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Monitoring Coral Reefs in the Caribbean: Protecting our Rainforests of the Ocean

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) awarded YSI Integrated Systems and Services (a division of Xylem Inc.) a contract for five marine monitoring buoys that will collect high-quality data for researchers studying climate change in the Caribbean Sea, including the waters of Barbados, Belize, The Dominican Republic and Trinidad & Tobago. “The Caribbean is a unique part of … Continue reading

Jamaica Unveils World’s Largest Wind-Solar Hybrid Installation

The world’s largest wind and solar hybrid renewable energy project was recently put into operation in Kingston, Jamaica. The WindStream Technologies array was commissioned for the rooftop of the prominent local law firm, Myers, Fletcher, & Gordon. Expected to generate approximately 106,000kWh annually with a return on investment in less than four years, the plant should save the firm approximately $2 million in energy costs over the course of its 25-year lifetime.

Consisting of 50 SolarMills delivering 25 kW of wind power and 55kW of solar, the installation is the largest hybrid solar and wind installation in the world. Positioned less than a quarter mile from the Kingston coastline, the rooftop frequently experiences wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour (96.5 kilometers per hour). Fortunately, the grid-tied SolarMills not only safely generate energy, they also protect against surges under extreme conditions.

Related: Net-Zero Boulder Home for Two Attorneys Produces 140% of the Energy it Needs

SolarMills are a distributed energy technology utilizing vertical axis wind turbines, solar panels and proprietary “smart” electronics. The energy generated by each SolarMill can either be used off grid with a storage system or inverted for use in grid-tied settings. Occupying a footprint roughly the size of a solar panel, each SolarMill provides the highest energy density currently available in the renewable market. The SolarMills are made in the U.S., but WindStream Technologies also has an office in Hyderabad, India, and distribution agreements in Turkey, Ghana, Liberia, New Zealand, and Tanzania.

The solar/wind hybrid installation is also part of 5.7 MW of systems that are scheduled to be deployed across the island nation over the next 18 months by local utility Jamaica Public Service (JPS). JPS aims to provide greater access to renewable energy solutions for Jamaica, where the cost of energy is over three times the U.S. average.

Credit: Inhabitat

 

History will condemn climate change denialists

The argument for radical action on climate change– which Australia will soon at least temporarily reject with the shameful decision to repeal the carbon tax – is embarrassingly simple. For the past 200 years, western culture has granted science pre-eminent cultural authority. A quarter century ago, a consensus formed among contemporary scientists specialising in the study of … Continue reading

12 countries ratify access and benefit-sharing treaty

UN Decade on Biodiversity

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization will enter into force on 12 October 2014 following its ratification by 51 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

In the last weeks, 12 countries have deposited their instruments including Belarus, Burundi, Gambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Peru, Sudan, Switzerland, Vanuatu, Uganda, and today, Uruguay. Its entry into force will mean that the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol can now be held from 13 to 17 October 2014, concurrently with the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.

Ratification of the Nagoya Protocol by 51 Parties to the CBD represents a major step towards achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 16, which states that, “by 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation.”

The entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol will provide greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources, creating a framework that promotes the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge while strengthening the opportunities for fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their use. Hence, the Protocol will create new incentives to conserve biodiversity, sustainably use its components, and further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development and human well-being.

“Practical tools such as the Nagoya Protocol are critical for the sustainable and equitable use of biodiversity. I commend the Member States that have ratified this important international legal instrument. By fulfilling the promise made at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, they have made a significant contribution to the post-2015 sustainable development agenda,” said Mr. Ban Ki­moon, United Nations Secretary-General.

H.E. Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Environment, Forests & Climate Change of India, said: “The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing translates and gives practical effect to the equity provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity. I am happy that this landmark treaty received the requisite number of ratifications during India’s Presidency of the Conference of Parties for its entry into force. I congratulate my counterparts for making this happen. A new era is now ushered in for implementation of CBD that would contribute to achieving sustainable development and a glorious future for all living beings inhabiting our mother Earth.”

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary for the Convention on Biological Diversity, said, “The Nagoya Protocol is central to unleashing the power of biodiversity for sustainable development by creating incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity while guaranteeing equity in the sharing of benefits.”

“Entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol means not only a big step towards achieving Aichi Target 16, but is an important step in mainstreaming biodiversity into sustainable development. I congratulate all Parties who have ratified the Protocol, and I invite others to do so in time to participate in the first meeting of the COP-MOP, in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea,” he concluded.

The following Parties have now ratified or acceded to the landmark treaty: Albania, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Comoros, Côte D’Ivoire, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Union, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, the Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Norway, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Samoa, the Seychelles, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Uganda, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. While the European Union will be a Party to the Protocol, its approval of the Protocol does not count towards the 50 instruments required for entry into force.

Further information on becoming a Party to the Protocol is available at: http://www.cbd.int/abs/becoming-party/

Information about the Protocol, including Frequently Asked Questions, can be found at:

http://www.cbd.int/abs/about/default.shtml

Notes to Editors

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization was adopted at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2010, in Nagoya, Japan, and significantly advances the objective of the Convention on the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources by providing greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources. By promoting the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, and by strengthening the opportunities for fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their use, the Protocol will create incentives to conserve biodiversity, sustainably use its components, and further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development and human well-being. The full text of the Nagoya Protocol is available at: http://www.cbd.int/abs/doc/protocol/nagoya­protocol-en.pdf.The list of signatories of the Nagoya Protocol is available at: http://www.cbd.int/abs/nagoya­protocol/signatories/.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 194 Parties up to now, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a supplementary agreement to the Convention. It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 166 countries plus the European Union have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Secretariat of the Convention and its Cartagena Protocol is located in Montreal. For more information visit: http://www.cbd.int.

