A collaboration of islanders: the Virtual Island Summit 2022

The world is getting smaller. A cliché, I know – but since the “COVID era” we have been able to communicate, share knowledge, engage in heated arguments, socialise, plan and launch projects and more – all in the virtual sphere. All around the world, there have been lively discussions among students, business people, NGO leaders, … More A collaboration of islanders: the Virtual Island Summit 2022

A fire at the historic Hunts Bay Jewish Cemetery highlights negligence for Jamaica’s cultural heritage

There are some Jamaican habits and attitudes that make me very sad. I am very late in reporting this* First of all, let me tell you about the fire at Hunts Bay Cemetery, which exemplifies two aspects of Jamaican life that I find depressing. *(This summer has turned my life a little upside down, or … More A fire at the historic Hunts Bay Jewish Cemetery highlights negligence for Jamaica’s cultural heritage

The Caribbean Tree Planting Project forges a spiritual connection with Jamaica’s diaspora

It was a hot, dry Saturday morning in Kingston, and the polished pews gleamed at the New Testament Church of God on Eastwood Park Road. There was an air of calm. The Saharan dust blurred the sky. The traffic hustled on outside, but it was quiet inside. The people quietly moving around the edges of … More The Caribbean Tree Planting Project forges a spiritual connection with Jamaica’s diaspora

Jamaican farmers’ groups meet to discuss new training opportunities

I have to say, I worry for Jamaican farmers. At the same time, I admire them greatly for their tenacity and willingness to achieve results, no matter what. The former Agriculture Minister Floyd Green started an “Agriculture in Bloom” programme to give women farmers extra support. I am not sure whether it is still going, … More Jamaican farmers’ groups meet to discuss new training opportunities

Disaster preparedness in Jamaica: Are we becoming complacent?

We are just two weeks away from the official start of the 2022 Hurricane Season (June 1). I have noted a few news items this month (which is Hurricane Preparedness Month in the U.S., but regrettably not in Jamaica) – as follows: The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the primary Government agency … More Disaster preparedness in Jamaica: Are we becoming complacent?

“They’ve left us to eat stones now:” The latest Vice News film on the impacts of bauxite mining in Jamaica

Last month, the U.S.-based Vice News posted a second video on the community response to bauxite mining in Jamaica. The Jamaica Environment Trust is reminding us to watch it; the YouTube link is here. The 20-minute report is a follow-up to their 2021 feature, which you can find here. As of May 2, the video … More “They’ve left us to eat stones now:” The latest Vice News film on the impacts of bauxite mining in Jamaica

JET acknowledges the declaration of the Cockpit Country Protected Area, but..

On March 17, during the Budget Debate in Parliament, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that the Cockpit Country Protected Area has now been officially designated and gazetted. Is that the end of this long story, with its many twists and turns? Well, not quite. You can find the Environmental Impact Assessments on the National Environment … More JET acknowledges the declaration of the Cockpit Country Protected Area, but..

The environment AND climate change: shuffled out in the Jamaican Government’s “reshuffle”

Apart from the collective “meh” among most Jamaicans that greeted the Prime Minister’s “Cabinet reshuffle” announced a few days ago, one thing struck me immediately. Where has the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change gone? It seemed to be settling down a little, under the leadership of Minister Pearnel Charles, Jr., who … More The environment AND climate change: shuffled out in the Jamaican Government’s “reshuffle”

Cockpit Country, Jamaica: “This is an environmental and social justice issue”

There is much more to be said about the recent announcement on bauxite mining in the Cockpit Country, which I wrote about in a post earlier this week. Now environmental activist and Founder of the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) Diana McCaulay (@dmccaulay) has shared her thoughts in a fairly long Twitter thread, which I am … More Cockpit Country, Jamaica: “This is an environmental and social justice issue”

Human rights in Jamaica and beyond – past and present

It’s International Human Rights Day, and it’s not just a hashtag. A lot has been going through my mind today. These are stormy times, with the wind blowing first one way and then the other. A sudden rogue wave appears and nearly knocks you off your feet. 2021 has been strangely – and perhaps surprisingly … More Human rights in Jamaica and beyond – past and present