Monday, December 14, 2009

Jamaica Environment Trust

Jamaica Environment Trust has a new website that is worth checking out. The mission of the Trust is to "ensure the best possible stewardship of Jamaica's natural environment through a range of programmes designed to protect natural resources, increase environmental awareness and advocacy in civil society, develop vibrant environmental jurisprudence and ensure that a healthy natural environment is a key part of national development objectives."

The website details the Trust's campaign efforts: Save Cockpit Country, Protect Pellew Island and Keep Marine Mammals Free and includes some recent interesting reports on a whale stranding in St. Thomas and sea turtle monitoring in St. Mary.

Diana McCaulay, the Trust's CEO and founder has an interesting blog post titled Versus, In Copenhagen where she lays out the fundamental struggle that we can see playing out today in the headlines coming out of the Copenhagen Climate Talks. Diana says:
It’s complex, it’s global, it’s political, it’s long term – although horizons are shortening – and it’s all about VERSUS. The north vs the south. The rich vs the poor. Developed vs developing. Islands vs continents. Small vs big. Industrialized vs agricultural. Oil producers vs oil consumers. Those with oil and those without. Us vs those who come after us. The debate is extreme, polarized. Everyone’s positions are hardening. 1.5 degrees Celsius, say the small island states, not a degree more. Impossible, responds nearly everyone else - we can MAYBE discuss 2.0 degrees. 350 ppm, say the NGOs. 450 ppm say the governments. The scientists tear their hair. How much carbon, which base year, cap and trade, carbon offsets, carbon taxes, carbon rationing, carbon intensity, clean development mechanism, REDD – it’s all too much for the rest of us. And then there are the doomsday scenarios, whether you are listening to climate skeptics or climate campaigners. If we do nothing, catastrophe for the environment. If we do anything, catastrophe for the economy.

As I write, the tiny island nation of Tuvalu brought the negotiations to a standstill on Wednesday by demanding their proposals be heard. (Go Tuvalu!) The US and China are at odds. There’s a split between the island states and some African countries and other rapidly developing countries like India and Brazil. The EU mentions a sum in north/south aid. It is rejected as being entirely inadequate.

Thus far, VERSUS rules in Copenhagen.~ Diana McCaulay on Earth Talk, blog of Jamaica Environment Trust.

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