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The University of Technology (UTECH), Jamaica through its Caribbean Sustainable Energy and Innovation Institute (CSEII) and the Faculty of The Built Environment (FOBE) will on Thursday launch the multidisciplinary Master of Science Degree in Sustainable Energy and Climate Change.
The degree was developed in collaboration with technical assistance from partner the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) through the CARICOM Renewable Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance Programme (REETA) and is the first programme of its kind to be offered in the Caribbean region.
A release from the university disclosed that the establishment of the programme is in response to the need for tertiary level training of specialists in the areas of sustainable energy and climate change and has a strong focus on Sustainable Energy, Entrepreneurship and Green Business Development – areas critical to Jamaica’s future development within the global economy and for the creation of new jobs and innovations in keeping with the Green Growth strategy of the Government.
Keynote speaker would be Professor Thomas Bruckner, Head of Division, Sustainable Management and Infrastructure Economics, Fraunhofer Centre for Internal Management and Knowledge Economy IMW and Coordinating Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Germany, who will speak on “Decarbonising the world economy: Technical Options and Policy Instruments.”
Other speakers include Senator Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth and Information , Dr Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology , Professor Stephen Vasciannie, President, UTech, Jamaica, Dr Ruth Potopsingh, AVP, Sustainable Energy, UTech, Jamaica who will provide an overview of the Master’s programme, Dr Devon Gardner, Programme Manager, Energy, CARICOM Secretariat, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, the German Embassy in Jamaica and the Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The launch is slated to take place at 9:00 am at Lecture Theatre 4 (LT4), Faculty of The Built Environment at the Papine campus.
The event will be followed by technical workshops from 11:30 am – 4:30 pm, while a Green Business Start-up Clinic will be held on Friday, March 3 from 8:45 am – 4:30 pm.
Credit: Jamaica Observer
Twenty-six countries, together with seven regional and international organizations, have released a joint statement in support of the transformation of the energy systems of Caribbean countries. The signatories of the statement, signed during the Caribbean Energy Security Summit, commit to pursuing comprehensive approaches to an energy transition toward “clean sustainable energy for all” and reforms that support the creation of favourable policy and regulatory environments for sustainable energy.
The Summit, which was co-hosted by the US Department of State, the Council of the Americas and the Atlantic Council, brought together finance and private sector leaders from the US and the Caribbean, and representatives of the international community. The event showcased the initiatives under the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative (CESI) in the areas of improved governance, access to finance and donor coordination, and featured discussions by partner countries on comprehensive energy diversification strategies.
During the event, the US Government announced enhanced support for technical assistance and capacity-building programs in the Caribbean, through the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) initiative, among others, with the aim of promoting a cleaner and more secure energy future in the region. Caribbean leaders agreed to pursue comprehensive energy diversification programs and facilitate the deployment of clean energy.
Furthermore, presentations and updates were provided by, inter alia: Caribbean leaders on energy sector goals; the World Bank on a proposed Caribbean Energy Investment Network for improved coordination and communication among partners; and the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) on a new focus on clean energy project development in the Caribbean, which includes US$43 million in financing for a 34 MW wind energy project in Jamaica.
Highlighting the role of the Organization of American States (OAS) in supporting the transition to sustainable energy in the Caribbean, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza said the past five years had seen an “unprecedented push” in the Caribbean toward the development of the region’s renewable energy sources, noting this was “doubly impressive” “in a time of low oil prices.”
The Summit, which took place on 26 January 2015, in Washington, DC, US, is part of CESI, launched by US Vice President Joseph Biden in June 2014. The regional and international organizations signing the statement were the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, the Caribbean Development Bank, the EU, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the OAS and the World Bank.
The joint statement was also signed by the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Colombia, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Credit: SIDS Policy & Practice IISD
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. The participants are from 35 nations. Decisions are not expected.
Credit: Horst Vogel, PhD, Head of Programme, Caribbean-Terrestrial Solutions (CATS)
To celebrate the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) 2014, the UNFCCC secretariat is offering two five-months fellowships to young professionals from the region who are interested in contributing to the work on climate change adaptation or on gender and youth related dimensions of climate action.
These fellowship awards are made available thanks to the generous financial contribution of the Government of Norway.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
Be a SIDS national;
Be employed by a SIDS government or governmental institution/organization;
Be between 24 and 35 years of age;
Have experience or knowledge in the areas of either climate change adaptation, or gender and/or youth and climate change;
Have preferably completed a Master degree, or equivalent;
Have good communication skills in English.
