Story Highlights The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) has signed three memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for the establishment of three new Small Business Development Centres (SBDCs). The MOUs were signed at the JBDC’s corporate office in Kingston on Tuesday, October 1, with the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE); University of Technology (UTech); and Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. SBDCs are the central source of technical and managerial support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) locally. The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) has signed three memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for the establishment of three new Small Business Development Centres (SBDCs).The MOUs were signed at the JBDC’s corporate office in Kingston on Tuesday, October 1, with the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE); University of Technology (UTech); and Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.SBDCs are the central source of technical and managerial support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) locally.Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the JBDC, Valerie Veira, said the organisation is continuing its mandate of increasing the availability of business development services to MSMEs across the island.“The Government has put an important focus on the SBDC model being implemented in Jamaica, so it is a deliverable for the JBDC that is national, and it is a very serious initiative that we want to be driven by powerhouses such as these organisations at the table,” she added.Ms. Veira told JIS News that partnering with these institutions is critical to growing businesses locally through research.“In the United States, the universities contribute significantly to the advancement of business, so research and provision of data is a key part of driving the process, and this is why I am particularly excited that we have tertiary institutions that have joined the network,” she said.The CEO noted that these collaborations will help to develop Jamaica’s local industries.“United we can do so much. We just need to ensure that Jamaica moves forward, because individually we can’t do very much, but certainly together we have a lot of power,” she said.Vice Principal of Administration & Resource Development, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Kerry-Ann Henry, also emphasised the importance of partnerships.“Culturally, we are strongest when we partner, and we are looking forward to it because having the data is extremely important. The research that will be done is one of the aspects that I celebrate with this project as well as that we will be making decisions and creating programmes based on data and facts,” she said.With the signing of the new MOU, there will be 13 SBDCs across the island.
“For example, for amateur radio operators, the payment is $500, and in order to make this payment you would need to drive into Kingston from all over the country. So we thought this [online facility] would be very customer-centric,” she said. The Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) has instituted an online client payment portal.Managing Director, Dr. Maria Myers Hamilton, told JIS News that in reviewing the agency’s arrangements, it was decided to establish the system to make it more convenient for clients to pay their fees.“For example, for amateur radio operators, the payment is $500, and in order to make this payment you would need to drive into Kingston from all over the country. So we thought this [online facility] would be very customer-centric,” she said.Dr. Myers Hamilton explained that a menu of fees is listed on the Authority’s website, www.sma.gov.jm. These include amateur radio operators and citizen band radio service charges.Additionally, she said persons may also pay for a duplicate of their Spectrum licence as well as the type-approval certificate.The Managing Director noted, however, that the online system does not include detention notice payments for wireless items detained by the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) upon landing in the country, due to lack of type-approval certificates.Meanwhile, Dr. Myers Hamilton said the SMA is in discussions with third-party entities to facilitate payments for persons without online service access.The SMA is the regulatory body responsible for managing the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in Jamaica.One of the Authority’s main functions is allocating and assigning various service frequencies, such as the amateur radio service. Story Highlights Managing Director, Dr. Maria Myers Hamilton, told JIS News that in reviewing the agency’s arrangements, it was decided to establish the system to make it more convenient for clients to pay their fees. The Spectrum Management Authority (SMA) has instituted an online client payment portal.
Canadian businessman and former Chief Executive Officer of Canopy Growth Corporation, Bruce Linton, says the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has instituted one of the best cannabis regulatory systems in the world.“They have created a platform that works very quickly. When I look at the chain of custody for where the products come through and the social presentation of it where it is actually accessible, but still very challenging to the illicit market, I think that makes the regulatory system in Jamaica among the top two in the world,” he explained.He was speaking at the CanEx Jamaica Business Conference and Expo held in Montego Bay, St. James, last week.Mr. Linton noted that the Jamaican cannabis system is similar to that of Canada’s.“When I walk around and see how the facilities are here, it’s like a half twist on the Canadian system, but they made it more effective. When you get to the point of sale, it is 10 times better and the branding is better, so if you want to win against the illicit market, you will have to have branding and have control; so I have been quite impressed,” he stated.The CLA, an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, was established in 2015 under the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, (DDA) with a specific role to establish and regulate Jamaica’s legal ganja and hemp industry.Through its Licensing and Applications Division and Enforcement and Monitoring Division, the CLA ensures that applications are appropriately reviewed, licences are issued to suitable applicants and that licensees are held accountable to the terms and conditions of their licence.So far, the Authority has issued a total of 44 licences and an additional 11 are pending issuance.Work is currently being done on the import/export regulations for the industry. When this is promulgated, Jamaica will be one of 10 countries in the world with an export regime. “They have created a platform that works very quickly. When I look at the chain of custody for where the products come through and the social presentation of it where it is actually accessible, but still very challenging to the illicit market, I think that makes the regulatory system in Jamaica among the top two in the world,” he explained. He was speaking at the CanEx Jamaica Business Conference and Expo held in Montego Bay, St. James, last week. Canadian businessman and former Chief Executive Officer of Canopy Growth Corporation, Bruce Linton, says the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has instituted one of the best cannabis regulatory systems in the world. Story Highlights
