http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Jamaica-s-environment-at-50

PHD Scholarship

Have you been accepted to a PhD programme in climate change but you’re unable to fund it….I have the perfect solution for you…..The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Scholarship Programme is accepting applications for the second round of awards to be made for the period 2013-14.
inbox me for more details.

Request for Applications-WE Americas Small Grants Initiative

Deadline- Aug 20, 2012

Countries/Region- Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Applications are invited for WE Americas Small Grants Initiative through which people come to know about new  opportunities. These fundingopportunities will be distributed in the form of grants.

The particular focus on furthering economicopportunities for rural and indigenous women, and on systems to support women’s entrepreneurship throughout the LAC region, is intended to build greater social and economic security and improve lives. The ultimate goal of the small grants is to support women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs at the micro, SME, and high growth potential levels. The grants will focus on increasing necessary infrastructure to support and encourage a women’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Eligibility

  • This announcement is intended for non-profit and/or non-governmental organizationswith offices in the LAC region or for-profit social enterprises that are from and/or have a presence in the LAC region. US groups and enterprises are eligible for this award; however, fundsmay only be obligated and spent on offices within the selected implementing LAC country for this initiative.

 

Japan Water Forum Fund: Grants for Grassroots NGOs

Japan Water Forum Fund: Grants for Grassroots NGOs

The Japan Water Forum has announced a grant opportunity for grassroots NGOs in developing countriesworking to resolve water and sanitation problems.

Only projects planned and faithfully implemented to solve the current water and sanitation problems by grass-roots organizations in developing countries will be considered.

  • These projects include for example:
  • Installation of rainwater-harvesting tanks, ponds or digging wells;
  • Development of small scale water supply systems;
  • Building new toilets and upgrading existing sanitation facilities;
  • Prevention of water-related disasters projects;
  • Establishment and encouragement of water-efficient irrigation;
  • Solving gender issues on water and sanitation;
  • Water environmentrestoration activities.

Any grassroots organizations in developing countries involved in resolution of water and sanitation problems. National governments, Local governments and private companies will not be selected can applyfor this opportunity.

The JWF Fund recommends that your proposed project includes capacity building/awareness-raising programs but it should not be only that. All projects need to be implemented by end of March 2013.

Proposals to be submitted using the given application form. The deadline to submit proposals is 25 July 2012.

Japan Water Forum Fund: Grants for Grassroots NGOs Source Link: http://www.fundsforngos.org/latest-funds-for-ngos/japan-water-forum-fund-grants-grassroots-ngos/#ixzz20zX8tEDf

Japan Water Forum Fund: Grants for Grassroots NGOs

The Japan Water Forum has announced a grant opportunity for grassroots NGOs in developing countries working to resolve water and sanitation problems.

Only projects planned and faithfully implemented to solve the current water and sanitation problems by grass-roots organizations in developing countries will be considered.

  • These projects include for example:
  • Installation of rainwater-harvesting tanks, ponds or digging wells;
  • Development of small scale water supply systems;
  • Building new toilets and upgrading existing sanitation facilities;
  • Prevention of water-related disasters projects;
  • Establishment and encouragement of water-efficient irrigation;
  • Solving gender issues on water and sanitation;
  • Water environment restoration activities.

Any grassroots organizations in developing countries involved in resolution of water and sanitation problems. National governments, Local governments and private companies will not be selected can apply for this opportunity.

The JWF Fund recommends that your proposed project includes capacity building/awareness-raising programs but it should not be only that. All projects need to be implemented by end of March 2013.

Proposals to be submitted using the given application form. The deadline to submit proposals is 25 July 2012. For more information, visit this link.

 

Climate Change Fellowship

Applications are now opened for the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation’s international Climate Protection Fellowships. This is being offered to perspective leaders from transition and developing countries who work on climate protection and resource conservation issues in NGOs, academia, business or government. The fellowships provide an opportunity for selected candidates to go to Germany for a year to conduct a project dedicated to the sharing of Knowledge, methods and techniques together with a host. If you are interested, please contact me by sending a message for more details.
Contact me @: garfieldplanner@aol.com

Rio+20? Will It Make A Difference To Sustainable Development?

http://www.developmentcrossing.com/profiles/blogs/rio-20-will-it-make-a-difference-to-sustainable-development

Establishing the links between Urban Planning and HIV in the developing world, facts or fallacy?

