Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

Students From The Caribbean And Central America Will Connect With An Astronaut On The International Space Station

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 18, 2022: Students from 12 schools in 9 countries in the Caribbean and Central America will have a direct conversation with an astronaut in the International Space Station on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at 12:10 p.m. EST.

The students were chosen from Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts & Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago, via an online call for schools in 26 countries. The 14 students will be able to speak live to NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, onboard the International Space Station, (ISS).

During this unique event, the students will have the opportunity to learn about natural hazard research and monitoring, as seen from the unique perspective of an astronaut on the International Space Station.

More than 300 questions were submitted by schools in the region. The 10 selected questions for the astronaut will be related to disaster and natural hazard monitoring such as hurricanes, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, coastal erosion and climate change, as well as improving preparedness in the region.

At this live conversation, the students from the 9 Caribbean and Central American nations will be able to ask astronaut Cassada questions ranging from: “What do you do in space?” to “Do you study and measure climate change from space?.”

The live event will be live broadcast by YouTube on Tuesday 22nd at 12:10 pm EST with simultaneous Spanish translation via this YouTube link. The activity will also be followed by schools in 26 countries which participated of this initiative.

The educational activity is promoted by Disaster Fighters, a regional communications platform to improve disaster preparedness and build resilience. The radio contact will be arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, (ARISS), program.

This initiative is supported by the NASA Earth Science Applied Sciences Disasters program, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (managed by the World Bank), the UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and the Coordination Centre for Disaster Prevention in Central America and the Dominican Republic (known by its Spanish acronym CEPREDENAC). The campaign is developed by the risk communications firm Pacifico.

For more information, contact the Disaster Fighters team at [email protected]

EDITOR’S NOTE: An image for use with this press release is available HERE

SOURCE: Disaster Fighters

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COP27 needs a tremendous focus on action, Commonwealth of Dominica looking to share scalable solutions

CARIBPR WIRE, Roseau, Dominica, Fri. Nov. 04, 2022: There are a few days left until COP27 takes place in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh from 6 to 18 November and the Commonwealth of Dominica, like many nations around the world, will be watching to see if this summit finally brings action and implementation of proposals and promises.

“We are at the stage where we can no longer use these events as talk shops, but rather, we need to be laser-focused and intentional about developing actionable plans to tackle the biggest challenge of our time – climate change,” says Dr. Vince Henderson, Dominica’s minister for planning, economic development, climate resilience, sustainable development, and renewable energy.

Small island nations like Dominica, are not the only countries facing extreme weather conditions as a result of global warming. UN Secretary-General António Guterres mentioned to journalists in New York recently that a third of Pakistan is flooded, Europe is experiencing its hottest summer in 500 years, the Philippines is dealing with the aftermath of tropical storm Paeng and in the United States, Category 4 Hurricane Ian was just another reminder of the climate crisis.

Dominica has been on a path to be the world’s first climate-resilient nation following Hurricane Maria which left an estimated 90 percent of buildings damaged or destroyed in 2019.

This year, at COP27, Dominica wants to showcase how it will reach climate resiliency by 2030. The country has implemented a number of projects that can be used as case studies that can be used as a flywheel of action.

“Everybody is talking about sustainability and climate change and why we need to reduce carbon emissions, the issue is how we are going to make a meaningful impact. For people to translate insight into action, they need to see good examples that motivate them, and we believe Dominica has an abundance of examples that are yielding results,” continues Minister Henderson.

In response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria, Dominica launched a climate resilience policy framework to help guide its recovery journey in the form of the National Resilience Development Strategy 2030 (NRDS).

The Climate Resilience and Recovery Plan of Dominica aim to build strong communities, build a robust economy, have a well-planned and durable infrastructure; strengthen institutional systems and, protect and sustain natural and other unique assets.

It centres around three pillars: structural resilience, financial resilience, and post-disaster resilience.

Structural resilience: The government of Dominica is building a resilient infrastructure capable of withstanding natural disasters, including Category 5 hurricanes. It includes the construction of 5 000 climate-resilient homes, healthcare centres, roads, bridges, airports, and schools.

Financial Resilience: The government of Dominica is implementing institutional fiscal reform to ensure stronger fiscal resilience which will aid in the strengthening of debt sustainability utilising several key institutional fiscal areas.

