Sunday, February 18, 2018

Conservation group in Seychelles launches coral nursery on land

In the Seychelles a Community, an Environmental NGO, a Hotel and a Bank come together in a Public Private Partnership to save coral reefs.

A conservation group from Anse Forbans has launched the first on-land coral nursery project to educate the community and act as a backup plan in case of a major seawater warming effect in Seychelles.

The chairperson of the Anse Forbans Community Conservation Programme, Lisa Booyse, said that Seychelles needs to be prepared as it is fast losing its corals to coral bleaching events and other issues such as human destruction, anchorage and marine pollution.

“It is essential that we maintain our corals for our livelihoods, fish stock and to protect our beaches from erosion and flooding. As a community, we all need to start to realise the situation,” said Booyse.

The project launched last week is an initiative of the Anse Forbans not-for-profit group from the southern Mahe district of Takamaka, in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, DoubleTree Resort and Spa, and the Mauritius Commercial Bank. Read More

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sea Level Stakes for the Caribbean, in Pictures

Long-term sea level rise set in motion by near-term carbon emissions threatens major coastal cities across the world. Science-based imagery helps show the stakes for the Caribbean.

The first image in each pair below shows projections of post-2100 sea level rise that could be locked in following 4°C (7.2°F) of warming from carbon pollution. This pathway corresponds roughly to business as usual. The second image in each pair shows projections based on 2°C (3.6°F) of warming, corresponding to the upper limit target named in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Agreement implementation will determine which of these two scenarios the future looks like most.

The projections behind these images come from peer-reviewed research, and a special report describes how these findings are translated into global maps, viewable at Mapping Choices. Maps and imagery for the Caribbean are based on Climate Central's CoastalDEM™ version 1.1, a special high-accuracy elevation dataset that improves over the data originally used.

The images on this page were created by visual artist Nickolay Lamm based on Climate Central’s maps and elevation data, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank. Images for other global locations are available here.

Ibiza and Majorca plan for 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050

Ibiza and Majorca could be running on 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050, under plans unveiled by the islands’ government yesterday.

The proposed climate change law would make the islands some of the greenest in the world but could also pave the way for clashes with Madrid.

The Balearics generate less than 3 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources at present, primarily from solar panels. Coal-fired power plants, diesel generators and gas plants account for more than 70 per cent of supply, while most of the rest is imported from the mainland.

The plan would involve a phased shutdown of the islands’ main coal plant, at Alcúdia on Majorca, between 2020 and 2025, a proposal that has been rejected by the Spanish energy ministry. Joan Groizard, the Balearic islands’ energy director, said the target to move to entirely renewable energy would mean the islands needed to achieve “100 per cent renewable electricity long before 2050”.

Large car parks would have to install solar panels by 2025. By 2035, car hire companies would be forced to electrify their entire fleets and new non-electric vehicles would be banned from entering the islands.

Mr Groizard said he hoped that the law would help the islands “be recognised as a low-carbon destination, where the rest of Europe can not only enjoy a holiday but also learn something they can then apply to their own energy transitions”.

Sam Fankhauser, director of the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics, said: “Going 100 per cent renewable by 2050 is a much more aggressive target for the power sector than most other countries have.”

Britain is aiming to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent compared with 1990 levels by 2050.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Innovative Restoration of Coral Reefs Helps Protect Caribbean Islands

The catastrophic 2017 hurricane season provided ample demonstrations of the increasing vulnerability of Caribbean populations and infrastructure to natural disasters. Researchers at UC Santa Cruz and the Nature Conservancy have now measured the protective role of coral reefs and field-tested a solution that reduces coastal risks by combining innovative engineering with restoration ecology.

Working in Grenville Bay, Grenada, the researchers showed that degradation of coral reefs is directly linked to shoreline erosion and coastal flooding in parts of the bay. The study, published February 1 in the Journal of Environmental Management, also evaluates one of the first uses of reef restoration as natural infrastructure specifically designed to reduce risks to people and property.

Investigating the link between healthy reefs and shoreline stability, the researchers found that Grenville's healthy reefs keep more than half of the bay's coastline intact by reducing the wave energy arriving on shore. In contrast, severe reef degradation is linked with chronic coastal erosion in the northern section of the bay, where the shoreline is disappearing at a rate of nearly two feet every year.

