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CARPHA Urges Region to Gear Up for the Possibility of a Severe Outbreak of Dengue Fever


Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  9 May 2018.  While chikungunya and zika, which swept the region in 2014 and 2016 are not expected back anytime soon, CARPHA is warning, “gear-up for the possibility of a major outbreak of dengue fever in 2018.” This because as before, the pre-conditions of abundant mosquito vector levels still exist, and increased levels of dengue are being reported in Latin America and elsewhere.

It is imperative as rainy season begins in many countries that efforts to stop mosquitoes breeding and biting be stepped up, especially for pregnant women and vulnerable populations.

These mosquitoes borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and zika threaten health, tourism, social and economic development, so everyone needs to work together. Dengue remains a global health problem and like zika and chikungunya, there is no specific treatment for the disease.

“Although dengue is not new to the Region, we need to gear up for the possibility of a severe outbreak. This virus has been increasing in frequency over the past 30 years. Reports from Latin America elsewhere show markedly increased dengue in recent months, so we in the Caribbean can expect it will soon be here,” CARPHA Executive Director, Dr C. James Hospedales said in observance of Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week 2018.

It is interesting to note that prior to chikungunya and zika arriving on our shores, that large epidemics of these conditions were reported the preceding years, 2013 and 2015 in the Pacific and La Reunion, and that dengue epidemics are being reported 2017/18 from the Pacific and La Reunion.

Under the slogan “Fight the bite, destroy mosquito breeding sites”, Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week, 7-13 May, focuses on mosquito borne diseases and risks associated with them.

The measures used for controlling the spread of dengue are the same as those for zika and chikungunya as these diseases are transmitted by the same mosquito, Aedes aegypti.  As the rainy season approaches mosquito control and awareness activities need to be intensified.

The most effective way to avoid getting sick from viruses spread by mosquitoes is to prevent mosquito bites.  Research of CARPHA and PAHO/WHO show that drums and tires are the main mosquito breeding sources in our countries.

“We need to clean up our surroundings.  The two most important things to manage mosquito populations in our Caribbean countries are to manage water storage drums and tanks, and properly dispose of used vehicle tires to prevent mosquitoes breeding,” stated Dr Hospedales.

Actions that can be taken include covering drums and tanks, checking the guttering, removing stagnant water sources and individuals protecting themselves and their family from bites.

Infants, young children, older adults and women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites and enlist the help of family, friends and neighbours to destroy breeding sites.

Dengue is a flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults, but can be severe and cause death.  Symptoms typically begin four to ten days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.  This illness can evolve to severe dengue, characterized by potentially deadly complication due to intense and continuous abdominal pain or tenderness, persistent vomiting.

Caribbean Mosquito Awareness week was declared at the 17th Special Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in November 2014 on Public Health Threats, and is an important reminder to the general public to take action to reduce their risk of diseases spread by mosquitoes.

More information about Caribbean Mosquito Awareness can be found here: http://caribbeanmosquitoweek.carpha.org

Chastanet issues climate change challenge

Chastanet issues climate change challenge

Hon. Allen Chastenet, Prime Minister of St. Lucia

Press Release:–  The Government of Saint Lucia and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations (UNECLAC), hosted the fifth meeting of the Caribbean Development Round Table, under the theme “Promoting Climate Resilience and Sustainable Economic Growth in the Caribbean,” and the twenty-seventh session of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee on April 26 and 27.

In frank and pointed remarks, Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastenet, also the Chairperson of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee called for deliberate action in dealing with climate change, questioning the preparedness of the region for the hurricane season, which is exactly one month away.

“Climate change doesn’t discriminate,” he said. “It does not have any empathy for you because you are a poor country. It does not have any empathy because more people are unemployed. It does not have any empathy because people in your country are older. It does not have any empathy that you are not prepared. There is no pause button that you can press to get your house in order—it is coming. The sad reality for us in the Caribbean and the most frustrating part of what we are having to face is that we can’t control it. Therefore, the only thing we can do is build resilience.