Urban Planning in Jamaica is a growing phenomenon and have been focusing on the creating living spaces in cities and town across Jamaica. As technocrats we are charged with the control of the use of land and the design of environment environ, including transportation infrastructure, to guide and ensure the orderly development of human settlements and communities. Within this framework of creating a quality of life for citizens, the marginalized are disenfranchised are usually left out of the planning process. Social Inclusion is a popular phrase which recognises that many people are excluded from the opportunities they need to create the life they want, and can become trapped in spirals of disadvantage caused by family circumstances, low expectations, community poverty, a lack of suitable and affordable housing, illness or discrimination – often leading to leaving school early, long-term unemployment and chronic ill-health. Some people are at greater risk of multiple disadvantages- such as people living with HIV.

See attached article which speaks about how HIV/AIDS can be incorporated into the Settlement Development Planning. MAINSTREAMING HIV_AIDS IN SETTLEMENT DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

Planning Is…

PLANNING DEFINED:

“Planning” means the scientific, aesthetic, and orderly disposition of land, resources, facilities and services with a view to securing the physical, economic and social efficiency, health and well-being of urban and rural communities.

Responsible planning has always been vital to the sustainability of safe, healthy, and secure urban environments. Jamaica’s population is growing and, with more people migrating from rural to urban areas, the planning profession must increasingly deal with urbanization issues, such as:

  • Conversion of land from natural habitats to urban built areas,
  • Maintenance and use of natural resources and habitats,
  • Development of transportation related infrastructure,
  • Ensuring environmental protection.

Not only do planners deal with land use, but also:

  • Planning social and community services,
  • Managing cultural and heritage resources,
  • Creating economic capacity in local communities,
  • Addressing transportation and infrastructure,
  • Work internationally.

Research

Planners measure and analyze statistical information for its implication. They examine actions to understand their intended–and real–effect.

Integration

Planners integrate the goals of sustainable development, good government and economic viability when evaluating proposals and strategies. They may work for the public or the private sector, but ultimately their work becomes part of or a catalyst to public policy. Planners’ work balances various private interests with the public interest and identifies viable, workable options.

Process

Planners employ diverse and thorough consultations as part of their research to ensure that as many voices as possible are heard and considered during the planning process.

Results

The implementation of any plan, however well thought out, involves changes, and change does not always come easily. Planners strive to develop clear plans for action and implement ongoing evaluations of successes and failures as part of their work. With increasingly complex urban challenges, planners need a set of skills and talents that includes knowledge of land, air and water resources, employment trends, cultural diversity and associated issues, the use and needs of new technologies, and conflict resolution. There are many tools, both well established and state-of-the-art, used in the planning process:

  • vision and strategy sessions of interested groups
  • ideas fairs to bring together the best of new concepts
  • computer simulations and scale models of plans
  • design workshops
  • social and environmental impact analysis

PLANNING AS A CAREER

Planners link knowledge and action in ways that improve public and private development decisions which affect people, places and the environment. To be effective, planners must have knowledge and experience in a wide range of topics. As a planner, you may:

  • Recommend policy and guidelines on land use, environmental conservation, housing, and transportation;
  • Do research and prepare reports on demographic, economic, cultural, social and environmental issues;
  • Review proposals for development to ensure that they follow regulations and generally accepted planning practice;
  • Prepare plans for developing private lands, providing public spaces and services and maintaining and improving the environment;
  • Answer questions from the public on planning policies and procedures;
  • Speak before public meetings or formal hearings;
  • Consultation with landowners, interest groups and citizens.

The urban planner is a professional whose skills are in demand as governments seek to create environments suitable for growing populations.

The urban planner may specialise in community development, housing, transportation, resource technology or management. He or she may also choose to work exclusively in planning and design or GIS (Geographic Information System) and remote sensing.

