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Caribbean island says goodbye fossil fuels, hello 100% renewable electricity
7 January 2015 - Bonaire (population 14,500), a small island off the coast of Venezuela, is famous for its beautiful marine reefs, which are visited by 70,000 tourists every year. What many of the tourists don't realize is that the majority of the electricity powering their needs comes from renewable energy. Yet for the residents of Bonaire, the switch from fossil-fuelled to renewable energy systems has made a world of difference. (more)

Dolphin whistle instantly translated by computer
26 March 2014 - Software has performed the first real-time translation of a dolphin whistle -- and better data tools are giving fresh insights into primate communication, too. In late 2013 a prototype dolphin translator called Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT) had just translated a live dolphin whistle for the first time. As well as boosting our understanding of animal behaviour, the moment hints at the potential for using algorithms to analyse any activity where information is transmitted -- including our daily activities (more)

Report: Caribbean tourists spent more money in 2013
11 February 2014 - Caribbean tourists are spending more money during their visits to the region, with the jump in expenditures surpassing the rise in arrivals for the first time in three years, according to new statistics. The hotel sector reported a more than 7 per cent rise in room revenues. Overall, more than 25 million people visited the Caribbean in 2013, in part thanks to a surge in tourists from new markets. (more)

British billionaire Branson hosts renewable energy summit in Caribbean
4 February 2014 - Caribbean politicians and renewable power experts gathered 4 February on British billionaire Richard Branson's private isle to discuss ways of transitioning to clean energy in an effort to spur small island nations to slash their dependence on fossil fuels and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The event is organized by the Carbon War Room, a nonprofit company Branson co-founded to promote cutbacks in greenhouse-gas emissions through smart private enterprise. It hopes to help small islands become carbon-neutral by accelerating commercial investment. Political delegations from 13 countries and territories, including several heads of state, are attending along with representatives from dozens of companies and multinational organizations. (more)

Caribbean: 'Human wall' leads baby turtles to the ocean
6 July 2013 - Every year hundreds of baby loggerhead turtles hatch on the beaches of the Caribbean and journey towards the ocean. This year one group of baby turtles on the Dutch-controlled island of Bonair needed a little help because they hatched near the bright lights of the airport. 'We created a human wall of sorts,' Dr Sue Willis, the programme director of Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, told ABC News. 'We surround the baby turtles on both sides so that they cannot see the airport lights. We give them ample space to crawl and form a line all the way down to the ocean so they stay on path.' Over 400 volunteers at Sea Turtle Conservation Bonair ensure that each year the sea turtles that hatch on Bonair beaches make it to the ocean safely. (more)

US researchers explore deep Caribbean reefs
14 June 2013 - Scientists with the Smithsonian Institution have discovered at least one new fish species at a deep reef off Curacao while conducting a yearlong project to gather data on temperature and biodiversity for monitoring climate change effects in the Caribbean. The discovery occurred in recent weeks off the southern edge of the Dutch Caribbean island as scientists used a submarine to explore depths up to 1,000 feet (305 meters). (more)

Sea turtle comeback in a corner of the Caribbean
19 May 2013 - Giant leatherback turtles, some weighing half as much as a small car, drag themselves out of the ocean and up the sloping shore on the northeastern coast of Trinidad while villagers await wearing dimmed headlamps in the dark. The turtles are the focus of a thriving tourist trade, with people so devoted to them that they shoo birds away when the turtles first start out as tiny hatchlings scurrying to sea. The number of leatherbacks on this tropical beach has rebounded in spectacular fashion, with some 500 females nesting each night during the peak season in May and June, along the 800-meter-long (875-yard) beach. (more)

Caribbean talks conservation
17 May 2013 - Political and business leaders gathered Friday to back an initiative aimed at expanding protection for the Caribbean's imperilled coasts and waters. The 'Caribbean Challenge' calls for special protected zones along at least 20 per cent of the region's coasts by 2020 in hopes of protecting its biodiversity and its crucial tourism market. The region's scattered islands have 10 per cent of the world's coral reefs and some 1,400 species of fish and marine mammals. (more)

Researchers marvel at world's deepest sea vents
27 February 2013 - Researchers steering a remote-controlled submarine around the world's deepest known hydrothermal vents have collected numerous samples from sunless depths of the Caribbean Sea where blazing hot, mineral-rich fluid gushes from volcanic chimneys that look like gnarled tree stumps. Jon Copley, chief scientist for the expedition of Britain's National Oceanography Centre, said Wednesday he believes that laboratory analysis in the coming months will reveal some new life forms that have evolved in the pitch-black vent areas of the Cayman Trough, more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) below the sea's surface between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica. (more)

