Saturday, July 28, 2012

Anthropologists to SVG

Anthropologists to visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Garifuna Heritage Foundation Inc. is pleased to announce the visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines  from July 29- Aug 2nd, 2012  of two noted Anthropologists,  Dr. Jada Benn-Torres and her husband and fellow researcher,  Dr. Gabriel Torres both of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.
The researchers will be visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadinesas part of the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project which is being managed in the North American and Caribbean Region by thePennsylvania State University’s Department of Molecular Anthropology .  The researchers will also be visiting Indigenous communities in Dominicaand Trinidad and Tobago.
The Genographic Project is a National Geographic Society sponsored study of human ancestry and migration across the world.  It is tracking human movements by studying DNA markers that are inherited from our parents over many generations.  In this study, The project is exploring the ancestry and history of Caribbean communities, specifically, their possible DNA links to indigenous groups in Central and South America, and their genetic relationships with other communities in theCaribbean.  In this Non-Medical Study,  participants who agree to become involved by signing a consent form, will be asked to share information about their family history and provide a cheek swab for a DNA sample.  All participants will receive their DNA test results by mail or email. During their visit the research team will meet with Government Officials and the media and will conduct the research in the communities ofSandyBayand Fancy.
For further information on this visit kindly contact the TGHF Office at 456-2124 or email:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Garifuna Workshop

There is an article on the Garifuna Workshop at:
Unfortunately copyright so I couldn’t reprint it. However here’s another...........
Garifuna cultural retrieval workshop opens in St Vincent
Published on July 26, 2012

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent -- The Garifuna Cultural Retrieval Workshop in Yurumein/St Vincent and the Grenadines, started with a bang on Monday, as eager participants travelled from as far as the North Windward area of Sandy Bay. 

The workshop registered over 50 students on its first day. Last year's workshop registered fewer than 10 participants on its first day and ended with 85 participants. This year's workshop is expected to have over 100 participants. There was an official opening on the second day that was attended by the media and dignitaries such as former Minister of Culture Rene Baptize and Anthony Theobalds, head of the Culture Department. 

On Friday, dancer/choreographer Erica Zuniga will join musical director James Lovell to assist with the dance segment of the workshop. On August 5, organizer/promoter Trish St Hill will travel to St Vincent and the Grenadines. 

St Hill said she has been in regular contact with Lovell and is very impressed with what he has been able to accomplish since arriving in St Vincent. She said she is elated about the eagerness of the children to continue their cultural growth, and vows to continue working to promote the Garifuna culture and language in the Garifuna homeland.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Discover SVG

There's a new version of Discover SVG on the Apple App Store. It's free and it has more stuff including hotel listings

Garifuna Workshop

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent -- Belizean Garifuna singer/musician James Lovell returned to his ancestral homeland of St Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday, to continue the Garifuna Cultural Retrieval Workshop he started in 2011. 

Lovell will be joined later by accomplished dance/choreographer Erica Zuniga from Los Angeles. The 2011 workshop is sponsored by author Trish St Hill, James Cordice, Verna Arthur, Kyla Herbert, James Lovell and Eleanor Bullock. 

According to this year’s workshop promoter St Hill, the workshop will continue to focus on the Garifuna language, drumming, poetry, singing and dancing and will culminate with three concerts on August 17, 18 and 19. 

St Hill said this year the workshop will also focus on the food, because much of the Vincentian diet came from Garifuna heritage, but some foods that are heavily Garifuna are no longer being made in SVG or have taken on a different twist. This, said St Hill, is not unusual in any culture, but she said this year her contribution to the workshop would be to introduce the kids to some of those foods as well as show the Garifuna linkage between current foods in SVG and Central America.

St Hill went on to say that this year’s workshop recipients would also be vetted to receive several scholarships that would assist them in their education. There are many vetting criteria, she said, one of which would be the recipient’s ability to speak basic Garifuna salutations. She is currently working with SVG TV to show a video of the 2011 workshop. 