Accordingly, the employment possibilities of those who graduate from related training programmes  include:

Planning jobs can vary widely, and can have many differing job titles, such as:

  • Development Control Offices
  • GIS Analyst
  • City Planner
  • Community Development Officer
  • Conflict Resolution Mediator/Negotiator
  • Economic Development Officer
  • Environmental Planner
  • Geographic Information System Planner
  • Heritage Coordinator
  • Housing Analyst
  • Industrial Planner
  • Land Use Planner
  • Planning Director
  • Planning Consultant
  • Policy Analyst
  • Recreation And Park Planner
  • Regional Planner
  • Resource Development Officer
  • Social Planner
  • Strategic Planner
  • Transportation Planner
  • Urban Designer

Urban planners provide services in the field of human settlement and development planning; land use policy and analysis; environmental development and management; community development and planning, remote sensing and geographic information system application to urban and regional planning.

IS PLANNING FOR YOU?

If you are considering becoming a planner, you should enjoy the following:

Teamwork

Planners almost always work as part of a team, either with other planners, other professionals such as engineers or architects, or with politicians and citizens. With your varied background and communication skills, you will often be the one person who brings together a coherent plan of action that draws upon ideas of experts and knowledgeable participants.

Understanding data and numbers

Planners must feel comfortable interpreting population statistics, economic and social data, geographical information, resource inventories and environmental indicators. You will use this information to support your policy and project proposals.

The physical world around you

Most planners have a genuine interest in geography and the environment. Understanding how landscapes are formed, what happens to surface water when land is developed, how topography affects the design of roads and subdivisions, how to safely dispose of human and industrial waste, and how to preserve trees and natural resources, all require the natural curiosity and broad background that planners possess.

Understanding your neighbours

Most planners are concerned with balancing the rights of individuals with the needs of the larger population. Understanding the needs and views of all concerned is essential whether it be families, single people, an aging demographic, or differences due to income or ethnic background.  You will need to seek out and understand the diverse voices of your community.

Communication

Planners should have the ability to communicate ideas though the use of text, charts and pictures in presentations and reports for clients, other professionals, the general public and politicians. Planners also create maps, plans and 3-D models to represent their ideas.

Managing conflict

People have strong feelings about their property, homes, businesses and communities. Planners often face situations where they must respect conflicting views, mediate effectively, seek compromises and ultimately help others make difficult decisions.

Flexible schedule

Because so much of a planner’s job involves working with people in the community and taking directions from elected councils, you will often have to make time outside of normal working hours to attend meetings. Many planners work in government – either at the municipal, regional, provincial or federal level.

Rewards

There are many rewards from entering the planning profession. Currently there are employment opportunities for graduates of planning schools in the public and private sector of most municipalities across Canada.  The salary range for a new planner is on par with graduates of engineering or architecture with the same level of experience.  Location can influence the salary range for any level of planner, however planners can expect starting salaries of $40 – 50K. Please view the current employment opportunities on our website for an idea of what compensation you can expect in your province.

In addition, planners experience a sense of achievement through their work by improving the quality of life in communities. This is accomplished by working with a multitude of professionals and community stakeholders.  Establishing, maintaining and improving multiple important relationships provide skills that are a major benefit when acquired by young planners. Planners also benefit from being able to further one’s knowledge of professional planning through continuous educational opportunities provided through the national and affiliate programs.

Training in Jamaica

Locally, the degree in urban planning is offered at the University of Technology, where the  programme objectives are to:

  • Develop an appreciation in students for the current and historical issues surrounding the practice of planning
  •  Allow students to develop an understanding of the theory and practice of planning
  • Develop in students the capacity for original and analytical thought.
  • Produce a planner with the requisite knowledge, skills and attitude appropriate for professional practice in both the public and private sectors
  • Train professionals competent in physical and socio-economic development planning as well as in sustainable development and management of natural resources in developing countries.

The entry Requirements for the UTECH degree are:

Passes in five subjects in the Caribbean

  • Examination Council (CXC) general proficiency level grades 1,2,3 (grade 3 acceptable since June 1998); or General Certificate of Education (GCE) grades A,B or C including passes in English language, mathematics, geography and two other approved subjects.
  • Appropriate level of study in a recognized educational institution and relevant work experience.  Applicants accepted by this route are required to submit academic transcripts and documented evidence of relevant work experience.
  • Selected applicants for the programme may be required to satisfy a final interview.