In an attempt to adapt, villagers have built makeshift barriers with tires and driftwood to slow the erosion threatening their homes, but these efforts have been largely unsuccessful. The reef restoration project was designed to enhance both the ecological functions of natural reef habitat and its protective effects.

"We are able to apply coastal engineering tools and models to support reef science and management. Ours is one of the first studies to directly show with evidence from the field sites and engineering models the impacts of reef loss on shorelines," said lead author Borja Reguero, a researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. Read More

Saturday, February 3, 2018


Welcome to the Young Water Leaders Berlin Event which connects current leaders with future leaders to ensure a water-secure world for today’s and future generations.

Young Water ​Leaders was ​launched in ​September 2017 ​to connect ​current leaders ​with future ​leaders. ​

Young Water ​Leaders Berlin ​is the first ​major event to ​bring current ​and future ​leaders ​together to ​build a water-​secure world.​ ​

~Robert ​Brears, Author ​of Urban Water ​Security (Wiley)​, Founder of ​Mitidaption, ​Mark and Focus, ​and Young Water ​Leaders . Read More

Plastic Straws and the Cayman Islands

As a maritime nation should we ban plastic drinking straws?

One of the world's leading makers of single-use plastic drinking straws has told Radio 5 Live that the development of more environmentally friendly alternatives is "stuck".
John Sidanta, chief executive of Primaplast, said he was aware of rising global concern over levels of plastic pollution in oceans and landfills.
But he said affordable alternatives had yet to be developed.
At the moment, greener straws cost a hundred times more, he said.
Primaplast manufactures up to 600 million polypropylene plastic straws a month from its base in Tangerang, Indonesia, for markets in Europe and Japan, where they are sold alongside cartons of juice, milkshakes and yoghurt drinks.
Despite a useful life of just minutes, traditional plastic straws cannot degrade once disposed of and Mr Sidanta acknowledges their days are probably numbered.
Some firms are already beginning to curb their use.
The pub chain JD Wetherspoon and Pizza Express have announced plans to phase them out completely, while other firms, such as All Bar One, say they plan to substantially reduce the availability of plastic straws in their branches.
Cornwall may become the first county to ban them from bars and restaurants after a campaign by the group Final Straw Cornwall. Read More

Friday, January 26, 2018

Building a resilient future: One drop at a time - By Robert C.Brears

To prepare Singapore for future weather changes and the impacts of dimate change on its water services, the Public Utilities Board (PUB)has initiated a series of adaptation measures.

With climate change likely to lead to prolonged dry periods, PUB has developed a robust, diversified, and sustainable water supply that includes NEWater and desalination, both of which are not dependent on rainfall and therefore boost the city-state’s resilience to dry weather.


NEWater is a process involving the treating of used water into ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water that provides up to 40% of Singapore’s current water needs. NEWater is mainly used for industrial and air-con cooling purposes and is delivered via a dedicated pipe network. During dry periods, NEWater is added to PUB’s reservoirs to blend with raw water, which is then treated at the waterworks before becoming potable water. By 2060, NEWater is expected to meet up to 55% of the country’s future water demand.


Because Singapore is surrounded by sea, PUB already has two operational desalination plants with a combined capacity of 100 mgd, which can meet up to 25% of current water demand. By 2020, PUB will have three new 30 mgd desalination plants. By 2060, desalinated water is projected to meet up to 30% of total water demand. With desalination being energy-intensive — Singapore currently uses reverse osmosis, which uses around 3.5 kWh/m³ — PUB is exploring low-energy desalination options to reduce in half the desalination energy used in the future. Options include electrodeionization (an electric field pulls dissolved salts from the water) and biomimicry (mangrove plants and euryhaline fish extract freshwater from seawater using minimal amounts of energy). Read More

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2018 Hurricane Prediction – Strongest Cycle in 70 Years

Global Weather Oscillations (GWO) was cited by news media as the only major hurricane prediction organization that correctly predicted the hyperactive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season from beginning to end, and the destructive United States hurricane landfalls.

