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Greater Enthusiasm for Environmental Protection encouraged by Climate Change Summit Speaker, Bermuda’s Hon Walter Roban  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Bermuda, April 26, 2022 – Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs of Bermuda, Walter Roban, is urging island states, especially British Oversea Territories, to devote the same enthusiasm they have crafting development proposals and opportunities for international investors to environmental investment and protection internally and internationally.

In giving his remarks at the Turks and Caicos Islands’ first Climate Change Conference, on April 22, in celebration of Earth Day, the Deputy Premier highlighted the effects and impacts of climate change on small islands such as Bermuda and the TCI, noting that small island states and other developing nations are at the forefront of the impacts of climate change, and this is something that cannot be underestimated. As a result, he said we (island states) must have robust regulatory frameworks, particularly for environmental protection.

“Bermuda has done a lot of work on that and is happy to share that further with the TCI and other islands. We’ve had environmental protection since the 1600s, so we have a history of it, and we have been, even in the last couple of decades, doing a lot to enhance legislative protections and also enforcement,” said Minister Roban.

Roban also encouraged that it is important for island states to ensure that they have robust regulatory frameworks around the energy sector as well and island states should seek outside investments in this sector.

“We must also look to encourage outside investments in the green technologies, solar, wind, ocean technologies and have a coordinated strategic approach to climate change around these technologies and to effectively device and implement dynamic overarching plans that will mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change,” said Roban.

As a result of the work that Bermuda has done over the years where climate change is concerned, the country was able to secure funding from the United Kingdom government to conduct an exhaustive climate study that will undertake a vulnerability assessment of Bermuda’s major infrastructure, such as its airport, ports, public highways, electricity generation, subterranean, utility and communications framework, waste and energy plant and swage management systems.

The study, Roban explained, will be about the impact of climate change on the island of Bermuda. He further explained that the study is expected to make predictions with the projection timeline for best and worse climate case scenarios for the short, medium, and long term. When completed, it will allow Bermuda to project how the areas conducted in the study will impact the country for 50 to 100 years.

Minister Roban emphasised that these are the sort of projections that island states need to have and understand to be able to contemplate their decision making and encouraged small island states in the region to conduct studies like these, even if it requires them to work together to do so.

“Small island states in the region, if you are unable to pursue these studies individually, you can jointly support such studies together. These are one of the ways that we can work together instead of taking on the full investment of those exhaustive studies on our own, and we can create a pool of resources that will allow us to benefit from the results of those studies,” explained the Deputy Premier.

He said island states should share these studies so others can benefit.

“We must share the outcomes of these studies with each other because whatever Bermuda learns about what’s happening in Bermuda can benefit the Turks and Caicos Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and others,” said Roban.

Roban also encouraged island states to take advantage of other opportunities that exist that afford a study of their territories.

“I also encourage you to benefit from academia; academia is often keen to come into our territory and work with us to complete these studies and sometimes they’ll do it themselves without any financial commitment because it is a part of building their own resource base,” said the Deputy Premier.

He added that: “academia, international organizations, and research institutions are out there who want to work with us to study and do these studies, pursue, investigate, and invite them in on terms that are mutually beneficial to you.”

The Home Affairs Minister also noted that it is important for island states to become strong voices in the campaign for climate action and “become our own advocate in the fight for climate change. We as overseas territories must work together.

Caribbean News

No Room for Failure; Leaders report to UN Security Council on Haiti Stabilisation Mission

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

July 19, 2024 – The new Haitian Government says its focus is on addressing gang violence and food insecurity, ensuring free elections through constitutional and political reform, and rebuilding public trust in the police.

Prime Minister Garry Conille told the United Nations (UN) Security Council recently  that the newly deployed Kenyan police will be crucial to helping control gangs, and moving toward democratic elections, as he described their initial days in the capital “extremely, extremely positive.

“More than ever Haiti must mobilise all the necessary and available resources to make this transition the last one, a transition that could set it on the path toward peace, security and sustainable development,” the PM told the Council.

With the help of the international police force, PM Conille is tasked with stabilising the country in preparation for democratic elections in February 2026. He said Haiti intends to “redefine our approaches” to build “strong and effective institutions” by the time the police leave Haiti.

In February, gangs launched coordinated attacks on government infrastructure, including roads, prisons, and the Port-au-Prince airport, eventually leading then Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign in April.

Violence on the island has resulted in the displacement of 580,000 people, more than half of whom are children, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The World Food Program reports that more than four million Haitians face food insecurity.

