CASTRIES, St. Lucia – The St. Lucia-born Nobel Laureate, Sir Derek Walcott, died Friday after a prolonged illness. He was 87.

Relatives, who were by his bedside, said Sir Derek, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, died at his home at 7:45 am (local time). No details of his illness have yet been disclosed.

Sir Derek Alton Walcott, KCSL OBE OCC was Professor of Poetry at the University of Essex from 2010 to 2013.  He was the second St. Lucian to have won the Nobel Prize, following Sir Arthur Lewis, who won the award for economics in 1979.

His works include the Homeric epic poem Omeros (1990), which many critics view “as Walcott’s major achievement.”

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The Energy and Petroleum Commission in Venezuela has rejected the oil operations in Guyana’s Essequibo region.

A report in El Nacional – a Venezuelan newspaper – said the Energy and Petroleum Commission of its National Assembly is convinced that the ongoing oil exploration violates the Geneva agreement of 1966 and Article 10 of The Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela, “which clearly establishes the Venezuelan territory.”

Venezuela has been claiming Guyana’s territory for several decades although the issue was settled since 1899.

The report said the draft agreement was tabled by the vice-president of the parliamentary body Elías Matta, “who explained that as stipulated in Article 5 of the Geneva Agreement, no resource can be exploited if there is no agreement between both nations.

Fort Lauderdale, FL - The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association's (FCCA) 23rd annual Gala again lived up to its legacy as the FCCA's keynote event of Seatrade Cruise Global, gathering over 50 cruise line executives, presidents and CEOs with 400 attendees looking to optimize a unique chance to increase their cruise tourism business during a reception, silent art auction and private dinner with a decision making executive.
 
"The FCCA Gala facilitated networking between Member Line executives and cruise tourism stakeholders, while contributing to a good cause-the FCCA Foundation," told Michele M. Paige, president of FCCA. "Of course it is crucial to link anyone doing business in the cruise industry with decision makers from the cruise lines, which is the best way to build understanding and business relationships, but even better is benefitting the citizens from Latin America and the Caribbean."
 
"The FCCA Gala offered a unique and invaluable opportunity for stakeholders to closely interact with the cruise industry's key players to develop understanding, relationships and business," said Adam Goldstein, President and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Chairman of the FCCA. "I was honored to host a table and listen to ideas and developments while benefitting a good cause."
The evening began with a 90-minute reception and silent art auction with a collection from Park West preceding the dinner.

CAYENNE, French Guiana - Great news for shark conservation in the Caribbean. On March 13th, 2017 it was officially decided to protect eight shark species under the international Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol following a proposal by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs in cooperation with a team of shark experts. The SPAW protocol is the only cross-border legislative instrument for nature conservation in the Wider Caribbean Region.

Political representatives of 14 Caribbean countries (the Netherlands represents the Caribbean islands Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire) came together in Cayenne, French Guiana to vote which species would officially be added to the SPAW protocol. Through the SPAW protocol, which is a United Nations initiative, the signatory countries set agreements to protect vulnerable animals and their unique habitats. The agreements concern trade and fisheries, as well as tourism and coastal development. Until now, no sharks or rays were included in the protocol, despite being an especially threatened animal group, both on a global scale and in the Caribbean region. The main threats to shark populations are overfishing and destruction of vital habitats such as coral reefs and mangroves.

SINT EUSTATIUS – Next week the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) has chosen St Eustatius to hold its board meeting from March 21 – March 23 in the public library. DCNA is the umbrella organization for the six National parks organizations on Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Sint Maarten, Saba and Statia. All islands are represented on the board, as well as other Caribbean nature organizations and independent board members. 

DCNA has been a strong supporter of safeguarding nature on Statia through the years. And has assisted Sint Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA) with funding and capacity building. Additionally DCNA is a strong partner in the upcoming Sharkweek, a huge outreach event in Statia and the other Caribbean islands to create awareness about the protection of endangered sharks and rays in the sea.

During the board meeting there will be discussions about sustainable funding of the national parks, closer cooperation with Foundation Samenwerkingsverband Nationale Parken (SNP) in the Netherlands, and the future role for DCNA for the six islands. On Monday March 20th the board will meet local dignitaries and for March 23rd a field trip to the marine park is scheduled.

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