3 years later…project only 26% completedGovernment has been heavily criticised over its handling of the Amerindian Land Titling Project (ALT) with members of the Opposition arguing that very little progress has been made so far.Their arguments were confirmed by statements made by Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock during a Parliamentary Committee meeting on Natural Resources on Wednesday.Allicock also revealed that not only was 26 per cent of the project completed, but in three years, the Ministry has not managed to issue a single title to any Amerindian community.“I have not been able to title any village, because we want to do things that areIndigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock during the Parliamentary Committee meeting on Natural Resources on Wednesdaytruly reflected in the Free Prior and Informed (FPIC) process,” the Vice President told the media.The Minister told the Committee that the ALT work programme, which started in 2013, will require another decade before it could be completed, although the project life comes to an end in October 2018.According to him, only about 25 per cent of the total US$10 million earmarked for the project has been utilised thus far – some $500 million or US$2.5 million.He explained that funding was not the constraint, but claimed that the project was faced with manpower issues, as there is need for an anthropologist, and equipment also to support it. “Several communities are targeted for demarcation and work is continuing,” Allicock asserted despite members of the Opposition calling for the Minister to provide greater explanation on the matter.Allicock also lamented the time constraints of the project given its sensitive nature. He said had the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) been in place, it would have afforded more technical resources.In his report, Allicock also noted that the Ministry was working to complete the demarcation of an additional four communities by the end of the stated project life, which concludes in October.The Minister also indicated that it was likely that an extension would have to be sought to allow for all unresolved Amerindian land titling. He said, “We are in discussion and we are hoping that we could have another extension. We would have to come up with some justifying facts to seek an extension.”Meanwhile, Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) and former Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai argued strongly that from the information provided on the project, it seemed that the Government was dragging its feet on the issue and as such, the land titling process was now at a standstill.She said, “The Ministry which is a partner to all the other units that have been working in support of processing, granting land and demarcating lands to Indigenous people need to be more efficient…with the pace at which they are going, they may need at least two years’ extension and millions more.”Allicock conceded that there were a number of issues affecting progression in some communities. He was asked to submit those reasons to the Committee in writing by Committee Chair Odinga Lumumba.Committee members were also keen to find out about progress being made specifically in Rockstone. Residents there have repeatedly raised concerns over land titling matters.Allicock explained that the issues in the community were unique where elections recently took place, paving the way for a new Council to take office. He said “things have already been put in place” to address the land titling issue not only in Rockstone but in all Amerindian communities.In an attempt to school the Government members on the importance of land titling and demarcation to Indigenous peoples, Sukhai said that she was convinced that the Minister and his advisers were not too clear about the issue and as such, she advised them to do some research and acquaint themselves with them. She also criticised the Ministry for not continuing the progress made under the previous Administration.The Government in 2013 signed a US$10.7 million agreement for the implementation of the Amerindian Land Titling and Demarcation project, which concluded in 2016. However, an extension in 2017 was requested resulting in $165 million being earmarked for the advancing of the remaining identified areas.So far, 13 communities have applied for absolute grants for the first time. Of that number, seven have received approval and six have been demarcated. Out of 23 communities, 14 have been issued with Certificates of Title. But not one single community has so far received a title under the new Government.The ALT project seeks to achieve three major goals: completion of land titling issues and demarcation process for all Amerindian villages that submitted requests; increased use of existing and alternative mechanisms to resolve land titling disputes and a communication strategy, including a handbook describing the process of titling, demarcation, and social economic impact of secured land tenure.The project is being financed from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). (Samuel Sukhnandan)