St Hill credits much of the groundwork for this year’s workshop to Anthony Theobalds at the Culture Department, who she said was an invaluable resource in getting things done on the ground. Additionally, she thanked former minister of culture Rene Baptize, Dr Cadrin Gill MD of Los Angeles, and The United Vincie Culture Group of Brooklyn for their support in making the workshop possible.

St Hill urged everyone to come out and see the Vincentian children display their natural Garifuna talents at the concerts and asked the Vincentian public to continue to grow culturally and to ensure that future generations are more knowledgeable about their culture than she was. 

She said it gives her much pleasure to see the eager faces of the children who participated in the workshop in 2011, and she hoped that individuals and organizations will work together to make this workshop possible year after year. She pointed out that there are many ways the Vincentian public can help either financially or with in-kind assistance.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

SVG Review

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Overview

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With 32 islands to choose from, the St. Vincent and Grenadine Islands are the only choice for your next Caribbean vacation! Start on the island of St. Vincent where you can climb to the top of La Soufriere, an active volcano, dive the depths of The Bat Cave or Anchor Reef and hike a rainforest on the Vermont Nature Trail. Even if you don’t charter your own yacht to one of the other islands, make sure to watch them race at the Bequia Easter Regatta on Bequia Island. Golf like one of the pros on Canouan Island’s Trump International Golf Course or, if you’re with that special someone, get married on the white-sand shores of Palm or Petit St.Vincent Islands! But, even if you don’t get married, you’ll still fall in love with your St. Vincent and Grenadines vacation!

This is a typical blurb for St. Vincent except that nobody they know has been there! Maybe I'll write a review.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

St Vincent: A life less ordinary

THU 05 JUL 15:28

Discover an authentic slice of Caribbean life in the little-visited St Vincent and the Grenadines, where sweeps of white sand contrast with verdant mountains, fishing villages and a curious but charming welcome.

Published June 28, 2012
By Alex Dalzell

The man had been prowling for some time. Swinging a length of lead piping in his left hand and straining against the weight of a hessian sack with his right, his eyes peered up from his down-turned head, casting glances through the metallic evening light at every flat surface he saw. Finally, his gaze settled on a sturdy disused market stall in a darkened corner, where he unloaded six coconuts, and started smashing them to pieces.

Immediately, all eyes rose from the rummy tables and swung in my direction. Before my heart had the time to hit my throat, I felt a hand on my shoulder. The man next to me had levered himself from his stool, with a muted chuckle, and slowly walked to the pipe-wielding man; catching his arm mid-arch. Seconds later, the coconut massacre had ended and the clack of dominoes continued.

The peace-keeper was Lloyd. A towering man at over 6’5”, with shoulders as wide as a broomstick is long, and a cavernous, rumbling voice. He had welcomed me when I had skulked into the small courtyard of wooden shacks, sat me on a wobbling stool, poured me a glass of rum and dealt me into a game of poker. Lloyd ran the place; whether people liked it or not, he was in charge.

Right in the heart of St Vincent’s capital, Kingstown, this cluster of huts is known as China Town. By day it’s a prosperous market, but once vendors have loaded their carts and cleared their stalls it transforms into a makeshift casino. Now, under the glow of fluorescent bulbs, gamblers tossed cards into the centre of the plywood tables and reluctantly threw dollars to the grinning croupiers. Hatches dropped down and bars opened for the night, drawing in punters with booming reggae and an endless supply of cheap rum and local Hairoun beer, piled among ice in grubby polystyrene boxes.

In one corner a cobbler finished repairing the sole of a sandal, hunched over a portable radio straining to hear Geoffrey Boycott’s commentary of England getting thrashed by Pakistan; in another, two children scaled a precariously-stacked pile of crates, until they caught the eye of Lloyd and quickly got down.

