The Bahamas, 17 December 2014 – It’s rare that a school visit elicits a response so effusive it sounds like something reserved for eyeballing an Orca, but then neither the school nor the students were ordinary when the education team from Save The Bays landed at The Island School, Cape Eleuthera recently for a scientific symposium.
It was environmental protection advocates meeting those who live, work, teach and breathe the environment, making the most of nature’s bounty with sustainable energy and renewables while sharing lessons they have learned with those will become the future stewards of a fragile eco-system.
The hands-on, four-day, live-in training was made possible by a grant from the fast-growing environmental movement Save The Bays. Like last year’s symposium attendance which was funded by the Moore Bahamas Foundation, this year’s brought members of the education arm of Save The Bays, headed by Joseph Darville, and its Youth Environment Ambassadors (YEA) Facilitators to the Cape Eleuthera Institute and The Island School.
The school, started in 1999 with six students and the philosophy “We live what we teach” has become a magnet for high school seniors from various countries who grow their own food, explore the coral reefs and the deep, interacting with sharks, sea turtles and other marine species, learning eco-management. All their surroundings, including living quarters, are textbook sustainable.
“The best part of this trip was actually seeing and experiencing how technology/development and nature can live and work together in harmony and peace without devastation and destruction,” said Javan Hunt, Environmental Facilitator. “It can be done! And now I take with me this blueprint and will implement what I can in my personal life, teach those willing to learn and lead by example.”
Hunt echoed what environmental spokesmen have frequently said – that blue and green economies can provide untold numbers of jobs without endangering species or resources.
“Each time we attend, we return renewed and even more passionate about leading our youth expertly along the path of creating a dynamic, sustainable and leadership role in preserving and protecting the unique beauty and resources of this archipelagic nation,” said Darville. “The Island School and Cape Eleuthera are undoubtedly the microcosm of the type of environmental stewardship that should be propagated throughout our island nation.”
YEA Facilitator Jensen Farquharson agreed.
“I am thankful to Save The Bays affording me the opportunity to be a part of an experience that will forever enforce my faith in the hope that this country can realize its potential if we invest in our young people wisely,” said Farquharson. “The island of Eleuthera is certainly a paradise: the people, the marine scenery, and the unique topography confirmed why I love this country.”
Leadership trainer Sharon Glover called Eleuthera “one of God’s greatest creations,” encouraging every Bahamian to visit Eleuthera and The Island School.
“I do believe it would renew and confirm their belief that there is no place like the Bahamas and therefore we should do everything in our powers to preserve and protect it.”
Protecting the environment and preserving it for future generations are the primary goals of Save The Bays, the record-breaking non-government organization that has amassed more than 17,000 friends on Facebook since its launch in April 2013. Its petition at savethebays.bs calling on government to pass an environmental protection act, a freedom of information act, control oil pollution and end unregulated development has nearly 7,000 signatures.
Rihanna efforts for against climate change
#Barbados, December 5, 2023 – Global pop star and business owner Rihanna called on Janet Yellen, US Treasury Secretary and Ajay Banga, World Bank Chief, to join the fight against climate change for communities most affected.
The Barbadian singer and businesswoman took to her twitter in June this year to confront the need for action from Yellen and Banga.
She said, “Hey @SecYellen & #Ajay Banga, will you join @miaamormottley and step up for communities hit hardest by climate emergencies? We need you to make bold commitments to finance & debt reforms.”
“I address climate with @ClaraLionelFdn, now it’s your turn.”
The singer also put in here appeal, the link to ‘action platform’ organisation Global Citizen, which is campaigning for global financial reform to address the interconnected crises of climate change, hunger and inequity.
Mia Amor Mottley, the prime minister of Barbados, Rihanna’s home country, thanked Rihanna for her tweet, reports say, expressing that the Bridgetown Initiative is the “opportunity” that world leaders need to take.
Rihanna’s foundation, named after her grandparents, prioritizes climate resilience and climate Justice work and has donated millions in grants since being founded in 2012.
In fact, in 2019, after launching its Climate Resilience Initiative (CRI), to enhance emergency preparedness, it donated $1million in grants to The Bahamas, providing emergency food and medicine following Hurricane Dorian.