17 December 2002There’s not many people in the world who can juggle five balls. Six balls takes hours and hours and hours of practice. And seven? Well, you can count them on one hand. And when you do, make sure you count in 14-year-old Johan Moolman of the Zip Zap Circus.The Circus, made up of a group of energetic and enthusiastic kids ranging in age from 7 to 20 years, is packed with extraordinary talent in trapeze, acrobatics, juggling, unicycling and clowning.The kids, in their colourful costumes and ready smiles, work together as a well-honed team, displaying confidence, poise and skill that attests to hours of practice and training. And besides juggling seven balls, they juggle rings, clubs, balls, even burning clubs, and the smaller boys juggle sitting on a bigger boy’s shoulders, who is on a unicycle.They tour the country, usually during school holidays, giving free shows in shopping centres. Some kids have gone on overseas trips – at present there are four boys performing in Holland. The school has around 60 kids, half boys, half girls.Zip Zap teenagers take on African stick-fightingThe Circus is based in Cape Town, where it began in 1992, and is the only free circus school in the country. It takes children from all walks of life – some are street kids, others have no parents, several live in mansions, others live in shacks in townships. They don’t pay fees for their five hours of training a day they get, and they still go to school, in some cases paid for by Zip Zap to encourage the kids to finish their formal schooling.Free shows, no training fees . . . how do they do it? The Circus has one major sponsor in the form of Old Mutual Properties, and they perform free of charge in shopping centres belonging to the large corporate. But most of their funding they earn themselves, through corporate, stunt and film work. Two recent movies they were involved in are Home Alone 4 and Sinbad. Several years ago they did the stunt work for the Sanlam advert in which a trapeze artist walked across a tightrope strung between two buildings.David Koch, assistant trainer and tour manager, explains: “We do corporate acts just for entertainment, but we also create shows around what companies want, maybe to build trust, to represent safety or dignity.’The school was started 10 years ago by Brent van Rensburg and his wife Laurence Esteve. Van Rensburg has worked in circuses worldwide. He set up the Circus with the aim of teaching kids life skills through circus skills.It’s not hard to see that it’s working – the kids exude confidence and pride, trust in each other (especially when you’re dangling from someone’s wrists four metres above the ground) and just plain enjoyment, obvious in their happy smiles. Says Lizo James, 17: “This is my school, it is good for me and makes me excited.’ He admits it is hard work. “It is not easy, you have to train hard to be flexible.’The kids also learn practical skills. They make all their own props and costumes, and learn make-up application.It goes further. Several of their acts are very humorous – a clown act with three bakers who throw their dough around, tumble over and under their baking table, getting lots of laughs from the audience.Another act involves boys dressed up as animals, tiptoeing behind a hunter dressed in khaki. They jump over a vaulting horse in every imaginable way, creating a very amusing scene. Two talented boys come on with African drums, and elicit much laughter with their mimed actions, but produce some pretty cool drumming.Koch says most of the ideas for the humorous sketches are put together by the kids themselves.And don’t skimp on the applause. Says Ryno Keet, 17: “The best part is getting a good round of applause.’ For him it shows the audience appreciates all the hard work that goes into each act. It requires a lot of “dedication, commitment, perseverance, and a need to get better’.Zip Zap has links with the world-famous Cirque du Soleil, a Canadian-based circus, which sends interns to the Cape Town school.Zip Zap also has an outreach programme. They take street kids for a three-week basic circus skills course and some reveal great talent, but it can be heartbreaking. “Some of these kids could be stars, but they inevitably go back to the street’, says Cock.Three boys from Zip Zap will be going to study at the UniverSoul Circus in the US in February.Future plans for the circus are to create a centre of the arts, with a hostel attached. “We get inquiries from around the world. We’d like to set up an alternative kind of school’, says Koch. This requires approval from the Department of Education, so it will take some time.Smiles, confidence, poise . . . isn’t this what every teenager needs? Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Presented by AgroLiquidFollow Day #2 of the I-71 Leg of The 2017 Ohio Crop Tour Marion County Corn Summary: Both of these fields were replanted and both were 20 inch rows. The corn had a ways to go and the dirt was very dry as you can see by our stake. Very light insect and disease pressures and the ear count was 33. Bird and raccoon damage was seen here as well. Overall this field was clean with some pollination issues and our yield guess is 165. Marion CountyMarion CountyMarion CountyMarion County Soybean Summary: This was the most variable field we have been in on tour. Some water damage was noted and now, ironically, it could use a little rain. Canopy height was 34 inches and the first node was 4 inches high. We rate this field as Fair to Good. Marion CountyMarion CountyWyandot County Corn Summary: Took a long and windy path to find this massive field (Bart hopped up on the van for the picture because we don’t have a drone #EastIsBeast). It felt like an episode