The media also noted that when the hurricane season began last year, “nearly every major weather agency predicted a normal 2017 hurricane season – but only Global Weather Oscillations Inc. (GWO) had an accurate forecast” – with a prediction for a destructive hurricane season with 16 named storms, eight hurricanes, four major hurricanes – and 2 major impact hurricanes for the United States.

GWO also predicted the United States would have 6 named storms and 3 hurricanes making landfall in 2017 – and where they would occur. Just as predicted, the U.S. ended up with six named storms and 3 hurricanes. GWO predicted that the Florida Peninsula would break out of their 12-year hurricane drought with a major category 3-4 hurricane making landfall on the south tip of Florida. GWO also predicted that Texas could break out of their 8-year hurricane drought with a landfalling hurricane just above Corpus Christi – and a Category 1 hurricane striking the upper Gulf Coast. The 2017 landfalling hurricanes ended up being – Harvey, Irma and Nate. Read More

Monday, January 15, 2018

VACANCY: Three fulltime positions at the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner [POA Update]

Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner

Subject: VACANCY: Three fulltime positions at the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner [POA Update]

Date: 15 January 2018 at 11:13:20 am AEDT

The Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner is currently recruiting for THREE fulltime positions. The application deadline is ‪5pm‬ (Fiji Time) ‪Friday 26 January 2018‬.

Please note all enquiries and applications MUST be submitted via the PIFS job application site. Any applications submitted to this email address will not be opened. (detailed position descriptions and applications details are available via the links below).

Ocean Analyst and Manager

Ocean Management Officer

Ocean Communication Officer

Method of application:
Applications must be submitted via the application portal accessed via the links above.

Deadline for Applications:
Submissions need to reach the Forum Secretariat by ‪5pm‬ (Fiji time) ‪Friday 26 January 2018‬. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Note: The Secretariat will not be responsible for non-receipt/non-delivery of application documents due to any reason whatsoever.

In the event that further information is required by the Secretariat in relation to the recruitment, the Secretariat reserves the right to seek the required information without the need for calling for resubmission of applications.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Joint management of the Mascareignes Plateau between Mauritius and Seychelles

US $2m GEF funding to help achieve strategic aims

Seychelles and Mauritius have benefitted from a US $2 million from the GEF for the implementation of a project to achieve the main strategic objectives as laid out in the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan of the joint management of the Mascareignes Plateau between the two coastal states.
This is in view to consolidating the development and management of the joint management area (JMA) between the two countries.
The main components of the project will be focusing on building Technical and Management Capacity in support for Marine Spatial Information System and effective management of the JMA.
The project will support the Joint Commission (JC) to develop a training and capacity development programme as well as design and implement training courses and workshops.
It will also provide support to the technical cadre of both States by envisaging regional and global meetings related to the Joint Management process and for the implementation of Marine Spatial Planning.
The project will also work with existing industry partners to support mapping and monitoring programmes in the JMA.
It will further assist and support the JC in the development of contingency plans for the offshore extractive industry.
Another vital part of the project includes the development of a data and information system along with a programme of data capture and gap-filling as a foundation for an adaptive management strategy.
It shall cater for the finalisation of gaps analysis of missing data and of unsurveyed areas and also emphasise on the repatriation of data currently.
The project will also endeavour to undertake further baseline surveys of the Mascarene Plateau in order to fill in gaps while assisting in the development of a joint data and Information System to support the joint authority. This will help identify and facilitate access to appropriate technologies linked to capacity
building and training, select appropriate indicators for targeting in a long-term monitoring programme as well as develop a reliable mechanism to ensure that data analysis results and conclusions fed into management guidelines and policy advisories provide an adaptive management options for decision makers. Read More

Friday, December 1, 2017

Mangroves Lack the Genetic Diversity to Adapt to Climate Change

Mangroves support coastal ecosystems around the world. In the tropics and subtropics, they rim coastlines and estuaries in thick green bands, providing shelter for everything from monkeys to Bengal tigers to critically endangered sloths. Considering their wide range and unique adaptations to saltwater environments, mangroves seem like an evolutionary success story. But the reality is that mangroves have surprisingly low genetic diversity, which will be a big problem as they attempt to adapt to changing conditions. New research suggests that mangroves may break rather than bend under the stress of the climatic changes to come.