Apparently, I was the first tourist they had seen in here for quite some time. Certainly the first they could remember to sit down and have a game with them, and at the rate I was losing money, I’m sure they would welcome more.

In general, tourist numbers on the island are refreshingly low. A 45-minute flight from Barbados, and scattered with only a few small resorts, most of the crowds from America and Europe bypass teardrop-shaped St Vincent for the Caribbean’s more developed countries or skip through to the Grenadines. This means those who stay are rewarded with an insight into authentic Caribbean life, a curious but charming welcome and stretches of sand all
to themselves.

Composed of submerged volcanoes — with the active La Soufrière smouldering in the north, giving way to a series of dormant peaks running through its centre — the island’s 120,000 strong population is concentrated in small villages and towns dispersed around the coastal strip. At the southernmost point, Kingstown is protected by two arms of palm-covered rock stretching down from the stunted Mount St. Andrew; creating a natural port that protects the rust-splattered trawlers and hulking ferries from strong trade winds and turbulent seas rolling in from the east.

To market

The next morning the silence was broken by a chorus of cockerels and dogs that woke the moment the sun was up, seemingly adamant the rest of the city should do the same. As I step out of my hotel — the quaint Grenadine House — it struck me that Vincentians set their alarm clocks long before the squawks and barks echo across the valley.

Already, school children in immaculately-pressed uniforms lolled in groups at every crossroad; mechanics clanged at engines in roughly cobbled side streets; and the grid of streets by the seafront were lined with stalls staggering under piles of ginger, yams and fearsomely hot scotch bonnet peppers.

Passing colonial administration buildings and dark-stone churches, I reach the epicentre of the early morning bustle. Here, queues of colourfully dressed women file out of a three-storey concrete block that rings with the hollers of the fish sellers inside. The morning catch has just landed and, as it’s the last haul before the weekend, half the island has come for their supplies.

Fishing is the lifeline for many people here and has been for centuries. Once a major exporter to nearby Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, trade is now centred around the island’s hotels and restaurants, and sating the locals’ enormous appetite for seafood. At the eastern end of the harbour, where concrete gives way to sand, is the fishermen’s wharf. Timber homes squeeze between the sturdy warehouses built from the ballast bricks that once steadied cargo vessels sailing to Europe laden with sugar, cocoa and cotton.

As I emerge from the tangle of buildings, I notice a fisherman at the shore dragging his battered tender up the beach. I lend a hand, and we slide the creaking boat into a lopsided shelter, roofed with browning palm fronds. Here, paint pots are at the ready to renew the green coat flaking off in leaf-like curls.

Further up the cove, a man with a panicked look in his eyes is gutting red snapper at a ferocious speed. Buoyed by being of use with the boat, I offer my assistance. “No thanks man, I’m late for market, but I got mysen in di riddim”, he replies in a concentrated tone, not looking up, as he sweeps through a snapper’s pink belly with a knife, and gouges out the innards. Tossing the guts to the gulls and the fish into a barrel.

He’s got his work cut out. He’s only half way through the catch and market closes in under two hours. He’ll do it, though. The Vincentians are a hard-working, determined bunch. Of course, this is tempered with a large amount of breezin’ in the sunshine, but a fighting spirit is deeply ingrained in their ancestral history.

In the late 17th-century, the Caribs — who had arrived on the island 300 years earlier — were joined by the survivors of Dutch and Spanish shipwrecked slave ships and escapees from the British plantations in Barbados. Together, they valiantly resisted colonisation until long after most other Caribbean islands had well-established European settlements.However, the lure of the fertile volcanic soil was strong enough for England and France to persist, and in the early 1700s the French become the first settlers who were allotted smallholdings on the leeward side of the island by the Caribs.

The French handed rule to the British 63 years later, but their legacy lived on, and a drive around the island the following day took me through the villages of Petit Bordel, Belle Vue and the sleepy hamlet of Sans Soucis (‘without worries’).

