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 Jamin — Students restore local mangrove forests http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Jamin---Students-restore-local-mangrove-forests_67269 The following is an edited version of a blog called Planting the Seed by Amy Heemsoth, the Director of Education for the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation. The original version is to be published on the foundation’s website tomorrow, Thursday July 21. Local Environment Wed, 20 Jul 2016 02:00:00 GMT ISA gets PaperSmart http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/ISA-gets-PaperSmart_66983 There was visibly less paper at the opening of the International Seabed Authority’s (ISA) 22nd session at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday. Local Environment Wed, 13 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT USAID offers solar project financing training http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/USAID-offers-solar-project-financing-training_66984 The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) conducted a solar photovoltaic workshop in Kingston at the beginning of the month to help local organisations hurdle the barriers to financing solar energy projects. Local Environment Wed, 13 Jul 2016 02:00:00 GMT Don’t feed the plastic monster! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Don-t-feed-the-plastic-monster-_66208 The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) unveiled an 8-ft plastic monster at its Cross Roads head office last Friday to signal the start of a push towards the use of re-usable shopping bags as opposed to single-use plastic ones. Local Environment Wed, 06 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Save the parrotfish! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Save-the-parrotfish-_66229 Calls for a ban on parrotfish appear to be gaining traction in the island, with Sandals Resorts International’s (SRI’s) launch today of a region-wide campaign called Save the Parrotfish, Save Our Islands. Local Environment Wed, 06 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Jamaica’s energy policy: Obstruction or boost to wind and solar? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Jamaica-s-energy-policy--Obstruction-or-boost-to-wind-and-solar-_65002 The greatest advocate for low-cost solar and wind energy ought to be Government. Government could lead the transformation by example, mandating that all government-owned and -operated buildings, as well as the two international airports be powered by renewables. This, in addition to other measures articulated in my five previous pieces — including changing the power bidding policy-mandate to emphasise savings of fuel importation ahead of lowest cost of power, legalising income-producing crowd-funding for renewable projects by approved non-bank entities, and creating foreign exchange renewable energy investor accounts for taxpayers — would undoubtedly build investor confidence and attract low-cost capital. Other smaller policies are needed, but space does not permit. Local Environment Wed, 29 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Maryland wins! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Maryland-wins-_65486 Eight prep and primary schools from across the island were last Thursday awarded for campus-based environmental initiatives they implemented under the 2016 Schools Environment Programme (SEP). Local Environment Wed, 29 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT We’re not giving up Negril Chamber says of breakwater issue http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/We-re-not-giving-up-Negril-Chamber-says-of-breakwater-issue_64695 The Negril Chamber of Commerce signalled yesterday that its opposition to the building of a breakwater in Negril is still very much on the table and suggested that the Andrew Holness-led Government is issuing conflicting information to the public on the issue. Local Environment Wed, 22 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT 15-year window to benefit from low solar costs http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/15-year-window-to-benefit-from-low-solar-costs_64698 At the start of this series, a month ago, you learned about the powerful and predictive tools used in power planning — cost curves (also known as experience learning curves). Had we paid attention to these when planning, we would have been aware that the cost curves for fossil-fired power is upward and, in Jamaica’s case, are presently marginally higher than most renewables. Local Environment Wed, 22 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Caribbean now home to two shark sanctuaries http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Caribbean-now-home-to-two-shark-sanctuaries_64139 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The Caribbean boasts two new shark sanctuaries as the Cayman Islands and St Maarten on Wednesday declared their territorial waters covering some 49,190 square miles (119,631 square kilometres) closed to all commercial shark fishing. Local News Fri, 17 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT The comeback of electric cars http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/The-comeback-of-electric-cars_63211 In a Jamaica Observer article of April 2014, I made you aware that despite its use for electricity generation, oil is essentially a transportation fuel accounting for some 80 per cent of all oil sales worldwide. You can read that first article at: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Going-solar-can-reverse-the-dollar-slide_18720899 Local Environment Wed, 15 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Miami-Dade puts partial ban on Styrofoam http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Miami-Dade-puts-partial-ban-on-Styrofoam_63832 Florida’s Miami-Dade county voted last week to ban all Styrofoam coolers, cups, plates and take out containers from all public parks — including marinas, beaches, trails and playing fields — effective July 1, 2017. Local Environment Wed, 15 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Noranda