Thursday, August 4, 2022

REPORT: San Salvador Island tourism-based island economy is constantly under threat of climate change impacts such as submergence of coral reefs, flooding of coastal lowlands, loss of marine and terrestrial biodiversity, and destruction of cultural heritage sites

The Economics of Climate Change Adaptation and Ecosystem Services in The Bahamas


Lessons from San Salvador Island

From IDB

Climate Change Impact Bahamas
San Salvador island in The Bahamas is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts due to its limited land space, fragile ecosystems, population and assets exposure, limited human and technological capacity, and susceptibility to the vagaries of international trade and exogenous economic shocks.  

Higher temperatures, sea-level rise, and coastal flooding linked to extreme weather events are expected to impact crucial ecosystems such as coral reefs, and assets from the tourism sector, especially from the cultural, historical, and environmental heritage. 

This report provides a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the potential impacts of climate change on the economy and ecosystems to provide stakeholders with updated inputs for improved decision-making. 

First, the report presents an Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) assessment to identify and analyze the main impacts of climate change, estimate potential economic losses, and propose adaptation measures to improve the island's resilience. 

Second, it presents an Ecosystem-Based Service (EBS) assessment to identify the main ecosystems of the island, evaluate the services they provide, and determine their contribution to the economy of San Salvador.

Monday, July 25, 2022

It is possible to substantially improve the quality of education for all while focusing on the students who need it the most

All members of society benefit from improving the educational outcomes of all of our children

Does  Educational  Support  for  Struggling  Students  Also  Benefit  High Achievers?

From Research Insights - IDB

Education for all children is the absolutely correct thing to aspire for
What  effect  did  improving  low-achieving  students’   literacy   skills   have   on   their   higher- achieving  classmates?  We  investigated  the  relationship  between  the  performance  of  high  and low  achievers  and  found  that  the  test  scores of higher-achieving  students  negatively  correlated with the share of low achievers in their classroom.  Figure  1  plots  the  relationship  between  end-of- the-year literacy and math scores of non-eligible students  and  the  share  of  low  achievers  before the intervention, in the control schools only. 

We compared the test scores of higher-achieving students  after  one  academic  year,  finding  substantially greater achievement across the board in treated  schools - compared  to  control  schools.  In treatment schools where there were tutoring activities,  higher-achieving  students  outperformed similar  students  in  control  schools  by  0.108  of  a standard deviation. This coefficient is sizable and represents  roughly  30  percent  of  the  treatment effect  on  the  eligible  students  (low  achievers).  For  both  literacy  and  math,  average  achievement decreases monotonically with the share of low-achieving students. 

We also estimated the effect of peers’ contemporaneous  outcomes  on  high  achievers  and  found strong evidence of peer effects on academic outcomes.  Our  results  imply  that  a  one-standard- deviation  increase  in  peers’  contemporaneous test scores increases individual reading scores by 0.679 of a standard deviation.

Quality learning and education for every child of the world
To  address  whether  these  changes  were  due  to direct  (non-peer)  or  indirect  (peer)  treatment effects,  we  ruled  out  alternative  mechanisms coming  from  a  reduction  in  class  size.  Additionally,  we  did  not  find  evidence  that  teachers changed their effort or teaching practices.  Rather, we  found  suggestive  evidence  that  some  of  the effect  might  be  due  to  a  reduction  in  students’ misbehavior.  Finally, the effects were stronger in classes  where  eligible  (low  achiever)  peers  improved the most, consistent with direct peer-to- peer learning interactions.


Our findings suggest that policies looking to support the bottom of the achievement distribution have  the  potential  to  generate  social-multiplier effects for all students, providing a strong rationale that underscores why all members of society can benefit from improving the educational outcomes of only some.  It is possible to substantially improve the quality of education for all while focusing on the students who need it the most.    

Source/Full Report

Monday, July 18, 2022

Economist Herman Daly says, In ecological economics, we’ve tried to make a distinction between development and growth

"... When something grows, it gets bigger physically by accretion or assimilation of material. When something develops, it gets better in a qualitative sense."


