed the need for &ldquo;fundamental changes&rdquo; to the way the world&rsquo;s oceans, seas and coastal areas are managed.<br /> <br /> The five-part volume titled Commonwealth Blue Economy Series, recommends that countries embrace new marine-based sectors such as aquaculture, biotechnology and ocean-based renewable energy, while urging governments to improve the way they operate to ensure the survival of global fishing, maritime transport and coastal tourism.<br /> <br /> It recommends, inter alia:<br /> <br /> &bull; Establishing a marine renewable roadmap for offshore wind, tidal, and wave energy in a way that builds indigenous skills and capitalises on local knowledge;<br /> <br /> &bull; Supporting the biotechnology sector with the sustainable harvesting of algae and marine microbes for pharmaceuticals and other industries;<br /> <br /> &bull; Improving the health of fisheries to avoid over-exploitation, habitat damage, waste and pollution through a blue economy fisheries strategy; and<br /> <br /> &bull; Supporting the aquaculture industry, including crustaceans and aquatic plants, by developing domestic markets as well as niche eco-labelled products.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As the world begins to face up to climate change and the vulnerability of small and developing countries to natural disasters and financial crises, it is critical that we recognise the lifeline offered by the oceans, which are a source of food security and economic prosperity,&rdquo; remarked Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Challenges such as global warming, over-fishing and environmental mismanagement threaten a resource which, if managed sustainably, could be a source of immense opportunity. With this new research series, we are advancing the fundamental and practical changes in policy that we believe any government with maritime territory should pursue,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> Other titles in the Commonwealth Blue Economy series are Aquaculture, Capture Fisheries, Marine Renewable Energy, and Blue Biotechnology. It was created through technical assistance to the Government of Seychelles, which created a Blue Economy Roadmap to support the growth of ocean-based industries.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Change can only be realised through strong leadership,&rdquo; says Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, Deodat Maharaj, writing in the series foreword. &ldquo;Nowhere is this truer than for the ocean, a resource perceived to be everyone&rsquo;s right but no one&rsquo;s responsibility. Creating the political will to implement all elements of a blue economy strategy is a key theme in the assistance and advice the Commonwealth provides to countries.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The blue economy concept, which derived from the so-called green economy, advocates for the sustainable exploitation of the natural capital emanating from the world&rsquo;s oceans, seas and coastal areas.<br /> <br /> The global ocean economy is valued at around US$1.5 trillion per annum, contributing approximately two to three per cent to the world&rsquo;s gross domestic product, according to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2016). Globally, approximately 350 million jobs are linked to the oceans through fishing, aquaculture, coastal and marine tourism and research activities.<br /> <br /> A September, 2016 report published by the World Bank in association with the Commonwealth Secretariat &mdash; Toward a Blue Economy: A Promise for Sustainable Growth in the Caribbean &mdash; estimated that Caribbean waters generated US$407 billion in 2012 alone.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13349735/filename_w300.jpg Local Environment Wednesday, October 12, 2016 12:00 AM Trees for life http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Trees-for-life_76937 To commemorate National Wood and Water Day, which is celebrated annually on October 1, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) distributed and helped plant seedlings in Papine and Yallahs in a campaign it has labelled Trees for Life. It sought to encourage Jamaicans to plant trees for a loved one and as an investment into the future, and was executed under the GOJ/GEF/IDB Integrated Management of the Yallahs and Hope River Watershed Management Areas (Yallahs-Hope Watershed) Project. <br /> <br /> In support of the campaign, the Rotaract Club of Kingston planted nine fruit trees (apple, mango, breadfruit, avocado, orange, ackee and june plum) at Maxfield Park Children&rsquo;s Home last Saturday.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13348889/233961_60975_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13348888/233964_60976_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13348887/233966_60978_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13348891/233965_60977_repro_w300.jpg Local Environment Wednesday, October 12, 2016 12:00 AM &lsquo;This agreement is real&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/-This-agreement-is-real-_76476 THERE is a real sign that the major contributors to air pollution are now committed to a sustainable and low-carbon future, says British Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the United Nations Baroness Anelay.<br /> <br /> She pointed out that countries, including the world&rsquo;s largest emitters of greenhouse gases (China and the United States), have agreed to act together to address climate change, and to be held accountable through the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This Agreement is a real sign that we have turned the corner in our journey towards a sustainable and low-carbon future. Countries will now have to come together to review our climate plans,&rdquo; the minister of state said, while speaking at the annual Chevening Lecture Series, held Wednesday at the Courtyard by Marriot hotel in New Kingston.<br /> <br /> She told the British High Commission-sponsored event, staged under the theme &lsquo;Climate Change and Jamaica&rsquo;s Development&rsquo;, that there is a need to work together and hold each of the 195 countries that are signatories to the agreement accountable, so that the necessary action can be taken to tackle climate change.<br /> <br /> The Paris Agreement, signed last December, brings all nations into a common cause to undertake efforts to combat climate change, and to adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.<br /> <br /> It also has a central aim to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.<br /> <br /> To reach the goals of the agreement, a framework will be put in place to support action by developing countries.<br /> <br /> The minister of state told the gathering that the United Kingdom is leading by example with massive financial support to the most vulnerable countries and has enacted laws for the reduction of emissions.<br /> <br /> Through their support, developing countries will be able to &ldquo;strengthen their resilience, and manage the risks of a changing climate&rdquo;, she said.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, director of the Climate Studies Group, at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Professor Michael Taylor, called for climate planning to be included in all development projects.<br /> <br /> For her part, director of the Climate Change Division in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Una May Gordon, used the occasion to outline the various projects that Jamaica has embarked on as part of the country&rsquo;s Climate Change mitigation activities.<br /> <br /> &mdash; JIS http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340162/233190_60117_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340163/233189_60116_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13340165/233188_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, October 08, 2016 2:00 AM Sandals Whitehouse seeking to develop young reef and Forest Keepers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Sandals-Whitehouse-seeking-to-develop-young-reef-and-Forest-Keepers_76229 WHITEHOUSE, Westmoreland - Sandals Whitehouse has taken a bold move towards environmental preservation by inducting 21 impressionable young minds into its Reef and Forest Keepers Club, as part of a pilot programme geared at creating future environmental stewards and encouraging a love for the outdoors. <br /> <br /> The programme, a first of its kind for the luxury-included resort, was launched during a recent five-day Science and Environment camp at the resort. <br /> <br /> The camp engaged children ages eight to12 years old from the neighbouring communities of Beeston Spring, Culloden and Whitehouse, as well as children from Black River and Savanna-la-Mar. <br /> <br /> The initiative was supported by the Scientific Research Council (SRC), University of Technology (UTech) Environmental Sciences Division in the Faculty of Science and Sport, and several other community and local partners. <br /> <br /> When asked why the resort decided to embark on the initiative, the resort&rsquo;s Environment, Health and Safety Manager, Vilma Smith, noted that Sandals Resorts International (SRI) prides itself on having developed a robust set of environmental best practices and continuously supports efforts towards environmental protection. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Creating a truly sustainable programme towards the preservation of our natural resources requires the involvement of the larger community, and our number one safeguard for the future is our children,&rdquo; said Smith. <br /> <br /> Throughout the camp, children were given instruction in five general science classroom sessions, which covered topics including: photosynthesis and plants; ecology and water pollution, and food chains/food webs, as well as the lionfish as an invasive species. <br /> <br /> The highlights of the camp, however, were the field work sessions and trips incorporated into each day&rsquo;s itinerary. <br /> <br /> Among the field trips was an educational tour of the Sandals Whitehouse 16,000 square-foot plant nursery, which houses over 70 varieties of plants. The children were also treated to a glass-bottom boat tour of the Whitehouse Marine Sanctuary with marine wardens from the Sandals Foundation. <br /> <br /> The experience allowed the children an opportunity to observe the reef and point out some of the sea creatures, which they were learning about in their class sessions. <br /> <br /> A tour of the Beeston Spring Bee Farm proved to be very interesting and informative to the campers, as well as camp facilitators. <br /> <br /> Paulette Blackwood, head of the faculty of applied sciences at the Belmont Academy and one of the camp&rsquo;s facilitators, said that the Science and Environment Camp was particularly useful, as it provided an opportunity for the participants to learn science concepts in a practical way. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Science needs to be taught in a manner where children can see the practical application of the concepts and not learn the concepts in a vacuum. Throughout the camp, the children were able to transfer and apply the theoretical concepts to the practical aspects through the field visits, and this really captured their attention and piqued their interest,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> For Sianeffe Campbell, another camp participant, the camp was informative. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I really loved the sessions about the ocean and the marine life and it has definitely left me more interested in science and the natural environment which we often take for granted,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> Christine O&rsquo;Sullivan, lecturer in the Environmental Sciences Division at UTech, who was also a facilitator at the camp, believes &ldquo;we can always do more to get children involved and interested in the environment&rdquo;, as he applauded Sandals Whitehouse for their latest effort. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Jamaica already has some great programmes, like the Jamaica Environment Trust&rsquo;s School Environment Programme, but obviously not every student can be reached so the more that&rsquo;s done the greater the impact,&rdquo; she stressed. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s important to incorporate information on the environment into every aspect of society so that children and adults alike become more environmentally aware and better stewards for Jamaica&rsquo;s natural resources.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335199/232715_59786_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335200/232716_59787_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13335197/232717_59788_repro_w300.jpg Local Environment Thursday, October 06, 2016 12:00 AM PHOTO: Watching Matthew http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Watching-Matthew_76162 People stand on the coast on the outskirts of Kingston on Monday watching the surf generated by Hurricane Matthew, then a Category four system barrelling towards the island. It has since moved easterly and has made landfall in Haiti. Matthew is forecast to move north-west across sections of Cuba, up through the Turks & Caicos Islands and The Bahamas, before impacting the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13333224/232570_59688_repro_w300.jpg Local News Thursday, October 06, 2016 2:00 AM Tilapia to the rescue http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Tilapia-to-the-rescue_76142 BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter MONTEGO BAY, St James &mdash; Internationally renown marine scientist and artist Guy Harvey is recommending that Jamaicans expand fish farming ventures and consume more freshwater fish, at least until the dwindling sea fish stock is replenished.<br /> <br /> Harvey was speaking to the Jamaica Observer at the Montego Bay Yacht Club recently, following a day of fishing at the 55th staging of the Annual International Marlin Tournament sponsored by Sandals, J Wray & Nephew and a host of others.<br /> <br /> His visit to the island where he grew up is also to film a documentary on his 30 years as a marine artist.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Tilapia, tilapia,tilapia, tilapia; it will be the saviour of the entire Caribbean in the long run,&rdquo; said Harvey.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;...The option is to become much more efficient at fish farming and supply the market through fish farming. I know you import a lot of fish. Importers are buying the fish from somewhere else. The thing is to become sustainably effective in your own country as far as possible,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> He conceded that many fish lovers do not appreciate the taste of freshwater species, but argued that the taste can be acquired over time. That&rsquo;s crucial, he said, in an environment where &ldquo;you have a lot of people with access to the resource with no control, so they go in every day setting fish traps and hand lines&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I understand that [not everyone loves freshwater fish], but over a period of time... and you can use your imagination as a chef and dress up the fish a little better and get rid of that slightly muddy freshwater taste you get out of it but things have to change or otherwise there won&rsquo;t be anything left,&rdquo; Harvey argued.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;And then what are these fishermen going to do? What are they going to do? It&rsquo;s come down to that.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The marine biologist noted that the other options to conserve fish stocks include a combination of strategies, including the establishment of marine parks and better enforcement of the laws governing their use.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We find that the combination of marine parks and enforcement, and closed seasons, and fishing licences all work. It&rsquo;s a corporative approach to fisheries management over a long-term period,&rdquo; he suggested.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Let the resource come back, because it will. Marine ecosystems are very resilient; they will bounce back in five or 10 years if you stop fishing completely in certain areas, and you get that trickle-over effect from the parks into places where people can fish. [That way] we build back the population and fishing [becomes] sustainable,&rdquo; the sceintist continued.<br /> <br /> Harvey&rsquo;s depictions of sea life, especially of sport fish such as marlin, are popular with sport fishermen and have been reproduced in prints, posters, T-shirts, jewellery, clothing, and other consumer items. Harvey is also a very vocal and active advocate for marine conservation, having established the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, an organisation that funds scientific research and educational initiatives.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13333223/232559_59680_repro_w300.jpg Local Environment Wednesday, October 05, 2016 12:00 AM Sandals awards winners of parrotfish competition http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Sandals-awards-winners-of-parrotfish-competition_76137 Almost 30 team members from Sandals resorts across the region have walked away with prizes in cluding weekends for two, day passes, and excursions from Island Routes Caribbean Adventures following the conclusion of the resort company&rsquo;s internal Parrotfish Poster Competition.