Also, last year, her foundation donated €13 million (USD$15 million) to the climate movement.
She said the donation to 18 climate justice organisations would contribute to seven Caribbean nations and the US, including the Climate Justice Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Movement for Black Lives.
The grants, reports say, made in partnership with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s StartSmall philanthropic initiative, target groups with female, LGBT, Black and Indigenous leaders given that because their communities are most at risk.
NIC Hailed as Key Contributor to Food Security
#Kingston, December 5, 2023 – Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Hon. Franklin Witter, is commending the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) Limited for its invaluable contribution to agricultural productivity and food security in Jamaica.
Mr. Witter, who was addressing the agency’s 36th anniversary luncheon and long service awards ceremony on November 28 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, said this significant milestone not only marks a journey of dedication and resilience, but also stands as a testament of the critical role of irrigation in the advancement of the agricultural sector.
He said that consistent and reliable irrigation service is critical to safe and abundant food supply.
“NIC is the standard bearer of the Ministry. It is heartening to see that the NIC operations are aligned seamlessly with the Ministry’s New FACE of Food initiative, which focuses on food security, agri-business, climate smart initiatives, and export expansion,” he noted.
Mr. Witter pledged the Ministry’s continued support and investment in the agency in the ongoing quest to safeguard the country’s food security.
“We must harness the power of modern technology …the NIC must be at the forefront of innovation and research. We need to invest in cutting-edge technologies and methodologies that optimize our irrigation systems and optimize our agricultural production,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of the NIC, Joseph Gyles, in his remarks at the ceremony, said the NIC will be expanding its irrigation districts, increasing these from 16 to 19.
He noted that presently, the Commission produces over 60-million-cubic metres of water on an annual basis.
“As we navigate the future, we embrace automation and digitization and have accepted that if we are to survive in this global world sustainability must remain at the core of our operational ethos,” he said.
The NIC is mandated to manage, operate, maintain and expand existing irrigation schemes and systems established by the Government of Jamaica or by any department or agency, as well as to fix and collect the rates or charges for the use of such water systems.
The NIC maintains an island-wide presence through six district offices located in key irrigation areas.
Contact: Rochelle Williams
Fuel prices are on the rise again after near 40% decline earlier this year
#TurksandCaicos, December 5, 2023 – FortisTCI is closely monitoring the impact of external shocks on market fuel prices, which continue to cause increases in the fuel factor rate and result in higher electricity bills. Higher global demand for fuel along with production cuts by leading oil producing countries have caused an increase in market prices, according to J.P. Morgan. While it is difficult to forecast far in advance precisely how prices will change, new projections from our fuel supplier indicate that fuel prices will continue to rise over the next several weeks. As a result, the fuel factor rate on November’s electricity bills increased by up to 10% across some service territories.
The fuel factor rate on customer electricity bills changes with average market fuel prices. Prior to this upswing in prices, fuel factor rates were more stable this year, falling nearly 40% across most service territories between February and September. This downward trend was contrasted by high energy demand during the summer as outside temperatures reached record-breaking levels.
The fuel factor rate on electricity bills is charged for every kilowatt hour of electricity used. When the fuel factor rate increases and a customer’s energy consumption increases, their electricity bill will be higher. Similarly, if both decrease, their electricity bill will be lower. If one increases but the other decreases, this will have a more balancing effect. If the customer consumes the same kilowatt hours of electricity, but their electricity bill has increased, the fuel factor rate has likely risen.
FortisTCI understands the challenges associated with higher electricity bills and is committed to diversifying how energy is produced and supporting customers during this time. The Company continues to advocate for suitably tailored, holistic utility sector regulatory reform, and continues to integrate alternative energy sources to the grid through roof-top solar systems and solar-powered microgrids with battery energy storage technology. These projects help to increase the amount of renewable energy on the grid, reduce the impact of global fuel price shocks on local energy costs over time, and lower carbon emissions.
Changes in the fuel factor rate can be tracked by comparing electricity bills. Notices regarding these changes are also issued monthly via email, social media, and other mainstream channels. Customers can also view their daily energy usage data via the Company’s free customer portal at www.myftcionline.com.
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