CARIBBEAN INTERESTS DISCUSS CONSERVATION ON PRIVATE ISLAND—05/18/13
Political and business leaders from the Caribbean region met on Richard Branson’s private island to support actions designed to enhance protection of the region’s endangered coastlines and waters. The Caribbean Challenge seeks the creation of special protected zones in at least 20 percent of the coastline by 2020. The initiative hopes to protect the biodiversity of the region and the tourism that it attracts. Branson is the CEO and founder of the Virgin Group of companies. He hosted the conference at Necker Island, his home in the British Virgin Islands.
IGUANAS RELEASED IN RECORD NUMBERS AS PART OF RECOVERY PLAN—05/20/13
The International Iguana Foundation announced the release of 52 Jamaican Iguanas in April 2013. This makes a total of 226 iguanas reintroduced into their native Hellshire Hills environment since 1996. This is part of a recovery program that attempts to restore the species to the dry forest of southern Jamaica. The Jamaican Iguana was once considered the most endangered lizard in the world, but recovery efforts are helping the species make a strong comeback.
NATIONS PARTNER TO TEST SCIENTIFIC DIPLOMACY—05/22/13
American geophysicists are traveling to Cuba, Venezuela, and other countries in the Caribbean region that suffer numerous natural disasters, including earthquakes. Engineers are implementing a network of sensors in the Caribbean to detect geological strains and impending storms that threaten the area. The Continuously Operating Caribbean GPS Observational Network (COCONet) is funded by US$6 million from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Early results from the network were presented in Cancun, Mexico, at the American Geophysical Union Meeting of the Americas. Some 31 separate governments are involved in the program, many of them distrustful of the United States.
FIBER-OPTIC CABLE LINK WITH JAMAICA ACTIVATED BY CUBA—05/23/13
Doug Madory, senior analyst at Renesys Corporation, an American firm that monitors worldwide internet traffic, announced that Cuba has activated a branch of its underwater fiber-optic cable that links to Jamaica. This provides more bandwidth and a backup in case the main connection with Venezuela is not operational. ETECSA, the telecommunications monopoly of the Cuban government, has begun to receive global internet service via Cable & Wireless Jamaica.