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Environmental activist calls for less talk more action on climate change 

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada 

  • Hayden Redhead and supporters engage in Global Climate Strike
  • Locals openly criticise campaign to demand radical action by government, local NGOs and church leaders
  • Non-enforcement of Abatement of Litter Act is cause for concern

Hayden Redhead has single-handled taken on a global environmental campaign in Grenada to raise awareness and demand radical action by our government, local NGOs and church leaders to not just engage in talks, but take decisive action to initiate the complete ban on fossil fuels and other environmentally harmful substances.

Redhead along with a few of his supporters are undertaking this climate strike locally, but they are joined by millions of protesters from around the world in solidarity with the planet as they engage in “Global Climate Strike”.

On Friday, 29 November 2019, Redhead stood near the Morne Rouge roundabout with placards inscribed “Ban fossil fuels. Go Green” and #climatestrike written on his t-shirt. His location put him in direct view of drivers without affecting the flow of traffic, and those in support showed their solidarity by tooting their horns or stopping to register their support.

Redhead was accompanied by his 9-year-old son Jared, a student of Westmorland Secondary, who held placards that read “There is no planet B” and a picture of the globe with a sign that said “Help!” Their protest is also timely as the United Nations 2019 Climate Change Conference, COP25, has begun talks from Monday 2, December in Madrid, Spain.

Redhead was asked whether the government is moving fast enough to address local environmental concerns. He said that although the government must be congratulated for steps taken so far to implement a ban on Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags, he believes more can be done. “The easy answer is no we are not moving fast enough. The environment and ecosystem are degrading at a faster rate and we are acting just as slowly as we did 20 years ago,” he said.

This is the second protest Redhead has staged; the first in September was dubbed “Global Climate Strike” where it was estimated that 7.5 million people globally took part by taking to the streets.

The need for enforcement of legislation such as the Abatement of Litter Act is also cause for concern. “We have rampant dumping of garbage all over this country and very little is done about it. We have an Abatement of Litter Act that as far as I am led to understand, the police have no papers so they can’t charge you if you litter right in front of them. So, if you are going to take the steps to implement policy then you have to enforce it,” he said.

Hayden Redhead on campaign

Redhead, who is commonly referred to as “Facebook Environmentalist” for his social media activism, has also taken the initiative to develop a simple climate manifesto to explain what an ordinary man can do to protect the environment. He also teaches young children about biodiversity and the impacts of climate change. However, despite his calls for action and receiving the support of many, Redhead said there are those locally who have openly criticised his approach to this issue.

“There needs to be a greater emphasis on management and educating the population because I have found in Grenada, that strange looks I get and the negativity from the population that I have gotten so far it is amazing. The people who honk and give me a thumbs-up are almost invariable foreigners. The locals give me a hard time, they don’t think we have a problem,” he said.

A major part of his protest is to raise awareness of the need for the government to strike a healthy balance between development and conservation.

“The air we breathe is not the same. The beaches are polluted. There are people who would not bathe on the Grand Anse beach anymore and for us to have gotten to that stage now says we have to take this seriously and we are still developing as if there is no tomorrow. Now I welcome the development, I love the jobs they bring, the income to the country, but we must force our leaders to strike an appropriate balance between development and the destruction of our ecosystem,” Redhead said.

Redhead said he will continue to push for legislative and real-time change through his activism and hopes that more people can come on board and assist in this global campaign.

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Caribbean & World

Prime Minister meets with executive members of Caribbean Congress of Labour

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Prime Minister, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, and Minister of Labour, Honourable, Peter David, met Friday with executive members of the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) who were in Grenada for a meeting of the regional organisation.

In welcoming the team, headed by President Andre Lewis of Grenada, Dr Mitchell underscored the importance of the labour movement and of working together.

He noted that the current Chair of the Caribbean Community, Honourable Mia Mottley of Barbados shares that opinion, hence the invitation to labour representatives to attend the inter-sessional meeting in Barbados this week.

Dr Mitchell said, “In the new global community, unless we work together, we would not survive. We need to unify our efforts – businesses, governments and labour to meet the fundamental challenges we face today. The Government of Grenada looks forward to continued cooperation as we go forward.”

Andre Lewis, who was elected President of the CCL last November, said the organisation also favours the collaborative approach and welcomed the opportunity to work with Caribbean leaders. He said, the CCL also believes the tripartite approach is necessary.

The Prime Minister also raised the issue of productivity, which he said needs to be addressed. The CCL executive members noted that productivity must be looked at in all its dimensions.

The subject of a possible government subvention for the CCL was discussed. Dr Mitchell, who is also the Minister of Finance, said government will be willing to support efforts by the regional trade union umbrella body, especially as it endeavours to empower its membership.

This drive to empower has already started. Through the CCL’s partnership with Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies in Trinidad and Tobago, the Grenada Trades Union Council is planning a one-week training session in leadership for its affiliates.

Dr Mitchell also suggested that the trade unions get involved in business ventures that can benefit their members over time. Some unions in Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica are already engaged in such activities and Dr Mitchell suggested that this approach be encouraged in other countries, including Grenada.

Office of the Prime Minister

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Caribbean & World

CARIBEWAVE 2020 to be staged on 19 March

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The National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) continues its preparation for the hosting of CARIBEWAVE 2020, carded for Thursday, 19 March 2020.

This year’s scenario will involve a 8.9 magnitude earthquake just off the coast of Jamaica, triggering a tele-tsunami in our area.

The exercise will be held along the western corridor: Victoria, Gouyave and Grand Mal, but triggering a national response.

The 2020 exercise gives the sister isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique a unique opportunity to test the SOP (Standard Operating Protocol) created in 2019 as part of the certification of being Tsunami Ready in November 2019.

The exercise will be conducted simultaneously in Carriacou and Petite Martinique. We therefore encourage the general public to visit the website Tsunamizone.org to register for the exercise.

CARIBEWAVE (Caribbean Tsunami Warning Exercise) is a tsunami exercise held annually in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, under the direction of UNESCO and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The purpose of the CARIBEWAVE exercise is to improve the effectiveness of the Tsunami Warning System along the Caribbean coast.  The exercise provides an opportunity for emergency management organisations throughout the region to test their operational lines of communications, review their tsunami response procedures, and to promote tsunami preparedness.

The objectives of the CARIBEWAVE Exercise are to test and evaluate the operations of the Caribbean Tsunami Warning System (Caribe EWS), to validate preparedness response to a tsunami (which are test protocols and communications systems between tsunami warning centres and the tsunami warning focal points), and the use of the PTWC (Pacific Tsunami Warning Center) enhanced tsunami products for the Caribbean, as well as assist in tsunami preparedness efforts of the emergency management agencies in those areas.

For additional information, please contact Oslyn Crosby Public Relations Officer, NaDMA on 440-8390/ 440-0838, or 533-0766 email: nadma@spiceisle.com / nadmapr@gmail.com . 

NaDMA, the official source for all disaster related information in Grenada. 

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Caribbean & World

Missing Man Found | NOW Grenada

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30-year old, Devon Jeffrey of La Mode, St George, who was reported missing on Monday, 17 February 2020 has been found and has been reunited with his family. 

The Royal Grenada Police Force thanks the general public and the media for their continued support.

Office of Commissioner of Police

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