of Breaking Bad and we weren’t sure we would be getting out. Pretty nice field here but we noticed some firing. Some Grey and rust on the upper leaves. This field wasn’t to dent stage yet either. Very few fields have been. No insects here and pollination could have been a touch better. Our yield estimate here is 173. Wyandot CountyWyandot CountyWyandot County Soybean Summary: We found some double crop soybeans here in the R2 stage. Saw our first stink bug of the tour. Needless to say there is still a lot of potential here. Canopy height was 14 inches and the first node began 3 inches up the stalk. This field is rated Good by our scouts.Wyandot CountyWyandot CountyCrawford County Corn Summary: This soil needs some moisture. Deep cracks tell that story and this corn is not yet dented and you can tell that it is recovering from excessive rain early on. Some Grey and rust here but overall things aren’t that bad. Ear count was 34 and our yield estimate is 198. Crawford CountyCrawford County Soybean Summary: This field was extremely clean with just minimal Frog Eye, Japanese Beetles and Grasshoppers. Canopy height was about 40 inches and the first node was about 4 inches up. We rate this field as Good. Crawford CountyCrawford CountySeneca County Corn Summary: This field was planted on May 17th and it was another really nice stand. Common rust was heavy but other than that this corn was in pretty good shape. We did notice some weak stalks and more tip back. Our yield guess here is 208.Seneca CountySandusky County Corn Summary: This field was planted on April 15th and the stand is excellent. Some common rust but no sign of GLS or Northern. Some tip back here too in this R4 field. Our yield guess here is 174. Sandusky CountyHuron County Corn Summary: Best stop of the tour so far. Excellent fill during pollination and a solid ear count of 31 will give us a yield estimate of 231. Most 18s and a 20 around didn’t hurt. Rain is needed here soon as the leaves are starting to roll. The milk line was at 1/3. Common rust was seen in this field and some Northern was noted. Huron CountyHuron CountyHuron County Soybean Summary: Needed rains will be really helpful to these beans. We were still able to get the roots out, but it was a bit more of a challenge here. Disease and insect pressures were very low in these young beans. Canopy height was 38 inches and the first node was found 3 inches high. We rate this field as Good. Huron CountyHuron CountyAshland County Corn Summary: By the looks of things this corn was planted very late, maybe the 10th of June. Our samples just gave us enough to work with and the variables are much higher here with so much longer to go until maturity. If we would have had this stop before lunch these might have been good on a salad. Ground is dry here and the dirt is gravely. Ear count was 33 with light disease and insect pressure. Our yield guess with what we had to work with was 162.Ashland CountyAshland CountyAshland County Soybean Summary: These soybeans may look better from the road than they actually are. Rain will be needed here for a good pod fill. Pop was around 160-170,000 and there were some insects feeding but no disease to be found. Canopy height was 46 inches and the first node was 5 inches high. We rate this field as Fair to Good.Ashland CountyAshland CountyWayne County Corn Summary: This corn in southern Wayne County is in great shape and it just starting to show a little N deficiencies. Population could have been a little more aggressive as these ears will filled to the tip. Very little disease and insect pressures (some grasshoppers). A 30 ear count here and a yield guess of 193. Wayne CountyWayne CountyWayne County Soybean Summary: 20 inches rows here and they could use some rain. Canopy height was 36 inches with nodes starting 3 inches up. Some Sun scull and insect pressure but not too much. We rate this field as Good. Wayne CountyWayne CountyHolmes County Corn Summary: This field still hasn’t reached dent stage and the ear count was 30. When we got our samples out they looked really good but the looks were deceiving as we had a few 14s here. Some Grey was found but not bad at all and no insects here. Our yield number is 153 here.Holmes CountyHolmes CountyHolmes County Soybean Summary: This farmer wasted no field as these beans were planted right up to the berm of this gravel road. Our two scouts went in two different directions and the samples were much different. One pop count was 160,000 and the other was 68,000 and it showed in plant development and the root system. We found some Septoria Brown Spot and Downey Mildew along with some light grasshopper feeding. Canopy height was 40 inches and the first node was 4 inches high. We rate this field as Good.Holmes CountyHolmes CountyRichland County Corn Summary: Another solid field of corn here. This is the highest ear count we have had so far at 36. Nitrogen seemed to be holding its own here. By far the cleanest field we have seen thus far and a couple of 18 arounds. Very little disease and pest pressure here. 198 is our yield calc here.Richland CountyRichland CountyRichland County Soybean Summary: Starting to see some frog eye on this part of the tour. Very little but it is noticeable. Canopy height was 38 inches and the first node from 3.5 inches high. Light insect pressure and there is still some potential for additional pods here. We rate this field as Good to Excellent.Richland CountyRichland CountyKnox County Corn Summary: We had the rare opportunity to have this farmer on hand for our check. This corn was planted the Tuesday after Easter and is easily the best we have seen so far. This area of the county got about 2 tenths of rain Tuesday evening and moisture was still in good shape here. Grey leaf was noted below the ear but insects were no where to be seen. Eat count was 30 and milk line was 1/2. Our yield calc here is 210 bushels per acre.Knox CountyKnox CountyKnox County Soybean Summary: Marestail has made its way to this field but it hasn’t hurt it too much. These heavily podded beans had a first node start at about 4 inches high and the canopy was 44 inches tall. Disease and pest pressures were light. Only Japanese Beetle feeding here. We rate this field as Excellent.Knox CountyKnox CountyMorrow County Corn Summary: This corn has a long way to go as pollination was just wrapping up. Ear count was at 29 and the stand was even and the ear set was high. Hail had hit this field at some point and there was some disease pressure noted. On some of our samples the top 2 inches do not pollinate. Too early for milk here. Our yield guess is 145 for this field.Morrow CountyMorrow CountyMorrow County Soybean Summary: These soybeans were much better than what we saw yesterday. You could tell they didn’t get off to the best start with the uneveness, but if we got a freeze tonight, these would still be just fine from a yield standpoint. Weed control was spot on and no real disease or insect pressure. Canopy height was at 36 inches and the nodes were short. About R5 here and we couldn’t help but notice all of the 4-bean pods! We rate this field as excellent.Morrow CountyMorrow CountyLicking County Corn Summary: Easy to see this field was planted a bit later than our previous field, as has not yet dented. Soil moisture was good here and grey and rust was noticed but very minimal. Ear fill was just okay here with an ear count of 30 and our yield guess is 158 bushels to the acre.Licking CountyLicking CountyLicking County Soybean Summary: Marestail pressure was the first thing we noticed here and once we got out into the field we saw plenty of Japanese Beetle damage, although they were long gone. Canopy height was 33 inches and the first node showed up at about 7 inches high. Pods were starting to fill and some flowers showed that more potential was there. We rate these beans as Good.Licking CountyLicking County Delaware County Corn Summary: Everything that you could want a corn field to be at this stage of the season is right here. Population was very good, insects and disease pressure were low. The reason that this field will not see its full yield potential is because of heavy bird damage, upwards of 15%. Our yield calculation at our first stop is 160 bushels to the acre with a 31.5 ear count.Delaware CountyDelaware CountyDelaware County Soybean Summary: This field was at R5 and had a canopy height of 42 inches. Disease and insect pressures were light here too and this field recently had a sprayer through it. These beans were planted into a rye cover crop and the first node started at 13 inches high. On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor and Very Poor, we rate this field as Good.Delaware CountyDelaware County
Related Posts mike melanson What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#mobile#web Last fall, when Kik Messenger launched for iOS, Android and Blackberry, I quickly urged my friends to download the app and quit costing me an arm and a leg in SMS fees. The Kik honeymoon lasted but a short while, however. Soon enough, I was in love again, but this time it was all about spreading the love – Beluga had come along and shown me the ways of free, SMS-style messaging with groups of friends. Today, Kik has come a-calling again, trying to woo lost lovers like myself with the feature we’ve all been talking about – group messaging. According to the company’s blog post, Kik has added two new features that we’ve seen all over the mobile communications realm – picture sharing and group messaging. (Lest we forget, the company also announced $8 million in funding, but it’s more the group messaging aspect that we’re interested in here.) The company explains that it thinks that other group messaging apps haven’t gotten it quite right yet, however, “because they still have the same ‘talk to all’ mentality.”I don’t know about you, but it’s not often I want to message all my college friends at once. Or all of my soccer friends at once. Or everyone from work at once. But these other apps force me to do just that. It turns what could be a dynamic conversation into a mobile message board: “Ted: soccer game at 8 guys.” “Mike: Ok.” “Joe: Cool.” And then silence.With Kik, we wanted to create a product that allows you to have a real time conversation with one or more people. We wanted to allow conversations to expand and contract naturally, just like they do in real life. And we did just that. In Kik you don’t create a group, you just add someone to the conversation…instantaneously.When I look at an app like GroupMe, which focuses entirely on group communication, I can see that the point is a valid one. Just to get started, I need to create a group and name it. With Beluga, it’s slightly different, as I start by adding the people I want to communicate with, whether one or many, and have the option to add a group picture, name and description afterward. I don’t need to think about the why or what, just the who. At any point, members may be removed or added from the conversation. Kik’s group messaging feature allows for up to 10 people in a chat, boasting speed as one of its standout features. Competitors llike Beluga and GroupMe stand apart, however, by showing a map of all members of a conversation and including non-smartphone owners by using SMS. The success or failure of apps like Kik come down to one big thing – do your friends use it? For me, the SMS inclusiveness of Beluga and GroupMe are a big factor. Both Beluga and GroupMe also make it simple to invite friends – just add their names and the app sends them an SMS. With Kik, on the other hand, the process is a bit more convoluted. Kik may make the group creation process quick and easy, but if I need to invite my friend and wait for them to download and install the app before communicating with them, I’m going to go with Beluga or GroupMe every time. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology
Follow these tips for low budget filmmaking! Proof that amazing production value can still be achieved on a shoestring budget!In the current age of low-cost production equipment and instant online distribution, there’s more independent filmmakers than ever before. Recently, two great posts were written on the subject of low-budget independent filmmaking – both putting forth their own 10 top tip list for shooting low-budget movies. Although these tips are geared for the independent filmmaker, it’s imperative reading for any video professional.Microbudget Filmmaking With A Crew of 2Canadian Director Ken Simpson creates incredible low-budget independent films. His latest, The Rise and Fall of Mickey, was shot over 9 days with a budget of $1,200 CDN. After viewing the film (see embed below) you’ll likely be impressed that such high quality work was achieved for such a small price – but that’s not the most incredible thing. The crew for the independent film consisted of 2, only Simpson (the director) and Alex Dacev (the cinematographer). Whoa.ChrisJonesBlog.com recently sat down with Simpson to get insight into how he pulled it off. A few takeaways include:Keeping your crew lean to stay agileCreate a detailed shot list to maximize efficiency.Keep a minimal (and mobile!) equipment setup.Cheat shots to save shooting times (awesome details on his use of French reverses)ADR and Foley for clean sound and efficient shootingGet all the details on Ken’s tips for micro-budget shooting success.SXSW: Tips for Shooting Low-Budget FilmsAt the 2012 SXSW Film Festival, a panel of successful cinematographers sat down to discuss their tips and challenges of shooting low-budget independent film. Filmmaker Magazine compiled their top ten list of ways to improve the technical side of the independent filmmaking process. It’s largely applicable to still photographers as well. Discover how to use your gear to get the highest production value possible. A few of the main points:Use your camera and lenses to create the mood and character of your film.Ambient lighting is key for locations – especially if you’re without a big lighting budgetConsiderations for shooting flat vs. coloring in-cameraKeep focused on focusKeep your lighting setup simpleEmbrace what you can’t changeDiscover the top ten shooting tips for low-budget movies from SXSW.
In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, the Rajasthan government has transferred 81 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers after the appointment of D.B. Gupta as the new Chief Secretary. The Collectors of 15 districts and three Divisional Commissioners were among those shifted in the orders issued late on Monday night.Mr. Gupta, a 1983-batch IAS officer, was appointed the Chief Secretary after the retirement of N.C. Goel, who had the shortest tenure of four months. Speculations were rife about Mr. Goel’s extension, but the Centre reportedly did not accept a proposal sent by the State government in this regard.Mr. Goel played a key role in the execution of the Vasundhara Raje government’s ambitious projects, including the inauguration of oil refinery in Barmer, during his tenure. Mr. Gupta, 58, was earlier Additional Chief Secretary (Finance, Excise and Taxation). The charge of these departments has been given to Mukesh Kumar Sharma.‘Political overtones’The reshuffle, which may have been the last before the State goes to Assembly polls in December this year, seemingly had political overtones with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party keen on sending across a message of good governance to the electorate.Seven officers of the rank of Additional Chief Secretary were given new responsibilities in the reshuffle, while T. Ravikanth was posted as Divisional Commissioner in Jaipur, Lalit Kumar Gupta in Jodhpur and Kailash Chand Verma in Kota.Neeraj K. Pawan, who was reinstated in November last year after his arrest and suspension in connection with a graft case, was posted as Special Secretary, Administrative Reforms Department. The 2003-batch IAS officer spent eight months in jail on charges of corruption in the award of contracts in the National Rural Health Mission.The Collectors of Bikaner, Pratapgarh, Kota, Ajmer, Dholpur, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Tonk, Sawai Madhopur, Bundi, Hanumangarh, Churu, Alwar, Jaisalmer and Bharatpur were transferred in the reshuffle.
Sri Lanka are looking to win the World Cup as much for the people back home as for Muttiah Muralitharan, who will be playing his last international match on Saturday.Former captain Mahela Jayawardene made it clear that winning the coveted trophy for the fans was the foremost thing on every player’s mind – including Murali.”We started off the campaign thinking that we will win the Cup for our fans back home and it will remain the same. Obviously we want to dedicate the win to Murali but even for him the country comes ahead of everyone,” he said.Talking about one of his closest accomplices in the team, Jayawardene said: ” What he has accomplished is for everyone to see. But I would like to take this opportunity to disclose that he was the first person in the Lankan team to take me out for a meal when I made my debut. Even today, he is the first person to take a new member in the team out for a meal.” Sometimes his sweetness can be irritating like when he goes to the opposition camp and exchanges pleasantries with them,” he added.The stylish right- hander feels the sub- continent teams- three of which made it to semi- finals – were expected to play well considering they were playing in home conditions. ” I don’t believe in this shift in power. If three of the four sub- continent teams manage to reach the semifinals in the next edition in Australia- New Zealand, only then can we say that the power has shifted. At home, with conditions favouring our players, we were expected to prosper,” he said.advertisementJayawardene believes that it was the title triumph in 1996 that helped Sri Lankan turn a new leaf. ” The win in 1996 helped the players believe in themselves.Even players like me who were coming through the ranks then believed that we could compete and win against the best teams in the world. As seniors we now tend to do the same with the younger players,” he said.
Doha, Oct 1 (AFP) Qatari pay-TV provider beIN on Monday launched a USD 1-billion compensation claim against Saudi broadcasters it accuses of “flagrantly breaching international law” by illegally showing hundreds of live sports programmes.At the same time the state of Qatar also launched an action at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, accusing the kingdom of violating intellectual property rights.Both moves were announced in statements from the Doha-based sports broadcasting giant and Qatar’s ministry of economy and commerce, though it is unclear yet where the compensation claim will be heard.It is the latest escalation in a long-running dispute over illegal broadcasts fuelled by a bitter and ongoing diplomatic crisis between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.Qatar has accused pirates in Saudi Arabia of industrial-scale piracy of its sports broadcasts, including this summer’s football World Cup, through one such channel called beoutQ illegally transmitting its broadcasts.Riyadh denies the claim and says it has nothing to do with beoutQ. (AFP) MRJMRJ
The St. James Parish Council is to embark on a series of community empowerment fora in the 17 Parish Council Divisions, with the first to be held on Thursday, March 28, at the John’s Hall All Age School in Springmount.Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, who made the announcement on March 27, while addressing a Social Development Commission (SDC) parish forum in Montego Bay, said the meetings are geared at informing citizens about ways to participate in the local governance process and “bringing the agencies of Government to the people”.“The people must know who are in charge of the agencies that serve their communities, they must be aware of our actions, and they must have a say in how we approach situations. We will answer to the people we serve,” he emphasized.Mr. Harris said the Parish Council has never ceased interacting with communities, and “we have always facilitated the coming together of people and those charged with delivering services to their communities.”He explained that meaningful solutions to community challenges exist, and can emanate from the SDC parish fora, as when communities share their experiences, other areas facing similar difficulties can be informed on ways to move ahead.Meanwhile, the Mayor pointed out that the Parish Council has opened another avenue for interaction and information sharing with its representatives and the citizens on the first Monday of each month at the Montego Bay Civic Centre.“We have introduced a Mayor in Parlour session, on the first Monday of each month. I sit at the Civic Centre from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., where persons can come and speak with the Mayor and other representatives of the Parish Council on whatever recommendations or problems that they might have,” Mr. Harris said.By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter
Story Highlights The Hon. Julian Robinson, is urging closer collaboration between developed and developing countries in efforts to reduce the prevalence of cyber-crimes. State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, is urging closer collaboration between developed and developing countries in efforts to reduce the prevalence of cyber-crimes.He made the call while speaking at the just concluded international cyber crime conference in Seoul, South Korea.Making his contribution, on the topic: “Beyond Digital Divide towards Global Prosperity”, Mr. Robinson noted existing disparities between developed and developing countries in terms of the necessary interventions to effectively counter cyber crimes.“While the divide between developed and developing countries has narrowed significantly in the (general) area of legislation (enactment), it remains with respect to the ability of some countries to respond to cyber incidents and threats, through Computer Incident Response Teams (CIRTs),” he said.In stressing that the importance of legislation in the fight against cyber crimes “cannot and should not be overstated”, the State Minister said the work programme for both the Organisation of American States (OAS) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) identifies the need for the implementation of legislative measures aimed at enabling investigation and prosecution.“Itis not sufficient, however, to simply promulgate legislation. Countries, developed and developing alike, have to continuously review their legislation to ensure that it appropriately addresses new and emerging cyber threats,” he underscored.In this regard, Mr. Robinson said the Jamaican Government has moved proactively to this end.He informed that in addition to the Cybercrimes Act, several other pieces of legislation are utilised in Jamaica to prosecute cyber crimes. These include: the Larceny Act; Interception of Communications Act; and Child Pornography Act.The State Minister added that accompanying legislation, in the form of the Electronic Transactions Act, has also been promulgated to promote and support legitimate engagements.In relation to the Cybercrimes Act, Mr. Robinson advised that a provision was incorporated into the legislation mandating a review by a Joint Select Committee of the Houses of Parliament, two years after the legislation’s implementation. He explained that this was done to ensure that the Act’s provisions remain consistent with and relevant to international best practices.As regards Computer Incident Response Teams (CIRTs), the Minister pointed out that any quest to establish such an entity must be supported by an effective training regime for the personnel involved, in order for it to be successful.He pointed out that of over 18 established CIRTs currently, only two are in the Caribbean,In this regard, the State Minister disclosed that Jamaica has begun to develop a cadre of professionals with the technical expertise to identify, determine, and respond to cyber and other technology-related crimes. He, however, noted that the complement of personnel is “not yet sufficient.”“The Jamaica Constabulary Force, for example, has a specific unit within its Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID) with responsibility for investigating cyber crime. With support from our international and bilateral partners, the unit would be able to collaborate and, otherwise, share its resources and know-how with other Caribbean countries,” he indicated.Mr. Robinson also disclosed that a specialized unit also exists within the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), which is responsible for prosecuting cyber crime incidents and liaising with and supervising police investigations.The State Minister emphasized the need for increased cross-border collaboration and training. This, he said, would be particularly beneficial to officers and stakeholders attached to or utilizing Jamaica’s Resident Magistrates Courts, where most cybercrimes are prosecuted, but proceedings are often delayed. This, he explained, is consequent on court personnel’s unfamiliarity with the intricacies associated with cybercrimes.In this regard, he stressed the need for these officers to be sensitized accordingly in order to facilitate smooth and timely disposal of matters.“As we grapple with this increasing problem of cybercrime, it is imperative that we continue to co-operate at the (local), regional, and international levels, with a view to reducing its impact on the prosperity of our citizens and our economies. Our efforts certainly can be enhanced when we find common means to tackle this increasingly problematic issue,” Mr. Robinson contended.The two-day conference, themed “Global Prosperity through an Open and Secure Cyberspace: Opportunities, Threats and Cooperation”, was organised by the South Korean Foreign Ministry and staged at Seoul’s Convention and Exhibition Centre (COEX).It brought together more than 1,600 government officials, civil leaders, and cyberspace security experts from 87 countries around the world. The State Minister also emphasized the need for increased cross-border collaboration and training. There are existing disparities between developed and developing countries in terms of the necessary interventions to effectively counter cyber crimes.