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Jamaica must safeguard water and food resources – Tufton

first_imgJamaica must safeguard water and food resources – Tufton AgricultureMay 27, 2011 RelatedJamaica must safeguard water and food resources – Tufton RelatedJamaica must safeguard water and food resources – Tufton RelatedJamaica must safeguard water and food resources – Tufton Advertisements FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail KINGSTON — Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, says Jamaica must move quickly to implement policies to safeguard the nation’s food security, and preserve water resources and the environment. Speaking at the official launch of Green Expo 2011 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston on Tuesday (May 24), Dr. Tufton said that global challenges, relating to the availability of food and water, could have serious implications for Jamaica and other countries, if they are not effectively addressed now. “The United Nations reports, for example, that by 2050, the world’s population will be 40 per cent more than it is now, moving from 6.5 billion to nine plus billion people. That has…significant implications for the issue of sustainability and the capacity of the world to support mankind over this period of time. “It has implications for critical infrastructure, it has implications for food security, it has implications for health-related issues, it has implications for water and the availability of water. Oftentimes, we do not look at policy and how we pursue policy and strategy in that sort of strategic light, and I think that it’s going to be important for us to do that,” the Minister stated. He argued that local stakeholders will have to determine how best to effectively utilise available resources, including technology, to attain optimal results and mitigate against critical losses that will overtime, have implications for the environment and sustainable development. He said that for its part, the Ministry has spent a lot of time looking at food production systems to minimise losses, with several approaches being pursued to improve farming techniques and post-harvest management uses, while facilitating greater information flow between farmers, middle men, and consumers. “We need to shorten the commodity chain, the value chain, between the farmer and the consumer, hence our farmers markets. It brings the farmer directly to the consumer, it brings the produce fresh to the consumer, it brings the produce at a cheaper price, and it encourages the consumer to consume more. It is a good thing, both from the environmental perspective as well as from the sustainability perspective,” the Minister argued. Turning to water, Dr. Tufton pointed to the need to incorporate technology into the effective management of this resource and to ensure availability for domestic use, as well as for farming and industrial purposes. He noted that the world population uses about 54 per cent of available fresh water resources, with average individual consumption of between two and four litres per day, while in the farming sector, it is calculated that between 2,000 to 5,000 litres are used to produce food to feed one person per day. “We are going to have to be radical and we’re going to have to look at new ways, some very pragmatic simple technology, some, more advanced (to safeguard water supplies),” the Minister said, citing rain water harvesting as one option. “We should (look at having) a tank…on each development; we can adjust the capacity, whether it’s on the ground or on the roof but we must now get into the habit of preserving our water resources because it is so critical,” he underscored. Dr. Tufton said the Ministry has been pursuing expansion of the drip irrigation methodology, noting that traditional forms of irrigation, such as utilising overhead sprinklers to “do this massive flooding of the fields”, has proven obsolete. “Drip irrigation is a highly efficient way, both in terms of providing water nutrients, but also other forms of nutrients. One of the things we have been doing in the Ministry… is promoting to our farmers, the use of the drip irrigation rain harvesting systems, to minimise the losses from inefficient use of our water resources,” he informed. The Green Expo, an environmental exposition organised by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT), seeks to raise public awareness of the environmental issues locally, regionally, and globally; promote the use of environmentally friendly products and services; and foster a more environmentally conscious nation through education. This year’s event will be held from June 10 to 12 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and National Golf Academy, New Kingston. The overarching theme is: ‘Balancing Development with Environmental Protection”, with the sub-theme being: ‘Water Conservation, Alternative Energy Sources, Recycling and Waste Management and Energy Conservation’. By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporterlast_img read more

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Eliminate racial discrimination

first_imgToday Guyana joins the world in observance of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This year’s chosen theme: ‘Racial profiling and incitement to hatred, including in the context of migration’, is significant, since in many parts of the world discriminatory practices are still widespread, including racial, ethnic, religious and nationality-based profiling and incitement to hatred.The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on March 21. On that day in 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa, Police opened fire and killed 69 people who were participating in a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid “pass laws”. Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (Resolution 2142 (XXI)). In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a programme of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (A/RES/34/24). On that occasion, the General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination, beginning on March 21, would be organised annually in all States.The apartheid system in South Africa has since been dismantled; racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries; and, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the UN has built an international framework for fighting racism.The Convention is now nearing universal ratification; yet, in all regions, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings. Racial and ethnic discrimination occur on a daily basis, hindering progress for millions of people around the world. Racism and intolerance can take various forms — from denying individuals the basic principles of equality, to fuelling ethnic hatred that may lead to genocide — all of which can destroy lives and fracture communities.Quite recently, we have witnessed firsthand the impact that such racial incitement can have. A little over a week ago, two men were beaten in Canal Number One Polder, West Bank Demerara by residents of the community who claimed the men had stolen two rear view mirrors. Immediately following this incident, there was a public outcry, precipitated by media reports that insisted the action was “racist vigilantism”, since the beaten men were African Guyanese and the residents who had beaten them were Indian Guyanese. What is worse, several public officials were unfortunately quick to make irresponsible comments in this regard.Another Government official, on his Facebook page, came to a similar conclusion – that the incident was “racially” directed – without waiting for the Police report, and without situating the Canal incident as the unfortunate reaction from communities that have been subjected to depredations from bandits with no respite in sight.Only the week before, there was a well-publicised armed robbery in that very area. In fact, the Police statement issued the very next day rejected a racist or vigilante motive, yet we saw Government officials being quite outspoken in fuelling racial divisions, with no obvious fear of sanctions or reprimands.This comes at a time when the international community has intensified its struggle against racism, and continues to place obligations on States and task them with eradicating discrimination in the public and private spheres. The principle of equality also requires States to adopt special measures to eliminate conditions that cause or help to perpetuate racial discrimination.On whom does the accountability rest in this case? While there were calls for the general populace to remain committed to co-existing in an environment of unity and peace as we strive to deepen social cohesion, there were no public sanctions for the officials who were quick to make irresponsible comments.We look to our leaders, particularly in these tumultuous times, to defend our rights and safeguard us against instability and social conflict, not to foster societal fractures.last_img read more

