RBC Royal Bank today awarded the fast-growing environmental movement Save The Bays a grant for $5,000, praising the organization for its environmental education efforts that mirror the bank’s 10-year, $50 million commitment to making and keeping regional waters fishable, swimmable and drinkable.
Pristine waters are also the core values of one of Save The Bays’ major thrusts going forward – Clifton Waterkeeper that will get a small piece of the latest grant.
But the lion’s share of the grant will go toward education and it was that arm of Save The Bays that has graduated dozens of young people trained as environmental ambassadors in Grand Bahama that was a magnet for the bank.
“RBC Royal Bank in celebration of RBC Blue Water Day is pleased to donate $5,000 to Save The Bays, an organization that believes in creating innovative ways to keep our environment clean while educating individuals to do the same,” said Sharell Carroll, Manager, Corporate Communications, RBC, Bahamas, Cayman and Turks & Caicos Islands.
“The RBC Blue Water Project is an innovative, wide-ranging 10-year global commitment to help provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations.”
The donation followed a request from Save The Bays for support of its environmental education programs, including Youth Environmental Ambassadors (YEA). Funds will also go toward a train the trainer leadership program directed by the Centre for Creative Leadership in conjunction with Glover & Associates. According to coordinator and Save The Bays Education Director Joseph Darville, the program is led by Sharon Glover, a world renowned creative and sustainable leadership training professional who donates her time to the leadership development program.
“In conjunction with RBC the funds will assist in the training of some 15 young adult facilitators, some of whom will be selected from RBC staff. The Youth Environmental Ambassador Leadership program will be enhanced with a view of establishing this exceptionally successful program in Nassau and the Family Islands,” said Darville. “In this regard RBC will continue to be involved with us as members of their staff are trained and will work with our program to establish a solid core of youthful environmental stewards for safeguarding our sacred heritage way in the future. For that, we are extremely grateful.”
According to Save The Bays CEO Vanessa Haley-Benjamin, M.S., the partnership with RBC Royal Bank speaks volumes about the growing awareness of environmental importance.
“Corporate and community partnerships such as this one are the way forward for environmental organizations such as Save The Bays as we seek to engage the entire nation in the effort to preserve our natural resources for the benefit of future generations,” said Benjamin. “Support is very important to spreading our message of environmental protection throughout the nation.”
“Partnerships with organizations like Save The Bays speak to our commitment to ensuring that our environment is preserved for future generations to come,” said Deborah Zonicle, Market Manager, Products, Marketing & Channels, Bahamas, Cayman and Turks & Caicos Islands. “We also have scheduled tree planting activities with Sadie Curtis Primary school in collaboration with The College of The Bahamas and a beach cleanup activity is scheduled with Save The Bays. We continue to do our part to ensure that we are socially responsible at RBC.”
In addition to its educational efforts, Save The Bays is committed to passage of a Freedom of Information act, environmental protection act, accountability for oil pollution, and an end to unregulated development. With nearly 18,000 Facebook friends, the association is the fastest-growing NGO in The Bahamas.
Energy & Utilities Commissioner says new legislation will help to stabilize energy costs in Turks & Caicos Islands
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday, 30th November 2023: The Energy and Utilities Department (EUD) of the Turks and Caicos Islands, today reminds the public that the comprehensive Renewable Energy Legislation is currently before the House of Assembly and that the Legislation not only addresses the existing challenges posed by fuel price volatility but also lays the foundation for a sustainable and resilient energy future for the TCI.
In a recent press release, FortisTCI cited global factors such as production cuts and increased demand for fuel, leading to a surge in market prices. The EUD acknowledging these challenges thanks our power supplier for its proactivity when it comes to informing consumers of any changes in the cost of electricity. Further, the Government of Turks and Caicos wants residents and guests to know that it is committed to taking proactive measures that will transform the energy landscape through robust Renewable Energy Legislation.
In that vein, Delano Arthur, the new Energy and Utilities Commissioner looks forward to working with FortisTCI in the upcoming days to find innovative and collaborative solutions to reduce the cost of Fuel and Energy in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This initiative aims to not only mitigate the impact of volatile fuel prices but also secures a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy future for all of us.
Key components of the Renewable Energy Legislation include:
- Integrated Resource Plans: A formal planning process to prioritise renewable energy in addressing evolving energy needs.
- Competitive Tendering Process: Government-run initiatives to promote healthy renewable energy competition, achieve low-cost energy, and meet Paris Agreement goals.
- Administrative and Regulatory Measures: Establishing clear processes and responsibilities for all players who are in the renewable energy market.
- Licensing and Safety Standards: Comprehensive licensing provisions to ensure accountability and safety standards for renewable energy systems.
- Net Billing Program: Allowing building owners to self-generate and sell surplus electricity back to the grid.
The Renewable Energy Legislation serves as a mitigation against volatile fuel prices. By transitioning to cleaner energy sources and fostering a diverse renewable energy infrastructure, these Islands aim to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The competitive tendering process introduced in the legislation ensures the selection of the most cost-effective renewable energy solutions, contributing to energy affordability and stability.
As the Islands invest in renewable energy, the increased share of clean, locally produced electricity provides a stable alternative to fluctuating fuel prices. The Net Billing Programme further incentivises distributed energy generation, offering a predictable path for building owners to contribute to the grid and receive compensation, thus reducing reliance on traditional fuel sources.
For further information, please contact:
Delano R. Arthur
Energy and Utilities Department
Turks and Caicos Islands Government
CANARI outlines climate priorities ahead of Cop28
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) informed that the Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance, in preparation for the upcoming annual COP28 in 2023, launched its “Caribbean Climate Justice and Resilience Agenda,” outlining the priorities for climate justice and resilience in vulnerable Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).
In a press release, CANARI highlighted that the agenda recognizes the major threat of climate change to the region as well as aims to louden the voices of the at-risk groups “on the frontlines of the climate crisis and catalyze actions for climate justice and local resilience in the Caribbean SIDS.”
The priorities stated under the agenda are:
- Curbing emissions to limit global temperature
increase to 1.5 ̊C
- Scaling up locally-led solutions for adaptation and
loss and damage
- Improving access to and delivery of climate finance
for frontline communities, small and micro enterprises, and civil society organizations as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach
- Scaling up just, nature-based solutions for resilience
- Supporting a just transition for pro-poor, inclusive,
sustainable and resilient development
- Promoting gender equity and social inclusion
approaches to climate action
- Promoting youth and intergenerational equity as
core to the climate response
- Integrating a rights-based and earth-centered
approach in addressing all these priorities and ensuring climate justice
The at-risk groups referred to in the release include small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, rural women producers, income-poor people, elderly and disabled people, Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, migrants, and LGBTQIA+ people.
Being cognizant of the severity of the effects of climate change on the Caribbean, CANARI referred to the fact that the very existence of the region is on the line.
“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global temperature exceeds 1.5 ̊C, the impacts of rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, rainfall variability, ocean acidification, and other changes threaten the very existence of our way of life in the Caribbean and other SIDS that have contributed the least to global emissions.”
CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence
“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.
She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.
Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.
“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.
“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”
The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.
She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.
For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average.
In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.” Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.
Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”
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