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The Planning Institute of Jamaica Climate Report



#Jamaica, February 13, 2018 – Kingston – The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), on Friday (February 9), launched its 2015 State of the Jamaican Climate Report, which provides a concise overview of data and information on Jamaica’s climate.  The report, which is an update of the 2012 edition, builds on the core data in the previous report, and is a first reference point with respect to parameters such as rainfall, temperature, sea level rise and solar radiation.   It notably examines the potential impact of climate change on key sectors such as agriculture, education, energy, health and tourism, and provides recommendations on how best to address these issues.

The report was jointly prepared by the PIOJ under the Pilot Programme on Climate Resilience (PPCR)/Improving Climate Data and Information Management Project (ICDIMP), and the University of the West Indies (UWI) Climate Studies Group.

PIOJ Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, in his remarks at the launch, held as part of the UWI Research Days activities on the Mona campus, said that facilitating Jamaica’s transformation to a climate-resilient economy and society is central to the ICDIMP, which targets the production of improved data for local and national planning.  He said the PIOJ strongly associates with this development objective because of the contribution that the project is making and can make to informed decision-making at every level of Jamaican life.

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Dr. Henry lauded the collaboration of the various partners in completing the 2015 report, which he described as an “excellent example of government agencies working with the support of the international development community”.  The ICDIMP is a five-year US$6.8-million project, which is part of Jamaica’s Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience (SPCR).

The PPCR is financed by the Climate Investment Fund (CIF), with the value of Jamaica’s overall programme totalling US$30 million.  That programme is being jointly implemented by the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank.

World Bank Country Manager for Jamaica, Galina Sotirova, described the report as a very “critical body of work”.  This, she said, against the background of Jamaica’s vulnerability to climate and natural disasters being identified among the major challenges to economic growth, wealth creation and poverty eradication.  She noted that Jamaica experienced 11 storm events and severe weather events between 2001 and 2011, resulting in damage and losses totalling over $122 million.

Additionally, Ms. Sotirova said the dislocation caused by hurricane Ivan in 2004 equated to eight per cent of the gross domestic product.

“The damage and losses result in heavy fiscal burdens, increased indebtedness and redirection of resources from medium-term development goals… and when a disaster happens, the poor are the ones (who) are most impacted,” she added.

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Ms. Sotirova congratulated the PIOJ and its partners for preparing the 2015 report and expressed the hope that it will be adopted and used by the decision-makers.

“We (World Bank) remain committed to supporting Jamaica in the implementation of the recommendations,” she added.

For her part, Chair of the UWI Research Days, Professor Denise Eldemire Shearer, noted that climate change has been a focus of the annual event since she assumed the position.  She contended that “there is no doubt that the UWI considers this an important topic”, reiterating that the state of Jamaica’s climate resilience “is an extremely important obligation for decision-making”.

“I cannot think of a better event to be part of than Research Days. When (Climate Studies Group Chairman) Professor (Michael) Taylor approached us, we immediately said yes and said we would make it a signature event,” she noted.

Professor Taylor provided an overview of the publication during the launch.

Release: JIS



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Bahamas News

WHO says COVID deaths THREE TIMES higher



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


May 14, 2022 – Weeks ago the world marked an awful milestone 6 million COVID-19 deaths now the WHO says the real number may be almost three times higher.

In a recent press release the organization said new estimates from its data show that the full death toll or excess mortality associated directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 pandemic between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 was approximately 14.9 million but might be as high as 16.6 million.

The organization explained that,  “Excess mortality is calculated as the difference between the number of deaths that have occurred and the number that would be expected in the absence of the pandemic based on data from earlier years.”

Basically the excess mortality rate tells us how many people will be alive were it not for COVID. It is important to know what that figures including spikes associated with omicron are not included in this data set so the number could very well be higher.

“These sobering data not only point to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the organization.

South-east Asia and the Americas were the worst hit by the pandemic in terms of death toll.

WHO data shows 20 countries, containing approximately 50% of the global population, account for over 80% of the estimated global excess mortality for the January 2020 to December 2021 period.

These countries are: Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, the Russian Federation, South Africa, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States of America (USA).


WHO COVID DEATHS Photo caption:  File photo in Jakarta;  at a time when there were fears about running out of space to bury its dead.

(Supplied: Arbain Rambey)


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Bahamas News

Two Babies die from toxic Similac, TCI Ministry of Health asks stores to pull bad batches off Shelves



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, May 14, 2022 – Two infants have died as a result of bad baby food, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Health renewed calls to stay away from Similac and several other baby formulas.

The warning for parents over fears of contaminated baby food came in a press release on Monday and advised all local suppliers, healthcare facilities and parents to read the labels and check for a list of brands and batches.

“Discontinue the sale and/or use of certain batches of powdered infant formulas manufactured by Abbott, namely: Similac, Alimentum and EleCare.”

