Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Vehicle Centric-Towns and Communities

If one wants to walk from AL Thompson's Home Center to Parker's you have to cross the Butterfield round-about.

There is no safe way for me to do so. I and all pedestrians have to risk crossing four lanes of traffic to get to the East side of the round-about, and then after walking North on North Sound Road one have to cross another two lanes to get to Parker's.

Did I mention that there are no Pedestrian Crossings anywhere on the route? Trying to bicycle this route would e even more dangerous.

We need Cycle Lanes and Pedestrian Crossings, or perhaps pedestrian over passes. The few cycle lanes that we do have are not properly maintained and end up being covered with gravel and debris. The outcome of this is that bicyclists ride on the left of the vehicle lane which can be dangerous. Although the Cayman Islands Government has a street sweeping machine it is rarely used. Furthermore, to protect cyclists there would ideally be a curb separating the cycle lane from the vehicle lane.

A few days ago a visitor, trying to cross the street at Owen Roberts International Airport was struck, allegedly by a taxi and is, according to the press, was in intensive care at the George Town Hospital. https://goo.gl/szAqQV The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, reported that 62-year-old Vary Jones Leslie had succumbed to her injuries. She was using the cross walk when she was struck.

Livable Streets https://goo.gl/qto9Ku
People have always lived on streets. Our houses in the Cayman Islands traditionally faced the streets. They have been the places where children first learned about the world, where neighbors met and the social centers of towns and cities.
Paris is fighting pollution and vehicular mayhem, perhaps having realized the their mistake. The city will ban diesel cars and double the number of bike lanes.
When Paris banned cars with even-numbered plates for a day in 2014, pollution dropped by 30%. Now, the city wants to discourage cars from driving in the city center at all.

Chicago-based architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill designed a new residential area for the Chinese city of Chendu.The layout makes it easier to walk than drive, with streets designed so that people can walk anywhere in 15 minutes.
While Chengdu won't completely ban cars, only half the roads in the 80,000-person city will allow vehicles. The firm originally planned to make this happen by 2020, but zoning issues are delaying the deadline. https://goo.gl/fFavMf

Given that the Cayman Islands is one of the highest emitters per capita of carbon dioxide globally, at 9.2 tonnes per capita https://goo.gl/Bf3Ox, it would behoove us, from an environmental point-of-view, as well from a health perspective, to encourage our residents to utilize human powered transport, walking, bicycles as well as low-carbon devices like the Segway transporter.

However, for this to happen we will need designated lanes to separate walkers, cyclists and Segway operators from cars and trucks. To ensure that bicyclists use these lanes the lanes will have to be maintained and swept of debris on a regular basis. I have, unfortunately noticed, on those of our roads that do have bike lanes, riders are forced to ride on the extreme edge of the lane, almost in the vehicle lane, due to there being a build up of gravel and debris from not being maintained.

Bermuda, our colonial neighbor to the north has long striven to curb traffic by limiting the size and quantity of motor vehicles allowed onto the island. Bermuda is smaller than Grand Cayman, having only 23 square miles of land.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Morgan Stanley picks Frankfurt as post-Brexit hub

How will financial institutions deserting London affect the Cayman Islands?

The latest financial institution making plans to relocate jobs away from the UK is Morgan Stanley, which has announced that Frankfurt will become its post-Brexit EU hub, a move that could shift an initial 200 jobs to Germany.

Morgan Stanley joins Standard Chartered and Nomura, both of which also picked Frankfurt as a new EU base, and JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, which are moving jobs out of London to various other centres. Morgan Stanley’s asset management arm is to relocate to Dublin, as several European cities woo jittery banks that will not hang around to see what final deal is hammered out between the UK and Europe before they start looking elsewhere. A competition to host the UK’s bankers post-Brexit would have as its slogan: “Better in than out.”

The key for banks is regulation. The moment it was announced that the UK would leave the single market, the die was cast. Even if Brexit goes smoothly from a regulatory standpoint, which is wishful thinking, certain financial institutions that cater to Europe would need to move onshore, since conducting business would be more expensive otherwise. In some cases, it is mandatory from a compliance perspective that transactions are onshore. The beginning of a flight to Europe is not necessarily a hedge against uncertainty. In many instances, there is no choice.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Basic income possible solution to human rights problem of poverty

The basic values of the international human rights system are under attack in a new diverse ways in 2017, and one important part of the explanation is the rapidly growing sense of economic insecurity afflicting large segments of societies, said Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

“People feel exposed, vulnerable, overwhelmed and helpless and some are being systematically marginalized both economically and socially,” he said. “But the human rights community has barely engaged with this resulting phenomenon of deep economic insecurity.”

Alston made his statement during the presentation of his report to the Human Rights Council, taking place in Geneva throughout June. The focus of the report is “universal basic income” as a means to protect and promote human rights.

“In many respects, basic income offers a bold and imaginative solution to pressing problems that are about to become far more intractable as a result of the directions in which the global economy appears inexorably to be heading,” Alston said. More

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

NBSAP Forum Free Webinar Series are Back

The NBSAP Forum Free Webinar Series are Back. The Forum this time focusses on "Strengthening Indigenous Peoples Capacity Building". Click here to learn more about the speakers and to register for the free webinar series https://goo.gl/eY7bmB.

