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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending June 21st, 2013

21 Jun

 

CARIBBEAN CONSIDERS FINANCIAL APPROACH TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE—06/15/13
According to Warren Smith, president of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Caribbean is at risk of serious economic consequences if circumstances worsened by climate change are left unaddressed. Smith says the Caribbean is the “most vulnerable” place in the world in terms of natural dangers, and a comprehensive plan to protect its environment is needed to forestall economic disaster as well.
CARIBBEAN PREMIER LEAGUE ANNOUNCES TEAM NAMES—06/16/13
The Caribbean Premier League cricket franchise has selected the names and logos of its six teams. Damien O’Donohoe, the League’s CEO, says the organization is very happy with the final team names and logos and believes they reflect the character and culture of each nation. The names are the Antigua Hawksbills, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, and the St Lucia Zouks.

IN TEN YEARS, CARIBBEAN SUGAR MAY NOT ENTER EU MARKET—06/17/13
Experts believe that it may be possible that sugar from the Caribbean will no longer be part of the marketplace in Europe. If this occurs, it will mean the end of preferential programs that Caribbean producers have used since the mid 1970s, but also the end of a dynamic that created the Caribbean and its links to Europe. The sugar industry has changed in recent years, shifting away from previous trends as it looks for new ways to organize and market its product. A report discussing the prospects for agricultural markets in Europe between 2012 and 2022 notes the expiration of EU sugar quotas in 2015, which would result in lower prices for sugar in that market and a move toward more self-sufficiency in the EU.

FOUR COUNTRIES IN THE CARIBBEAN MEET ANTI-HUNGER GOAL—06/18/13
Four nations in the Caribbean were honored for their meeting of international targets for the eradication of hunger. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FOA) announced that St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cuba, Guyana, and the Dominican Republic have succeeded in reaching anti-hunger goals. These nations, among 38 others, have already met the targets established for 2015, providing that political will and cooperation work in transforming negative food supply situations.

DIPLOMATS FROM CARIBBEAN TO FIGHT AGAINST UK AIRLINES PASSENGER DUTY—06/19/13
Caribbean diplomats in the United Kingdom are ready to fight the British government to obtain an easing of the airlines passenger duty (APD). This tax is imposed on travel from the UK to Caribbean countries, and according to those countries, it creates a serious problem in the tourism sector. Caribbean diplomats have obtained £40,000 in funding to help them state their case and fight against what they see as an unfair tax.

IN 2012, PORT ACTIVITY IN CARIBBEAN STILL SLOW—06/20/13
A report from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has determined that container throughput in the region’s ports continued at a slow pace in 2012. The sluggish nature of the business was attributed to a recession in Europe and a slow growth rate in the United States and China. Major container ports saw growth of 7.4 percent in the first six months of 2012, and then experienced a dramatic slowing in the second half of the year to a rate of only 0.4 percent.

JAMAICA COULD BENEFIT FROM DE-CRIMINALIZATION OF GANJA—06/19/13
Several investors from Wall Street are looking to make investments in legal marijuana initiatives, including medical marijuana. They are comparing the boom in the marijuana industry to the technology boom experienced in the 1990s. Researchers in Washington have determined that a flourishing marijuana industry could bring in US$1 billion in year to national revenues. The World Health Organization found that in 2010 over 5.7 percent of the world population of some 250 million people use the drug. Many countries and states are exploring the industry to enhance domestic growth and development.

SCHOOL ADDRESSES CRISIS IN LITERACY—06/20/13
Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High School administration and staff are concerned about the findings of a diagnostic reading assessment of first through fourth grade students. The research found that 46 percent of the students in those grades read far below their expected levels. The school is asking corporate Jamaica and other education sector stakeholders to provide tangible support for a mandatory summer literacy program. The intensive three-week program is designed to improve reading levels of students and parents who cannot read.

HANNA DEFENDS DECISION TO COMBINE YOUTH PROGRAMS—06/21/13
Lisa Hanna, Jamaica’s Youth Minister, is supporting a decision by the government to combine the National Center for Youth Development and the National Youth Service. The National Youth Council has objected to the merger, noting that it had not been consulted before the decision was made. Hanna said the met will presidents of all youth groups prior to submitting the merger plan for approval. The merger is intended to maximize budget resources and improve the functions of both agencies.

MAROONS, CONSERVATIONISTS AGREE: NO BAUXITE OR LIMESTONE MINING—06/21/13
The Accompong Maroons have joined forces with conservationists to protest any mining of bauxite or limestone in the Cockpit Country. The Maroons are a sovereign people who hold the Accompong and surrounding lands. Granting a license to any agency to prospect in these lands without the permission of the Maroons is illegal, unconstitutional, and a breach of international human rights laws, said Colonel Ferron Williams, leader of the Accompong Maroons in St. Elizabeth. The group is opposed to all mining in the Cockpit Country, saying no good will come of it.

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