05/12  closing prices/ revised 05/16/2022 11:38 GMT  | 05/12   OPEC Basket $112.37  +3.34| 05/13    Mexico Basket (MME)  $106.36  +4.22| 03/31 ▲  Venezuela Basket $88.12  (Estimated OPEC) | 05/13   Brent July BRN00 $111.55  +4.10| 05/13 WTI  Texas Intermediate Jun CL00  $110.49  +4.36 | 05/13   Natural Gas May NGM22  $7.663  -0.076| 05/13 Gasoline Jun RBM22    $3.9578  +0.1661 |  05/13 Heating Oil  Jun  HOK22   $ 3.9212  -0.0051 |  06/13  Active U.S. Rig Count (Oil & Gas)  714  +9 | 05/16   USD/MXN Mexican Peso  $20.1013  Live data | 05/16  EUR/USD $1.0430  Live data | 05/16  USD/Bs. (Bolivar)  $4.77050000  |  –        05/12  closing prices/ revised 05/16/2022 11:38 GMT  | 05/12   OPEC Basket $112.37  +3.34| 05/13    Mexico Basket (MME)  $106.36  +4.22| 03/31 ▲  Venezuela Basket $88.12  (Estimated OPEC) | 05/13   Brent July BRN00 $111.55  +4.10| 05/13 WTI  Texas Intermediate Jun CL00  $110.49  +4.36 | 05/13   Natural Gas May NGM22  $7.663  -0.076| 05/13 Gasoline Jun RBM22    $3.9578  +0.1661 |  05/13 Heating Oil  Jun  HOK22   $ 3.9212  -0.0051 |  06/13  Active U.S. Rig Count (Oil & Gas)  714  +9 | 05/16   USD/MXN Mexican Peso  $20.1013  Live data | 05/16  EUR/USD $1.0430  Live data | 05/16  USD/Bs. (Bolivar)  $4.77050000  |  –        05/12  closing prices/ revised 05/16/2022 11:38 GMT  | 05/12   OPEC Basket $112.37  +3.34| 05/13    Mexico Basket (MME)  $106.36  +4.22| 03/31 ▲  Venezuela Basket $88.12  (Estimated OPEC) | 05/13   Brent July BRN00 $111.55  +4.10| 05/13 WTI  Texas Intermediate Jun CL00  $110.49  +4.36 | 05/13   Natural Gas May NGM22  $7.663  -0.076| 05/13 Gasoline Jun RBM22    $3.9578  +0.1661 |  05/13 Heating Oil  Jun  HOK22   $ 3.9212  -0.0051 |  06/13  Active U.S. Rig Count (Oil & Gas)  714  +9 | 05/16   USD/MXN Mexican Peso  $20.1013  Live data | 05/16  EUR/USD $1.0430  Live data | 05/16  USD/Bs. (Bolivar)  $4.77050000  |  –       

Just Caribbean Updates (April 17, 2022): Orgs call for deep seabed mining moratorium

Orgs call for deep seabed mining moratorium

A group of environmental organizations, including Greenpeace International and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, are calling for a moratorium on deep-seabed mining — as the International Seabed Authority moves towards the goal of putting in place a mining code to allow deep-seabed mining to start in June 2023. (Global Voices) As opposition to deep-sea mining grows, the ISA is facing resistance over its rush to develop a roadmap to be adopted before 9 July 2023, reports the Guardian. The latest round of meetings ended earlier this month in Jamaica, where the U.N. affiliated organization is based.

Deep-sea mining may start as early as 2023 after Nauru triggered a two-year rule embedded in the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea that could essentially allow its sponsored company to start mining with whatever regulations are currently in place. (See Just Caribbean Updates for Dec. 15, 2021) Since then, the ISA, which is responsible for protecting the ocean while encouraging deep-sea mining development, has been scrambling to come up with regulations that would determine how mining can proceed in the deep sea. 

Many states are eager to finalize a set of regulations over the next 15 months that would determine how mining can proceed in the deep sea, reports Mongabay. The International Energy Agency is projecting that demand for minerals like those underneath the seafloor will rise exponentially by 2040, driven by products like electric vehicles and battery storage for renewable energy, reports Politico.

Other countries have taken more precautionary approaches. Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Costa Rica and Chile, among other states, highlighted the gulf in scientific knowledge of the deep sea and lack of information regarding the potential effects of mining on the marine environment.

During the latest round of meetings, ISA was accused of failings of transparency after not including an independent body responsible for reporting on negotiations. Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB), a division of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), which has covered previous ISA negotiations, had not had its contract renewed. Its absence raised concerns that the ISA is developing its mining standards and guidelines behind closed doors, reports the Guardian

Germany and environmentalists also expressed concern over a lack of transparency by the ISA’s legal and technical commission (LTC), a body charged with developing standards and guidelines for the mining code, which meets behind closed doors. The LTC comprises 30 members. A fifth of them work for contractors for deep-sea mining companies.