A new era

Heading east from the tiny capital, my guide and driver Ozzy eyed the sky while negotiating the tight turns that dropped on one side into the heaving Atlantic. Up above, a mass of lumpish grey cloud was sliding over the top of the island, gobbling up the summit of La Soufrière. The chances of visibility at the top were going to be low, but he assured me the two-hour trek to the crater would be worth it.

We pass a kilometre-long strip of burning orange soil, scraped from the cliff side, 10 minutes into the drive to the foothills. In two years time, this will be the runway for the island’s very own international airport. Currently, five of Liat’s tiny twin-propeller planes fly in from Barbados each day. In 2014, it will be Boeing 737s.

As we hurtle along the road, just about wide enough for two vehicles, it’s hard to imagine the island coping with tourism on a mass scale. Today’s a Sunday, and when we left Kingstown a cruise liner had docked and not one shop was open. It looks like it’s going to take more than just development to prepare for the growth — it is going to require a change of attitude.

However, many are optimistic about the airport and Ozzy’s one of them. The tour company he works for, Sailor’s, has been through some tough times recently and a reliable stream of tourists is what businesses like this across the island want and need.

And there’s plenty to keep them entertained when they get here. Aside from the verdant mountains, rich in birdlife and exotic flora, St Vincent is rimmed by secluded half-moon coves offering some of the best diving in the Caribbean — with an abundant reef-life that flourishes at 25ft as opposed to 80ft in most other dive destinations. Then there’s the series of waterfalls hidden in the jungle with pools as warm as bath water at their base.

It’s also an untapped surfing destination and as we trail the coast, I watch head-high waves reeling perfectly off craggy fingers of land. Ozzy tells me he’s only ever seen two people making the most of it — one man paddling out on a tree trunk, another on a fridge door. At least he got the colour of the board right.

Suddenly, we swing left and drop a gear to tackle the steep road leading through a banana plantation to the bottom of the trail. With our hiking boots on, and mosquito spray coating every bit of exposed skin, we trudge into the rainforest. The floor is puddled with the deposits of a recent downpour, and the ferns droop in submission under the weight of the water trickling down each frond.

The chortle of birds crescendoes as they emerge from their shelters. Ozzy points out every chirp and squawk he hears. A matt-black northern harrier hawk and an auburn cocoa thrush are trying to outdo each other on a branch overhead, while in the distance, an endemic whistling warbler adds to the cacophony. With a little guidance I’m soon in tune with the forest, and aware of life all around me. Plants grasp palm trunks, minute tree frogs bath in pools forming in the leaves and speedy hummingbirds dart from thimble-sized nests as we approach. Keeping a firm footing on the stony path became a challenge, as my eyes scanned the dense bush for a chance of spotting the elusive rainbow-feathered St Vincent parrot.

As we approach the summit, the vines and trees give way to waist-high brush that thrives at this altitude. At 4,000ft, I’d been told the views over the island and the distant Grenadines were spectacular. Right on cue, the last section of cloud drifted clear and the panorama was complete.

Behind me, the serrated ridge of peaks cut through the retreating cloud; to my left the emerald green Caribbean sea shone in the sunlight; and three steps in front was the smoking jaw of the volcano. At a kilometre wide, my eyes strain to see the other side of the ashen-grey bowl. At its base, white patches of steaming sulphur dot the floor like the marks of a recently stubbed cigarette, extinguishing any chance of life taking hold down there.

I hadn’t expected the volcano to be so visibly active and, as we descend, we follow the trail of a hardened lava flow cutting a path in the direction of St Vincent’s second largest settlement, Georgetown, following an eruption in 1979. I ask Ozzy when the next eruption might be due. “It could be next century, or it could be 10 minutes’ time… If so, I sure hope you can run in dem boots.”


Bidding farewell to Ozzy at the dock in Kingstown, I board the ferry to explore the kite-string of 32 islands that make up the Grenadines.