Solar streetlights light the way toward green energy in Caribbean
2 February 2013 - The tiny federation of St. Kitts-Nevis and its larger neighbour to the north, Jamaica, are leading the Caribbean's search for new ways to become more energy efficient by installing new solar streetlights, a green alternative to traditional ones. In St. Kitts, the project is a collaborative effort between the government of Denzil Douglas and Taiwan, which have had diplomatic relations for the past 28 years. The Federation of St. Kitts-Nevis is one of a handful of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, as most of the others have diplomatic relations with mainland China. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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St Maarten medical school adopts Consciousness-Based Education
14 December 2015 - Maharishi University of Management is now partnering with a second medical school in the Caribbean, which in this case will entail the school's entire curriculum being designed to offer integrative medicine and Consciousness-Based Education. American University of Integrative Medicine on the island of St. Maarten has signed a memorandum of agreement with MUM, and officials from the school visited campus last month to finalize the details of the collaboration. (more)

Groups of advanced meditators organize to create coherence across Caribbean
17 July 2013 - People in the Caribbean who practise Transcendental Meditation have been inspired by rapidly unfolding developments of the programme in Central and South America, where large groups of students and the military are practising Transcendental Meditation together, creating a powerful upsurge of harmony and coherence for the whole continent. To promote a similar rise of social coherence across their region, Caribbean meditators have begun coordinating the times of their daily practice of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's peace-creating technologies of consciousness. (more)

Caribbean: At-risk youth to gain benefit of Quiet Time programme
8 June 2011 - At-risk youth in the Caribbean may soon have the opportunity to learn the Transcendental Meditation Programme and enjoy its wide-ranging benefits for education and for every area of their lives--mind, body, behaviour, and environment. (more)

Consciousness-Based education, health, agriculture draw warm support in Caribbean
8 June 2011 - Interest in Transcendental Meditation and other programmes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is growing in the Caribbean, especially their applications in education, health, and agriculture. (more)

Maharishi University of Latin America and the Caribbean inaugurated in Curacao
17 October 2010 - On Victory Day, 17 October 2010, Maharishi University of Latin America and the Caribbean was founded in the newly independent country of Curacao. The university will operate in collaboration with Maharishi University of Management in the US, as well as Maharishi Vedic Universities in Europe and India. Students will also contribute to rising coherence in their nation and the Caribbean region through group practice of Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes. (more)

Sustainable Living Agricultural College proposed for St Kitts and Nevis
12 September 2009 - New opportunities for students and local workers in the Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis are arising in the form of a proposed new Sustainable Living Agricultural College and related organic food production. The college would be associated with Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. (more)

Vedic Organic Agriculture proposed for St. Kitts and Nevis
27 August 2009 - Maharish Vedic Organic and educational projects have been proposed in St. Kitts and Nevis, to help develop economic opportunities for the Caribbean island nation. Projects include: organic dairy farming and organic sugar production; a sustainable living college, to train students, growers, and general workers in organic production through Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture; and an organic sugar plantation. (more)

St Kitts and Nevis: Caribbean nation progressing toward invincibility
26 August 2009 - The Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis is beginning to rise in invincibility, thanks to the enlightened attention of the new National Director of the country for the Global Country of World Peace. Dr Richard Shelford, a Canadian who is a native of St Kitts and Nevis, has begun implementing Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes in education, agriculture, and corporate development in the country, as well as in the large Indian community in St Kitts. (more)


Flops
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Stinking mats of seaweed piling up on Caribbean beaches
10 August 2015 - The picture-perfect beaches and turquoise waters that people expect on their visits to the Caribbean are increasingly being fouled by mats of decaying seaweed that attract biting sand fleas and smell like rotten eggs. Researchers say the algae blooms have exploded in extent and frequency in recent years. The 2015 seaweed invasion appears to be a bumper crop, with a number of shorelines so severely hit that some tourists have canceled summer trips and lawmakers on Tobago have termed it a 'natural disaster'. Some researchers believe it is primarily due to increased land-based nutrients and pollutants washing into the water, including nitrogen-heavy fertilizers and sewage waste that fuel the blooms. (more)

