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27 persons seeking a spot on BVI’s Climate Change Trust Fund Board

Dr Kedrick Pickering. File photo

Dr Kedrick Pickering. File photo

Residents now have the opportunity to give their assessment of 27 persons who are seeking to sit on the Climate Change Trust Fund Board of the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

The Trust Fund is a newly established and independent scheme aimed at raising money to tackle the territory’s climate change-related issues, by increasing energy efficiency and utilizing alternative energies.

After residents give their feedback on the applicants by September 16 this year, nine persons will be chosen to sit on the Board.

The selection will be done by Premier Dr D Orlando Smith and Dr Kedrick Pickering who is the minister of natural resources and labour.

Ronald Smith-Berkeley

Ronald Smith-Berkeley added that persons should submit their comments in a hardcopy letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour. Comments may also be emailed to climatechangebvi@gov.vg.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources Ronald Smith-Berkeley, in the meantime, said he is happy with the quality and quantity of the persons who have applied to become members of the Board.

“I am pleased with the number and calibre of persons who took up this noble challenge, and have offered themselves to serve on this important Board. The success of the Trust Fund rests heavily on the ability and commitment of its Board, and I wish to thank all those participating in the process.”

The nine-member board, which will include six representatives from the private sector and civil society, will have executive control and management of the affairs of the Climate Change Trust Fund. They will make final decisions on all applications for funding.

The BVI is the first Caribbean island to pass legislation for the establishment of a Climate Change Trust Fund.

The Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund Act took effect on January 1 this year.

Below is a list of the persons seeking to become members of the aforementioned Board.

  1. Benedict Bamford – Tourism;  Individual
  2. Douglas Riegels – Tourism
  3. John Klein – Tourism, Any other sectortor
  4. Monique Adams – Financial Services
  5. Nelson Samuel – Financial Services
  6. Pauline Robinson – Financial Services
  7. Shelly Bend – Financial Services, Individual
  8. Chezley Stoddard – Any other sector/NGO  or CBO
  9. Edward Childs – Any other sector
  10. Mitsy Simpson – Any other sector
  11. Ronnie Lettsome – Any other sector, Individual
  12. Stephanie Faulker Williams – Any other sector, Individual
  13. Eva Baskin ­– Academia or research organisation
  14. Dr Karl Dawson – Academia or research organisation
  15. Charlotte McDevitt – NGO
  16. Sarah Smith – NGO
  17. Shannon Gore – NGO
  18. Akilah Anderson – Individual
  19. Colin Bramble – Individual
  20. Dominic Clyde-Smith – Individual
  21. John Lewis – Individual
  22. Karen Fraser – Individual
  23. Lionel Penn II – Individual
  24. Michael Fonseca ­– Individual
  25. Rosemary Delaney-Smith – Individual
  26. Saski Laing – Individual
  27. Susan Babson – Individual
Credit: BVI News

Green Funds and Capacity Development for Environmental Management

Environmental Solutions Limited, a Caribbean consulting outfit focused on environmental management, published a strong review of Green Funds in the Caribbean and the opportunities for capacity development. An excerpt is below, read the full article at ESLCaribbean.

Green Fund

Concern about climate change and its many, far-reaching effects has propelled countries around the world to come up with novel ways to achieve socio-economic development without causing additional damage to the environment. One of the more recent solutions has been the establishment of various ‘green funds’ by countries and international aid and development agencies alike. According to Investopedia.com, a green fund is basically “a mutual fund or other investment vehicle that will only invest in companies that are deemed socially conscious in their business dealings or directly promote environmental responsibility. A green fund can come in the form of a focused investment vehicle for companies engaged in environmentally supportive businesses, such as alternative energy, green transport, water and waste management, and sustainable living.”

Here in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago leads the way with a well-established, well-financed Green Fund. The fund was first instituted under the Finance Act 2000 and is financed by a tax of 0.1 per cent of the gross sales or receipts of companies doing business in Trinidad and Tobago. The levy is payable quarterly. The purpose of the fund is “to provide financial assistance to community groups and organisations for activities related to reforestation, remediation, environmental education and public awareness of environmental issues and conservation of the environment.” Since its inception, the fund has successfully financed a number of certified activities totalling approximately TT$117 million. The value of the fund as at January 2012 was TT$2.7 billion.

The key stakeholders in the fund are members of the private sector, which pay the Green Fund Levy; the Ministry of Finance, the official custodian of the fund’s resources; the Ministry of Housing and the Environment, which provides certification Green Fund-supported activities; and civil society organisations that use the resources. The fund can be accessed by corporate companies, non-profits, NGOs and community groups by making the necessary application.

Read the full article here.
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