For further information: http://www.utech.edu.jm/colleges_faculties/FOBE/sblm/index.html

NEPA gets flak over Falmouth Port: Agency rejects criticism

National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has come in for yet more heavy criticism over its monitoring of the Historic Falmouth Port Development in Trelawny.

But NEPA has come out swinging, insisting that it has done all that was within its power to protect the environment.

Diana McCaulay, chief executive officer for the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), is, however, not impressed. She said the environmental regulatory agency had failed to safeguard the historic town’s natural resources, notably the corals and wetlands, from the $7.5-billion development. And NEPA’s failure, she said, is reflected in the monitoring reports for the project.

“Using the Access to Information Act, JET has sought and received a large number of monitoring reports for Falmouth, done by at least four different sets of people — consultants, divers, NEPA officers. “They range from being professional and detailed with appropriate water quality tests and observations — these reports clearly and repeatedly describe the failures to handle the relocated coral properly and the “accidental” damage referred to by Ainsley Henry of NEPA — to reports of such brevity and lack of specificity as to be almost useless,” McCaulay told Environment Watch.

“There seems to be no co-ordination between all the various reports and they do not seem to lead to any kind of regulatory decision-making or effective action,” said McCaulay. “The breaches they describe include illegal removal of wetlands, insufficient dust control, non-functional silt screens, silt screens not deployed in the appropriate area, dredging beginning before corals were removed, silt plumes trailed across coral reefs, repeated failure to handle and relocate corals correctly, debris, and silt running off into the marine environment (as well as) the illegal dumping of sewage on land by vessels carrying out the work.”

The JET boss’ comments come in the wake of NEPA’s assertion that it had invested some $12 million to see to the effective monitoring of the $7.5-billion development.

Henry himself has challenged McCaulay’s statements.

“The statements about (the adequacy of NEPA’s efforts) are disingenuous at best. How much is enough? Recognising the scale of the project before us, the specific conditions mandated by NEPA resulted in monitoring being necessary at three levels — in addition to the regular monitoring capabilities of the agency,” he said.

“The contractors were required to monitor as a part of the contract from the PAJ (Port Authority of Jamaica); the PAJ was also required to perform monitoring independent of that conducted by the contractor; NEPA hired consultants to monitor; and teams from the agency’s permanent staff also supplemented this monitoring force. While it is accurate that there are assertions in some of the monitoring reports that would support some of those statements being made, it is flawed to assume that the entire story is evident as a consequence.”

Henry, the director of NEPA’s Applications Management Division, noted further that “During the course of the relocation of corals, the agency, through its monitoring teams, sought to ensure that due care was being taken with the handling of the corals being replanted and this was in fact evidenced by the regular briefing sessions that were conducted for the divers by the diving company that undertook the work”.

“Also, on every occasion that NEPA had divers in the water, this was an area to which particular attention was being paid. As a consequence, any infringement resulted in discussions with the diving company to modify behaviour/methods to ensure that the desired results would be achieved,” he told Environment Watch.

“The “accidental” damage that I referred to was as a consequence of a dislocated pipeline and grounding by a barge and not the handling of the corals. The Doc Centre at NEPA has a copy of each of the 11 monitoring reports produced by CL Environmental, which can be perused by the public. These reports all make reference to both the handling and corrective steps that were taken during the relocation,” Henry said.

“Action, and effective action at that, was therefore assured in each instance. Further, it must also be recognised that it was the monitoring activities that allowed for the detection of the “accidents” for which restitution has been required and is being implemented,” he added.

More than 145,000 pieces of coral have been relocated, in accordance with provisions to limit the impact on the environment, Henry told the Sunday Observer earlier this month.

“We have relocated all the corals that met the size class limitations that were in the impact footprint (the area affected by the project). The size class limitations in the permit were for all corals at five centimetres and above (to) be relocated, and there was a concession granted during the process for 10 centimetres and above to be relocated first,” he said at the time.

But the relocation is itself something with which JET and other conservationists have also taken issue.