Suhua Shi, an evolutionary biologist at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and her colleagues surveyed the genetic material of six of the world’s roughly 100 mangrove species, examining 26 populations around the Gulf of Thailand and China’s Hainan Island. The team found that within each species, mangroves are so low in genetic diversity that individual trees are essentially indistinguishable from one another. This means they will have less chance of adapting to a changing world than more diverse species.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

New Policy Research Working Paper from the World Bank

A new Policy Research Working Paper from the World Bank evaluates the protective capacity of mangrove forests against storm surge in Bangladesh. Read more on this story and other #EcoDRR updates here:

Monday, November 27, 2017

Protection of the Cayman Islands Exclusive Economic Zone

As a Maritime Nation it is perhaps time that the Cayman Islands / Cayman Islands Government acquires a Marine Patrol Vessel capable of patrolling our Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ] to ensure decimation of shark and over-fishing of Pelagic and other spicies is brought under control.

Preservation of the environment is crucial and funding could be available for this purpose, as was demonstrated by the Seychelles, who was given a debt writedown in return for protecting their EEZ in their i.4 million square kilometers of the Indian Ocean. The Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge (WIOCC)
Key Facts
More than 30 million people in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) islands and East African coastal communities rely on the coastal environment for goods and services and as a source of livelihoods and income
* The economic value of ecosystem goods and services is estimated to be over US$25 billion annually
* Tourism is the largest source of income directly linked to the coastal and marine environment, the region attracts over 20 million tourists that inject US$6 billion+ into economies annually
* Fisheries play an important role in WIO national economies providing from 5.0% to 99.1% of national agricultural exports as well as sources of employment, income and animal protein
* The natural resources that fuel the WIO regions economic activity are under pressure from issues such as overfishing, overdevelopment, pollution and environmental degradation.
* Climate change is exacerbating these problems and present mounting challenges to the sustainable development of the region. In 1998, coral bleaching at an unprecedented scale caused widespread coral mortality across most of the western Indian Ocean, altering the goods and services provided by these reefs .
* There is urgent need for governments and stakeholders to come together and take action to combat climate change, conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable livelihoods to build resilience.

The natural resources that fuel the WIO regions economic activity are under pressure from issues such as overfishing, overdevelopment, pollution and environmental degradation. Climate change is exacerbating these problems and present mounting challenges to the sustainable development of the region. In 1998, coral bleaching at an unprecedented scale caused widespread coral mortality across most of the western Indian Ocean, altering the goods and services provided by these reefs . There is urgent need for governments and stakeholders to come together and take action to combat climate change, conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable livelihoods to build resilience. GLISPA.ORG

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Historic legacies affect climate change survival in Caribbean

The Caribbean Sea

Caribbean countries have campaigned for strong climate targets, captured in the campaign slogan '1.5C to stay alive.' This refers to the limit of warming beyond which the island states will become unviable in the face of threats including rising sea levels, flooding, ocean acidification and drought.

Drawing on evidence from diplomatic correspondence published in 2010, Dr Sealey-Huggins argues that the failure of the international community to adopt this target shows how the interests and preferred approach of powerful industrialised nations "are prioritised in the climate regime at the expense of Caribbean societies."

The paper also describes how diplomatic correspondence depicted financial aid being made conditional upon political support, and identifies "bullying tactics" and the use of intelligence resources to strengthen the negotiating position of more developed nations. Dr Sealey-Huggins suggests that the lack of capital resources in the Caribbean results in the region being particularly vulnerable to manipulation through the use of financial aid in this way. More

A lesson from Hurricane Irma: capitalism can’t save the planet – it can only destroy it

But there’s a flaw. Hurricanes do not respond to market signals. The plastic fibres in our oceans, food and drinking water do not respond to market signals. Nor does the collapse of insect populations, or coral reefs, or the extirpation of orangutans from Borneo.

The unregulated market is as powerless in the face of these forces as the people in Florida who resolved to fight Hurricane Irma by shooting it. It is the wrong tool, the wrong approach, the wrong system.

There are two inherent problems with the pricing of the living world and its destruction. The first is that it depends on attaching a financial value to items – such as human life, species and ecosystems – that cannot be redeemed for money. The second is that it seeks to quantify events and processes that cannot be reliably predicted.