The products were recalled by the US Food and Drug Administration after consumers complained of illness in infants from Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport.

The TCI Health Ministry advises that the bacteria can cause rare bloodstream and central nervous system infections and has been associated with severe intestinal infection and blood poisoning, especially in newborns.

In the worse cases, two babies in the US have died.

The ministry statement said: “Consumers are advised not to use the recalled products if the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37 and the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2 and has an expiration date of April 2022 or later.”

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Bahamas News

GBPA at SeaTrade Cruise Global 2022: “Grand Bahama Island is Open for Business”



#TheBahamas, May 13, 2022 – The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) and Invest Grand Bahama (IGB) were pleased to exhibit at the SeaTrade Cruise Global annual conference at the Miami Beach Convention Center late last month, heralding their message amongst the hundreds of rival destinations that, ‘Grand Bahama Island is Open for Business’.

After a three-year absence, the highly anticipated event brought together thousands of cruise executives, decision-makers, destination representatives and leading industry brands for the first in-person gathering since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the four-day networking, promotional and education event, held April 25 to 28, GBPA officials met with industry executives to discuss current development projects, and prospects for new investments across Freeport’s diverse and multifaceted economic sectors. Reiterating Freeport’s presence and readiness for new investment, GBPA’s President Ian Rolle and Chief Investment Officer Derek Newbold spoke candidly with interested parties regarding key projects coming to Grand Bahama.

“We are entertaining prospects for new projects across several sectors, including Technology, Tourism & Hospitality, Trade & Logistics, and Real Estate development for commercial and touristic residential projects,” Mr. Rolle explained. “Freeport is ready and open for business.

“As we awaited the resurgence of the global cruise industry, our executives worked to position Freeport positively for new opportunities,” Mr. Rolle continued. “Freeport is already gaining traction and, by capitalizing on our strategic location, investor-friendly environment, and ease of doing business policies, these efforts are bearing fruit. With the recent ground-breaking for Carnival’s newest and largest cruise port and the soon anticipated announcements for the multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the existing cruise port at Freeport Harbour, Grand Bahama continues to attract the attention of globally recognized brands expressing keen interest in establishing a presence in Freeport, and we are ready to welcome them,” Rolle added.

SeaTrade Cruise Global is an iconic industry event and focal meeting point where stakeholders across every gamut of the cruise and hospitality sectors convene for networking and promotions to keep pace with cutting-edge industry advancements.

According to Derek Newbold, it was important for stakeholders to gather to discuss new improvements, address pain points and highlight industry innovations that affect or impact consumers at every level.  “Grand Bahama’s presence at this year’s event was critical,” he expressed. “Post-Dorian and COVID , it is essential that key market representatives are aware that Grand Bahama is rebounding at a significant pace and that we are open for business.”

Among GBPA’s primary objectives was to promote the very best of Grand Bahama for leisure, lifestyle and investments. “With the support of our partners Pelican Bay Hotel, Grand Bahama Nature Tours, Margaritaville at Sea and several others, Grand Bahama and Freeport were well represented,” Newbold continued. “We met with several senior executives from the technology, real estate development, events, entertainment and value-addition sectors. We are extremely encouraged by the growing interest in Freeport and believe that GBPA’s focus and commitment to investment attraction will continue to benefit Grand Bahama over the coming months and years.”

Discussions are already underway for 2023’s SeaTrade Cruise Global event, with increased participation and collaboration between all stakeholders.

“The Bahamas is a multifaceted destination with unique experiences from island to island. We want to showcase the very best of Freeport and Grand Bahama Island and we believe that, with the feedback and input from the partners who joined us at this year’s event, we are off to an early and exciting start,” Newbold concluded.


Photo Captions: 

Header: Promoting Grand Bahama for leisure, lifestyle and investments was a key objective during SeaTrade Cruise Global 2022.   Pictured from left to right are members of the Invest Grand Bahama event team Khambrel Ferguson – Principal, Leslie’s Trades, Della Bridgewater – Operations Manager, Pelican Bay Hotel, Denise Neely – General Manager, Grand Bahama Nature Tours, Derek Newbold – Chief Investment Officer, GBPA & Invest Grand Bahama, LaShawn Dames – Business Services Manager, GBPA and Trevor Simmons Jr. – Business Development & Marketing Officer, GBPA. Not Pictured: Ian Rolle – President, GBPA Group and Nasly Osorio – Sr. International Business Development Manager, Margaritaville at Sea.

1st insert: Team Invest Grand Bahama entertaining visitors at the Invest Grand Bahama Booth #642 during the 2022 SeaTrade Cruise Global event in Miami Beach, Florida.

2nd insert: “Freeport is ready and open for business,” stated GBPA President Ian Rolle (center). Rolle is pictured with Chief Investment Officer, Derek Newbold (right), during one of many meetings during SeaTrade Cruise Global 2022. The 4-day event took place last week at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida.


Release: GBPA


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