While fellowships are awarded to individuals, the need for training must occur within their respective government.
The fellowship programme is not intended for students and does not provide financial support for obtaining an advanced university degree or PhD studies.
Fellowships are awarded for a period of five months;
The Terms of Reference for the specific position will be forwarded to successful applicants upon confirmation of the fellowship;
Fellowships shall normally begin within six months after the award being offered;
Fellowship periods will be individually arranged to accommodate, to the extent possible, the particular needs of each fellow;
The award is a fixed, non-negotiable sum which is intended to cover living expenses at the UNFCCC secretariat in Bonn, Germany. In addition, the secretariat covers travel costs by the least costly route;
Each fellow must obtain medical clearance and also provide proof of health insurance with full international coverage before traveling to Germany. It is the responsibility of the fellow to arrange for insurance against risks occurring during the fellowship;
Fellows are responsible for making their own housing and other arrangements, although assistance in securing accommodation may be provided;
Accompanying family members will not be covered and are the sole responsibility of the fellow;
Fellows are not eligible to apply for advertised positions within the secretariat within six months following the conclusion of their assignment with the secretariat.
Please carefully review the eligibility criteria and conditions above. The application form is available here.
Only complete applications received at the below address by 15 July 2014 will be considered:Fellowship Programme
FTC/ Capacity-building and Outreach Unit
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1
If you have any questions, please contact us via email at: email@example.com
Credit: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre participated in the recently concluded (December 2-4, 2013) First Meeting of the GFCS Africa/ACP Task Team at the EUMETSAT Headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.
The meeting contemplated the way forward for implementation of the Addis Ababa Declaration in Support of the Implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) in Africa, and possibly in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Participants at the meeting included representatives of the Regional Economic Communities, Regional Climate Centres, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Secretariat, the European Community, the World Meteorological Organization and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP). The participants, including Carlos Fuller, the Centre’s International and Regional Liaison Officer, explained the activities in their regions related to the preparation and delivery of climate services.
A project concept note on an inter-regional GFCS for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific will be prepared and be ready for submission to the European Union for funding under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).
The project is expected to strengthen the capacity of regional and national agencies in the preparation and delivery of climate services to their Member States.
The Terms of the Reference of the Task Team was finalized and adopted.
The next meeting would be held in the second quarter of 2014.
The launch featured the official handing over of various equipment by the German Ambassador Stefan Schlüter to the Hon. Roland Bhola, Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries & Environment, a highly informative and lively presentation by MPA Coordinator Roland Baldeo on the work of the Molinière-Beauséjour Marine Protected Area (MPA), and the opening of the new MPA administrative office. There was also a lionfish information display, featuring live lionfish aquarium and delicious lionfish tasting!
CATS is an umbrella program that follows a ‘Ridge-to-Reef Approach’ by bringing together two topical projects, namely one on “Adaptation of Rural Economies and Natural Resources to Climate Change”, and the other on the “Management of Coastal Resources and Conservation of Marine Biodiversity”.
In the case of CATS, the ‘Concept of Herding CATS’ has been adopted, which will aid the region to effectively coordinate the support provided by various International Development Partners (IDP) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO).
CATS is a regional development cooperation program between the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. The implementing agencies are the Environmental Health and Management Unit of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the German Government’s Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). The program will soon operate in eight CARICOM Member States from Guyana, Grenada, St. Vincent & Grenadines, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Jamaica and Belize.
The 32nd Session of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has ended. Mr Carlos Fuller, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s International and Regional Liaison Officer, participated in the recently concluded (June 17 and 18) event in Bonn, Germany. Mr Fuller functioned as the alternate member of the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Group (GRULAC).
The JISC is chaired by Mr Derreck Oderson of Barbados, who is also the substantive member of the Small Island States (SIDS) grouping. JISC is the body established by the meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) to provide oversight over joint implementation (JI) projects. Joint Implementation is one of the flexibility mechanisms established by the Kyoto Protocol that enables carbon credits to be generated by investments in projects, which reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in developed countries. The CDM on the other hand, generates credits by implementing projects in developing countries.
At present there are two tracks that countries can use to implement JI projects. Under Track 1, the host country supervises all aspects of the project. If a country decides to utilize the Track 2 approach, the project is supervised by the JISC which has the authority to approve and reject projects if it does not meet prescribed criteria.
During the past year and at this session the JISC has been drafting recommendations for the CMP to improve the efficiency of the carbon market. Among the recommendations it will make in Warsaw, Poland are:
- To have one track for JI projects,
- To establish an international accreditation system for the entire carbon market,
- To set mandatory guidance for countries hosting JI projects, and
- To develop measures for the establishment of emission baselines and procedures to demonstrate additionality.
These recommendations will be finalized at the next session of the JISC scheduled to be held in Bonn in late September 2013.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s (CCCCC) International and Regional Liaison Officer, Mr Carlos Fuller, was a panelist at the First Forum of the Standing Committee on Climate in Barcelona, Spain on May 28, 2013. At the historic forum addressing “financing and investment drivers for adaptation activities”, Mr Fuller discussed the Centre’s adaptation efforts across the Caribbean. He noted that these activities are in support of the mandate that the CARICOM Heads of Government endorsed in the region’s Implementation Plan for the “Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change”.
Other members of the panel included Mr Juan Hoffmaster of Bolivia, who represented the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee, Ms. Smita Nakooda of the Overseas Development Institute and Ms Saliha Dobardzic of the LDCF/SCCF of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The panel was facilitated by the co-chair of the Work Programme on Long-term Finance, Mr Naderev Sano of the Philippines.
The Standing Committee is a body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established at COP 16. Its mandate is improving coherence and coordination in the delivery of climate change financing, rationalization of the financial mechanism, mobilization of financial resources and measurement, reporting and verification of support provided to developing country Parties.
Dr Hugh Sealy of Barbados, the Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of the CDM was also a panellist at the forum addressing “Financing and investment drivers for mitigation activities”. Among the 100 attendees was Mr Derreck Oderson of Barbados, the Chairman of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) and Mr Raymond Landveld, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Suriname to the United Nations who is a member of the Standing Committee.
The Forum was organized by the Standing Committee on Finance of the UNFCCC with support by the World Bank Institute and the International Emission Trading Association (IETA). Panellists included representatives of national governments, international organizations such as the South Center, the International Finance Corporation, the IDB, GIZ, OECD and the private sector, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Standard Bank (Nairobi). Carbon Expo 2013 will be held at the same venue on 29 to 31 May 2013.
At the conclusion of the Forum, the co-chair of the standing Committee, Ambassador Dianne Black-Layne of Antigua and Barbuda noted that the insights of the Forum would inform the next meeting of the Forum to be held in Bonn, Germany in June.
The Forum was formally closed by Secretary of State of the Environment of Spain, Mr Federico Ramos de Armas and Ms Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.
The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which is within the United Nations Environment Programme, says 75% of consumers surveyed worldwide are aware of biodiversity, while 48% can give a correct definition of the term biodiversity. These are some of the findings contained in the 2013 Biodiversity Barometer report launched today in Paris by the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT). Consumers in Brazil, China and France, according to the study, show a particular awareness about biodiversity.
“The Biodiversity Barometer is an important source of information on global trends in biodiversity awareness. The results not only demonstrate a growing consciousness, they also show that respecting biodiversity provides tremendous opportunities for business around the world” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary for the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Very high biodiversity awareness in China
This year’s special focus on China reveals interesting results: Apart from a very high biodiversity awareness (94%), Chinese consumers surveyed also show high knowledge of biodiversity: 64% could define correctly what biodiversity means. “The survey results do not come as a surprise. In recent years, the government as well as civil society organizations in China has undertaken tremendous activities for communicating and raising awareness of biodiversity issues” says Zhang Wenguo, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China.
Biodiversity offers branding opportunities
Responses to the question “What are the three brands you consider are making the most efforts to respect biodiversity?” were manifold and often country-specific: In Brazil, there is a clear leader with Natural (49%). In the USA, most mentioned food brands, including Kraft, Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s. UK has two leading companies: Bodyshop and CO-OP (23% and 20%). In France Yves Rocher, Nestle and Danone top the list, while in China the perceived leaders are Yili, Mengliu and Amway. “There are clear opportunities for brands to position themselves around the issue of biodiversity, and anticipate increasing consumer interest on this issue” concludes Rémy Oudghiri, Director of Trends and Insights at IPSOS.
