Caribbean Political Economy

A Significant Victory, Norman Girvan


A release from the Highway Re-Route Movement (HRM) in Trinidad and Tobago late on December 5, 2012 indicates that agreement has been reached to conduct a full independent review of the proposed Debe to Mon Desir Highway with terms of reference that address their main demands; pending which no work will begin on the contentious highway. Accordingly, Dr Wayne Kublalsingh ended his hunger strike the same evening.  On the face it this constitutes a significant victory, not only for him and the HRM, but more broadly for civil society in Trinidad and Tobago; with wider regional implications…


Farewell Angela, from Norman

Words at the celebration of the life of Angela Cropper, UWI, 4 December 2012

It is difficult to speak without repetition at this stage of the proceedings; after so many have spoken so eloquently about Angela; and from the heart.But I would like to say that of all the qualities that we have heard about; the quality that most earned for Angela the love and respect and esteem of her colleagues, her friends, was the quality of integrity…

Continue reading

A woman of etiquette and distinction Bhoe Tewarie


Sandy, A Poem by Keith Ellis

Comments Off on Sandy, A Poem by Keith Ellis

I’m Sandy, too morally blank to be ashamed.

Born in Central American jungle heat,

sucking moisture from trees long nurtured

by the bloodied victims of protected tyrants…




Climate Change and the Future of Caribbean Development, Matthew Bishop and Anthony Payne

Comments Off on Climate Change and the Future of Caribbean Development, Matthew Bishop and Anthony Payne
This article traces the dramatic impact that climate change presages for Caribbean development and goes on to analyse the region’s responses at the global, regional and national levels. It questions the significance of this for Pan-Caribbean development and proposes a research agenda for the Caribbean centred on the political economy of climate change.

Click HERE to download a free copy (limited offer) or email for a copy.

Sustainable Development as an Answer to Economic and Financial Crises, Yilmaz Akyüz

Comments Off on Sustainable Development as an Answer to Economic and Financial Crises, Yilmaz Akyüz
Speech by the Chief Economist of the South Centre to the Rio + 20 Conference, 16 June 2012

As seen over and again during recurrent financial crises in both developing and advanced economies (DEs and AEs), including the recent global crisis originating in the US and Europe, financial instability and boom-bust cycles undermine all three ingredients of sustainable development – economic development, social development and environmental protection…

Continue reading

Food Security and Mitigating Climate Change: The Case for Organic Agriculture, Mervyn Claxton

Is Caricom ignoring the merits of organic agriculture in its policy choices for regional food security? A detailed and critical review that draws on a several authoritative sources raises troubling questions for consideration by consumers, public health professionals, educators, environmentalists, farmers organisations and government policy makers.

Click here for “Has Caricom made the right policy choices?”

Civilisation faces ‘perfect storm of ecological and social problems’

Comments Off on Civilisation faces ‘perfect storm of ecological and social problems’

Celebrated scientists and development thinkers have warned that civilisation is faced with a perfect storm of ecological and social problems driven by overpopulation, overconsumption and environmentally malign technologies. In the face of an “absolutely unprecedented emergency”, say the 18 past winners of the Blue Planet prize – the unofficial Nobel for the environment – society has “no choice but to take dramatic action to avert a collapse of civilisation…

Continue reading

We do not have the right to despair, Zuleica Romay

1 Comment »
Statement from the President of the Cuban Book Institute at the meeting of Commander Fidel Castro with intellectuals in Havana on February 10, 2012,

The Earth is home to all men, women and children who inhabit it…We have no right to condemn the 2 billion human beings who will be born over the next 40 years to a life of despair, under a sky clouded by millions of tons of greenhouse gases and a sun that seems to shine less brightly every day…

Continue reading

Wangari Maathai: Reclaiming the Earth, Horace Campbell

Comments Off on Wangari Maathai: Reclaiming the Earth, Horace Campbell

‘The best tribute we can pay to this great woman of Africa is to continue to organise so that we can gain higher levels of spiritual awareness and build the shared values for peace and social justice across the planet,’..


A Different Future for the Trinidad and Tobago Economy? John Cavanaugh & Robin Broad

Comments Off on A Different Future for the Trinidad and Tobago Economy? John Cavanaugh & Robin Broad

As citizens successfully block a proposed aluminum smelter, is Trinidad and Tobago changing course away from dependence to mega-industrial projects gas to supporting small-scale farmers and fishers?…

Continue reading

Cuban Science for Sustainable Development, UNESCO

Comments Off on Cuban Science for Sustainable Development, UNESCO
From the UNESCO Science Report, 2010

The development and production of pharmaceuticals in general – and biotechnological products in particular – is without doubt the most successful example of the Cuban scientific endeavour but it is not the only area of importance for R&D. Another important priority today is energy…Disaster monitoring and mitigation are also taking on a growing role, in light of the threat of stronger hurricanes, droughts, coral bleaching and flooding in future as a consequence of climate change…

Continue reading

Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Development, Mervyn Claxton


Third Distinguished Lecture, The Cropper Foundation; UWI, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago; September 1, 2010

Biodiversity, indigenous knowledge, and sustainable development are very closely linked. The indigenous knowledge systems of the peoples of the South constitute the world largest reservoir of knowledge of the diverse species of plant and animal life on earth. For many centuries, their indigenous agricultural systems have utilized practices and techniques which embody, what one scientist has called ‘Principles of Permanence’- ..

