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Petit Martinique students and community learn more about Seabirds

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Petit Martinique students learn about seabirds during a presentation by the organization Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC).

As part of the project Conservation of Key Offshore Island Reserves, Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) is committed to teaching younger generations about biodiversity issues in the Grenadines, especially seabirds and their role in the marine ecosystem. On the 21st and 22nd of November 2019, Project Coordinator/Seabird Biologist Juliana Coffey gave two presentations at the Petite Martinique Roman Catholic Primary School, accompanied by Project Assistant Quincy Augustine of Grenada and Seabird Monitor/Captain Vaughn Thomas of Carriacou. Additional community members joined the group to learn about this topic of local concern.

The students were particularly attentive and engaged, expressing amazement at the unique features and abilities seabirds possess, for example, having webbed feet, waterproof feathers and raising only one chick per year. They were also astonished to see how well seabirds are able to cope with the everyday struggles of survival, such as being able to drink saltwater and migrate astonishing distances. They listened as elders discussed how they use certain seabirds to find fish and to understand weather patterns.  Upon learning that most seabirds mate for life, one adult present exclaimed “I didn’t know before that seabirds have their soulmates!”.

The facial expressions and excitement of the children when shown videos of seabirds swimming to great depths in order to catch fish was a joy to see. They were most impressed by seeing clips of seabirds “flying” underwater amongst other top predators, such as sharks and whales.  They were also able to recognize the common local seabirds around their island using local names, and even to mimic the calls the seabirds made.

However, the students expressed concern when they heard of the tremendous challenges seabirds face on a day to day basis, in the air, on the land and in the sea, and that there are less seabirds than there used to be. Among those threats, egg poaching and fires set by people created a stir among the students, with one questioning as to why people would do such a thing. When asked how we can protect seabirds in the region, they discussed protecting seabird habitat, stop polluting the oceans and not to harvest seabirds, their chicks and eggs anymore.

In closing, the principal of the school urged each student to make it their duty to save seabirds and encouraged them to educate their family members of how important seabirds are to our environment and even our daily survival.  He advised the students that although they are still young, someday they will have children and grandchildren who should have the opportunity to see seabirds in the future. Students were also informed of the many great careers they can have that involve seabirds, such as fisherfolk, biologist, sailor, and tour operator, and provided with seabird identification cards, book and posters for further education.

To learn more about this project please contact Juliana Coffey, Project Coordinator and at [email protected], on WhatsApp 1-709-770-6877 or phone 1-473-422-9547.

This project is made possible through funding from USAID and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Caribbean & World

PAHO epidemiological alert: novel coronavirus (nCoV)

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In light of this situation, PAHO/WHO encourages Member States to strengthen surveillance activities to detect any unusual respiratory health event. Health professionals should be informed about the possibility of the occurrence of infection caused by this virus and the actions to be implemented in case of a suspected case.

International travellers

On 10 January 2020, WHO defined Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China as a nCoV affected area, and currently, only a greater state of alert in the community of health professionals is warranted about patients presenting with acute respiratory syndrome and having: (i) a history of travel specifically to the city of Wuhan, and (ii) with a possible link to the marine products market in that city, or contact with patients with a link to the marine products market. While laboratory tests to identify nCoV infection would be warranted for such patients, in all other patients, including those with a history of travel to any place in China outside the city of Wuhan, influenza or other respiratory pathogens must first be ruled out (see laboratory recommendations).

Health practitioners and public health authorities should provide travellers, who arrive and leave the country, with information to promote and facilitate seeking medical attention in the event of an illness before, during, or after an international trip.

Promote, among travellers arriving and leaving the country, good practices and behaviour to reduce the overall risk of acute respiratory infections during travel, such as following cough etiquette and frequent handwashing (see infection prevention and control).

For travellers to the city of Wuhan, promote avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections, as well as avoiding places where farm or wild animals are present, alive or dead.

Identify and mobilize, in a coordinated manner, both the public sector actors (for example, those that operate at points of entry, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and private sector entities (for example, tourism operators, transportation operators, operators of entry points, companies that carry out commercial activities with the City of Wuhan and that involve trips to those cities, or stationing of staff there).

Take the opportunity to review in a coordinated manner with the public and private sector entities that operate at entry points, and the health sector entities in whose jurisdictions the entry points are located, the procedures for handling acute public health events, and the availability of personal protection equipment.

Also taking into account the celebrations of the Chinese New Year, 25 January 2020, which, in addition to significant internal movement within China, could also imply variations in the flow of international travellers to/from China, identify the corresponding sources (for example, National Authority of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Tourism) and proceed with the historical analysis of the flows of travellers and means of transport coming from the city of Wuhan. While the accuracy of this exercise could be limited, it is considered that access, management, and familiarization with this type of data and information are critical for the evaluation of any type of public health risk.

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Two MWAG executives resign | NOW Grenada

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by Linda Straker

  • Two of the six-member MWAG executive resigned with immediate effect
  • Reasons for resignations have not been openly shared
  • Increased number of assaults and threats against media workers on the job recently

Two executive members of the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG) who were elected at the Annual General Meeting held in December 2018, have resigned from their post with immediate effect as of Friday, 17 January 2020.

Tonnia St Louis-Lawrence is an employee of Meaningful Television (MTV), while Joseph is an employee of the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN).

According to MWAG’s constitution, the AGM shall be held on before 30 November each year, but it was unable to be held in November 2017 and thus the executive was elected in December 2018.

Shere-Ann Noel who is currently a senior employee of the Government Information Service (GIS) was elected by the members to serve as President at that AGM, and she has confirmed receiving the resignations on Friday.

The other executive members are Rickisha St Louis and Delroy Louison who are also employed with the government, and Asher Andall who is an independent media worker.

Both Lawrence and Joseph have not openly shared the reason for the resignation, but have given the assurance that they will continue to be members of the Association. According to its constitution, the Association “is dedicated to the best interest of the media in Grenada, particularly for the furtherance of the education and professional status of its members.”

The constitution provides guidance on the process to fill the vacancies. “In the event of a vacancy occurring on the Executive by the death, incapacity or resignation of an officer, a successor may be appointed by the Executive Committee to complete the remainder of the term.”

President Noel said that an emergency meeting will be called to formally inform the membership of the resignations and for the Association to decide the way forward.

It is not certain if the action of the two is linked to the growing number of assaults and threats against media workers on the job in recent months and the executive decision to not publicly condemn all reported acts. It is understood that some members of the Executive have been demanding that there be open condemnation and concern about the assaults, but at least on one occasion, there was no public action.

The latest was an online journalist being barred from recording a public meeting for news purposes in the village of Mt Moritz. Residents of the area were meeting with Acting Commissioner of Police and other government officials, but some in attendance said they were uncomfortable having the media present.

After the journalist left, the Government Information Service arrived at the venue and was allowed to record, and an edited version of the recording was later disseminated to media houses who requested a copy of the meeting. Traditionally, the GIS makes available unedited footage of government events.

NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.

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What it means to be mixed race in the US

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The number of multi-racial people in the US is on the rise. But the experience comes with struggles.



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