“Relocation of some of the larger corals is considered a mitigation measure to coral reef destruction and this is what was supposed to be done in Falmouth. In fact, the success of coral reef replanting in general is by no means assured and there are many cases where it was completely failed. In the case of Falmouth, all corals over five centimetres in size were supposed to be removed. This was arbitrarily changed to all corals over 10 centimetres in size,” McCaulay said.

“The corals were supposed to be secured with a certain type of adhesive; this too was arbitrarily changed to cement. The corals were supposed to be relocated in specific areas before dredging some of the days divers went down to tag the corals for removal, the visibility was so poor from the dredging taking place that they had to abandon their efforts,” she added.

Henry has offered no guarantees concerning the survivability of the relocated corals, but said the relocation had been the best option.

“There are no guarantees that are possible. As with any other sessile organism, when moved they are subject to some stress and as a consequence some mortality is expected. Despite this however, the degree of mortality expected is still far less than that which would have occurred if the project had not been mandated to do the relocation,” he said.

“There is an ongoing monitoring component to the relocation works that will seek to determine the levels of survival over a five-year period and this will also help the agency to refine these processes. The relocation activities that were attempted at Rackham’s Cay in Kingston had served to teach us many lessons that were applied to Falmouth and that we believe served to enhance the activities that were done there and which ought to result in higher rates of survival,” he added.

McCaulay has also protested the use of corals, dead or alive, the dredge material being used for land reclamation in the historic town.

“Coral reefs do have a mixture of live and dead corals. A pristine coral reef would have live coral cover of between 50 and 70 per cent. A relatively healthy coral reef in Jamaican today would have live coral cover between 20 and 40 per cent because most of our reefs are somewhat to severely degraded. It is incorrect, however, to say that the dead coral is of no value and can be dredged and used as fill on land without there being any effect on the marine environment,” the JET boss said.

“A coral reef is a community of plants and animals interacting with each other — the parts of the reef that are dead still provide habitat for a range of organisms. Dredging of a reef, both its live coral and its dead coral on which the live coral attaches and grows, destroys the entire reef structure, plain and simple, and NEPA knows or should know this,” she added.

To this Henry said that the dead corals being used for land reclamation were those that formed a part of the “dredge spoil”.

“At no point did I suggest that only live corals serve an ecological function and in fact I was at pains to point out that it was in recognition of this fact that the agency mandated that artificial reef “superstructures” be included as a part of the mitigation,” he said.

“The dead corals that were used in the development works are those portions that would have been dredge spoil, that is, material that would have otherwise been dumped. The agency is by no means suggesting that it is acceptable to use corals as fill material under ordinary circumstances,” Henry added.

JET is, nonetheless, insistent that NEPA has not adequately done its work.

“Despite the many breaches, the only recorded responses from NEPA were verbal and written warnings — paperwork, in other words. The natural resources NEPA is supposed to protect were simply a casualty of the construction work and that for NEPA was the end of the matter… (The project) has devastated a functioning, reasonably healthy coral reef, destroyed 40 hectares of functioning wetlands and will remove over 20 hectares of reasonably healthy seagrass beds,” McCaulay said.

“NEPA’s extravagant promises of the permit conditions being strictly enforced were broken and many permit conditions were breached without meaningful sanctions. The effects on the town of Falmouth and the success of the environmental mitigation measures can only be evaluated in the future, but even were they to be miraculously successful, the fact still remains that Falmouth has lost a significant portion of its natural resources because of this cruise ship pier,” she added.

Henry contends that NEPA has done its job.

“Throughout the project the agency utilised many of the tools in our compliance arsenal to encourage compliance — several stop orders were issued, modifications of processes ordered, additional mitigation and restitution negotiated and implemented, all of which were “legal”,” he told Environment Watch.

“The agency does not view the “court” as the only mechanism to achieve desired results and in the interest of the protection of the environment viewed the immediate modification of the activities/situation on the ground as preferable to engaging in a protracted and slow court proceeding. It must be highlighted that in each instance where there was an injurious activity identified, it was brought to a stop quickly and hence prevented further damage from occurring,” Henry added.