<br /> <br /> The competition, one component of the company&rsquo;s Save the Parrotfish, Save Our Islands campaign, launched in partnership with the Jamaica Observer, is designed to increase awareness of the decreasing parrotfish population and its many implications on the marine environment, food security and the livelihoods of those who depend on the ocean.<br /> <br /> The campaign will also lobby for improved parrotfish management systems, whether through the introduction of a closed season for parrotfish, adding the parrotfish to the protected species list or through the implementation of stricter sanctions for catching undersized fish.<br /> <br /> In addition to public education and advocacy, the campaign also features a robust internal campaign among staff at all resorts. The poster competition charged team members to create posters, whether digitally or by hand, to showcase the plight of the parrotfish and highlight ways in which the species could be protected. Each resort selected the top three posters, awarding first, second and third place prizes.<br /> <br /> Oniel Stoddart, acting landscaping manager at Sandals Negril, was among the competition&rsquo;s first place winners. Excited by his win and the opportunity to shed light on an important issue, he said, &ldquo;I entered the competition simply because I&rsquo;ve learnt the importance of parrotfish and their value to the ocean. I used to be a fanatic eater of parrotfish and since I have learnt so much about them and how important they are, I now see how we are damaging our shores and beaches not knowing it&rsquo;s the same parrotfish that we like to eat that are responsible for the very sand that we stroll on.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Stoddart said the movement to save the parrotfish was especially significant to him because working in the hospitality sector he recognises the connection between the species, coral reefs, beaches and the tourism product.<br /> <br /> He added, &ldquo;I was inspired by my work environment, knowing that we cater to guests from all over who come for our beaches. I want to ensure that we have returning visitors.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart, said he was pleased with the response from team members. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m happy to see our team members so excited and engaged by this campaign. We got some really good entries and I&rsquo;m really pleased with the traction the overall campaign is receiving. This is an important issue and I urge all Jamaicans to take notice and take action.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Since its launch, the Save the Parrotfish, Save Our Islands campaign has seen extensive activities including on-resort promotions, newspaper articles and advertisements, consultations with fisherfolk and other stakeholders, the launch of a social media campaign as well as a national jingle competition presented in association with Rainforest Seafoods Limited, another corporate entity which has publicly pledged support for the cause.<br /> <br /> The jingle competition invites Jamaicans to record a 30-second song promoting the importance of the parrotfish and including the words &lsquo;save our parrotfish, save our islands&rsquo;. Winners will be rewarded with a weekend for two at Sandals and gift vouchers from Rainforest Seafoods.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13333232/232552_59687_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13333235/232546_59686_repro_w300.jpg Local Environmental Wednesday, October 05, 2016 12:00 AM Clean-up day at Rocky Point http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Clean-up-day-at-Rocky-Point_75984 Rocky Point, Clarendon &mdash; Equipped with gloves, rakes, data cards and garbage bags, some 40 volunteers descended on a small, secluded beach along the Rocky Point Port Road in Clarendon recently to participate in the 31st Annual International Coastal Cleanup Day coordinated by the Leo Club of Clarendon. <br /> <br /> A news release said members of the community, the Lions Club of Clarendon, Clarendon Youth Council, May Pen Police Youth Club, Hayes Police Youth Club and Staines Early Childhood and Preparatory School were among those involved in the clean-up. <br /> <br /> Household items, old shoes, plastic products of all kind, glass bottles, styrofoam containers and personal care items were among some of the most common pieces of trash picked up by the volunteers. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;International Coastal Cleanup Day is a major calendar event for us because we are very passionate about environmental preservation. It was appalling to see the condition that this coastal area was in, so we decided to take a step outside of our comfort zone to coordinate our own clean-up instead of assisting other organisations as we normally do. This was made possible through guidance and funding from the Jamaica Environment Trust&rdquo; said president, Tissona Ormsby. <br /> <br /> She said she was pleased with the turnout and the results of the clean-up. &ldquo;Initially, we were expecting only 25 volunteers to show up, but we nearly doubled our expectations. We have transformed this area into an oasis thanks to the volunteers who put their hands, heart and sweat into keeping our coast clean,&rdquo; said Ormsby. <br /> <br /> Community member Taralace Farquhar also expressed joy after witnessing the transformation of the coastline. &ldquo;I joined this beach clean-up because it is close to home and I like being involved in activities that will benefit society. It was certainly satisfying to see the natural beauty of the beach after most of the garbage was removed,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> International Coastal Cleanup Day has been coordinated globally by the Ocean Conservancy since 1985 and locally by the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) since 2008. According to the news release, it is the largest one-day volunteer event in the world and is also used to educate people about where their waste goes, and its impact on the environment.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13329077/232288_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13329081/232287_w300.jpg Central News Monday, October 03, 2016 12:00 AM Jamaica sets year-end deadline to ratify Paris Agreement http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Jamaica-sets-year-end-deadline-to-ratify-Paris-Agreement_75792 JAMAICA is expected to deposit its instruments of ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change by year end.<br /> <br /> The Paris Agreement emphasises that climate change is a threat to human society and that there is a growing need for international collaboration, deep reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, establishment of a framework for the involvement of local communities and people with disabilities, and the empowerment of women, among others.<br /> <br /> Speaking with JIS News<br /> <br /> on Thursday, project administrator at the Climate Change Division in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Clifford Mahlung, said the process towards ratification will require Government&rsquo;s approval, which is under way.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are awaiting the assessment from the Attorney General&rsquo;s Department. We are close to hearing from them, and that will allow us to make a submission to Cabinet and then Cabinet will decide that we should go ahead and ratify,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> The Paris Agreement was adopted by 196 countries at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21) held in Paris in December 2015.<br /> <br /> Mahlung said that the ratification means that Jamaica will become a party to the Paris Agreement &ldquo;and so we can become involved and participate in all aspects of the work of the agreement&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> He said that to date, 61 countries have ratified the agreement, adding that there have been commitments from the European Union and India to sign on before the end of the year.<br /> <br /> The Agreement calls on nations that have ratified to pursue their highest possible ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions using Nationally Determined Contributions and monitored through a reporting mechanism.<br /> <br /> The overall goal of the Paris Agreement is for countries to take action to keep global temperature rise this century below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels while at the same time using best efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.