My first stop is Bequia (pronounced Beck-way), just under an hour away. At seven square miles, this is the largest of the Grenadines and has a permanent population of around 6,000 — a balanced mix of ex-pats and locals.

Port Elizabeth is the main hub, home to a bank, a cluster of restaurants, a tourist information kiosk and a market square that doubles as the bus terminal. From here, the 12-seater ‘dollar vans’ circumnavigate the island and provide a cheap and reliable form of public transport. I squeeze in with a group of excitable school children, and race to the Bequia Beach Hotel in the cheerily-named Friendship Bay.

The 23-room hotel is the closest thing you’ll get to a resort on Bequia. A collection of suites and villas surrounding a pool and a seafront restaurant look out onto the talcum powder white sand, and over the water to über-exclusive Mustique, crowning the horizon.

The nine-mile stretch of water between the two is a path for migrating humpback whales, which lends Bequia its history in the whaling industry. Today, the island is only permitted to catch four per year under international regulations, although this limit is rarely reached. Chasing the humpbacks in sail-boats and harpooning them with a hand-held spear is a tricky and perilous exercise. If one is hauled onto the concrete platform on the western fringes of the bay, an island-wide party ensues.

I spend the next two days flopping on deserted beaches, only accessed by the water taxis; operated by a few Rastafarians who are more than happy to wait while I jump off the side for a spot of snorkelling.

From Bequia, I trail further south to Union Island, hanging on the end of the Grenadines’ chain. If life on St Vincent and Bequia had the brakes on, then this blob of land has come to a complete standstill. Under palm trees in the centre of Clifton — one of two towns — dogs and goats slump in the shade and shopkeepers doze on their doorsteps. Beyond this, a single-track road winds through thick bush concealing clapboard homes and a scattering of modest guesthouses. My retreat, the Islander’s Inn, is hidden down a dusty track and once again I find myself in a Robinson Crusoe-style situation that’s a speciality in St Vincent and the Grenadines — a sweep of untouched sand, the red sun dripping over the horizon and not a soul to be seen.

ESSENTIALS St Vincent & The Grenadines

Getting there
There are no direct flights between the UK and St Vincent and the Grenadines. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offer direct flights from Gatwick to Barbados; Liat operate five daily flights from there to St Vincent.
Average Flight Time: 8h30m.

Getting around
Hopping between the main islands of the Grenadines is easy thanks to the cheap, regular ferries that leave St Vincent each day. Alternatively, there are domestic flights operated by SVG Air or private yacht charter. To get around the islands, locals tend to rely on the 12-seater ‘dollar vans’ that run until 10pm, although taxis are also available.

When to go
January to May are the hottest, driest months, with an average daytime temperature of 29C. For the rest of the year the temperature rarely drops below 25C, but rainfall is more frequent, particularly in the wettest month, July. However, downpours are brief and this is when the islands are at their most lush.

Places mentioned
Grenadine House.
Bequia Beach Hotel.
Islander’s Inn.

Need to know
Visas: No visa is required by UK passport holders.
Health: No immunisations or medications are necessary.
Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollars (EC$). £1 = 4.277.
International dialling code: 00 784.
Time difference: GMT -4.

More info

How to do it
Kuoni offers seven-nights all-inclusive at Buccament Bay five-star resort on St Vincent from £1,799 per person including flights and transfers.

Published in the Jul/Aug 2012 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Whaling Quotas 2

Narrow win for indigenous whaling rights

9:14 AM Wednesday Jul 4, 2012

  • The world's whale body today narrowly agreed to extend whaling rights for indigenous peoples, with Latin American powers unsuccessfully seeking to block a controversial hunt in the Caribbean.
    The International Whaling Commission is notoriously polarized over whaling expeditions by Japan and Norway. Aboriginal hunts have generally been less contested as they are much smaller in scale and impact.
    But at annual talks held in Panama City, proposals for new indigenous whaling quotas for the US state of Alaska and Russia's far northeast hit a snag as they were presented in a package with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
    The small Caribbean nation kills humpback whales, which are renowned for their intelligence. Activists charge that the hunt is not truly aboriginal as it was started by 19th-century white settlers, not in pre-colonial times.
    The Commission voted 48-10 to set quotas for the next six years for indigenous whaling in the three countries. Nine of the countries opposed were from Latin America and they were joined by the African nation of Gabon.