Environmental collapse does not progress by neat increments. You can estimate the money you might make from building an airport: this is likely to be linear and fairly predictable. But you cannot reasonably estimate the environmental cost the airport might incur. Climate breakdown will behave like a tectonic plate in an earthquake zone: periods of comparative stasis followed by sudden jolts. Any attempt to compare economic benefit with economic cost in such cases is an exercise in false precision.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pope Francis: Hurricanes show humanity will 'go down' if it does not address climate change

Pope Francis: Hurricanes show humanity will 'go down' if it does not address climate change

Pope Francis has warned the recent spate of hurricanes should prompt people to understand that humanity will "go down" if it does not address climate change and history will judge those who deny the science on its causes.

Francis said history will judge those who deny the science on its causes and that "if we don’t turn back, we will go down"

He also chastised politicians who doubt man-made climate change, saying they have a moral responsibility to act and branding those who do not as “stupid”.

Doubters should study the evidence of global warming produced by scientists, which was “very clear”, he said.

The Pope made the remarks as he returned from a five-day trip to Colombia, flying over parts of the Caribbean which have been devastated by hurricanes in the past few days.

"Those who deny this must go to the scientists and ask them. They speak very clearly," he said. "These aren't opinions pulled out of thin air. They are very clear," he said.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Should Caribbean SIDS launch a Windies navy

Should Caribbean small island states initiate a Windies Navy for post-disaster rescue? Coordinated using the Zello App to communicate / coordinate, as did the Cajun Navy in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Holly Hartman, at the dining room table where she helped the Cajun Navy rescue Houstonians after Tropical Storm Harvey.

I downloaded an app. And suddenly, was part of the Cajun Navy. After two minutes of training, I was talking to people desperate for help.

After watching nonstop coverage of the hurricane and the incredible rescues that were taking place, I got in bed at 10:30 on Tuesday night. I had been glued to the TV for days. Every time I would change the channel in an attempt to get my mind on something else for a few minutes, I was drawn right back in.

I finally turned off the TV and picked up my phone to do a quick check of email and Facebook. I read an article about the Cajun Navy and the thousands of selfless volunteers who have shown up to this city en masse. The article explained they were using a walkie-talkie-type app called Zello to communicate with each other, locate victims, get directions, etc. I downloaded the app, found the Cajun Navy channel and started listening.

I was completely enthralled. Voice after voice after voice coming though my phone in the dark, some asking for help, some saying they were on their way. Most of the transmissions I was hearing when I first tuned in were from Houston, but within 30 minutes or so, calls started coming in from Port Arthur and Orange. Harvey had moved east from Houston and was pummeling East Texas.

As I was listening, I quickly figured out that there were a few moderators on the app that were in charge and very experienced in using this method of communication during emergencies. One in particular, Brittney, was giving directions, taking rescue requests, and prioritizing calls and rescues. At one point, she said something that made me realize she's a nurse, so I immediately understood why she was so effective in this situation.

A couple of other women (who were working from other parts of the country, not Houston) who had been taking calls from victims and logging in the information came on the line around 12:30 and said they had to sign off so they could get to bed. They asked if there was anyone who could work through the night to keep taking rescue requests and log them.

I sat up and turned on my light. I timidly pushed the "talk" button and said, "I can." More

Sunday, September 3, 2017

GLISPA and Earth Day Network

Marine plastic debris pollution is clogging waterways and beaches around the world. That’s why Earth Day Network is getting ready to announce in September the global theme for Earth Day 2018 (April 22) – eliminating single-use plastics worldwide.

As we prepare to launch this campaign we would love to connect to anyone in the GLISPA community working on this issue. We hope to find ways to coordinate and collaborate with existing campaigns. It’s our hope that the global community can see value in Earth Day as an organizing tool to push the needle forward on eliminating plastic pollution.

If you are working on eliminating plastic pollution on your island we would love to hear from you. Please see Earth Day Network at for more information.