By Professor Gilbert Morris

As I wrote in my final Economics paper so long ago: ”All development includes growth or its prospects. But not all growth is development: and our concerns should be to foster development”.

Economist Herman Daly on the distinction between development and growth
Now here is Herman Daly
- an economist who pioneered development over growth, along with our own Sir Arthur Lewis, for different reasons - now making headlines at last for these concepts, toward which intelligence, commonsense and our needs should have directed us long ago against Western/IMF orthodoxy.


"Mainstream economists don’t have any answer to that to the growth redundancy. The reason they don’t have any answer to that is that they don’t measure costs. They only measure benefits. That’s what G.D.P. is."

"In ecological economics, we’ve tried to make a distinction between development and growth. When something grows, it gets bigger physically by accretion or assimilation of material. When something develops, it gets better in a qualitative sense."

"What I call the empty world was full of natural resources that had not been exploited. What I call the full world is now full of people that exploit those resources, and it is empty of the resources that have been depleted and the spaces that have been polluted."

"globalism versus internationalism. Globalism says to erase national boundaries. Let’s have one global system that we manage globally. Internationalism says national boundaries are important, but they’re not the ultimate thing…”.

"Earth is not expanding. We don’t get new materials, and we don’t export stuff to space. So you have a steady-state Earth, and if you don’t recognize that, well, there’s an education problem."

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

...the Hemispheric Declaration on Migration and Protection of Migrants imposed by Washington at the Ninth Summit of the Americas "is an example of its racist, xenophobic and plundering vision of migrants. It does not address in any way the real causes of migration"

The regional approach to the issue of migration in The Americas by the United States denounced!

The fall of the world GDP, which is around 10%, plus poverty and inequality, will increase the migratory pressure... in 2021 alone, one out of every 88 inhabitants of the planet left their native country 


More and more people die trying

People will not stop migrating and they will do so even if the conditions worsen, there is no legal protection and they can be at the mercy of various forms of violence and exploitation, ranging from underground human trafficking networks to various forms of fraud in the destination countries, where they will become a new layer of ultra-precarious migrants.

Migration crisis in The Caribbean, Americas and World
An incident on Friday July 1st at Morocco’s border with Spain left 37 irregular migrants dead and hundreds injured, 13 of them seriously.  The repercussions were that of an international scandal and calls for a thorough investigation by the United Nations raised from everywhere.

The victims died as a result of military repression, crushing or suffocation, when there was a human avalanche and they were trapped in a watercourse near the border.

While authorities put the blame on the organized crime, the spokesman of the Secretary General of the United Nations Organization believes there was an excessive use of force on both sides of the border.

Referring to what many media have described as a "massacre," UN official Stéphane Dujarric pointed out that authorities observed an "excessive use of force," which is "unacceptable" and therefore must be investigated.  He recalled that States "have obligations" under the international law and human rights.

For its part, the UN Committee for the Protection of Migrant Workers and their Families urged the governments of Spain and Morocco to "immediately" open a "thorough, independent and transparent" investigation, to which both parties agreed.

Three days later, on the other side of the Atlantic, in San Antonio, Texas, United States, 51 irregular migrants were found suffocated in the trailer of a truck.  Sixteen were rescued alive, including four minors.

Translated by ESTI

The discovery was made after screams were heard from inside the container on the truck, which had no water, air conditioning or oxygen, while the temperatures outside were around 40 degrees Celsius.

In addition, someone detected a corpse in the vicinity of the truck, abandoned near a military base, 16 kilometers from San Antonio and 250 kilometers from the Mexican border.

The first investigations point to three detainees.  Moreover, the vehicle's license plate was from the United States, which made it easier for it to cross the border without being subject to mandatory inspection.

The White House has committed itself to clarify the facts and dismantle the trafficking networks, at a time when the country reports high immigration peaks and a new record of illegal entry registration, with more than 239,000 in May, most of which cross through the border with Mexico.

A few hours later, it was known that the most recent tragedy in the Central Mediterranean left more than 22 missing migrants and 71 survivors; while another 500 people rescued and on board ships of European humanitarian organizations were waiting to be taken to the mainland.


