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St Vincent and the Grenadines $27 million geothermal energy project launched – Caribbean News Now

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St Vincent and the Grenadines geothermal energy drive

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — St Vincent and the Grenadines took a major step towards a cleaner and more secure energy future Monday, May 6, launching a multi-million-dollar geothermal energy-drilling project made possible with financing mobilised by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

CDB secured US$27 million in financing for the project through contributions from partners, including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the European Union’s Caribbean Investment Facility (EU-CIF) and the government of New Zealand.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Vice President of Operations of CDB, Monica La Bennett shared the context behind the bank’s heightened involvement in the renewable energy sector in recent years.

“Over the past five years, the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency has been the focus of the bank as a means of increasing energy security in many of our borrowing member countries. The cost of energy in the region is among the highest globally; and this impacts our competitiveness, [and] growth prospects and [it also] makes us vulnerable to oil price volatility. Thus, CDB has been supporting the use of our natural resources, solar, wind and geothermal, to produce clean and lower cost energy,” La Bennett said.

The vice president thanked CDB’s partners for their “vision and … willingness to collaborate” on the project as well as the “scale and timeliness” of their various contributions. These contributions included:

  •   A package of resources worth USD$16.3 million through IDB, consisting of an IDB loan, a grant from the global environmental facility and conti ngently recoverable grant resources from the clean technology fund;
  • IDB provided its financing under the sustainable energy for the eastern Caribbean facility, a joint programme with CDB;
  • An investment grant of £4 million from DFID;
  • A grant of EUR 4.9 million from EU-CIF under its geothermal risk mitigation for the Eastern Caribbean programme and;
  • Technical assistance from the government of New Zealand, allowing for the engagement of experts to provide technical, advisory and managerial support.

In recalling the journey towards the start of geothermal energy drilling, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves pointed out that his government originally owned a 25 percent stake in the St Vincent Geothermal Company Limited. However, he noted that the government was able to increase its shareholdings, thanks to grants and concessional loans received from various partners like CDB.

“These grants positioned ourselves to have greater ownership for the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines through increased equity contribution that would result in a decrease in the price to electricity consumers,” Gonsalves said.

St Vincent and the Grenadines is the first country to benefit from investment funding under GeoSmart. CDB’s initiative to mobilise and provide appropriate technical expertise and concessional financing to support the various stages of geothermal energy development projects in Eastern Caribbean countries.



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Conference on the Constitutions and Model Legislative Initiatives in the OECS

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The Government of Canada funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project hosted a ‘Conference on the Constitutions and Model Legislative Initiatives in the OECS’ on 5-6 December 2019 at Ocean Terrace Inn in Saint Kitts.

The IMPACT Justice Project is implemented from within the Caribbean Law Institute Centre, Faculty of Law, The University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus.

Topics on the agenda were: a comparative analysis of OECS constitutions; the standardisation of judicial pensions in the OECS; highlights of IMPACT Justice’s Model Business Names Registration and Trade Marks bills; the potential establishment of a sexual offences registry; arbitration in the OECS; providing for continuing legal professional development (CLPD) in small jurisdictions; the benefits of community mediation; and, gender-based analysis plus and the IMPACT Justice Sexual Harassment Model Bill.

The participants comprised of parliamentarians from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. They were joined by representatives of the legal fraternity from throughout the OECS, with representatives from the Bar Associations of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the OECS Bar Association, and the Organisation of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Association. Members of the media from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were also present.

The objectives of the conference were to enhance awareness of OECS constitutional provisions and to encourage consideration of IMPACT Justice drafted legislation by governments through explaining some of the key provisions and sensitising their representatives to the initiatives. The presence of the media also served to ensure that the information shared at the conference would be disseminated throughout the OECS.

In her remarks at the opening of the event, High Commissioner of Canada to the OECS, Her Excellency Marie Legault, pleaded with the delegates to ensure that the model legislation provided and the legislative drafters trained by IMPACT Justice are utilised to meet the needs of the region’s countries and to enhance capacity where possible. The Hon. Pam Webster delivered remarks on behalf of the OECS Assembly, offering thanks the Government of Canada for providing the opportunity for regional parliamentarians to gather in such a forum and noted that these initiatives help to assure the region that Canada is serious about its development. She concluded that development projects such as IMPACT Justice are a worthwhile investment in the region.