Post Disaster and Social Resilience: This pillar helps encourage farmers to plant more root crops which are more resilient to heavy rain and wind, and increases farmer training programmes and government assistance with the provision of seeds and fertilizers. The government’s plan to strengthen food security includes specific policies for the resiliency of the agriculture and fisheries industries.

With 2022 set to rank among the 10 warmest years on record, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dominica is also constructing a geothermal power plant which will increase the country’s share of renewables and diversify the country’s energy matrix. The Commonwealth of Dominica already obtains 28% of its energy requirements from renewable energy sources such as hydropower and wind.

The UN is urging the world’s industrialized nations to ‘lead by example’ by taking ‘bold and immediate actions’. One of these nations includes the United States of America and with President Joe Biden confirmed to attend, it is said he will build on the significant work the United States has undertaken to advance the global climate fight and help the most vulnerable build resilience to climate impacts.

Last year, Biden arrived at COP26 largely empty handed and this year he will promote the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, a bill that devotes hundreds of billions of dollars to clean energy initiatives and brings Biden’s pledge to cut United States emissions in half by 2030 closer within reach.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the group of nations that have signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was put together in 1992. It commits them to act together to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations “at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human-induced) interference with the climate system”. Since then, the parties, or nations, have met almost annually.

COP26 was held in the Scottish city of Glasgow in November 2021 and it brought together 120 world leaders and representatives from almost 200 countries. It culminated in the Glasgow Climate Pact, which reaffirmed the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of “limiting the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C”.

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Ecohesion joins Integrated Sustainability to export Caribbean innovation in circular water, waste, and energy solutions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8QJefaS1hk

CALGARY, AB and BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Oct. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Integrated Sustainability, Canada, acquires Ecohesion Ltd, Barbados, effective September 1st, 2022.

Ecohesion joins Integrated Sustainability to export Caribbean circular water management solutions and capture renewable energy and waste management opportunities.

Climate sensitivity in the Caribbean necessitates inventive solutions now. The merger between our two purpose-driven companies facilitates faster technology exchange between regions and consolidates our endeavours to deliver conscientious water, waste, and energy solutions.

The partnership signals the continued strength of the relationship between Canada and Barbados, as both countries work to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and expand the reach and availability of services required to meet acute environmental challenges.

Driving sustainability

President of Integrated Sustainability, Stuart Torr, speaking of the acquisition in Barbados said:

“Integrated Sustainability is incredibly excited to expand our Caribbean design-build-operate services and tackle some of the big challenges facing the region.

Typically, when you bring an international company together with a smaller one the expectation is that the international company has solved everything, but we haven’t. We need innovative, task-focused companies that are looking for solutions like rainwater harvesting, and renewable natural gas; companies looking for water and wastewater, recycling, and reuse opportunities.

Ecohesion brings unique expertise and perspective that we can also export into our broader offering in North America. In the process, we will create opportunities for Ecohesion staff to help us support those projects internationally as well.

Canada and the Caribbean have benefitted from a special relationship. The Caribbean is a vital place to tackle some of the most significant challenges globally, and what we are looking at here is a combined team that enables us to do it with passion.”

Andre Quesnel, Ecohesion’s Director, Caribbean operations, and business development, said that the company has grown from four people when it started in 2013 to more than 25 before the acquisition by Integrated Sustainability, and now the focus was now on further expansion.

“The future is really exciting. Joining up with Integrated Sustainability provides nitro to our gas tank – to go out and continue to expand to places like Bermuda, to Belize, to Guyana – to be more efficient, and drive sustainability in the region.”

Creating future job opportunities

Ecohesion has previously worked with the University of the West Indies to develop talent and Quesnel explains how that would continue to provide fruitful career growth.

“What’s amazing about this partnership is that it has opened up the career growth for Barbadians, and for Caribbean nationals, to grow and work on international projects, with international mentors . . .  it is removing that ceiling.”

Integrated Sustainability’s Vice President of International Development, Nick St-Georges, leads Integrated Sustainability’s International design-build development and has recently completed a variety of consultancy and advisory work on the impacts of climate change for various Caribbean nation-states, funded by international funding institutions (IFIs) including the Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations, and the Green Climate Fund.

St-Georges describes the immense implications for the global market:

“Ecohesion’s novel operational and maintenance services complement fully-integrated infrastructure development and provide customers with additional expertise beyond project hand-over.