Earth Day Network

Monday, August 28, 2017

Apply to be a 2018 Climate Change Fellow

AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Program

18 Aug, 2017

AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Program
In 2014 AOSIS established the Climate Change Fellowship Program. The program brings early career professionals from AOSIS member countries to New York for one year to participate as part of each Fellow’s national delegation to the UNFCCC and UNHQ.
Each year, candidates are selected to spend a year based in New York following climate change issues, including attending all major UNFCCC meetings. Fellows are expected to spend 80% of their time on AOSIS related matters and 20% on national issues.
During their fellowship, the Fellows receive comprehensive training on climate change issues, including on-going negotiation skills training and media training. It is expected that, after their fellowship, they will return to their home governments and continue to engage on climate change issues and in the UNFCCC process.
To date, 16 Fellows have participated in the program. With each class of graduating Fellows we continue to expand the Fellowship alumni network. This network provides mentoring opportunities between former and current Fellows and allows alumni around the world to share experiences and ideas relevant to their work on climate change.

Application Process

Applications for the AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Program must be submitted by the applicant’s UN Mission in New York. Individuals interested in applying should contact their respective UN mission. The deadline for applications is October 10, 2017.
For more information, please contact the Fellowship Program coordinator, Amelia Linn (

The 2018 AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Program is supported by the Government of Italy.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Transformative water project in the Maldives

Transformative water project in the Maldives takes off with support from UNDP and the Green Climate Fund - Maldives | ReliefWeb

August 18, 2017, Malé - A UNDP-supported project set to transform water security in the outer islands of the Maldives has moved one step closer to implementation this past week, with a meeting of key stakeholders and a special function attended by the Minister of Environment and Energy, Minister of State for Environment and Energy, and UNDP Resident Representative.

Together the events held in the capital Malé mark a critical milestone in the commencement of the project’s implementation, expected to begin early September 2017.

“Climate change is a significant challenge to the development of Maldives, not only in an environmental aspect, but also in economic and social aspects,” said the Minister of Environment and Energy Mr. Thoriq Ibrahim in his opening remarks. “The Maldives project was among the first projects approved by the Green Climate Fund, and this event brings stakeholders together to discuss and exchange information vital for implementation.”

“As a small island developing state, the Maldives has been both a champion and a poster-child for the impacts of climate change,” said UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Shoko Noda. “The Government, and in particular the Ministry of Environment and Energy, has been at the forefront of climate action. Today marks the beginning of a paradigm shift towards climate-resilience, one we envision will be a turning point for the future of water security in the country.” More

Monday, July 3, 2017

Our Oceans, Our Islands, Our Future

With the leadership of H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of Palau, H.E. Vincent Meriton, Vice-President of Seychelles, The Hon. Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Ambassador Spencer Thomas of Grenada, alongside Global Island Partnership members and friends, the Partnership coordinated a series of events that demonstrated the leadership of islands united in strong partnerships to implement Sustainable Development Goal 14 and support strong outcomes for the UN Oceans Conference held in New York at the United Nations.

Download the GLISPA Event Spotlight: Our Oceans, Our Islands, Our Future here.

Since its launch in 2006, the Global Island Partnership has engaged high-level leaders to catalyze US$150 million for island action and assisted 35+ countries to launch or strengthen major sustainable island commitments. The Partnership now has more than 25 members and 30 friends working together to build resilient and sustainable island communities. We welcome entities interested in supporting its mission to apply for membership. Learn more:

Our postal address: IUCN (GLISPA), 1630 Connecticut Ave NW #300, Washington, DC 20009, USA

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Monica’s political diary: ten steps to a better Bermuda

Monica Jones find party politics in Bermuda divisive and destructive. She would like to see all our elected representatives working with each other and with members of the public service, private sector and labour unions in dignified and respectful ways to do the following:

Monica Jones

1, Create schools that foster peace, tolerance, friendship and understanding. Where the potential of all children is developed, with teachers, families and students receiving support, learning enrichment and encouragement to realise this goal

2, For all bickering, quarrelling, complaining, point scoring, competition and power grabbing to stop. To stop denigrating, diminishing, complaining and criticising, and instead to support and encourage the best potential of each other and our community

3, To put the interests of the greater community first and for personal interests to be secondary. For those of us who are not in governance, to allow people in public office to have private lives, personal time and space

4, To draw on the differing wisdom, strengths, talents and capabilities of all involved in providing governance