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Man City line-up v Sheffield Wednesday: Academy star to start?

first_imgCapital One Cup holders Man City kick off their defence of the trophy against Sheffield Wednesday, which is likely to see fringe players given a chance.DefenceDedryck Boyata is said to be in line to start, though Matija Nastasic will fight for place in the side. Eliaquim Mangala’s need for match fitness should see him begin in the centre.Midfield/attackJames Milner may partner new Man City hero Frank Lampard, who rescued a point against Chelsea, behind an attack of Jesus Navas, the rarely seen Scott Sinclair and the never seen Jose Angel Pozo.The 18-year-old is a star of the academy and may be given a chance as David Silva and Samir Nasri are sidelined through injury.Pellegrini said Aguero is being left out as a precaution after receiving treatment on a knee injury picked up against Chelsea, while Stevan Jovetic is still not ready to return. We’re going to stick our neck on the line and say Edin Dzeko will start.Possible Man City XI v Sheffield Wednesday: Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini with the League Cup Do you agree with the line-up? Let us know yours below. 1 1last_img read more

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Hello Bengal

first_imgHeralding the onset of spring, a bouquet of crafts, culture and cuisine of Bengal will be on offer for visitors to ‘Banga Utsav’ at Dilli Haat, INA. The 10-day exposition, organized by the Office of the Resident Commissioner, West Bengal, with support from the Departments of Tourism, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises and Textiles, Backward Classes Welfare and Disaster Management of West Bengal, is to be inaugurated this evening by Monika S. Garg, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Textiles, in the gracious presence of Bhaskar Khulbe, Additional Chief Secretary and Principal Resident Commissioner, Government of West Bengal. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Some of the highlights of the event include the display and sale of fine handloom products, beautiful sarees and exquisite handicrafts items, geographical Indication-registered products such as Nakshi kantha  (traditional embroidered apparel) and Shantiniketan leather goods, hill crafts from Darjeeling and kantha stitch umbrellas from Jalpaiguri, terracotta and bamboo costume jewellery,  jute and jute diversified products, world famous clay models of Ghurni, Nadia, stalls of West Bengal Tourism, Agri-Marketing Department and Disaster Management Department and more. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThere are also stalls serving mouth-watering Bengal street food at the venue, so make sure you try out the best of what the state has to offer. Oxford Book Store is a participant in this event and they will be dishing out their concept refreshments in the Cha Bar lounge.Craftspersons from Darjeeling are participating as first entrants to the festival showcasing their creativity and art. As always, conscious effort has been made to promote use of golden fibre jute. A collaboration with Jute Manufactures Development Corporation has been made to achieve this objective. Also worth mentioning is a novel experiment of Disaster Management Department in their IEC campaign through the ‘Bauls’ (the wandering mendicants) in providing disaster risk reduction education. A troupe from Burdwan will depict these efforts during the currency of the festival. Backward Classes Welfare Department’s lead role in supporting the tribal folk artistes from Murshidabad and Purulia through specially designed safety net will be evident during ‘Chhau’ and ‘Raibenshe’ performances.While a classical dance performance by Delhi-based danseuse Smita Chakraborty will mark the inaugural day, special cultural soirées will also be organized during the fair at Dilli Haat on 16, 21, 22 and 23 Feb, with Sarod recital, Kathak dance, Chhau and Raibenshe folk dances, modern Bengali songs and folk music of Bengal to create an ambience of celebration, colour and rhythm. A special attraction will be Chhau dance by Jodharam Kumar and troupe from Shiv Shakti Chhow Dance Academy, Purulia, on 22 and 23 Feb. The group, which performed at the First Prize-winning West Bengal tableau during the Republic Day Parade-2014, was recently honoured with ‘Sangeet Samman’ by the Government of West Bengal.WHEN: On till 23 FebruaryWHERE: Dilli Haat, INAlast_img read more