The Prime Minister told the Council that the international police force will require “close coordination and constant communication between all the parties involved to ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated.”

Meanwhile, head of the Kenya-led international force, tasked with curbing gang violence in Haiti, Godfrey Otunge said on Monday that “there’s no room for failure” and that the United Nations-backed police mission was committed to ensuring democratic elections in the Caribbean nation.

“We have a job that we are committed to do, and we intend to achieve this by working closely with Haitian authorities and local and international partners dedicated to a new Haiti.”

The U.N.-backed mission, to which the United States has pledged over $300 million in support, will have 1000 police officers from Kenya, and will be joined by police from the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Chad, and Jamaica.

The force will total 2,500 personnel.

Haitian police chief Normil Rameau also addressed the nation on Monday, saying the U.N.-backed mission is focused on reclaiming all areas from gang control, reinstating police presence in regions lacking authority and assisting Haitians displaced by the gangs to return home.

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Help; Money donated to Jamaica, Barbados, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia and Grenada

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, July 19, 2024 – The relief efforts in countries affected by Hurricane Beryl have been bolstered by a donation of US$800,000, from the CAF-Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Executive President of the financial institution, Sergio Diaz-Granados said it is hoped that the funds will assist needs during the “critical period” in the immediate aftermath of a “very powerful and destructive Hurricane. The grant serves to address this emergency, through the designated Ministries and official Governmental channels,” in the five countries, he said.

Barbados and Jamaica will each receive $250,000, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will all receive $100,000. The Bank said it is essential that global awareness be elevated about the vulnerability to Climate Change in the Caribbean.

It said “decisive action” needs to be taken to tackle the effects of Climate Change, with emphasis on policies and investments in adaptation, as well as risk management tools, and it will continue to work closely with international partners, to gather data, produce specialised knowledge, innovate, and offer financial solutions to strengthen resilience in the region.

In early July, Hurricane Beryl ripped across the Caribbean, with winds of 150mph tearing roofs from buildings, uprooting trees, and devastating the islands in its path. At least three islands reported that more than 90% of the homes and buildings either destroyed or severely damaged, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency reported. All three are within the chain of Grenadine Islands, where the hurricane roared into the Caribbean on the southern end of the Windwards, between St. Vincent and Grenada.

Since the devastation, the United Nations (UN) and its partners have launched a US$9 million response plan to provide urgent humanitarian aid to 43,000 people in Grenada and Sanit Vincent and the Grenadines.

UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Simon Springett said “swift action” is imperative to meet the “pressing needs” of people whose homes and livelihoods have vanished overnight, he said.

Mr. Springett, who visited Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, after they were struck by Hurricane Beryl, said that the devastation is “immense and heartbreaking,” and he spoke to many families, and It is likely that utilities will take a long time to be restored,” the Resident Coordinator stated.

The response plan will help to both support immediate life-saving and early recovery efforts. The UN and its partners, who are supporting the Governments’ response, have identified shelter, food and health care as being among the top priorities.

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Caribbean News

RBC donates $175,000 to Hurricane Beryl relief efforts

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PORT OF SPAIN — In the wake of Hurricane Beryl, RBC Royal Bank (RY on TSX and NYSE) (“RBC”) and RBC Foundation USA announced a donation of C$175,000 to the Canadian Red Cross and the American Red Cross in support of Caribbean and U.S. relief efforts.

The devastating hurricane impacted several Caribbean and U.S. communities where RBC operates, including Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and Tobago.

RBC’s contribution will support emergency relief efforts, including shelters, hygiene kits, and social assistance to those in the affected communities.

“The intensity of Hurricane Beryl this early in the season is concerning and our thoughts are with the individuals affected in the Caribbean communities as well as in the U.S.,” said Chris Duggan, Head of RBC Caribbean Banking.

“At RBC, we believe it is our responsibility to support our communities in times of need. Our donation to the Red Cross, will provide immediate assistance to those impacted, ensuring they receive the necessary resources to recover and rebuild.”

Commenting on the Caribbean generosity as well as that of our larger RBC community, Duggan added: “The response of the RBC Caribbean Banking employees, as well as that of our larger RBC community has been generous and unhesitating. In response to the disaster, our colleagues are coming together in many unique and incredible ways and donating personally to help those affected.”

Those that would like to support the relief efforts can donate to the Canadian Red Cross at www.redcross.ca or the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.

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