WEBINAR SERIES ABSTRACT: Since time immemorial, indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) have served as custodians of the environment by protecting and sustainably using a variety of ecosystems. They often live in areas with a high concentration of biodiversity, and their knowledge and practices can be a source of traditional as well as innovative conservation and sustainable development solutions to safeguard the planet. Nevertheless, indigenous peoples’ territories (lands and waters) are increasingly under threat from economic development models that prioritise wealth creation.

As voiced in various workshops supported by UNDP's Equator Initiative, IPLCs are requesting capacity building opportunities that support them to better understand autonomous governance structures; apply international legal frameworks at the national level; learn effective conflict resolution and negotiation skills; and more effectively communicate messages to protect their lands, waters, cultures and well-being.

To help meet these goals, the NBSAP Forum Host Partners and the Equator Initiative are co-hosting a five-part IPLC focused webinar series in July 2017.

Webinar #1: International Law and Indigenous Rights: National Implementation and Access to Justice. 11th July 2017, 9:00 EDT. IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Webinar #2: Derechos de Pueblos Indígenas a la Tierra, el Territorio y a los Recursos Naturales: Estándares Internacionales y Mecanismos de Protección. 13 de Julio 2017, 9:00 EDT. IN SPANISH LANGUAGE

Webinar #3: Indigenous Communities Respond to Threats: Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Strategies. 18th July 2017, 8:00 EDT. IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Webinar #4: Claves para una comunicación intercultural e inclusiva. 25 de Julio de 2017, 10:00 EDT. IN SPANISH LANGUAGE

Webinar #5: Indigenous Ubuntu Resurgence. 27th July 2017, 10:30 EDT. IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE

REGISTER HERE https://goo.gl/z6fkuA and LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKERS: https://goo.gl/eY7bmB.

Click here to join the NBSAP Forum httpt://nbsapforum.net/#create-account. Don’t forget to subscribe for our NBSAP Forum YouTube channel!

We look forward to your participation. Thank you

Monday, July 3, 2017

Student’s Post, on NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Summer School on Sea Dumped Chemical Weapons

Student’s Post, on NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Summer School on Sea Dumped Chemical Weapons, Canada | International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions

Reflections from the Field: A Historian Attends a Science Workshop on Underwater Munitions, 27 June to 1 July 2016.

Pasta http:// Link above in your browser to see pictures related to article.

By Dr. Alex Souchen, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic, and Disarmament Studies

The view was simply magnificent. Looking across Halifax Harbour from Dartmouth, I could see a bustling waterfront full of people and tourist shops. Sea gulls flew overhead while several boats traversed the upper harbour heading out toward the Atlantic Ocean. The breeze was salty, the air was warm, and the skies were clear and sunny. But the beautiful scenery obscured the dangers hidden far below the surface. Along coastlines around the world, a threatening legacy of war and disarmament lays buried in the seabed: dumped conventional and chemical munitions. Primarily thrown in the oceans between the 1920s and 1970s, these tools of death and destruction are now corroding away and polluting their surrounding marine environments with toxic chemicals and carcinogens.

The total amount dumped at sea in the twentieth century remains unknown, but experts estimate that roughly 1 billion tons of conventional and chemical munitions were disposed of in the oceans. Depending on whom you ask, opinions on the dangers will vary. Some scientists believe that underwater munitions should be left where they are and monitored closely for any serious changes, while others consider them an unfolding environmental disaster and advocate for their immediate removal. More

Do We Want George Town Looking Like This?

Cruise Ships in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Our Oceans, Our Islands, Our Future

With the leadership of H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of Palau, H.E. Vincent Meriton, Vice-President of Seychelles, The Hon. Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Ambassador Spencer Thomas of Grenada, alongside Global Island Partnership members and friends, the Partnership coordinated a series of events that demonstrated the leadership of islands united in strong partnerships to implement Sustainable Development Goal 14 and support strong outcomes for the UN Oceans Conference held in New York at the United Nations.

Download the GLISPA Event Spotlight: Our Oceans, Our Islands, Our Future here.

Since its launch in 2006, the Global Island Partnership has engaged high-level leaders to catalyze US$150 million for island action and assisted 35+ countries to launch or strengthen major sustainable island commitments. The Partnership now has more than 25 members and 30 friends working together to build resilient and sustainable island communities. We welcome entities interested in supporting its mission to apply for membership. Learn more: http://www.glispa.org/participate

Our postal address: IUCN (GLISPA), 1630 Connecticut Ave NW #300, Washington, DC 20009, USA

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Chomsky: ‘US is racing toward the precipice, while the world is trying to save itself

Neoliberalism has been putting the working people of the world in competition with each other, but allowing freedom of capital, and in fact a high degree of protection for capital. So, for example, intellectual property rights are a huge tax on the population,” said Chomsky, who noted Microsoft’s stranglehold on tech patents, and Apple’s tax avoidance schemes as means of depriving ordinary people.

Chomsky, who co-authored the prominent 1992 media study Manufacturing Consent, said that these changes have been pinned by “indoctrination” with opponents marginalized and even dismissed as “anti-American.”

“Aside from the US, I don’t know any other non-totalitarian, non-authoritarian country where the concept even exists. That’s a very striking concept. If you’re critical of policy – you’re anti-American,” said Chomsky. More