takes Henry on greenhouse tour http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Noranda-takes-Henry-on-greenhouse-tour_63459 Transport and Mining Minister Mike Henry made his first visit to a mining entity since assuming office when he toured a section of the bauxite industry greenhouse farms being developed on Noranda Bauxite’s mining lands in St Ann on June 2. Local News Fri, 10 Jun 2016 02:00:00 GMT Disaster warning http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Disaster-warning_63515 ASUNCION, Paraguay (CMC) — The first meeting of ministers and high-level authorities on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) happened here over Wednesday and yesterday with a strong warning that disaster reduction is everyone’s business. Local News Fri, 10 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Furore in Montserrat over removal of sea sand http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Furore-in-Montserrat-over-removal-of-sea-sand-p-_63498 BRADES, Montserrat (CMC) — Former premier Reuben T Meade has criticised a decision by the government to allow the removal of sand from Foxes Bay beach at a time when turtles are nesting in the area. Local News Fri, 10 Jun 2016 02:00:00 GMT The trouble with Styrofoam http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/The-trouble-with-styrofoam_59670 Styrofoam, with a capital ‘S’, is a trademarked brand of polystyrene products used primarily for insulation and craft applications. With a common ‘s’, the word is used generically to refer to disposable coffee cups, lunch boxes and padding for packaging. They are produced via different chemical processes, with Styrofoam coming from extruded polystyrene, and styrofoam coming from expanded polystyrene. Local Environment Wed, 08 Jun 2016 02:00:00 GMT Can wind and solar make us rich? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Can-wind-and-solar-make-us-rich_63212 Having now understood that cheap storage is the only thing holding us back from using 100 per cent of renewable power sources, you may glean all that it means for “energising” Jamaica both electrically and wealth-wise. The single result of ensuring that there is enough storage causes the duality of cheap electricity — household prices likely under US$0.20 cents per kWh or some 60 per cent lower than our previous fossil-fuelled electrical highs; while we retain over US$100 million in the economy each and every month going forward from the elimination of imported fuels that is squeezing the life out of every one of us. Imagine how much we could do with that! Local Environment Wed, 08 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Raw sewage could hurt reef project, say fishermen http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Raw-sewage-could-hurt-reef-project--say-fishermen_63194 Fishing interests in Port Antonio are concerned that the reef restoration project now being piloted in that end of the island could be threatened by what they say are high levels of untreated sewage seeping into the sea from soak away pits. Local Environment Tue, 07 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT What’s ‘crocing’? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/What-s--crocing--_63167 NEPA staffers pounded the pavement at the intersection of Waterloo and Hope roads in St Andrew on Thursday, to educate the public on the importance of crocodile conservation and to promote its upcoming My Croc Adventure and Friends Conservation and Enviro Fair, to take place at Hope Zoo early next month. Local News Tue, 07 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Rainforest invests $1m in parrotfish conservation http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Rainforest-invests--1m-in-parrotfish-conservation_63066 RAINFOREST Seafoods Limited has signed a partnership valued at $1.25 million with The University of the West Indies Alligator Head Marine Lab (UWI AHML) to implement protective measures for the highly threatened reef fish population, including parrotfish, while training local fishermen in environmentally sustainable fishing methods. Local News Mon, 06 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Japan commits $220m to assist Jamaica in climate change fight http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Japan-commits--220m-to-assist-Jamaica-in-climate-change-fight_62864 THE Japan Government has earmarked approximately US$1.8 million ($220 million) through the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) to provide assistance to Jamaica in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Local News Fri, 03 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Weatherman gets promoted http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Weatherman-gets-promoted_62240 Evan Local Environment Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Hydro storage cheapest http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Hydro-storage-cheapest_61962 By discontinuing the use of fossil fuels in Jamaica we unfortunately lose their inherent energy storage. But we can replace it. Local Environment Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Japan Caribbean climate change project invests $72m in Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Japan-Caribbean-climate-change-project-invests--72m-in-Jamaica-------_62603 The Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will this morning launch the Jamaican component of the US$15-million Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) at the Spanish Court Hotel. Local Environment Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Sweet reaping http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Sweet-reaping_61941 Papine High School’s agriculture programme got a well-needed boost earlier this month when the Joan Duncan Foundation, the philanthropic arm of JMMB Group, and Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica partnered on a greenhouse valued at approximately $1 million dollars which will train the students in agricultural science as well as add to their nutrition programme. Local Environment Wed, 25 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT