As the clock counts down to the last major climate change meeting of the year, before countries must agree on a definitive new treaty in 2015, a senior United Nations official says members of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) “need to be innovative and think outside the box” if they hope to make progress on key issues.
Bamboo Avenue is a two-and-a-half mile stretch of road in Jamaica’s St. Elizabeth parish. It is lined with giant bamboo plants which tower above the road and cross in the middle to form a shady tunnel. The avenue was established in the 17th century by the owners of the Holland Estate to provide shade for travelers and to protect the road from erosion.
The remarkable biodiversity of the countries of the Caribbean, already under stress from human impacts like land use, pollution, invasive species, and over-harvesting of commercially valuable species, now faces an additional threat from climate change.
International experts working in the creative sector are calling for governments to recognise the integral role that culture plays in development and to ensure that culture is a part of the post-2015 United Nations development goals, to be discussed next year.
Buildings are among the largest consumers of earth’s natural resources. According to the Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative, they use about 40 percent of global energy and 25 percent of global water, while emitting about a third of greenhouse gas emissions.
Last Fall, I witnessed the Grenada Council of Churches insert themselves into negotiations between their government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) around the island’s debt restructuring and presumed austerity policies. Religious leaders called from pulpits across the tiny island for a “Jubilee” or national debt cancellation.
On May 23, shortly after wrapping up negotiations on the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) 958- million-dollar loan - its second in three years - to keep Jamaica out of default, the fund’s mission chief in the country, Jan Kees Martijn, set out to visit Croydon, a former plantation settlement in the mountainous northwest of the island.
One year ago, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast United States, causing an estimated 68 billion dollars in damage and paralysing the world’s financial nerve centre.
It has taken just eight inches of water for Jamaica to be affected by rising sea levels, with parts of the island nation have disappeared completely, threatening people's livelihoods and much more.
Over the past six months, governments in two influential Caribbean trade bloc member states – Jamaica and Guyana - have floated political test balloons on the question of whether colonial-era laws criminalising homosexuality should be amended in keeping with trends in most Western states.
Experts here fear that that the impact of climate change on Jamaica's fragile ecosystems will worsen the ravages of human activity and destroy the country's tourism industry.
Jamaican authorities are going all out to achieve environmental sustainability as one way of minimising the expected impacts of climate change on the local biodiversity.