Government of Canada

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St George’s Leo Club World Leo Day 5 December 2019

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On 5 December 2019, the St George’s Leo Club, celebrated World Leo Day, 62 years of global service!

In 1957 in Abington, Pennsylvania, Bill Graver asked his father, Jim Graver a member of the Glenside Lions Club, “Why isn’t there a Lions sponsored service club for young people?” That question was a catalyst for action to form a youth arm of Lions Club International, which resulted in the chartering of the first Leo Club on 5 December 1957, sixty-two years ago. Thirteen years later, on 25 February 1970, the St George’s Lions Club chartered the St George’s Leo Club.

Leo Elmo with students of Constantine Methodist School

As this day marks a significant milestone in Leoism and Lionism history, the St George’s Leo Club conducted a literacy project at the club’s adopted school, Constantine Methodist. The resounding message that was the theme of the day, was the importance of literacy. To bring across that mantra, fun and exciting activities were held to captivate the students’ interest. Our Leo ‘Elmo’ mascot visited the junior grades and engaged in interactive chatter about reading and its importance, whilst encouraging them to always read. Next, an active reading session was held with Elmo and a junior grade, followed by a creative reading and writing piece with a senior grade, where prizes were given to the most innovative writers. Additionally, with the sponsorship from Grenada Schools Inc., we were able to donate over 100 books to the school’s library, together with stationery items compliments Bryden & Minors.

The day’s activity was filled with literacy reading and writing fun with Elmo, thanks to the kind assistance of Waggy T Rentals and Sounds Company, along with a very artistic literacy cardboard picture frame, made by PressiiBoo Dessins.

St George’s Leo Club, wishes to express sincere appreciation to all who made this day truly magical. As we continue our work of service and support in our communities, we encourage our young people to join our cause, as with more hands-on-deck, we definitely can make a greater impact.

Come next year, 25 February 2020, the St George’s Leo Club will be celebrating 50 years! A number of community projects will be held in commemoration of this jubilee. We look forward to the continued support from wellwishers, our communities and country.

St George’s Leo Club

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4H District Quiz a success

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands congratulates participants of the recently held 4H District Spelling Bee Competition.

The involvement of children and youth in the 4H Movement provides an opportunity for 4Hers to study the importance of agriculture in a quest to ensure food and nutrition security for all. The keenly contested competition attracted participants from 4 Districts, which saw the duo of Joel Alexis and Aiden Victor, students of Woburn Methodist School and St Mary’s Junior School respectively, being crowned the 2019 winners and bestowing championship honours to the St George’s District.

Victor following his team’s win said, “This is the fifth trophy I have won in academics. I got my spelling words only last week, but I had to stay up late to study. I would tell anyone to keep trying until they get it right.”

“It was study practice and more practice for me; I feel really proud of this accomplishment. This goes to show that you can never study enough,” said Alexis.

Through two rounds of competition, the students were required to spell words from six different categories namely, Fruits and vegetables, Careers in Agriculture, Pest and Diseases, Tools and Equipment, Food and Nutrition, and Climate Change.

Team St George amassed a total of 90 points. At the end of the official competition, teams St David and St Andrew were in joint second place. However, following a tie-breaker round, St David was declared second-place winner with St Andrew having to settle for the third spot. The combined team of St John and St Mark had to settle for fourth position.

Assistant Agricultural Officer and 4H officer responsible for St Andrew, Anna Abraham, expressed satisfaction with the success of the competition. “I think the children did extremely well, they participated well, which shows that they were well prepared by their leaders. Getting the children involved in educational activities is one of the main aims of this competition; 4H is not just about gardening, it’s about activities like these also. “

Chief Agricultural Officer, Daniel Lewis, commended the effort of the 4H unit. “I am highly impressed with the standard of the competition and the quality of the spelling competition. It was highly competitive and in a competition like this, it really allows students to learn and even improve their diction. Congratulations to the 4H team, parents who provided support and teachers who assisted these students. The ministry will continue to support the 4H movement, as it represents a platform for growth and development of our students in the agricultural sector.

Ministry of Agriculture and Lands

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