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Ten Bahamian-Owned Businesses Receive Awards for Energy Efficiency; Three Receive Grants

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By BETTY VEDRINE
Bahamas Information Services
 
#TheBahamas, March 26, 2023 – Bahamian business owners are being recognized for adopting practices that save money and reduce their carbon footprint.

During a reception recognizing ten businesses that have implemented various energy-saving features, Minister of Economic Affair, Senator, Hon. Michael Halkitis said that these persons were being celebrated because they were making a positive impact in the world of energy efficiency. The event was held at Baha Mar Convention Centre on March 22, 2023.

“This ceremony represents the result of weeks of hard work by the Access Accelerator team, who have been working diligently to select the businesses that have had the highest impact in energy efficiency after heeding the call to have their businesses studied,” he said. The Minister also invited all start-ups and existing businesses to find ways to incorporate energy efficiency into their businesses.

According to Executive Director of the Small Business Development Centre, Samantha Rolle, the initiative is part of the 11 initiatives under the guaranteed loan program furnished by the Inter-American Development Bank, which will be launched this year. The initiative will impact a cross-section of sectors in the economy, including food service, export readiness, fitness and wellness, hospitality, women in business and other sectors. She said that for this initiative, over 600 applications were received and after a strict process, ten businesses were selected with  the top three receiving a cash injection into their businesses, a free audit and an energy plaque.

Many of the businesses used LED lighting, solar-generated devices, recycling processes and energy efficient appliances to decrease their energy cost.  In addition, some business owners implemented protocols such as using a timer to schedule the optimal timing for high use/low use needs, or shut down or reduced their energy output while not in use, such as when the business was closed for the day. They also used ductless air conditioning units instead of central air conditioning systems. These were among some of the ways they were able to reduce costs and decrease their carbon footprint.

The top ten businesses included: New Life, The New Duff, MGS Grocery Store (Long Island), Perfec-Ton, Best Energy Bahamas Ltd., A & M Electrical Supplies (Long Island), Sawyer’s Studio, H. Russell Convenience Store (Andros), The Promise Institute and J & M Island Shop Consultants (Eleuthera). The top three also received grants in the amounts of $5,000, $7,000 and $10,000 to assist with their businesses.

 

PHOTO CAPTIONS

Header: Recipients of awards in energy efficiency pose for a group photo during the Energy Efficiency Stars in Business Awards Show. The event was held at Baha Mar Convention Centre on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2023.

1st insert: Minister of Economic Affairs, Hon. Michael Halkitis speaking during the Energy Efficiency Stars in Business Awards Show. The event was held at Baha Mar Convention Centre on Wednesday, 22nd March.

2nd insert: The principals for the company receiving the highest recognition for energy efficiency, J & M Island Shop Consultants (Eleuthera) pose for a group shot with the Minister.

 

(BIS Photos/Mark Ford)

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RTCIPF Observes World Down Syndrome Day

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On March 21st, 2024, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force joined the international, regional and local communities in observing World Down Syndrome Day. 

Officers showed their support by wearing brightly coloured and mismatched socks to raise awareness. 

The head of the Safeguarding and Public Protection Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police Grantley Williams, Training Manager Mrs Odessa Forbes and Media Relations Officer Denyse Renne visited the SNAP Centre and interacted with the students.

In a message to the TCI community, the RTCIPF noted that stereotypes perpetuate stigma and hinder inclusion, preventing individuals from reaching their full potential. 

Instead, the RTCIPF calls for individuals to foster an environment of acceptance and support where everyone is valued for who they are. 

By breaking down barriers and challenging misconceptions, we can create a more inclusive society where individuals with Down Syndrome are empowered to live fulfilling lives and contribute meaningfully to their communities and, by extension, the TCI. 

As law enforcement officers, we must protect and serve all members of society, regardless of their abilities. 

Let’s work together to ensure that individuals with Down Syndrome are treated with dignity and respect and that their rights are upheld.

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CARICOM speaks out on Climate Change, looking to May meeting to amplify call for Climate Funding

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March 3, 2024

 

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) remains on the frontlines of global climate crisis, an issue the Region has been aggressively advocating on for the past thirty years. Despite the many commitments and promises of international partners, the window of opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is rapidly closing.

Heads of Government are concerned that while COP 28 was widely regarded as a historic event, with the completion of the first global stocktake (GST), on progress in achievement of the Paris Agreement goals, the outcomes of GST show that emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise and the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of Parties will not keep global temperatures below the 1.5 degree goal enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

Heads of Government also expressed concern to be heading to COP 29 where a New Finance Goal will be articulated to replace the 100bn goal, which has not yet been met, even as developing countries require trillions to deal with the escalating impacts of climate change. Developed country parties have not provided enough finance at scale, technology and capacity building support required to help developing countries tackle their pressing needs to build their resilience, especially in adapting to the adverse and increasingly catastrophic impacts of climate change. The clear absence of definitive timelines for action and quantitative commitments for scaling up of investments, and particularly adaptation finance emerging out of COP 28, cause great concern to our Region.

The Conference noted that Small Island Developing States (SIDS), recognized as the most vulnerable group of countries and a special case for sustainable development, have been facing strong push back against the recognition of their special circumstances especially in the context of climate finance. There is limited international support for special allocations for SIDS within financing arrangements and available climate finance from international and private sources is limited, expensive and too onerous to access.

In light of the preceding, Heads of Government called for CARICOM to take a strategic, unified and coordinated approach to ensure that the Region remains influential in the climate and development arena through engagements with key partners and advocacy groups.

They called for renewed focus by the Region to advocate for inclusion of forests, nature-based solutions and blue carbon into market mechanisms with the aim of articulating clear regional positions and strategies.

Heads of Government reiterated the call for improved readiness programmes, simplified approval procedures, a change to the criteria for determining access to low-cost finance, and for the adoption of programmatic approaches to address the bottlenecks in accessing finance.

The Region reiterates its support for the Bridgetown Initiative’s call to expand capital adequacy of international financial institutions.

Heads recognized that the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States, scheduled to be held in Antigua and Barbuda, 27 – 30 May 2024, will be an inflection point for many of these discussions to be articulated. As such, the Region remains committed to participating in the Conference at the highest level.

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South Caicos Development Plans shared with Washington-Misick led Administration

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On Monday, 12 February 2024, the Premier led a delegation to tour the island of South Caicos to view the ongoing public and private sector projects, involving the remodelling and rebranding of the airport terminals, historical districts, and the East Bay Hotel.

The tour of the various developments reinforced the Government’s commitment to collaborating with stakeholders to boost the island’s activity and economy.

Photos courtesy of the TCI Office of the Premier

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