“At the end of every session, I pull out a pen, for the IMF and other financial institutions to be able to classify the depth of this region to build resilience, is a pen. So once more, the hard evidence that the world is not listening and are not emphatic towards the smallest partners, is evidence. So I am appealing to ECLAC to make sure they become the great generation of implementers.”

Financing green investment for resilience building and structural transformation in the Caribbean, the vulnerability of Caribbean economies caused by de risking and challenges to the offshore financial sector, and implementing the ECLAC debt swap initiative, were among a number of topical areas discussed at last week’s meeting.

Meanwhile, the 37th session of ECLAC will be held from May 7-11 2018 in Havana.

Global Resilience and Crisis Management Centre to be established at UWI

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, makes a point during his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 8. At left is Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck. Photo Credit: Donald De La Haye

The Global Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, which will deal with climate-related issues, will be established at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

Making the disclosure in his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 8), Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the Centre is being designed to help vulnerable states to recover quickly from natural disasters.

He said establishment of the facility, which will provide information, expertise, technical advice and guidance, resulted from the World Tourism Conference, which was held in Jamaica last November.

Mr. Bartlett pointed out that the Centre has received support from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organization, along with several overseas universities.

The Tourism Minister said the ultimate goal of the Global Resilience Centre will be to assist destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that threaten economies and livelihoods globally with real time data and effective communication.

Mr. Bartlett said that while the tourism sector has traditionally been very resilient, the industry is also one of the most vulnerable to climate change, cybercrime/cyber-terrorism, terrorism and pandemics.

He noted that several powerful hurricanes and storms caused catastrophic damage to the region last year.

“Disruptions within the sector have wider implications for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Ensuring the resilience of the sector is critical to protecting and promoting the well-being of millions of citizens around the world,” Minister Bartlett said.

Credit: Jamaica Information Service (JIS)

Caribbean #1point5toStayAlive Explainer: Leon Charles and Spencer Thomas, on 2018 and the Road to COP24

2018 is another crucial year for global climate change negotiations, as Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) develop a work programme for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and as efforts are being made to ensure that the 1.5°C target is eventually reached.

In all the negotiation processes leading to and during the next meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP24) in December, the Caribbean needs to remain actively involved and to make its voice heard.

In this video, regional experts Leon Charles and Spencer Thomas present the agenda for the coming weeks and months, and outline the challenges and the opportunities that the Caribbean must consider in order to secure a satisfactory outcome from forthcoming global negotiations.

Announcement for Fellowship programmes

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat has issued nine announcements for various fellowship opportunities, particularly targeted to develop capacity of fellows from SIDs and LDCs.

The application deadline is June 4, 2018.

The link to the announcements is:  http://unfccc.int/secretariat/employment/recruitment

Empowering Women as Managers in the Renewable Energy Sector – Request for Applications

The Renewables Academy AG (RENAC) together with SD Strategies and Nedworc Foundation (NWF) have been commissioned by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to execute a comprehensive capacity building and mentoring programme for women from APEC countries. This project aims to support career advancement of women working in the field of renewable energy in APEC economies. The programme specifically seeks to support women’s career development by:

  • Increasing skills and knowledge on renewable energy technologies;
  • Improving skills on developing sound business plans for the advancement of renewable energy in home economies;
  • Facilitating professional exchanges and peer-to-peer mentoring.

Women interested in joining the programme are requested to apply here.

Enhancing Environmental Management Legal And Policy Frameworks In Grenada

Source: CANARI; May 4, 2018

Background

CANARI is facilitating the development of  National Forest Policy and Strategic Plan and Revised Environmental Management Act 2014.  This activity is part of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Global Climate Change Alliance Project on Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management in the Eastern Caribbean (the iLAND Resilience – Promoting a Climate for Change) funded by the European Union.  Background papers, workshop reports and draft environmental frameworks are available through the links below.

Background paper

Report of First National Workshop  (December 2017)

The revised Grenada National Forest Policy and Strategic Plan and revised Protected Area, Forest and Wildlife Act are currently being drafted based on the outputs of the December 2017 Workshop. Stakeholders are invited to submit further comments and suggestions for revisions of the documents. Please review the original documents below and email your suggestions to Dr. Natalie Boodram at natalie@canari.org by May 18th  2018.