This is truly exciting. When a project requires the combination of both design and operation of a treatment facility, we naturally focus on the design quality and efficiency, reducing costs and increasing longevity for our clients. Everyone wins from this type of holistic approach.”

Ecohesion’s customers and the broader Caribbean market now benefit from world-leading expertise in a broad range of specialisms, ranging from desalination to biogas and industrial water management. St-George’s goes on to explain:

“Ecohesion’s Caribbean clients will now benefit from a larger variety of services offered by our combined companies. Together, we offer additional services including ESG compliance reporting, data management services, and regulatory expertise; as well as the necessary financial capacity to tackle exciting large-scale projects.

I’ve known Sam and the [Ecohesion] team personally for over 7 years now, having worked together collaboratively on several projects, and I am extremely excited that we are now one team. Ecohesion’s excellent brand recognition and financial stability, united with Integrated Sustainability’s innovative turn-key solutions, provide the Caribbean with ‘end-to-end’ development services and enhanced development capabilities.”

Exporting Caribbean expertise

Integrated Sustainability and Ecohesion have already partnered on several ongoing initiatives in the Caribbean and look forward to sharing further details in the coming months.

Sam Neilands, Director of Business Development, commented:

“We are extremely eager – having spent a long time looking for the right people who align with our vision – to introduce our new extended team to our clients across the Caribbean region. Together, Ecohesion and Integrated Sustainability represent a game-changing move to help action and deliver positive change for our community, now.

The Caribbean is on the front line of combating climate change. Shouldering the brunt of the impact of global warming, the region continues to maintain leadership in innovation driven by necessity. Many of the tried and tested solutions Ecohesion has already introduced across multiple islands are case studies for larger global markets that have not had to innovate as quickly and are now playing catch up.

This international partnership brings in the additional resources needed by the Caribbean to raise our (the Region’s) climate change response to the next level.”

About Integrated Sustainability:

Integrated Sustainability is a pioneer of ESG-ready (Environmental, Social, and Governance) water, waste, and energy infrastructure.

Framed from an advisory background, Integrated Sustainability employs world-leading multi-disciplinary experts across four office locations in Calgary, Vancouver, Houston, and Barbados.

To explore Integrated Sustainability’s range of expertise please visit Caribbean Water and Wastewater Solutions and/or contact Nick St-Georges for more information.

About Ecohesion:

Ecohesion provides the Caribbean with industrial, commercial, and residential water treatment solutions. They currently operate and maintain nineteen MBR facilities in Barbados and support another ten across the Caribbean with technicians and offices in Barbados, Antigua, Trinidad, St. Lucia, and Bermuda.

Their local expertise helps guide clients through every phase of an asset’s life cycle. Recent successes include onboarding major international drink corporations and leading hotel chains.

To arrange a demonstration of how wastewater can be safely reused for applications ranging from irrigation, laundry, and other non-potable purposes, please contact Sam Neilands for a tour of the Coverley Water Reclamation Plant.

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Age of Union Alliance Donates $1.5 million to Nature Seekers Over Five Years

The donation will be instrumental in helping Nature Seekers protect the ancient, endangered leatherback turtles nesting in Trinidad

MATURA, Trinidad and Tobago and MONTREAL, Sept. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Age of Union Alliance, led by tech leader and environmental activist Dax Dasilva, is proud to announce a USD $1.5 million donation to Nature Seekers, a non-profit community-based organization in the village of Matura, on the east coast of Trinidad, with a focus on the conservation and protection of sea turtles. This will be the single largest private donation in Nature Seekers’ history. Age of Union’s support will be instrumental in the protection of endangered leatherback turtles whose nesting grounds on Matura Beach are in more danger than ever before due to climate change and pollution.

Suzan Baptiste (Nature Seekers) and Dax Dasilva

Matura Beach is one of the last remaining major turtle nesting sites in the world for leatherback turtles, which have existed for over 100 million years, dating back to the age of dinosaurs. These massive creatures, as long as 2.2 metres, are the largest sea turtle species in the world and also one of the most migratory, crossing the Atlantic Ocean. New GPS technology has allowed scientists to track their journeys, and many have migrated to Canada’s Atlantic coasts in recent years where they feed on the abundant jellyfish every summer and fall.