A DEAD MALE wolf, probably shot by hunters, was found 31 January in Coole, a town 160 kilometres east of the French capital. Since May, wolves have attacked flocks of sheep 29 times in a cluster of villages about 180 kilometres southeast of Paris.“That’s just a few days’ walk for a wolf,” said Maxime Zucca, a researcher at Natureparif, a government-funded body that studies wildlife in Ile-de-France, the region surrounding the capital. “We can’t predict if or when they’ll arrive in the Paris area, but it’s something we have to be prepared for.”While wolves don’t pose an immediate danger to the city’s residents, they have been spreading out north and west in France since crossing over from Italy in 1992, and everywhere they’ve led to clashes between farmers who say their flocks are at risk and environmentalists who welcome the return of the mythical predators.Farmers, supported by some members of parliament, want France to pull out of accords banning the hunting of protected raiders such as wolves, lynx and bears.“Wolves are fine in the Alps, in Siberia, in Yellowstone but they are incompatible with human farming,” Nicolas Dhuicq, a lawmaker who has entered a bill allowing wolf hunting, said in an interview last week as he and farmers in the Aube region, southeast of Paris, met at a local farm to discuss how to raise awareness about the challenges they face from wolves.Until their return in the 1990s, the last wolves in France were killed in the southwest in the 1920s. They have been extinct in the Paris region since the middle of the 19th century.Farmers’ WoesFrance has a wolf population now of between 250 and 300, and their numbers are growing, according to the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota. That compares with 1,000 in Italy, as many as 2,000 in Spain, and about 50 in Germany.Wolves killed 6,666 farm animals, mostly sheep, across France in 2012, up from 5,362 in 2011 and 4,691 in in 2010, according to the Ministry of the Environment. About half of those attacks were in the southern Alps, where Italian wolves first appeared in France after a hiatus of more than 60 years.The number of mainland France’s 94 departments that have reported sheep killed by wolves rose to 16 in 2012 – the latest figures available – from 14 in 2011 and 11 in 2010.Farmers say the statistics on the attacks underestimate the scale of the problem because wounded sheep often die later and pregnant females frequently miscarry because of the stress.Jean-Baptiste Scherrer, a 41-year-old farmer with 12 parcels of land spread around the village of Bar-sur-Aube, southeast of Paris, said he got a call at dawn on May 22 from workers at neighboring vineyards who’d seen his sheep acting strangely and what seemed like a dog running away. He found two dead and nine wounded sheep.Champagne Vineyards(AP Photo/Matthias Rietschel)Another attack a week later killed five of his sheep, and forest rangers confirmed both were wolf attacks. After that, he kept his 200 ewes indoors for the rest of the summer, feeding them grain and hay instead of letting them graze. On his iPhone, he has photos of a dozen stillborn lambs he said resulted from miscarriages in the following weeks.The attack on Scherrer’s farm was the first in the Aube department. There have been 28 since, killing 88 sheep and wounding 111, according to the local government.“We had no idea there were wolves in this area,” Scherrer said.We just want the right to defend ourselves.The closest known pack was in the Vosges mountain range, 200 kilometers southeast. The rolling hills of the Aube, with their open farmland, Champagne vineyards and small parcels of forest didn’t used to be wolf country.During the 2012/13 winter, 14 departments had established wolf packs, according to the ONCFS, the government bureau that overseas wildlife and hunting.Entering ParisThe wolves in the Aube department probably were young animals from a pack in the Vosges looking for new territory, said Eric Marboutin, head of the body’s large-predators project.“We know there were births last winter in the Vosges, so it’s possible some young pack members have been forced to leave and head out on their own,” Marboutin said.Ile-de-France, the region that includes Paris and seven surrounding departments, is an ideal environment for wolves in spite of its 12 million inhabitants, said Natureparif’s Zucca.Forests make up 24 percent of its area, slightly less than the national average of 29 percent, and most are well stocked with deer and wild boar. And the local farms mostly grow grain rather than raise livestock.Cases of wolves attacking people are almost non-existent, he said. For the moment public opinion backs wolves.Rightful PlaceIn an October poll by Ifop for OneVoice, an animal rights group, 76 per cent agreed with the statement “the wolf has its place in French nature”. The poll questioned 1,000 people with a 1.8 per cent margin of error.Currently, farmers can shoot a boar that eats their crops, but wolves are protected by the Berne Convention, which in 1979 established Europe’s large predators as protected species.There were no wolves in France then, and just a few dozen in the mountains of central Italy. The Apennines were returning to a natural state as farmers abandoned the rocky earthquake- prone soils. Also, with Italian hunters releasing game into the wild, the new laws meant wolves had a safe and forested highway all the way to Alps, with lunch served along the way.Wolves are now present in every region of mainland Italy and crossed into Switzerland in 1996. Ten years after their 1992 appearance in France they’ve established themselves throughout the Alps, and by 2011 there was a pack in the Vosges, France’s most northern mountain range.Romantic ImageThere’s no permanent presence of wolves in the Jura mountains between the Alps and the Vosges, showing the unpredictability of their expansion, said the ONCFS’s Marboutin.In 2012 there were the first attacks on sheep in the plains of northeast France. The killings have increased since.Still, Dhuicq said his bill is unlikely to pass.“The majority of MPs are from urban areas, and like urban populations they have a romantic image of wolves,” he says.Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll told parliament on 20 January that he’s against breaking the Berne Convention, though he recognized wolves “are not a minor issue” for farmers.Farmers receive an average of about €300 from the government for each sheep lost to wolves, but Gerard Guery, a 58-year-old farmer in Chaource in the Aube department, said he’d prefer not to have to take the money.Hunters reported seeing three wolves 12 kilometres from his farm, he said. He’s built a two-metre-high barbed wire fence around his 600 sheep, breaking with a local tradition of leaving sheep outdoors and moving them around parcels of farmland.“City people dream about wolves and the countryside, but they don’t realize how much of the countryside is the work of farmers and farming practices,” said Dhuicq. “All that is put at risk by wolves.”© BloombergRead: He’s walking 1400km from Rome to Paris but this €4.9bn rogue trader will be jailed