Migration news have long been prominent in mainstream media all over the world; but they grow in frequency and cruelty as the world economic crisis, war conflicts, the impact of the pandemic, poverty, famine, blockades, sanctions, political manipulation of the issue and many other factors deepen, which have led experts to affirm that we are going through one of the greatest migratory crises in history, with more than one hundred million displaced persons in the last two years, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The agency indicates that, in 2021 alone, one out of every 88 inhabitants of the planet left their native country.

It adds that 83% of global migrants move to low- and middle-income countries, which are sometimes transit points to destinations such as the United States or the European Union, but the "migration shielding" policies of these countries often cut off migrants before they reach their destination.

The Missing Migrants project of the International Office for Migration (IOM) recently revealed that more than 4,000 deaths per year have been recorded on migration routes around the world since 2014, but this is a minimum estimate, because most of these deaths go unrecorded.

The report adds that since 1996 there have been more than 75,000 deaths in the attempt to migrate, and 48,423 from January 1, 2014 to 2022.  These statistics partially reflect the disaster because they do not include the level of suffering it generates in relatives and confirm the dangers or risks of facing the adventure.

The three most lethal points, according to the IOM project, are the Mediterranean Sea, with 23,900 migrants dead or missing; Africa, with 11,400, and America with 6,200, 60% on the border of Mexico and the United States.

According to experts, there will be more migrants and more will die in the attempt, as it has become a trend in the last two years, a trend that will worsen in the long term, as the enormous recession generated by the pandemic will drastically change migration.

The fall of the world GDP, which is around 10%, plus poverty and inequality, will increase the migratory pressure.

They estimate that people will not stop migrating and they will do so even if the conditions worsen, there is no legal protection and they can be at the mercy of various forms of violence and exploitation, ranging from underground human trafficking networks to various forms of fraud in the destination countries, where they will become a new layer of ultra-precarious migrants, according to the digital media IzquierdaWeb.

The lack of seriousness by some countries in the search for concrete solutions to these serious phenomena, together with the growing tendency to polarization and conflict between powers, are considered obstacles to solving problems that require integrated or coordinated responses at the international level.

Recently, the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, in addressing the regional approach to the issue by the United States, denounced that the Hemispheric Declaration on Migration and Protection of Migrants imposed by Washington at the Ninth Summit of the Americas "is an example of its racist, xenophobic and plundering vision of migrants.  It does not address in any way the real causes of migration".

He reaffirmed that "it will be impossible to obtain concrete results in the management of irregular migratory flows if there is no genuine dialogue and collaboration among all the governments involved to respond to a problem of a global nature."

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Reflections on 49 Years of Bahamas Independence

Bahamian Independence: Where is the Strategical Empowerment of the Average Bahamian?


By Dr Kevin Joseph Turnquest Alcena

LLB (Hon-1st Cl.), LLM (Hon-1st cl.) Ph.D. in Economics/Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology/Ph.D. in Public Health/Ph.D. in Herbal and Holistic Medicine/Ph.D. in Biogenetics/M.D. Titular Professor, Lawyer July 9 9 2022

Flag of an Independent Bahamas
As we here in The Bahamas stand on the precipice of celebrating forty-nine (49) years as an “independent” nation, I ponder on the idea of whether we have indeed attained real freedom. What then does it mean to be independent? What have we really achieved in pursuit of liberty? What have we gained in our ambitious attempt to climb the ladder to sovereignty?

Well, according to Maria Montessori, “Independence is not a static condition; it is a continuous conquest, and in order to reach not only freedom, but also strength, and the perfecting on one’s powers, it is necessary to follow this path of unremitting toil.”

Have we understood the conditions necessary to thrive as an independent nation? Or have we deceived ourselves into thinking that we have prospered in this capacity?

Coat of Arms of The Bahamas
If we were to be honest with ourselves, have we carried out the mandate that was left behind by our forefathers to ensure that we are ‘one people united in love and service?’ Can we look through the dispensations of time and say that we have done all that we can as Bahamians to ensure that we are leaving this nation as an inheritance for our future generations?

Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children…”

Have we done justice to that which was left behind by those that went before us, or have we carelessly squandered the resources and ignored their pleas of guaranteeing the next generation is taken care of?

Let us review what has been done over the past forty-nine (49) years.

Firstly, can we call a ten-billion debt advancement? Over the years to free ourselves from the bars of being dependent on other countries we have accumulated an astounding amount of debt that has left us I daresay, more bound than ever!

We see no improvement in terms of debt management. We have regressed as we have made ourselves slaves in our own country to China, the United States, Europe, even our neighboring Caribbean countries.

John Adams said it best, “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”

How can we say we are truly free when we depend on everyone to feed us, keep our economy running, keep our cars on the road, our environment secured, even our borders safe? How are we uninhibited when we do not see a need to break free from the chains of our self-created bondage?

We have become so complacent in being slaves that we fight to stay enshrouded in the safety net of captivity rather than war for true liberty. We have simply traded on task master for another.

We have trained each other, like the Pavlovian Model of Consumer Behavior to answer the call of the slave masters of our nation. This conditioning has matriculated down through the ages to the detriment of our children and their children’s children.

As a result, we have constructed a society of entitled, unmotivated and unproductive people who do not even comprehend the fact that they are in subjugation to a society that they will never be released from.

Most people are only living from pay cheque to pay cheque. Therefore, so many struggle to survive when it is time to retire because of the debt that has been accumulated over time. We have been conditioned by our leaders to borrow and borrow to the inconveniency of eternal servitude that our generational line must suffer through.

So instead of inheriting lands and wealth, we inherit debt upon debt. As Proverbs 22:7 declares, “The borrower is slave to the lender.” Can we in fact say that we have succeeded in our goal of being free?

Secondly, do you think it was the objective of our predecessors on their march to freedom to create a government that spends more time warring, rather than working with each other? “Party disputes are now carried to such a length, and truth is so enveloped in mist and false representation, that is extremely difficult to know through what channel to seek it out” (George Washington).

Successive governments - one after the other, continue the trend of the very thing our progenitors tried to escape that being partisanship in our political ideology.

How can an overcrowded Civil Service be called evolvement? The Bahamas is so far behind in terms of growth and development as opposed to our counterparts in the U.S., Canada, Africa, and the Caribbean. Why?

For one thing we cannot seem to grasp the concept of promotion based on training and skill rather than seniority.

Where then, is the strategical empowerment of the average Bahamian?

There is a consistent cry that the government has no money to hire. Yet we see the same people that have recently retired back in the public eye, paid thousands of dollars to ‘work’ on contract, while everyone beneath them carries out the labor. How can we say we are independent when even in the workplace, we do not believe in succession planning or giving others the chance to excel?

There is a persistent complaint by the powers that be, about the lack of trained young people, but when they become qualified, they are told there are no opportunities for them! But we wonder why when they go off to school, they have no desire to come back home.

The solution here is simple, let those that are retired, stay home and open doors for more opportunities for those that are qualified through incentivized programs so that they can come back home.

Moreover, when persons make the bold move to try and elevate themselves, they are met with all kinds of hinderances. The idea that they would have the audacity to step out of line and out of their place, reemphasizes the oppression we have been born into.

Galatians 5:13 states, “For brethren you have been called unto liberty: only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” According to our constitution, we consider ourselves to be a Christian nation. If that be the case, why do we despise our own and not as the word says, serve one another?

Why do we instead continue to choose others over our own and exploit one other to please the slave masters we have inherited? Why do not help one another excel and elevate, rather than tear each other down? Why do we continue to keep the masses down and impoverished, rather than empowered? I ask you my brothers and sisters, is this what independence really means?

Ervin Welsh said, “It is important to know we can celebrate independence, but more so to ensure we are not living in-dependence.” How powerful is it when we comprehend the fact that to be free doesn’t automatically mean freedom has been gained?

When one looks at the fact, that we are set free on paper, yet we depend on everyone for survival. This has bled into our educational system that has for years been failing our children.