The population of these turtles has declined drastically in the last century as a result of intense egg collection, poaching, fishery bycatch, habitat loss, climate change, and much more. They are listed as Vulnerable on International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list of Threatened Species. Nature Seekers, who have been working to conserve these turtles for over 30 years, were in desperate need of help after beach closures during the pandemic nearly eradicated their historical revenue sources.

Age of Union’s funds will help Nature Seekers:
  • Patrol and protect the nesting site throughout the annual season to maintain or increase the survival rates of both adult and hatchling leatherback turtles. New drone technology will now extend their capabilities.
  • Collect data during nesting season to better understand the physical health of the nesting population and monitor inter-nesting movement and migration of satellite-tagged turtles. This work is done in partnership with Dr. Michael James of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Sea Turtle Network.
  • Collect data and assess the potential impacts of climate change on the turtle population at the Matura nesting site; create climate adaptation and/or mitigation plans.
  • Design and deploy artificial hatcheries to promote the survival of at-risk nests and allow for the collection of new data sets.
  • Increase community engagement and provide opportunities for sustainable livelihood activities that align with conservation goals, such as becoming a ranger to patrol the beach during nesting season.

This marks the ninth conservation project Age of Union has announced in less than one year following Dax Dasilva’s initial pledge of $40 million. Today’s announcement also aligns with Age of Union’s global premiere of its short documentary film CAUGHT in Toronto on the evening of September 12. In partnership with Sea Shepherd, this film reveals the shocking consequences of industrial fishing and excess consumerism, depleting oceanic ecosystems, with a specific lens on dolphin bycatch off the coast of France.

Quotes:

“When I first met Suzan Baptiste, Managing Director at Nature Seekers, I was incredibly inspired by her determination and perseverance to help shift this coastal community in Trinidad from turtle poaching to turtle conservation. We hope with Age of Union’s help, Nature Seekers will now be better equipped to protect these beautiful, endangered turtles who, through their incredible migration journeys, also have connections to Canada.” - Dax Dasilva, Founder of Age of Union.

“We couldn’t be more thankful for this generous gift from Age of Union. Leatherback turtles are recognized as a keystone species, and their demise could have global consequences on our oceans and their ecosystems. Now, with the help of Age of Union, these turtles have an amazing chance for survival.” - Suzan Baptiste, Managing Director of Nature Seekers

“The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries looks forward to continued conversations with both the High Commission of Canada and Mr. Dasilva to improve the sector and by extension Trinidad and Tobago.” - Kazim Hosein, Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries

“The Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago sincerely appreciate the support from Age of Union for their conservation initiatives in the country. We commit to working with Dax Dasilva and his team, exploring opportunities for broader collaboration in the environmental and technology sectors and beyond.” - Senator Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago

“Age of Union’s conservation project for leatherback turtles is an excellent example of Canada Trinbagonian cooperation on environmental conservation.” - Kumar Gupta, High Commissioner of Canada to Trinidad and Tobago

About Age of Union Alliance

Age of Union is a non-profit environmental alliance that supports and makes visible a global community of changemakers working on the ground to protect the planet’s threatened species and ecosystems. Launched in October 2021 by tech leader and environmental activist Dax Dasilva in Montreal, Canada with an initial $40 million pledge, Age of Union seeks to ignite a flame within every person through conservation efforts that solve critical environmental challenges around the world and inspire high-impact change by showing the positive impact that every individual can make.

For more information, please visit: AgeofUnion.com
On social media:Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter

About Nature Seekers

Nature Seekers is a non-profit community-based organization founded in 1990 and situated in the village of Matura, on the east coast of Trinidad in the south Caribbean. Its primary focus is the conservation and protection of the sea turtles that nest in the region, including the Leatherback turtle. Over a 30+ year period, Nature Seekers helped to shift this coastal community from turtle poaching to turtle conservation.

Age of Union and Nature Seekers Logos

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Caribbean Celebrities Are New “Disaster Fighters” For 2021 Hurricane Season

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. May 31, 2021: A slew of leading Caribbean celebrities have adopted the new title of “Disaster Fighters” ahead of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which climate scientists forecast will be above normal.

Top West Indian cricketers and music stars are joining arms as the new “Disaster Fighters” with The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the regional inter-governmental agency for disaster management in the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM).