Climate Justice and Energy

  • The Barbados-based Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum says there are concerns over long term drought in the islands of the Eastern Caribbean particularly from St Lucia north to Antigua. While the month of February brought “some relief from the dry conditions experienced in recent months across many parts of the Caribbean, there are concerns now about the prolonged drought situation in the region,” said the organization in its latest Caribbean Drought Bulletin. (Caribbean Loop News)
  • “The pace and tenor of the discussion on global warming in the Caribbean cannot be influenced by the gradualism that the phrase ‘climate change’ implies. Our dialogue has to shift to one that recognises the gravity of the climate crisis that we are experiencing and the existential threat that it poses to all SIDS,” argues James Fletcher, of the Caribbean Climate Justice Project, in the Jamaica Gleaner.
  • Guyanese fisher folk are calling on the government to speed up ongoing research activity that will help to determine the cause of low catches offshore Guyana. They say that low fish numbers are now forcing them to risk their lives and venture into foreign waters, reports Kaieteur News. The Guyana National Fisher Folk Organisation said it continues to await important fish studies promised by the Ministry of Agriculture to determine the decline in fish numbers, reports Kaieteur separately.
  • With ExxonMobil ramping up activities offshore Guyana and the government granting more permits to advance the process, a group of environmental activists have written to Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Belizean Prime Minister Johnny Briceño outlining possible risks of the operations. (Stabroek News)
  • The Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance was launched to amplify the voices of the vulnerable and support a unified and coherent approach by civil society and non-state actors to enhance the effectiveness and impact of calls for climate justice at a virtual regional workshop convened by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and Panos Caribbean last month.

Food Security

  • The IMF and World Bank have identified the adverse effects of the war in Ukraine on Caribbean economies, including higher prices for oil and food; significantly increased costs for transportation by sea, air and road; a negative impact on tourism; and importation of inflation from trading partners where costs have rapidly risen, writes Sir Ronald Sanders in a call for accountability for damaging the legal international order.

Regional Relations

  • Harsh sentences against anti-government protesters in Cuba have deterred efforts for engagement from the U.S., Ric Herrero, the executive director of the Cuba Study Group, told NBC.
  • Jamaican foreign minister Kamina Johnson-Smith will challenge incumbent Patricia Scotland in the upcoming Commonwealth secretary general elections. The decision has sparked controversy within the Caribbean Community (Caricom), which had previously met to back Scotland’s bid for a second term, reports the Guardian. In a bid to heal the rift, it has now been agreed that a Caricom sub-group will interview the two candidates in a bid to reach a consensus, according to St Vincent and the Grenadines prime minister Ralph Gonsalves.

Governance

  • A Haitian-led solution to the country’s political crisis might consist in an agreement between the Montana Accord coalition — a broad group of organizations of civil society — and interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s forces. “Forging such an agreement should be high on the Biden administration’s agenda. But there is little sign Washington is paying attention to events in the impoverished country,” argues the Washington Post editorial board.

Public Security

  • Going to court in Haiti has become so dangerous for lawyers that they avoid it altogether: at one lower-level tribunal no hearings or trials have been held for months, reports AFP. Lawyers are demanding, among other measures, that the government move the Palace of Justice, which is right next to a slum dominated by Haiti’s most powerful gangs.

Migration

  • An influx of migrants by boat in the U.S. Florida Keys represents a shift in migration patterns: The U.S. Coast Guard has been intercepting about four Haitian migrant vessels per month at sea, each with an average of about 150 occupants on board. Coast Guard crews have interdicted 2,953 Haitian migrants at sea since the start of the federal fiscal year on Oct. 1, nearly 1,500 more Haitians than were picked up at sea last year, reports the Washington Post.

Public Health

  • World Health Organization officials expressed concerns that some countries in the Americas were prematurely scaling back policies to control the coronavirus. Pan American Health Organization director Dr. Carissa Etienne said that while coronavirus cases had fallen in the Americas, they were increasing in some places, including the Caribbean. (New York Times)

Debt, Economics and Finance

  • Caribbean countries should facilitate the creative and orange economies as a response to the region’s pandemic-related economic woes, argue Bruce Zagaris and Alexander Mostaghimi in Global Americans.
  • Sovereign debt management during times of economic distress can be particularly painful for small states. In some cases, capacity constraints have prevented these countries from institutionalising debt management grounded in sound macroeconomic and monetary policies, writes Nadia Spencer-Henry for the Commonwealth Secretariat

Racial Justice and Decolonization

  • Well known historian and Director of the Centre for Reparations Research, Professor Verene Shepherd, has been appointed the new Chair of the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, CERD. The first Jamaican and the first person from the Caribbean region to hold the post. (Nationwide 90FM)

Gender and Sexual Justice

  • EQUALITY Bahamas has announced the launch of its Strike5ive campaign to criminalise marital rape in the strongest, most explicit way. (Tribune 242)
  • Guyanese President Irfaan Ali’s response to allegations of sexual abuse made against one of his cabinet ministers shows is an example of how victims’ lack of reporting is weaponized as an indication that their accounts are not to be believed, writes Akola Thompson in Guyanese Online.

Culture

  • “The recent comparison by academics of Rosalía’s rise to fame with the “evolution of reggaetón from its Afro-Caribbean roots to a genre with global cachet” speaks to the silencing of the music’s rich socio-cultural history,” writes Ellen Rebecca Bishell in The Conversation.

Events

  • 16 April — Community Dialogue about the Escazu Agreement with Carol Excell, World Resources Institute Director — UEF — More Information
    21-24 April — Inaugural Caribbean Women for Climate Justice conference — Register

Opportunities

  • Call for Submissions: Climate Justice story ideas — Media Institute of the Caribbean — Small Grants. E-mail 
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