    Delegates from Brazil, Argentina and other Latin powers said that they did not oppose the US and Russian proposals but voted against the package due to concerns over the hunt in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
    Major Latin American nations have been active in whale conservation and tried Monday to declare a whale no-kill sanctuary in the southern Atlantic, but Japan and its pro-whaling allies defeated the proposal.
    Saint Kitts and Nevis, a tiny Caribbean nation that is allied with Japan, furiously criticized Latin American nations that opposed whaling in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and demanded that they apologize.
    "Some countries are trying to impose their will on a small vulnerable country," the country's delegate Daven Joseph said, charging that whaling opponents showed "colonialism rebirth" and elements of racism."
    But Louise Mitchell Joseph, an environmentalist and daughter of a former prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, said that most residents did not eat whale meat and that it was a delicacy for a small niche.
    She said that islanders had more economical ways to obtain protein and that whaling hurt tourism, the most vital industry for the Caribbean nation.
    "It is a practice that we simply cannot afford as a country to continue. The whaling activities of a small community should not be allowed to have such devastating impact on the rest of society," said Joseph, part of the Eastern Caribbean Coalition for Environmental Awareness.
    The US-based Animal Welfare Institute charges that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has used cruel methods including trying to puncture whales' hearts or lungs and targeting calves and their mothers.
    US representative Douglas DeMaster refused to dump the proposal from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, saying that the Caribbean nation was addressing concerns and that the three nations' quotas merely preserved the status quo.
    Australia and New Zealand, which staunchly oppose whaling expeditions near their waters by Japan, joined European nations in supporting the indigenous whaling proposal.
    India and Monaco, both staunch advocates for whale conservation, abstained from voting.
    "To me, a tradition initiated by a settlers family as recently as 1875 does not qualify as aboriginal," said Monaco's delegate Frederic Briand.
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will now have the right to kill up to 24 humpback whales between 2013 and 2018. It said that all meat will be consumed domestically.
    Russia's Inuits and other indigenous people will be able to hunt up to 744 gray whales between 2013 and 2018, while native Alaskans will have the right to kill up to 336 bowhead whales over the same time period.
    The International Whaling Commission later Tuesday considered a separate proposal for Greenland to allow the hunting of up to 1,326 whales between 2013 and 2018, including up to 10 humpback whales a year.
    The proposal has drawn criticism, with the Animal Welfare Institute saying that 77 per cent of restaurants in Greenland served whale meat.
    "Aboriginal whaling is supposed to be for subsistence, so if the whale meat is being served to tourists there is obviously a surplus," said Susan Millward, executive director of the institute.