For additional information, please contact: David Ainsworth on +1 514 287 7025 or at david.ainsworth@cbd.int; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at johan.hedlund@cbd.int 

Credit: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 

Caribbean experts call for stronger cooperation on oil spills and nutrient management

Over 80 percent of the Caribbean Sea is polluted from land-based sources and activities such as deforestation, untreated waste-water, oil spills, agricultural runoff, farm waste and litter. This affects livelihoods, health, economies and ecosystems. To address these problems, pollution experts from across the Caribbean met recently at two meetings. The seventh steering committee meeting for … Continue reading

Iwokrama Research and Science Centre Opens RFP

The Georgetown, Guyana-based Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development requests proposals from private and public companies, institutions, Universities and other organizations engaged in tropical rainforest conservation. The proposal offers an opportunity  to partner with the Centre, with a particular focus on climate change and land use issues, to enhance revenue generating activities for the Centre.

The partnership is intended to boost the Centre’s science and research activities and enable it to become a vibrant, innovative and leading international research programme.

The Centre requests that interested parties include evidence of resources, capacity and related experience in their proposal.

Click here to peruse the RFP for details.

5th Petersberg Climate Dialogue

The “5th Petersberg Climate Dialogue” commenced today in Berlin, Germany. The two-day “Petersberg Climate Dialogue” is an informal conference that is in preparation of the UN climate summit. This year, the summit will take place in Peru. In the afternoon spoke newly crowned World Champion, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and her Peruvian colleague, President Ollanta Humala. … Continue reading

World Bank awards 11 Caribbean entrepreneurs more than US$400K in climate grants

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The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC), a project of the World Bank and its global entrepreneurship program infoDev, has announced the 11 winners of its first regional proof of concept (PoC) competition. The successful applicants will receive grants of up to US$50,000 to develop, test, and commercialize innovative, locally relevant climate technology solutions.

Officially closed on April 20, the PoC has received more than 300 applications from 14 countries, including territories within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Entrepreneurs were asked to submit proposals for innovative products, services, or business models in sustainable agribusiness, water management and recycling, solar energy, energy efficiency, and resource use sectors.

“This overwhelming response is very encouraging for the future of the CCIC and its activities,” said Everton Hanson, chief executive officer of the Caribbean CIC. “The process was very competitive and even the unsuccessful applicants submitted interesting ideas that show great potential.”

The 11 winning proposals represent seven Caribbean countries: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and Belize. Particularly noteworthy is also the high engagement achieved among women, with four winning concepts submitted by female applicants.

Country

Applicant

Project Proposal

Antigua and Barbuda Elliot Lincoln Biofuels from microalgae cultivation: CO2 sequestration and wastewater treatment
Antigua and Barbuda Mario Bento Desalination Systems for Small Rural Communities; Low Cost, Solar-Powered, Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Belize Santiago Juan Alternative Animal Feed using vertical farming techniques
Dominica Gail Defoe Creating Home Grown Organic Bio-Fertilisers
Jamaica Shirley Lindo Organic Soil Conditioner and Fuel Briquettes from Castor Oil Waste
Jamaica Brian Wright The Pedro Banks Renewable Energy Project
Jamaica Harlo Mayne H2-Flex Hydrogen Hybrid Project
Jamaica Kert Edward Fiber-Optic Solar Indoor Lighting (FOSIL)
St Kitts and Nevis Donny Bristol Recyclables Expansion and Commercialization Project (Focal Area Resource Use Efficiency/Reuse and Recycling)
St Lucia Patricia Joshua Development of Sustainable Agri-business Paper Products
Trinidad and Tobago Suzanne Thomas Mobile modularized PF bio-digester

The PoC grants are designed to help entrepreneurs prove the value of their business concept by providing the resources and the skills necessary to prototype, test, develop, and commercialize services and products. In addition to funding, the PoC winners will also get access to the suite of advisory services offered by the CCIC, as well as considerable exposure and networking opportunities through the center’s media events.

The CCIC will work with Caribbean countries to develop innovative solutions to local climate challenges. By supporting Caribbean entrepreneurs with a suite of services to commercialize new climate-friendly products, the CCIC will spur economic development, decrease reliance on imported fossil fuels and increase resilience to climate change.

The CCIC is part of infoDev’s Climate Technology Program (CTP), which is currently implementing a global network of innovation centers across seven other countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Vietnam and Ethiopia. The center is also part of the broader Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) funded by the government of Canada.

Credit: Caribbean News Now!

We know enough about climate change – it’s time for decisions now!

See Video on actions that could be done to help in the adaptation and mitigation of a changing and variable climate.
Credit: Climate Media Factory

Parrotfish ban

JAMAICANS love parrotfish. Steamed, fried or roasted, the brightly coloured sea creature is a common feature on many a dinner plate. It’s also a favourite at the beach and at roadside eateries on the weekend. But the enjoyment could soon come to an end as local and international groups are lobbying for a parrotfish ban. … Continue reading

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