<br /> <br /> The Agreement will come into force when the total number of countries that have ratified the convention accounts for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13322814/DDP-1_w300.jpg Local News Saturday, October 01, 2016 12:00 AM Wray & Nephew&rsquo;s US$7-M Wastewater Plan http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Wray---Nephew-s-US-7-M-Wastewater-Plan_75356 BY KIMONE THOMPSON Associate editor — features thompsonk@jamaicaobserver.com With its tufts of brown grass interspersed by patches of bare, parched earth, the football field at Wray & Nephew&rsquo;s Spanish Town Road complex has certainly seen better days. But there is a rescue plan afoot for the plot which offers diversion for scores of employees. <br /> <br /> The local wines and spirits producer, which is owned by the Italian-based Campari Group, has installed a wastewater treatment plant from which it intends to irrigate its green areas once it obtains the requisite permit from the environment regulators. That end is still some months off, the company says, as it is still in the commissioning phase of the fully automated plant which has a capacity of 3,000 metres cube per day and cost US$7 million. <br /> <br /> The move, production supply chain director Jorge Gonzalez told the Jamaica Observer, is an investment not only in the environment but in the company&rsquo;s future too, as it positively impacts the bottomline.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Every environmental investment has positive impact. First, it has a positive impact on the brand image and on the company. It reflects who you are and [shows that] you can be trusted as a corporate citizen if you not only comply with the laws but are, in a way, protecting your brand. The second [reason] is sustainability. The operations can be supported non-stop, so you can say the first business argument is to estbalish an operation that is fluid and that will not have any obstacles to run.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It also fosters pride among employees and pride at the place you work is an important thing for us. Reducing the carbon footprint for us is the right thing to do and also it&rsquo;s a commercial message so it helps to build the bottomline,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> Wray and Nephew previously treated sewage generated on its premises at 234 Spanish Town Road, but the new facility has expanded on that by incorporating sewage, trade effluent and rainwater run-off from all three of the company&rsquo;s properties along the industrial belt.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We linked sewage and trade effluent generated by our north complex, 473 Spanish Town Road, to this treatment plant. So everything we generate at 234, 473 and 232 comes to this plant to be treated,&rdquo;engineering director Kevin Cadogan said.<br /> <br /> The process, he explained, takes all effluent and sewage collected in underground tanks, or sumps, pumps them to an equalisation tank where they are made to interact with air to start the digestion process. A rotary screen drum separates the trash and debris from the liquid. From the equalisation tank, the brown liquid goes to the anoxic selector, then to the oxidation tank where more bacterial decomposition takes place. From there, it&rsquo;s over to the clarifier where solids are separated from clean water and sent for disinfection and eventual discharge.<br /> <br /> The treated water is expelled into the sea via the gully that runs behind Wray & Nephew and through the community of Seaview Gardens.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;All the water that we throw back into nature is treated 100 per cent,&rdquo; Gonzalez told Environment Watch.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not coded as potable but it&rsquo;s in perfect condition and is almost drinkable,&rdquo; he added. <br /> <br /> Although the plant can treat 3,000 cubic metres of wastewater per day, it is currently operating at half that volume.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s designed to take our capacity needs for the next 10-15 years,&rdquo; the production supply chain director said.<br /> <br /> Speaking to the plant&rsquo;s automated features, production director Dwight Balli called it &ldquo;one of the few privately owned fully automated plants in Jamaica right now&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have a full control panel with real-time automation, so it doesn&rsquo;t just give you what the plant&rsquo;s current state is, but it actually adjusts itself in terms of chemical feeds and air flows based on the activity of the plant,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> The expansion of wastewater treatment, Gonzalez said was in line with the parent company&rsquo;s environmental policies.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Campari way is to be compliant with the regulations and reduce the carbon footprint to be responsible with the environment and be sustainable in everything we do,&rdquo; he told Environment Watch.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are also ISO-14000 certified, that&rsquo;s the environemtnal certification from ISO, part of the standards is to minimise our footprint in the use of natural resources, so this just falls right into that,&rdquo; Gonzalez said.<br /> <br /> What&rsquo;s more, the company is ISO-22000 certified, which is a food safety standard that mandates it to control all the materials in the production process and ensure that there is a solid recycling programme. As far as Wray & Nephew is concerned, that protects the consumer by preventing the re-use of materials in multiple processes, and reducing the potential for cross-contamination of products.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is a unique facility for the island,&rdquo; said Gonzalez. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s state of the art. The authorities have said we are setting the standard for the industry, and this is not cheap. It&rsquo;s an installation that cost US$7 million. That&rsquo;s an enormous amount of money and a big investment for the environment.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a long-term investment but it&rsquo;s the right investment because it&rsquo;s a return that continues over time,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13318163/231164_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13318161/231163_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13318162/231165_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13318165/231167_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13318166/231166_w300.jpg Local Environment Wednesday, September 28, 2016 2:00 AM Sandals Whitehouse grooming young reefers, forest keepers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Sandals-Whitehouse-grooming-young-reefers--forest-keepers_75041 SANDALS Whitehouse has taken a bold move towards environmental preservation by inducting 21 impressionable young minds into its Reef and Forest Keepers Club &mdash; part of a pilot programme geared at creating future environmental stewards and encouraging a love for the outdoors.<br /> <br /> The programme, a first of its kind for the luxury-included resort, was unofficially launched during a recent five-day science and environment camp at the resort.<br /> <br /> The camp engaged kids ages eight to 12 years old from the neighbouring communities of Beeston Spring, Culloden and Whitehouse with some kids visiting from Black River and Savanna-La-Mar.<br /> <br /> The initiative was supported by the Scientific Research Council, University of Technology&rsquo;s (UTech) Environmental Sciences Division in the Faculty of Science and Sport, among other community and local partners.<br /> <br /> When asked why the resort decided to embark on this initiative, the resort&rsquo;s Environment, Health and Safety Manager Vilma Smith noted that Sandals Resorts International (SRI) prides itself on having developed a robust set of environmental best practices and continuously supports efforts towards environmental protection.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Creating a truly sustainable programme towards the preservation of our natural resources requires the involvement of the larger community, however and our number one safeguard for the future is our children,&rdquo; said Smith.<br /> <br /> Throughout the camp, kids were given instruction in five general science classroom sessions which covered topics including; photosynthesis and plants; ecology and water pollution; food chains/food webs and the Lionfish as an invasive species, among others.<br /> <br /> The highlights of the camp, however, were the field work sessions and trips incorporated into each day&rsquo;s itinerary.<br /> <br /> Among the field trips was an educational tour of the Sandals Whitehouse 16,000-square foot plant nursery, which houses over 70 varieties of plants. The children were also treated to a glass-bottom boat tour of the Whitehouse Marine Sanctuary with marine wardens from the Sandals Foundation. This experience allowed them an opportunity to observe the reef and point out some of the sea creatures which they were learning about in their class sessions.<br /> <br /> A tour of the Beeston Spring Bee Farm proved to be very interesting and informative to the campers and camp facilitators as well.<br /> <br /> Paulette Blackwood, head of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the Belmont Academy and one of the camp&rsquo;s facilitators, said that the science and environment camp was particularly useful as it provided an opportunity for the participants to learn science concepts in a practical way.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Science needs to be taught in a manner where children can see the practical application of the concepts and not learn the concepts in a vacuum. Throughout the camp, the children were able to transfer and apply the theoretical concepts to the practical aspects through the field visits, and this really captured their attention and piqued their interest,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Sandals Whitehouse Science and Environmental Camp was very informative,&rdquo; said Sianeffe Campbell, another camp participant. &ldquo;I really loved the sessions about the ocean and the marine life and it has definitely left me more interested in science and the natural environment which we often take for granted.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Christine O&rsquo;Sullivan, lecturer in the Environmental Sciences Division at UTech who was also a facilitator at the camp, believes we can always do more to get children involved and interested in the environment and applauded Sandals Whitehouse for this latest effort.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Jamaica already has some great programmes, like the Jamaica Environment Trust&rsquo;s School&rsquo;s Environment Programme, but obviously not every school or student can be reached so the more that&rsquo;s done, the greater the impact,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s important to incorporate information on the environment into every aspect of society so that children and adults alike become more environmentally aware and better stewards for Jamaica&rsquo;s natural resources.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Sandals Whitehouse is intent on playing its part in this regard and their emerging Reef and Forest Keepers Club is one such tool that the luxury-included resort plans on using to accomplish this. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13309216/230498_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13309215/230502_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13309214/230503_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13309218/230501_w300.jpg Local Environment Saturday, September 24, 2016 2:00 AM Climate change dominates opening of 71st session of UN Assembly http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Climate-change-dominates-opening-of-71st-session-of-UN-Assembly_74769 NEW YORK &mdash; The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) kicked off on Tuesday here with more than 140 heads of state and government and a yearly tradition of speeches made to the 193 member states of the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. <br /> <br /> This year marks the 71st session of the UNGA, convened under the theme &lsquo;The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world&rsquo;, with particular focus on Goal #13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. <br /> <br /> This high-level week with world leaders is an opportunity for the Kingdom of Morocco to promote the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) set to take place in Marrakech, November 7 to 18. Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, will be on hand for a series of side-events and bilateral meetings aimed at reinforcing and promoting Morocco&rsquo;s climate initiatives, including those on energy, agriculture, capacity building, adaptation and finance, discussing global warming issues affecting the most vulnerable countries and island states, and mobilising the international community for an ambitious global climate action agenda in Marrakech to implement the Paris Agreement.<br /> <br /> United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hosted a special event to encourage parties to ratify the agreement. According to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, as of Tuesday, 29 parties have ratified the agreement, accounting for 40.12 per cent of global emissions. The Kingdom of Morocco will be among approximately 20 countries to deposit their instruments of ratification here during this week&rsquo;s proceedings, inching closer to the 55 per cent necessary for legal entry into force when the agreement takes effect and becomes legally binding for those countries that have joined.<br /> <br /> During his opening remarks, Ban underscored the importance of the climate change agenda. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;With the Paris Agreement we are tackling the defining challenge of our time. We have no time to lose. I urge you to bring the Agreement into force before the end of year. We need 26 more countries equalling 15 per cent of global emissions for entry into force,&rdquo; he stated.<br /> <br /> US President Barack Obama, during his last speech to the UNGA, called on the international community to keep working together to solve global issues including climate change. &ldquo;The Paris Agreement gives us a framework to act, but only if we scale up our ambition,&rdquo; he stated.<br /> <br /> UNGA President Peter Thomson, the first from a Pacific Island nation (Fiji), underscored the need to act on climate change to avoid its negative impacts. &ldquo;We are steadily moving towards the ratification of the Paris Agreement. We must not delay any further.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Brazilian President Michel Temer affirmed his country&rsquo;s commitment to fighting global warming, saying: &ldquo;Tomorrow I will deposit Brazil&rsquo;s instruments of ratification of the Paris Agreement.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> As the first African head of state to address the UNGA, Idriss D&eacute;by Itno, president of Chad, highlighted the importance of working with the international community to fight global warming on the continent. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not about giving charity to Africa, it&rsquo;s about true partnership with Africa to tackle climate and global challenges,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The traditional roll call of speeches to the UNGA starts with the United Nations secretary general, followed by the President of the UNGA, president of Brazil (first Member State to speak in the general debate since the 10th session of the General Assembly) and president of the United States (host country). For all other member states, the speaking order is based on the level of representation, preference and other criteria such as geographic balance. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12418366/Climate_w300.jpg Local News Friday, September 23, 2016 2:00 AM Guy Harvey in Jamaica for 30th anniversary documentary, MoBay Marlin Tournament http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Guy-Harvey-in-Jamaica-for-30th-anniversary-documentary--MoBay-Marlin-Tournament_74866 German-born, Jamaican-raised conservationist, artist and marine biologist Guy Harvey is now in Jamaica to participate in the 55th Montego Bay Annual International Marlin Tournament and to continue documenting his life&rsquo;s work in both the art and marine life industries. <br /> <br /> Accompanying Harvey are his family, friends and videographer George Schellenger, who is recording the Jamaican aspect of Harvey&rsquo;s life in the documentary he&rsquo;s currently filming, to be released early next year.<br /> <br /> The documentary is being produced in celebration of Harvey&rsquo;s 30 years in the business of marine art, for which he has become known worldwide and has grown to include apparel and other lifestyle items. <br /> <br /> Schellenger, who has worked with Harvey for the past six years on some 13 documentaries, will capture the artist&rsquo;s visit to his home and other major influences of his life and work. <br /> <br /> So far, they have filmed in Darliston where Harvey grew up. Additionally, he and his team took a tour of the border of Darliston and Bethel Town in an effort to record, in essence, his &lsquo;how it all began&rsquo; story, how his parents influenced the person he&rsquo;s become and how relevant Jamaica is to that story.