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Social Media Con Artists a Rising Problem

first_img As people increasingly turn to the web to make connections and build relationships, more entrepreneurs see business opportunities in online social networking. But if you decide to create an online community, you also should be prepared to protect your users from scammers and spammers.Fraudulent activity on social networking sites can range from relatively harmless, albeit annoying, spam messages to potentially dangerous scams. A spam email message may be sent to thousands of people on a social network directing them to another website to possibly sell something, often pornography. In online scams, a con artist often sets up a fake profile, develops a relationship with an innocent victim, and then tries to convince that person to wire him or her money.The North American Securities Administrators Association, an investor protection organization, has seen serious fraud in online networks, including a Craigslist post for a “stock trading program” that promised 100 percent returns monthly and a dating site scam involving the sale of worthless gold certificates from Ghana.Online profiles provide fertile ground for con artists. “The person behind the profile may be deliberately mimicking your likes and interests to lure you into a scam,” David Massey, president of the association, said in a statement. “A con artist can take advantage of how easily people share background and personal information online by using this information to make a highly targeted pitch.”Related: What’s With All the Interest in Pinterest?Dating companies, in particular, frequently deal with spam and scams. Online fraud-management company iovation found that 3.8 percent of all of the “transactions” it processed on online dating sites last year were fraudulent, more than double the 1.4 percent rate in 2010 and 1.5 percent in 2009. Transactions in this case include any online abusive activity that iovation tracks, including hijacked accounts, scams, chat room abuses, fake profiles and spam.Keeping the number of fraudulent profiles to a minimum in the online dating industry is a constant battle. “It is like an arms race. The spammers get better at what they are doing, they learn about the chinks in the armor, and the dating sites react,” says David Evans, editor of Online Dating Insider, a blog covering the business of online dating.  It’s tempting to think that a scam would be obvious. But scammers “are trained criminals; they know how to gain people’s trust,” says John Breyault, vice president of public policy, telecommunications and fraud at the National Consumers League. “The criminals that perpetrate this fraud are very good at manipulating people’s emotions and ultimately getting them to send money.”Scams can be detrimental to a dating website’s reputation, in particular. “To acquire a reputation where bad things happen to their users is arguably one of the worst things that can happen to their brand,” says Breyault.Related: How to Avoid One of the Biggest Email Hacking ThreatsThe problems grow more complex as a social network attracts more users. That has certainly been the case for HowAboutWe.com, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based online dating site. As the site grew, its product development team and technology engineers worked together to develop a multi-tier defense program to keep spam to a minimum.First, a computer algorithm identifies triggers the dating site deems suspicious behavior. That could include a certain type of IP address, the frequency of messages sent, or a combination of words, says Brian Schechter, a co-founder of HowAboutWe. Any profile that gets flagged by the computer algorithm gets temporarily held in a “pen,” while a staff member manually reviews it for any suspicious behavior. When a profile is being held, the user can send messages, but others won’t receive them until the staff has approved the flagged profile and pushed it back out of the pen.Schechter recommends that other entrepreneurs react quickly when they suspect a scam. “Take it really seriously because if you don’t, you are sort of allowing a virus to go unchecked,” he says. “And if you let that happen, the health of the ecosystem you are creating is in jeopardy.”Michelle Breyer, the co-founder of NaturallyCurly.com, depends on the members of her loyal online community to help her police the site’s discussion forum, CurlTalk.Photo courtesy of Margarita CorporanSome entrepreneurs with social networking platforms also rely on loyal users to help police the site. When Michelle Breyer launched NaturallyCurly.com as a forum for people with curly hair 14 years ago, the online discussion board CurlTalk attracted some fraudulent users who posted links to try to sell products or drive traffic to pornography sites.Breyer first installed a filter that requires users to type in cursive letters that a visitor would read. That made it much harder for spammers to send mass emails. She also listened to her community of curly-haired chatters. They pointed out suspicious-looking discussion threads, using the site’s “report problems” link. “We have amazing members who help us self-police,” Breyer says.Related: Three Tips for Keeping Business Data Safe on Personal Mobile Devices”The discussion board was really the dynamic area of the site and that was really what got people to the site,” she adds. “If people don’t feel comfortable coming to a place for whatever reason–whether it is spam, mean people, people selling to them–you are going to lose the community.”Certainly, it’s good business to try to protect your customers from scams, but it also is becoming legally necessary for dating sites in some states. New York and New Jersey have already passed legislation called the “Internet Dating Safety Act.” Protections there range from notifying users about whether a dating site has performed background checks on customers to requiring sites to recommend safety precautions to users, says Caitlin Moldvay, the author of an IBISWorld report on the online dating industry.Other states, including California, Florida, Michigan, Texas, Illinois and Connecticut, have proposed regulations, some of which would require dating sites to perform background checks. Such legislation would make it more expensive to operate dating sites, but the safeguards could boost business by offering customers a sense of protection.  6 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »center_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. February 23, 2012last_img read more

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