Whaling Quotas 1

By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News, Panama City, Panama

Whaling quotas for indigenous groups in Alaska, Russia and the Caribbean were renewed at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting.
The vote came despite questions over whether the bid from St Vincent and the Grenadines qualified under IWC rules.
A bid for similar quotas in Greenland has yet to be debated.
Aboriginal subsistence whaling (ASW) is allowed if indigenous peoples have a "nutritional and cultural need" and there is no danger to whale stocks.
The debate saw heated exchanges involving an allegation from the St Kitts and Nevis delegate, Daven Joseph, that the mainly Latin American countries seeking to block the bid were "bordering on racism".
"Small nations are being singled out," he said.
"If [St Vincent and the Grenadines] are hunting for four humpback whales each year from a population of 10,000, who gives the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Chile or Costa Rica the right to tell St Vincent how to use the whales?"
But others said that the bid should not qualify under ASW rules because the Bequians, the group that maintains the hunt, are not truly indigenous.
Whaling "started by a settler's family as recently as a 1875 does not qualify as 'aboriginal'," argued Monaco's Frederic Briand.
"So we may ask a fundamental question - is there a justification for further approval of this quota?"
Louise Mitchell Joseph, speaking on behalf of the Eastern Caribbean Coalition of Environmental Awareness, said there was no documented history of whaling in the islands.
"There have been many archaeological excavations conducted, and there was no evidence found whatsoever of whale hunting by aboriginal peoples," she said.
"Neither whale remains nor weapons that could have been used to kill such a large mammals were ever found; neither are any images of whales inscribed on our petroglyphs."
Success in triplicate
Peter Sanchez, speaking for the Dominican Republic, said the hunt was "artisanal whaling out of control".
"[The hunters have] repeatedly broken the rules - hunting for young ones and pregnant females," he said.

At issue is for how long - or even if - aboriginal peoples have hunted whales
"We recognise the needs of indigenous peoples in the US and Russia but we cannot support the [joint] request by all three countries."
A number of delegations clearly felt the same way, clarifying that they would have voted against the St Vincent hunt if the three nations had presented their bids separately.
But with the vote overwhelmingly in favour by a margin of 48 to 10, it was evident that few had the will to force the joint resolution into its component parts.
Governments have to apply for ASW quotas every five years, though the current batch may last for six if, as anticipated, IWC members decide in future to hold their meetings every two years.
The vote means that Alaskan Inupiat retain their quota of 56 bowhead whales each year.
Russian indigenous peoples in Chukotka in eastern Siberia will continue to hunt 120 gray whales annually, while the Bequians retain their annual right to four humpbacks.
A separate resolution submitted by Denmark on behalf of Greenland is requesting an expansion of the quotas currently enjoyed by Inuit communities, enhancing the take of humpback and fin whales on the grounds that people need more whalemeat.
But some nations, including other EU members, are concerned by a recent report that found whalemeat on sale to tourists, raising questions over whether the Greenlanders really need quotas as large as those they currently have.
The EU is supposed to maintain a united front in forums such as the IWC, and a joint position is being agreed back in Brussels, with a decision anticipated on Wednesday.

Monday, July 02, 2012

St Vincent’s air hub to be ready next year

St Vincent’s air hub to be ready next year
Chris Hoyos 
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Monday, July 2, 2012 – Argyle International Airport is on target to open in late 2013.
This has been confirmed by the developer responsible for constructing the new St Vincent and the Grenadines international air gateway. According to the International Airport Development Company (IADC), work has been
completed on close to three-quarters of the earthworks for required for the airport’s runway, apron and taxiways. Earthworks on the airport commenced in August 2008 and since then the work team, comprising Vincentians and Cubans, have been have been hard at work, clearing and grubbing the area, demolishing the abandoned structures on the site, and removing the top soil.
The IADC affirmed that “work on the terminal building continues apace”, ensuring that it is on schedule to be completed by the contracted date of December 2013, in time for the tourism high season in the Caribbean.
The Argyle International Airport is being built on about 290 acres of land, with a paved runway 2,743 metres (9,000 feet) long, and 45 metres (150 feet) wide. Its runway length will allow for direct flights to St Vincent and the Grenadines from USA, Canada, Europe and Central and South America. The airport is designed to accommodate jets as large as the Boeing 747-400s.
The US$216 million airport is expected to boast a single 1.5 million capacity per annum terminal built over three-storeys on 145,000sq ft with dedicated areas for ‘domestic’ and ‘international’ passengers. The terminal building
will have about 8,700 square metres of floor space, to handle about 1.4 million passengers per year.
As of May 2012, the contractor, Overseas Engineering Construction Company (OECC), had completed 23 percent of the work on the building.