5, To remember the goal of all laws is to foster peace, tolerance, good order — to foster human rights with the responsibility of treating all people as free and equal in dignity and rights

6, When decisions are made, give them time to see if they are correct or not. If decisions need to be tweaked or rethought in business, it’s simply done. To expect perfection the first time round in country governance is unrealistic. Circumstances change and new information comes to light. Change is inevitable. When we contribute to the process, and support and encourage change, then we are constructive and create a climate where it is OK to say “I made a mistake” or “In light of new information, I’ve realised we need to change course”

7, To create a culture and climate where it is understood that we all have differing beliefs, and it is a normal and ordinary part of being alive, and to access the collective wisdom and greatness of those beliefs

8, No more pedestals or heroes. We are all human beings. We are perfect and flawed at the same time. When we put people on pedestals, they always fall off. The best thing we can do is to support and encourage respectful and dignified behaviour. To laugh, to love and be in peace. Keeping the word “respect” in the centre of our lives. Doing unto others as we would have done unto us. The term “do unto others” means something different to each one of us

9, To pass laws and put strategies in place so as to achieve full employment. To protect and support the most vulnerable people in our society

10, We all have buttons and when those buttons are activated, they create any number of stories that are not the truth of who we are or who anyone else is. It’s called “cognitive dissonance”.

This happens to everyone. When we want to blame, criticise, complain or have repetitive negative thoughts, we can choose to press the pause button. To allow curiosity to trickle in.

To develop a greater sense of compassion for ourselves and others.

To practise opening our hearts and minds.

In politics and advertising, our buttons are deliberately manipulated to achieve a certain result. If we learn how our brains operate, we become able to deactivate our buttons and are much less susceptible to manipulation because we have created space for our deep-thinking brain to operate.

The process of questioning ourselves and asking whether our reaction is the truth or not is a lifelong practice. On the other side of each question is an opportunity that creates an immense amount of wisdom and personal power.

We have to stop looking outside ourselves for change to be brought about by someone else. A wise friend told me: “Change is like a jigsaw puzzle. There are many pieces and players, and the picture isn’t clear. It becomes clear as many people put in the pieces to solve the puzzle. There are many puzzles to be solved.”

Change is a journey, not a destination.

Each one of us has to ask how we can help.

As long as we keep on asking that question and are prepared to lead and follow, we’ll keep on moving forward. More

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Climate change can cause both flooding and drought

Climate change can cause both flooding and droughts. How is that possible? Learn more:

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Caribbean Transitional Energy Conference (CTEC)

Caribbean economies suffer from some of the highest electricity prices in the world.

Despite their abundance of renewable energy sources, Cayman has a relatively low level of renewable energy penetration; the economy continues to spend a large proportion of its GDP on imported fossil fuels and residents and businesses continue to pay some of the highest electricity bills in the region. This is a common situation among island nations.

There is a clear opportunity for Cayman to emerge as a regional leader in developing solutions to address climate change through the adoption of renewable energy which will reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and provide key environmental, social and economic benefits.

With the Cayman Islands National Energy Policy now in place, a framework for transition is complete and seizing upon that vision will be critical to affecting positive change for the Cayman Islands and all those who follow.

The recent achievements for islands at COP21 provide a strong driver for action focused on carbon reduction goals. Given that Cayman ranks highly among islands as carbon emitters, it is critical that we position ourselves as leaders in carbon reduction and meet the goals set out in the National Energy Policy and the Paris agreement.

Cayman seeks to stand with other islands in the region and across the world to embrace a low carbon future and to stand on the front line of demonstrating solutions to climate change while delivering cheaper, secure, reliable and economically feasible energy solutions.
Who should attend?

Be part of Cayman’s low carbon future by joining an event which seeks to set out our vision, renewable road-map and opportunities.

The event will bring together delegates from public, private and non-profit sectors, underlining our collaborative approach to a sustainable future- government officials, project developers, manufacturers, investors and key players across the non-profit landscape.

Join government official and industry leads and participate in interactive panel discussions that seek to establish what the journey ahead looks like and how we address the challenges and maximise the opportunities.

Make the most of key networking opportunities, bringing together local, regional and global participation.
For More Information and Register