Caribbean coral reefs are declining at 'an alarming' rate
2 July 2014 - The existence of most Caribbean coral reefs is threatened over the next 20 years without action to stem dramatic declines, conservationists have warned. Caribbean corals have dived by more than 50 per cent since the 1970s, and are at just one sixth of their peak, mainly due to the loss of parrotfish and sea urchins which graze on the reefs, a new report shows. 'The rate at which the Caribbean corals have been declining is truly alarming,' said Carl Lundin, director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), one of the groups behind a new study. The experts said that while climate change -- long thought to be the main culprit in coral degradation -- posed a serious threat by making the seas more acidic and causing bleaching of corals, the main cause of declines has been the loss of grazing creatures. Sea urchins suffered a mass decline from an unidentified disease in 1983 and extreme fishing has pushed parrotfish to the brink of extinction in some areas. (more)

A rising tide of drug trafficking in Caribbean
4 November 2013 - Long a smuggler's paradise, the Caribbean was eclipsed by Mexico as the prime drug route to the US in the 1990s when Colombian cartels retreated amid stronger enforcement off Florida. In recent years, cocaine seized in the Caribbean dropped to around 5 per cent of the total found by US authorities. Activity is picking up, possibly a result of the violent drug war in Mexico and Central America. The frequency and size of cocaine seizures in the Caribbean, particularly off the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, have been steadily climbing. In the first half of the year, Caribbean seizures accounted for 14 per cent of US-bound cocaine, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA says 87 tonnes (79 metric tonnes) of cocaine were seized in the Caribbean corridor in 2012, nearly double the year-earlier total. The high pace is continuing, with 44 tonnes (40 metric tonnes) seized in the first half of this year. 'I don't think it's just a one- or two-year blip,' said Vito Guarino, special agent in charge of the DEA's Caribbean division. (more)

Alarm over vanishing frogs in the Caribbean
11 April 2013 - Scientists report that many types of amphibians, especially frogs, are in a steep global decline likely caused by a mix of habitat loss, climate change, pollution, and a virulent fungus. The downward spiral is striking particularly hard in the Caribbean, where a majority of species are now losing a fragile hold in the ecosystem. Without new conservation measures, there could be a massive die-off of Caribbean frogs within 15 years, warned Adrell Nunez, an amphibian expert with the Santo Domingo Zoo in the Dominican Republic. 'There are species that we literally know nothing about' that could be lost, he said. In some places, especially in Haiti, where severe deforestation is added to the mix of problems, extinctions are possible. It is part of a grim picture overall. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has found that 32 per cent of the world's amphibian species are threatened or extinct, including more than 200 alone in both Mexico and Colombia. (more)

'Time is running out' for Caribbean coral
7 September 2012 - An international conservation organization is painting a grim picture of the Caribbean's iconic coral reefs. The International Union for Conservation of Nature says the Caribbean's reefs are in sharp decline, with live coral coverage down to an average of just 8 per cent. That's down from 50 per cent in the 1970s. The non-governmental organization released a report Friday at an international environmental conference in Korea. The causes include overfishing, pollution, disease, and bleaching caused by rising global temperatures. The group says the situation is somewhat better in some places, including the Dutch islands of the southern Caribbean and the British territory of the Cayman Islands, with up to 30 per cent cover in places. (more)

Caribbean crime wave linked to US deportations
25 September 2010 - The United States has deported thousands of convicted criminals to the Caribbean annually since 1996, when Congress mandated that every non-citizen sentenced to a year or more in prison be kicked out of the country upon release. In all, the US is responsible for about three-quarters of the region's returning criminal deportees. It's a phenomenon that also afflicts many parts of Central America, where street gangs that grew out of Los Angeles spread to the region through massive deportations. Brutal and powerful, the 'Maras' are blamed for rampant violent crime, extortion, and more recently acting as enforcers for drug cartels. In the Caribbean, governments say deportees are exacerbating crime in nations with high levels of violence such as Jamaica. On the smaller islands such as Grenada, once considered idyllic havens from gang violence, officials say the returning deportees are partly to blame for increasingly bold and sophisticated crimes and homicide rates soaring to record levels. (more)

Climate change blamed for Caribbean coral deaths
10 June 2009 - Climate change has contributed to a flattening of the complex, multi-layered architecture of Caribbean coral reefs, compromising their role as a nursery for fish stocks and a buffer against tropical storms, a study shows. The analysis of 500 surveys of 200 reefs, conducted between 1969 and 2008, showed the most complex types of reef had been virtually wiped out across the entire Caribbean. Many have been replaced with the flattest types of rubble-strewn reef, which now cover about three quarters of the Caribbean's reef area. The biggest impact has occurred in the last decade, said the report. (more)

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