Why are still using the forms of standardized testing implemented by the British to test our children? Why do we still need to get accreditation from other countries before our children’s test results are placed on par with other countries so that they can go to school abroad?

After forty-nine years of independence why is the national average still a “D”? It’s a crying shame that this is where we are presently standing.

According to a survey done by the World Bank, the Caribbean countries has an 89% literacy rate which is surprisingly higher than the U.S.! Furthermore, The Bahamas ranks 7th in The Caribbean with a literacy rate of 95.6%. This tells me then than we as a people are just as capable of doing anything as any other country around the world.

If that is so, why are we still utilizing programs and systems from other countries to steer our educational system? Would not the people most suited to write programs for our schools, be other Bahamians that are well versed in Computer Technology?

This level of dependence will continue to stunt our students’ growth and progress. This was clearly seen, three weeks ago with the disastrous crashing of the LMS System utilized by the Ministry of Education that resulted in production of school report cards being delayed by two weeks!

Consequently, when report cards were picked up this past week, parents were not able to have their queries answered as teachers had already left for summer vacation. This is a prime example of why their needs to be an overhaul of the educational system and redesigned for optimal success of our children.

Finally, if we are to genuinely be independent, we must change the modus operandi of how we do business. We can no longer depend on Tourism to merely support us.

There must be a clear partisan, paradigm shift of our economy because income taxes are not going to do it!

While we were smart enough to rectify many of our impending problems, we must be strategic in our resolve moving forward collectively as a nation.

We need land reform. Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling institutionalized this country and I have not seen any other Prime Minister after him do so. Rather they have uplifted all their friends making them richer.

After 49 Years of an Independent Bahamas
We have inherited over the last forty-nine years a tribal form of government, from both sides. The latest trend is maculating themselves in ego and positioning with the aim of personal gain first, as opposed to servanthood.

The wealth of this nation no longer trickles down, the status quo is ‘you get into politics, you take care of your friends.’

There is an Attaliah Spirt that has spread throughout the various ministries in this country, from education to government.

The continual assassination of those that try to bring change has always been overtaken by the misogyny imposed upon them and their voices hushed by the powers that be.

We must find another way to eliminate this Attaliah construct. As Nelson Mandela said, “For to be free is not merely to cast of one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

After forty-nine years, are we living in true freedom or are we living a perception of what we think is liberty? Think on these things!

Friday, July 1, 2022

Paul Rolle Falls on His Sword in the Execution of His Moral Duties and Responsibilities as Commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force - RBPF

An open to Mr. Paul Rolle, former Commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police – RBPF

Paul Rolle Fell on His Sword

Dear Mr. Paul Rolle:

Former Bahamas Police Commissioner, Paul Rolle
You made me feel totally liberated today – when I read your cowardly words about how you were thinking about leaving the Force once again, but this time – you said that it was all about being forced to do something against your will in the execution of your duties – by senior politicians at the time.
I feel so liberated because I have been fired from a number of jobs in my life, simply because I respectfully spoke my mind and held my position; even if it means starving to death -bro.

I’ll live with principles.

You chose to be a coward, just to keep your job! That’s not a quality of a real man, in my opinion.

Carry on smartly.

Dennis Dames

Saturday, June 25, 2022

The Cannabis Industry in The Bahamas is On The Bahamas Government 2022-2023 Legislative Agenda

The Bahamas Cannabis Industry is in The Making

Cannabis Industry in The Bahamas is On The Agenda...

Attorney General, Senator Ryan Pinder Outlines The Bahamas Government’s 2022/2023 Legislative Agenda in the Senate



Cannabis Business in The Bahamas
“We will advance a comprehensive suite of legislation on the regulation of Cannabis, creating a new agri-business industry in The Bahamas. 

This legislation is internationally benchmarked against the countries around the world in the industry. The framework will be for the regulation of the medical Cannabis industry from the farm to the border, and will also provide a separate regulatory framework for industrial hemp, for wellness products and for pure industrial uses such as clothing, rope and building materials made from hemp. 

We will also provide a framework for the de-criminalization of possession of small amounts of Cannabis products,” he said.