The creative campaign to fighting disasters this season, kicks off today, May 31, 2021, one day ahead of the start of the hurricane season, and aims at reiterating the importance of Caribbean nationals to be prepared, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Indian cricketers, DJ Bravo, Darren Ganga and Stacey-Ann King of Trinidad and Tobago; Jamaica’s Chris Gayle; St. Lucia’s Darren Sammy, and St. Kitts & Nevis’ Kieran Powell, have joined forces with retired celebrity cricketing great, Sir Gary Sobers of Barbados and former cricketer turned music star Omari Banks of Anguilla, as well as musicians Mr Killa of Grenada, Tafa Mi Soleil of Haiti and Ricky T and QPID of St. Lucia, for the May 31st campaign kick-off.

The new CDEMA ground-breaking initiative, supported by the Africa Caribbean Pacific – European Union Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (ACP-EU NDRR) Program, the Canada Caribbean Resilience Facility, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (managed by the World Bank), and Binance Charity, aims at increasing community preparedness and resilience to risks, such as hurricanes, volcanoes, COVID-19, and other natural hazards affecting the Caribbean region, through a catchy disaster prevention song and music video that will be promoted on social media.

The month-long campaign that coincides with the beginning of the annual hurricane season and will feature important preparedness messages alongside the campaign song and music video on Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as the campaign’s website, disaster-fighters.org.

In an unprecedented move for the campaign, CDEMA will implement its first-ever Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) marketplace to raise donations and support disaster preparedness and disasters in the region. Participating musicians, cricketers and other celebrities will donate signed balls, t-shirts and various memorabilia including exclusive, limited-edition collectibles, that will be auctioned to the public as part of the initiative’s fundraising efforts. Items will include unique, personalized messages from the “Disaster Fighters” celebrity team.

Fans and the public are encouraged to show their support for the initiative by purchasing collectibles signed by their favorite celebrities to assist CDEMA in the important and meaningful work it does.

“Many Caribbean countries have been battling the compound impacts of drought, COVID-19, volcanic eruptions and now hurricane season,” said Elizabeth Riley, Executive Director (ag), CDEMA. “We wanted to use an innovative, inclusive approach to ensure that communities are empowered with the necessary plans, information and tools to tackle the disaster impacts that we as a region have been facing.”

Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, added: “The past year has been very challenging for the Caribbean. Although much of the region has managed the health effects of the pandemic through early actions, the socioeconomic impacts have been severe. It is more important than ever this year for Caribbean countries and people to be well-prepared for the hurricane season. We are pleased to support this innovative new campaign from CDEMA that aims to help communities protect themselves and their livelihoods.”

For more log on the initiative and the marketplace log on to disaster-fighters.org or on  Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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Lamothe Advocates for “Climate-Smart Zones” in the Caribbean

MIAMI, Sept. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — This week at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, Former Prime Minister of Haiti, Laurent Lamothe, stressed the importance of “Climate-Smart Zones” to mitigate the impact of natural disasters.  Speaking at the Smart Climate Day event hosted by the Monaco Better World Forum (MBWF), Mr Lamothe spoke about how climate change multiplies the power of cyclones and hurricanes. Island states and territories in the Caribbean are extremely vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.

“Haiti is a poster-child for natural disasters and I have experienced first-hand the devastation. Every year the Caribbean braces itself for hurricane season. As a region we need mitigation strategies that better prepare our countries for natural disasters. Large shares of the region’s population live in high-risk areas with weak infrastructure.  Economies rely heavily on sectors sensitive to weather, such as tourism and agriculture, while capacity and resources to manage risk are limited.”

It is for this reason that politicians and philanthropists from the Caribbean established the world’s first “Climate-Smart Zone” and Accelerator. The Accelerator has created an unprecedented coalition including 26 countries and over 40 private and public sector partners which will implement climate solutions for resilience, renewable energy, development of sustainable cities, oceans and transportation. This climate-smart zone will not only protect the region but create jobs and a new economy in climate-smart infrastructure.

The Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator was formed in 2017 to strengthen the region’s readiness and response to disasters. Its objective is to help transform the Caribbean economy through fast-tracking sound public and private investment opportunities that support climate action. Building more resilient countries, cities, and industries through partnerships across the public and private sectors, with the goal of creating the world’s first climate-smart zone.

For more information visit https://www.caribbeanaccelerator.org/home

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