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United Kingdom FCDO provides helicopter funding; CDEMA continues to monitor SVG’s La Soufrière volcano

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#Barbados, January 14, 2021- The CDEMA Coordinating Unit has received funding from the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (UK FCDO) in the amount of £51,000 through the Memorandum of Understanding on the ‘UK Support for the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Response Teams programme’. The funds will cover the cost of a rotary helicopter aircraft, which will be used to support access to sampling of the extrusive materials, air lifting equipment to the flanks of the volcano, surveillance/reconnaissance to analyse changes in the volcano and other relevant support to the monitoring of the volcanic activity.

Photo provided by CDEMA

The request for a rotary aircraft was made by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves to CDEMA through the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO), St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The aircraft will support the ongoing monitoring by the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre’s (SRC) scientists on the ground.

“The Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are grateful to CDEMA and the UK Government (Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office) for their kind assistance in organising and financing the rotary helicopter service, which is necessary to facilitate the SRC and NEMO in conducting vital work in respect of the effusive volcanic eruption at La Soufriere in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Thanks to CDEMA’s Executive Director (ag), Liz Riley and the Coordinating Unit team, who have been magnificent in coordinating the efforts”, expressed Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

The United Kingdom’s Resident High Commissioner in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, His Excellency Steve Moore, said he is delighted that the UK FCDO is able to facilitate this request at short notice.

Photo provided by CDEMA

“The CDEMA Coordinating Unit is pleased to facilitate a timely response to this request from the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We wish to thank the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (UK FCDO) for its prompt financial support at a critical juncture in this volcanic event”, said CDEMA’s Executive Director (ag), Elizabeth Riley.

“The CDEMA CU team stands in solidarity with the Government and People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and remains committed to providing additional support as this event unfolds”, added Riley.

Professor Richard Robertson of the UWI-SRC has indicated that the initial aircraft is required for a minimum of seven (7) days, and subsequently on an as needed basis by the scientists. This support is extremely urgent to allow the scientists to analyze the data and present to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines an informed interpretation of the current volcanic events.

The CDEMA Coordinating Unit is liaising with CalvinAir, a private helicopter company, based in Antigua and Barbuda, with significant relevant operational expertise, to provide these services. The company has previously provided services to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre (SRC) and to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO).

The CDEMA CU urges all Participating States and members of the Regional Response Mechanism to continue to monitor the progress of this volcanic event. The public should continue to monitor the releases from their local national disaster management office for updates on the situation as it develops.

Caribbean News

Rich Nations told to pay for Climate Change, Mia Mottley bring another charged speech to World Leaders

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By Shanieka Smith

Features Writer

 

#Barbados, June 25, 2022 – Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, unapologetically laid the blame for the climate crisis on wealthy nations.  She said it is long past time for them to compensate countries undergoing the effects of climate change.  Motley expressed her thoughts and made the request in New York, where she joined a panel on sustainable development at the Global Citizen NOW summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Bill Nye.

“We’ve been carrying the costs on our balance sheet of your behaviour…”We’re not asking for the world.  We’re saying:  Look, put some money down and help us,” she said.

Barbados is battling rising sea levels, which threaten the water supply and encroach on coastal communities.  The World Health Organization has also warned that sea-level rise and changing weather could put immense pressure on freshwater resources.  However, this has not been a result of Barbados, which accounted for less than 0.01 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions in 2020.

Mottley expressed that the reason for the issues of climate change is the G20 nations, including the US, UK, China, Russia and the EU.  The countries that have released the vast majority of the emissions heating the planet.

“That’s what”s put us in this position,” she said.

To emphasize the effects of climate change on the island, she added, “Can you imagine going to a restaurant next to a place full of sargassum seaweed smelling?”  “You’re not gonna go!”

Meanwhile, the heavy polluters are better equipped to deal with the consequences of climate change, and smaller developing nations in the Caribbean are forced to battle climate extremes with very few resources.

“It would be not so bad if we had 25, 30 years to adapt.  Instead, we’ve got 12-13 years, according to everyone,” she said.  This is approximately 144 months.

Motley said that mitigating the issue is not simple and that it comes with obstacles like Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine. She said, however, that we have to “push past the pain.”

She added, “the issue is, will we get there fast enough to save those of us on the front line?”

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138 illegals add to the over 900 migrants captured by TCI Joint Forces

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FILE PHOTO

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre and partners continue to work together to protect our borders and keep TCI secure.

During the evening of Wednesday 22nd June 2022 the RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre identified a target of interest and immediately started to track the vessel around 5 miles North West of Providenciales travelling at around 7 knots.

The operator immediately updated colleagues within the Royal Turks and Caicos Marine Branch who made their way to the location and intercepted a vessel containing irregular migrants. Following a delicate, coordinated operation with the necessary stabilization of the vessel which was unsafe, severely overcrowded and the occupants were without life vests, the RTCIPF Marine Unit was joined by a second RTCIPF Marine crew and a third vessel crewed with TCI Regiment to support the delicate operation.

The vessel was carefully offloaded at sea to ensure the safety of the occupants and then the boat was towed to South Dock where it arrived around 4:45am with a total of 138 persons, 98 males and 40 female including 1 juvenile, who were then taken into custody by the Immigration Department. One male needed immediate medical attention in relation to a leg injury sustained.

Superintendent Martyn Ball said, “Again working with partners we have safely intercepted another vessel that was desperately overcrowded, unsafe and risked the lives of those on board. It continues to demonstrate the professionalism and dedication of the RTCIPF Marine Unit, working together with colleagues in the Marine Operations Centre, TCI Regiment, TCI Immigration and Health to save lives and keep our borders here in the Turks and Caicos Islands safe.

In the last couple of months over 900 individuals on 9 dangerous and unseaworthy vessels have been intercepted here in the TCI.

I would appeal to anyone if you have any information relating to such activity that you call CrimeStoppers free and anonymously on 1-800-8477, not only will you be saving lives but also supporting our national security here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

 

Caption: FILE PHOTO

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International joint forces seize $99 Million in Cocaine in Caribbean Sea

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

The US Coast Guard, and ships from the Netherlands made drug busts in the Caribbean Sea over the last few weeks resulting in a cumulative seizure of 5,237 pounds of cocaine.  The Coast Guard says the illegal narcotics which were offloaded at Base Miami Beach last Friday value $99 million.

The drugs were seized in the international waters of the Caribbean Sea by crews from: Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley, His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Friesland, His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Groningen.

Coast Guard Commanding officer of the Thetis, which transferred the drugs to the base in Miami, Justin Nadolny praised the partnership between themselves and the Netherlands which led to the massive seizure.

“Interdicting drug traffickers on the open ocean is challenging work and every interdiction is complex and unique,” he said. “This offload is a testament to the teamwork and devotion of every crew assigned to carry out this mission, and it showcases the strength of the valuable international partnerships united to combat transnational organized crime.  The fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in districts across the nation.”
The Turks and Caicos also have an agreement with the US Coast Guard signed in recent months which allows for tighter partnerships between the two countries (and the Bahamas) in the fight against illegal migration and drug trafficking in the county’s waters.

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