<br /> <br /> In addition to filming a very significant piece of his life, Harvey is in the second city to spread the message of conservation to this year&rsquo;s Montego Bay marlin tournament participants and anglers. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Most important is this short, to-the-point presentation that I will be giving about why there&rsquo;s a need to conserve billfish, why we need to study them and what we can do to help as citizen scientists,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> In fact, Harvey has been working closely with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Jamaica and introduced catch and release to Jamaica in 1989. He has, over the years, worked at all tournaments across the island &mdash; Montego Bay, Falmouth, Discovery Bay and Port Antonio &mdash; from 1973 to 1993 where over 2,000 marlins were caught and released.<br /> <br /> When asked about the future of marine life in Jamaica, Harvey expressed confidence that things can and will change as long as people are interested and engaged in conservationist methods of sport fishing. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Things have to change because of the rate of extraction, the growth of the human population, the demand on seafood,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The long-term solution should be the next thing&hellip; what are we going to do about it?&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The 55th Montego Bay Annual International Marlin Tournament began on Monday, September 19 with the Canoe Tournament and will run until tomorrow, ending with the Raft up and Beach Party at Doctor&rsquo;s Cave Beach. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13306219/230159_57252_repro_w300.jpg Local News Friday, September 23, 2016 2:00 AM CDB exec says region must find new ways to manage marine resources http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/CDB-exec-says-region-must-find-new-ways-to-manage-marine-resources_74765 BRIDGETOWN,Barbados (CMC) &mdash; A senior official of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says regional countries need to find new, efficient and sustainable approaches to managing terrestrial and marine resources.<br /> <br /> CDB Director of Projects Daniel Best told the first biennial Caribbean Coastal Conference here that this initial dialogue on the coastal agenda in the Caribbean should lay the groundwork for galvanising action, improving policy, and guiding management of this critical resource.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;More than 60 per cent of our region&rsquo;s population live in coastal areas and almost all of the region&rsquo;s main urban centres, critical infrastructure such as ports and transportation corridors, are located less than one kilometre from the coast,&rdquo; Best said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Our coastal environments not only provide these socio-economic services, but also important ecological services,to which we hardly give serious consideration: storm protection, erosion control, freshwater storage and retention, nutrient recycling and atmospheric and climate control,&rdquo; he told delegates to the conference that ended here last week.<br /> <br /> Best noted that in the Caribbean, there has been increasing conflict around the use of coastal space. Growing environmental challenges also pose a threat to the sustainable use of these resources.<br /> <br /> He noted that, while climate change and climate variability are expected to further exacerbate these already complex coastal management issues, efforts have to be made to address the situation.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is no easy task. It requires a number of key actions: applying cross-sectoral approaches to policy and management; the development of national and local plans appropriate for local conditions and circumstances to prevent damage and restore infrastructure where it occurs; the development of tools and guidance resources; and capturing, archiving and giving stakeholders access to a range of data and information needs,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> The two-day conference on the advancement of the coastal agenda was organised in collaboration with Caribbean coastal engineering company, Smith Warner International Ltd, and was attended by representatives from the CDB&rsquo;s borrowing member countries.<br /> <br /> The delegates discussed a number of topics, including the characteristics and economics of coastal resources; regulating and managing the coastal zone; underused and overlooked critical tools for sustainable coastal management; and climate change implications and solutions.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303780/228882__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303781/229982__w300.jpg Local News Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:00 AM International Clean-up Day working in the west http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/International-Clean-up-Day-working-in-the-west_74803 BY ANTHONY LEWIS Observer West writer LUCEA, Hanover &mdash; Project manager at the Rotary Club of Lucea Mervin Spence says it appears that residents of Lucea and its environs are becoming more conscious about the need for a clean environment. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;People are getting more educated about garbage and, speaking to the community, they are more passionate about keeping the community clean because they realise the health risk, especially with the Zika virus. A lot of them are talking about that they don&rsquo;t want their baby to born with small heads, so I think that is getting through to the public,&rdquo; Spence said. <br /> <br /> He was speaking with the Jamaica Observer West on Saturday during the International Coastal Clean-up Day project at the Seaview Drive Beach in Lucea. <br /> <br /> The day&rsquo;s activities were a joint effort between the Grand Palladium hotel in Hanover, the Rotary Club and Rotaract Club of Lucea and community members. <br /> <br /> The clean-up exercise started at the Bull&rsquo;s Bay Public Beach with Rotaract members who later joined with members of the elder counterpart, Rotary, and workers from the Grand Palladium Hotel along with community members &mdash; removing over 2,000 plastic bottles from the beach. <br /> <br /> But, despite the amount of garbage removed, the Rotary Club claimed that less garbage, including used condoms, were removed this year in comparison to 2015. <br /> <br /> President of the Rotary Club of Lucea, Winfield Murray, said with the club&rsquo;s motto, &lsquo;Giving Service Above Thyself&rsquo;, it was fitting for it to partner with the Grand Palladium Hotel over the past four years in International Coastal Clean-up projects. <br /> <br /> For her part, the Grand Palladium&rsquo;s Quality Control Manager Shalieann Brown said, apart from the hotel being a sponsor of the beach area in Lucea, management was fully aware of the importance of protecting the beach, noting that there is more than one sea turtle nesting site near the hotel. <br /> <br /> Meanwhile, in the neighbouring parish of St James, about 200 volunteers turned up at the Closed Harbour Beach, popularly known as &lsquo;Dump Up Beach&rsquo; to participate in the major, one-day beach clean-up exercise. <br /> <br /> An estimated 1, 600 pounds of garbage was collected during the St James activities. <br /> <br /> The project, which was sponsored by the Sandals Foundation in the Montego Bay region, in partnership with the Montego Bay Marine Park Trust, is part of a continued initiative aimed at raising awareness about environmental practices that negatively impact the island&rsquo;s natural resources, and encourages citizens and other major stakeholders within the tourism industry to be mindful of issues relating to improper disposal of used materials. <br /> <br /> Regional Public Relations Manager Khadine Daley, noted that &ldquo;each year, the Sandals Foundation ambassadors from Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Carlyle are eager to venture out into the communities to engage in environmental projects such as these and to work alongside other groups and stakeholders&rdquo;. <br /> <br /> International Coastal Clean-up Day was started 31 years ago by Ocean Conservancy as an annual global day of action. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303694/230043__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303693/230042__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13303692/230044__w300.jpg Local Environment Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:00 AM 16,000 lbs of garbage! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/16-000-lbs-of-garbage-_74644 Volunteers from corporate companies, schools, social clubs, etc, who worked the Palisadoes Strip in Kingston on Saturday morning &mdash; observed around the world as International Coastal Cleanup &mdash; carted off 1,100 bags of garbage weighing some 16,000 lbs, according to initial estimates from Jamaica Environment Trust (JET).<br /> <br /> That does not include the amount removed from the 143 other land and underwater sites across the island where the activity was carried out.<br /> <br /> Among the find were old refrigerators, air conditioning units, fans, television sets, tyres and other car parts, boat parts, over 60 pounds of fibreglass, items of clothing, tobacco packaging, and piles and piles of plastic beverage bottles and styrofoam food containers.<br /> <br /> In the Palisadoes area alone there were 2,500 volunteers &mdash; 1,500 at Fort Rocky, and 1,000 shared between the end of the stone revetment close to the round-about at the airport and the harbour side of the road to Port Royal.<br /> <br /> The numbers are an improvement on last year&rsquo;s, which featured some 1,900 volunteers.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We realised that we could clean a larger area if we spread the volunteers out over a larger area,&rdquo; JET&rsquo;s Deputy CEO Suzanne Stanley told the Jamaica Observer, explaining the addition of the two satellite sites to the flagship Fort Rocky location. <br /> <br /> In terms of islandwide figures, JET&rsquo;s target was to surpass 10,000 volunteers.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The initial numbers suggest that we may not have reached 10,000 islandwide like we wanted, but we won&rsquo;t be sure until about a month from now when all the data has been submitted,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> Still, according to Stanley, Saturday&rsquo;s activity was a success. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve got really positive feedback,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> ICC is coordinated locally by JET on behalf of Ocean Conservancy, the US non-profit that started the initiative 30 years ago.<br /> <br /> Below are scenes from several sites across the island. See more on Page 19.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300954/229707_56989_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300945/229706_56990_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300949/229705_56991_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300940/229277_56992_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300950/229847_56993_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300939/229846_56994_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300944/229858_56995_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300947/229861_56998_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300946/229862_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300953/229865_57002_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300951/229867_57004_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300942/229869_57005_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300941/229870_57006_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300948/229873_57007_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300952/229874_57009_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300937/229875_57010_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300956/229864_57001_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300957/229863_57000_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300958/229866_57003_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300959/229860_56997_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13300960/229856_56996_repro_w300.jpg Local Environment Wednesday, September 21, 2016 12:00 AM PHOTO: Hellshire Beach clean-up http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Hellshire-Beach-clean-up_74442 Claudine McCalla Miller (centre) Scotiabank director, employee consultation explains to a group of Scotia volunteers the serious impact of plastic on marine life and the ecosystem. McCalla Miller was at the start of the beach clean-up at Hellshire Beach on Saturday. (Photo: Collin Reid) http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13296924/229274_w300.jpg Local News Monday, September 19, 2016 2:00 AM &lsquo;Land of soda bottles and styrofoam boxes&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/-Land-of-soda-bottles-and-styrofoam-boxes-_73777 Just days ahead of International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) Day this Saturday, when thousands of volunteers will work to clear 142 beach and underwater sites across the island of garbage, one private sector manager is deploring the act of irresponsible garbage disposal, while urging Jamaicans at large to support the one-day initiative. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Jamaica would not be called the land of wood and water if it were being named today. It would be called the &lsquo;land of soda bottles and styrofoam boxes,&rsquo;&rdquo; said Chris Hind, general manager of JN General Insurance Company (JNGI). &ldquo;Too many people dump their rubbish anywhere that is convenient, and much of this waste ends up along the sea coast.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> A team of 50 of Hind&rsquo;s staff and their family members were among the volunteers that worked the four-mile Fort Rocky Beach on the Palisadoes peninsula last year, and they are planning to be part of the effort this year as well.<br /> <br /> According to data from Ocean Conservancy, the United States agency that coordinates the one-day clean-up project, more than 80 per cent of trash on beaches in the Caribbean comes from the dumping of fast food containers and sports and recreational activities. The garbage remains in the environment for hundreds of years, threatening fish and other marine life.<br /> <br /> ICC Day is coordinated locally by Jamaica Environment Trust. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;As an insurer, we at JNGI are involved in insuring the value of assets; however, assets lose their value and become more prone to natural hazards in a degraded environment, and a garbage-strewn beach has a negative impact on the people, as well as the wildlife which use it,&rdquo; the JNGI head stressed.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13284267/228404__w300.jpg Local Environment Wednesday, September 14, 2016 12:00 AM Caribbean Sea earns US$400B a year http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Caribbean-Sea-earns-US-400B-a-year_73840 A World Bank report released yesterday has put the economic value of the Caribbean Sea to the region &mdash; to include all its services, from fishing, transport, trade, tourism, mining, waste disposal, energy, carbon sequestration and drug development &mdash; at US$407 billion per year based on 2012 data, or just shy of 18 per cent of the region&rsquo;s total GDP. <br /> <br /> The figure, it concedes, is an underestimation because the region&rsquo;s ocean economy to date &ldquo;is not well measured or understood&rdquo;. Nonetheless, it is projected to nearly double by 2050. In tandem with that increase in economic activity and earning is a projected rise in the number of threats to the ocean from the very activities which it supports.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In the Caribbean Sea, 70 per cent of beaches are eroded due to destroyed reefs, sea level rise, [and] excessive coastal development. Eighty per cent of living coral is now dead and lost, 85 per cent of wastewater is untreated and dumped into the sea. By 2030, plastics will surpass the weight of fish in the sea,&rdquo; said World Bank senior economist and co-author of the report, Pawan Patil. <br /> <br /> The other authors were John Virdin, Sylvia Michele Diaz, Julian Roberts, and Asha Singh.<br /> <br /> The team found, too, that 46,000 pieces of plastic are estimated to be afloat on every square mile of the ocean. That puts the Caribbean Sea&rsquo;s US$5-billion annual trade, its 200,000 direct jobs, its 100,000 ancillary services, food security for 40 million coastal inhabitants, and over US$2 billion in dive tourism at risk.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The goal, then, is to decouple economic growth from environmental decline,&rdquo; according to the report.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Caribbean needs the ocean as a source of wealth but it also needs to protect the ocean as a future source of wealth,&rdquo; World Bank Country Manager for the Caribbean Sophie Sirtaine said, stressing the need for the oceans to be sustainably developed. <br /> <br /> She was speaking at the media launch of the report at the World Bank&rsquo;s Washington office, in which journalists from the region participated via the Internet and phone.