National Forest Policy and Strategic Plan (1999) currently under revision

Draft Protected Area, Forest and Wildlife Act and supporting Regulations (2003) currently under revision

Stakeholders are also invited to input to a Rapid assessment of the implementation of the 1999 Forest Policy and Strategic Plan. Please download and complete the sections of the Rapid Assessment you have information on e.g. the projects and programmes you have been involved in. Please also share your opinion on the key questions asked. Please email the completed assessment to natalie@canari.org by May 18th  2018.

 

CCRIF Invites Applications for 2018 Scholarships and Internships

CCRIF Scholarship Programme
Provides scholarships to individuals to pursue a masters degree in hazard/disaster related disciplines at Caribbean universities (other than UWI) as well as institutions the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Deadline May 31 2018.
http://www.ccrif.org/content/scholarship

CCRIF-UWI Scholarship Programme
Provides scholarships to students at UWI for undergraduate and post-graduate study in fields such as natural resource management, climate change, meteorology, geography/geology and civil/environmental engineering
Deadlines: Postgraduate scholarships: May 25 2018 | Undergraduate scholarships: May 31 2018
http://www.ccrif.org/content/programmes/ccrif-uwi-scholarship

Regional Internship Programme
Provides opportunities for university graduates who have specialized in the areas of disaster risk management, environmental management, actuarial science, geography, climate studies and other similar areas to be assigned to national and regional organizations for practical work assignments. Deadline May 31 2018.
http://www.ccrif.org/content/regional-internship-programme

Photo Competition: Empowering women, how can sustainable energy change people’s lives?

Source: Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+), 19 April, 2018

Send your best pictures capturing the active role of women in the sustainable energy sector and win energy friendly prizes. Deadline 13 May.

A nice opportunity to capture the best picture of GCCA projects working in the energy sector.

EuropeAid is searching for photo contributions that demonstrate how women can impact the energy sector, and how they can benefit and use sustainable energy for their business, daily activities, income generating activities, etc.

Participants will have the opportunity to win a Nikon camera kit, an adult scooter, a solar lamp, a solar charger and other prizes. The first 50 participants uploading their eligible photo will receive an EU sustainable goodies package.

The contest can be accessed directly via the following link: https://a.cstmapp.com/p/24658 or through the announcement placed on DG DEVCO’s website: https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/node/118983

Participants can check the rules available in English, French and Spanish and upload their photos until 13/5/2018. The public can vote until 21/5/2018.

Should you require any further information please contact: EuropeAid-WOMEN-ENERGY@ec.europa.eu

Links:

More info

CCCCC and IICA Discuss Cooperation in Sourcing Funding for Agriculture and Development

Belmopan, April 30, 2018 – Executives from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) met today Monday, April 30, 2018 at the 5Cs’ headquarters in Belmopan to discuss developing a regional project that aims to address agriculture and rural development.

DSC00374

IICA and CCCCC representatives meet in Belmopan, Belize

Dr. Gabriel Rodriguez Marqués, Coordinator of the Projects Unit at IICA Headquarters in Costa Rica headed the three-person team that met with with officials from the Centre including Executive Director, Dr. Kenrick Leslie. Discussions focused on the development of initiatives that will help to build resilience and provide funding of adaptation and mitigation in regional agriculture and rural development through the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The meeting explored a range of issues affecting regional agriculture. These include availability and access to water and the high rates of food importation in countries of the region.

Both organisations have committed to pooling technical resources to develop the project through the Green Climate Fund Simplified Approval Process (SAP) and have scheduled another meeting for May 11, 2018.

Also attending the meeting were: from the CCCCC, Dr. Ulric Trotz, Deputy Executive Officer and Science Advisor; Dr. Mark Bynoe, Assistant Deputy Director; Project development specialists, Dr. Donneil Cain and Mr. Vincent Peter, and Science officers Mr Ahnivar Peralta and Ms Diana Ruiz. The IICA team included Dr Stephen Williams and Mr. Willie Chan, Technical Specialists.

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