Biodiversity reporting is growing, but still weak
“Today 32 of the top 100 beauty companies in the world refer to biodiversity in their corporate communications such as sustainability reporting and websites. This is considerably higher than in 2009, but much lower than what we found in the top 100 food companies” says Rik Kutsch Lojenga, Executive Director of UEBT. In 2013, 87% of consumers say they want to be better informed about how companies source their natural ingredients, and a large majority of consumers say they would to boycott brands that do not take good care of environmental or ethical trade practices in its sourcing and production processes.
Youth is the future of biodiversity
For brands interested in reaching consumers on biodiversity, the 2013 Biodiversity Barometer offers the following insights: Young people tend to have the highest awareness of biodiversity (80%), as well as more affluent and well-educated people. Traditional media remain by and large the key sources of awareness: 51% of all surveyed consumers learned about biodiversity through television, 33% through newspapers and magazines.
On the UEBT Biodiversity Barometer
The UEBT Barometer provides insights on evolving biodiversity awareness among consumers and how the beauty industry reports on biodiversity. It also illustrates the progress towards achieving the targets of the Strategic Plan of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and its results will be reflected in the next edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook as a midway point analysis of the achievement of those targets. Since its first edition in 2009, the global research organisation IPSOS, on behalf of UEBT, has interviewed 31,000 consumers in 11 countries (Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, UK and USA). In 2013, the biodiversity barometer survey was conducted among 6,000 consumers in six countries – Brazil, China, France, Germany, UK and USA.
The Union for Ethical BioTrade
The Union for Ethical BioTrade is a non-profit association that promotes the ‘Sourcing with Respect’ of ingredients that come from biodiversity. Members, which include many beauty companies, commit to gradually ensuring that their sourcing practices promote the conservation of biodiversity, respect traditional knowledge, and assure the equitable sharing of benefits all along the supply chain.
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 193 Parties, 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 subsidiary 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, 163 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 more information, please visit: http://www.ethicalbiotrade.org. You may also visit: http://www.ethicalbiotrade.org and contact Union for Ethical BioTrade bia phone at +31-20-223-4567 or email using firstname.lastname@example.org
*** From the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Environmental Psychologist and Geographer Dr. Stefanie Baasch says uncertainties about climate change impacts, especially at the local and regional level, could drive inaction. Read more in her exclusive contribution to Caribbean Climate.
Adaptation to climate change is a new and challenging task on the political agendas. Developing strategies and measures for
adaptation are not easy to find because adaptation takes place under conditions of uncertainty, complexity and dynamic developments. On the scientific level there are still deep uncertainties in predicting climate change impacts especially at the local and regional scale.
Also, climate change impacts may interact with each other and may furthermore have a greater adverse effect when acting together compared to when they’re acting in isolation. But even if this data would be available in the future, adaptation still remains challenging because of its high complexity and its dependence on dynamic and interacting societal and natural framework conditions. For example, adaptation capacities are highly dependent on economic and demographic developments.
Simultaneously, adaptation is closely linked to local adaptation needs which are based on locally diverse vulnerabilities. This means that adaptation not only calls for strategies which are focusing on changing natural conditions, but also for integrative strategies that takes both societal and natural conditions into account. Adaptation to climate change is a cross cutting issue that interacts with and influences many policy fields, including nature protection, biodiversity and societal development.
From a psychological perspective, dealing with uncertainties is difficult because people in general feel much more comfortable in decision-making based on certainties, as such uncertainty could lead to justifying inaction. Therefore, dealing with these uncertainties is a crucial task for adaptation to climate change. This includes methodological developments and implementation of flexible approaches which enables stakeholders and decision makers to find solutions and strategies towards adaptation.
Effective and efficient adaptation is calling for governance approaches that involves both public and private actors in the process. The integration of regional and local knowledge and the high local responsibility for supporting and implementing adaptation measures will foster cooperation needs between a variety of actors. Adaptation to climate change is a policy challenge which consists of balancing multi scale, short- mid- and long-term and conflict-ridden (e.g. water and land use) factors.
In general, adaptation is much more a continuous social learning process in which a wide range of actors (policy makers, sectoral stakeholders, citizens, NGOs, researchers etc.) define options for adaptation and negotiate their priorities. That means, adaptation needs methods which are addressing or enabling such social learning processes between diverse actors and therefore have to be participatory and inclusive.
Dr. Baasch is a senior researcher at the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Department of Environmental Politics currently conducting research in Belize on how NGOs and other key actors, including community based organizations integrate adaptation to climate change in their programs, as well as how they are producing and integrating different kinds of knowledge about local adaptation needs. This study is supported by a travel grant from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation in Germany.