<br /> <br /> The report, titled &lsquo;Toward a Blue Economy: A promise for Sustainable Growth in the Caribbean,&rsquo; was released ahead of the third Our Ocean conference to be hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, DC, tomorrow and Thursday, and International Coastal Clean-up Day to be observed on Saturday.<br /> <br /> It examines how the blue economy &mdash; loosely defined as the sustainable balance of economic earning activities with preservation of the natural environment &mdash; may be achieved in the region. Among its key recommendations are:<br /> <br /> &bull; Develop and strengthen regional and national policies to better integrate the governance framework for the Caribbean Sea. Clear, coordinated mechanisms for integrated coastal and ocean management implemented across relevant sectors such as fisheries, tourism, transport, energy, and environment will be essential.<br /> <br /> &bull; Implement policies for a healthy, resilient, and productive marine environment in the Caribbean<br /> <br /> . Policies should explicitly reflect the principle that coastal communities&rsquo; livelihoods and the economy generally depend on the health of the oceans. <br /> <br /> &bull; Provide education and raise awareness about the blue economy<br /> <br /> . Many small Caribbean states have chronic gaps in skills in marine research, planning, and decision-making. Professional training programmes will need to shift gears to meet this demand. For the countries&rsquo; populations at large, basic education about the ocean&rsquo;s role in future prosperity will help raise awareness and create political will for needed changes.<br /> <br /> &bull; Ensure maritime surveillance, monitoring, and enforcement<br /> <br /> . In many countries, illegal fishing by neighbouring states is a key concern. Small Caribbean states need to enhance capabilities to identify threats to their maritime space in a timely manner by sharing and integrating intelligence, surveillance, and navigation systems into a common operating picture. Regional cooperation on these issues will allow sharing of limited resources. <br /> <br /> &bull; Build the infrastructure for a blue economy. Improved coastal and port infrastructure is a critical asset for economic growth and development in Caribbean small states. Once constructed, it must be protected, notably from flooding and sea surges, given its frequent siting near sea level. Rather than fortifying these assets, a more affordable approach is often to restore natural barriers that reduce hazards of flooding and erosion.<br /> <br /> &bull; Support research and development for a blue economy<br /> <br /> . Research & Development supports sustainable economic growth and job creation, as well as informed governance and regulation of the marine sector. At present, the region suffers from a general paucity of data relating to its waters. States would do well to buttress their own data collection and also to seek better access to the findings of the numerous international research vessels that cross the Caribbean Sea to carry out hydrographic/bathymetric surveys, biological sampling, and environmental characterisation.<br /> <br /> &bull; Support business development and sustainable finance. The region&rsquo;s countries need policies to promote investment in existing blue economy enterprises and in new ones. In the island states, the greatest potential for value addition and job creation may be in small and medium-sized enterprises within the blue economy value chains. Finance for start-up and help with capacity and technology development will be crucial for these firms.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The report highlights the opportunities offered by the Caribbean blue economy and identifies priority areas for action that can generate blue growth and opportunities for all Caribbean people, while ensuring that oceans and marine ecosystems are sustainably managed and used,&rdquo; said Sirtaine.<br /> <br /> The analysis was conducted in collaboration with The Commonwealth Secretariat, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. Work started in April 2015.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At 2.75 million square kilometres, the Caribbean Sea covers less than one per cent of the world&rsquo;s ocean area, but is a crucial resource in the Caribbean, in particular for the 40 million people who inhabit its small island states,&rdquo; the World Bank said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Caribbean Sea represents a tremendous economic asset for the region not only in terms of high-value natural resources such as fish stocks, oil and gas, but also as a global hot spot for marine diversity and tourism. Maintaining ocean health is synonymous with growing ocean wealth, and finding this balance is how we&rsquo;ll be able to better invest in the Caribbean blue economy,&rdquo; Patil added. <br /> <br /> The authors highlighted 10 principles for investment in a Caribbean blue economy and provide a framework for policymakers to set smart policy and measure economic and environmental benefits. They made reference to the sub-region of the Eastern Caribbean (EC), and described its Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy and Action Plan as a good first step, and profiled Grenada, the EC&rsquo;s &ldquo;first country to develop a vision for blue growth&rdquo;, which includes a high-value seafood export business to the US and nearby Martinique. <br /> <br /> Yesterday, Patil said finance ministers and central bank governors from the wider Caribbean have approached the World Bank in support of the thrust towards developing the blue economy and that there was hope that the discussions will lead to a larger project that will include the rest of the region.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not too late to turn the tide of any of the unsustainable actions now being practised,&rdquo; Patil told journalists.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13284268/228393__w300.jpg Local Environment Wednesday, September 14, 2016 2:00 AM Deadline for CCIC Accelerator programme is Sept 9 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Deadline-for-CCIC-Accelerator-programme-is-Sept-9_73191 APPLICATIONS for the Caribbean Climate Innovation Center&rsquo;s (CCIC) Accelerator Programme will close on Friday, September 9.<br /> <br /> The six-month programme, which offers mentorship, guidance as well as resources to entrepreneurs in the field of &lsquo;clean energy&rsquo;, seeks to promote climate change mitigation.<br /> <br /> Executive Director of the Scientific Research Council (SRC) Dr Cliff Riley, speaking at a JIS &lsquo;Think Tank&rsquo; yesterday, said the objectives of the programme are to enable the building of an ecosystem of &lsquo;clean energy&rsquo; in the Caribbean, to promote mentorship and help to promote economic development and job creation through clean technology. <br /> <br /> Through the programme, companies involved in the areas of energy efficiency; sustainable agriculture; renewable energy; waste-water management and resource-use efficiency, are given the opportunity to network as well as assistance in developing and bringing their product to market.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Several entrepreneurs were never trained [in entrepreneurial skills], how to put your business together, how to present that idea or how to pitch that idea to secure financing. Therefore, this is where the CCIC comes in,&rdquo; Dr Riley said. <br /> <br /> He is encouraging entrepreneurs to become a part of the programme. &ldquo;There are many opportunities here in Jamaica and in the region to support entrepreneurship and innovation and we want our people to fully capitalise on these opportunities,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Marketing officer at the CCIC, Cashyaka McDonald, said that companies will get access to a plethora of mentors from various industries, who will guide them in steps to take in improving their clean-energy business. They will also get access to grant funding through the CCIC.<br /> <br /> Companies wanting to participate should be between the &lsquo;proof of concept&rsquo; and &lsquo;seed&rsquo; phases of the innovation process. <br /> <br /> To register for the accelerator programme, persons may go to www.caribbeancic.org/launchit.<br /> <br /> The Accelerator Programme is undertaken by the CCIC to develop the clean technology ecosystem of the Caribbean. It is a three-year funded project being operated with a grant of US$1.5 million from the World Bank. <br /> <br /> The CCIC is a consortium under the Scientific Research Council (SRC) and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute in Trinidad. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13268643/227006__w300.jpg Local News Wednesday, September 07, 2016 12:00 AM