Continue reading

Related items

T&T biodiversity holds key to future Michelle Loubon, Trinidad Guardian

Cropper Foundation launches book Michelle Loubon,Trinidad Guardian

Organic agriculture the way to,   go–expert Julian Neaves, Trinidad Express

Biodiversity critical to small islands–Sankat Michelle Loubon Trinidad Guardian

Energy: The New Agenda, Raymond Wright

Comments Off on Energy: The New Agenda, Raymond Wright


The global energy situation is reaching a crisis point in terms of sustainability. The depletion of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) will continue unabated considering the increasing rate of energy consumption worldwide. It is expected that global energy demand will nearly double by 2050. The new and long term energy future that we envisage will be powered by alternative energy and cleaner fossil fuels. Billions of dollars must be expended on upgrading electricity transmission networks to handle increased demand and the variable input of renewables such as wind and solar. Much of the capital financing will come from private investment, but Governments will need to continue to implement policies that foster investment by private companies in order to encourage the growth of renewables. The enormity of the challenge also means that Governments should do their part to encourage the societal and technological shift towards new and improved energy systems. As civil society and political leaders face the difficult and varied choices, they should remember that failure to act now could force society into more painful choices in the future. We can no longer afford to ignore the clarion call of the future. Instead we must plan ahead and strive toward energy sustainability and security. Despite the hurdles confronting us, the drive to create a new energy system can only be beneficial to everyone. This new and cleaner energy system will assist in reducing the rapid rise in greenhouse gas emissions that is now accepted as a contributor to global warming. Competition among energy sources will stimulate innovation, keep energy affordable and increase global energy security. That is the mission, and the New Agenda. This book deals with conventional as well as renewable energy sources, sustainable architecture, energy efficiency and climate change mitigation.

The Author
Raymond Wright, a former Group Managing Director of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, has experience and expertise in a wide range of energy matters. He is trained as a geologist and is a former Commissioner of Mines and Geology. He has co-edited a major work, Geological Society of America Memoir 182, Biostratigraphy of Jamaica, published in 1993. He has published widely in various international journals and books on many subjects including energy, environment, resource policy, micropaleontology and stratigraphy. He has been a consultant on energy programmes and policy for a number of multilateral and bilateral agencies on most continents. Dr Wright holds a PhD from Stanford University, an MPhil from University College, London and a BSc from Durham University. Dr. Wright has received several awards, including the Commander of the Order of Distinction (CD) conferred in 1989 and the Chubb Award for Excellence from the Geological Society of Jamaica in 1993. At the 2002 World Renewable Energy Congress in Cologne, Germany, he was awarded the accolade of Pioneer in Renewables. His most recent awards are the inaugural CARICOM Science Medal for the excellence of his contribution to the earth sciences in the Caribbean, and the Jamaican National Medal for Science and Technology (2008).

Available at

Tribute to Professor Dennis Pantin, Norman Girvan



It is with great sadness, and a sense of tremendous loss, that the Caribbean economics fraternity has learnt of the passing of Professor Dennis Pantin, former chair of the Economics Department and Coordinator of the Sustainable Economic Development Unit at the UWI, St Augustine…

Continue reading

Dennis Pantin posthumously awarded Humming Bird Medal (Gold)

‘A Caribbean Hero’–Civil Society Coalition of Trinidad and Tobago

SEDU Condolences Book

Professor Dennis Pantin has died UWI News Release

‘A tremendous loss’ Trinidad Express

A great loss Jamaica Observer

Economist Pantin dies at 61 Trinidad Guardian

Tribute to Professor Dennis Pantin BBC Caribbean

‘He served T&T with passion Finance Minister Winston Dookeran

Dennis Pantin: A Life Lived Well Emancipation Support Committee

Pantin believed in Caribbean economic model Dr Ralph Henry

Pantin laid to rest Trinidad Express

Dennis was a man of integrity – Fr Harvey, Trinidad Guardian (Michelle Loubon), July 21, 2010,

ESC remembers Dennis Pantin, Newsday, July 19, 2010,,124281.html

Passing on the dream, Trinidad Express (Michael Harris), July 19, 2010,

Dennis Pantin: A life well lived, Trinidad Express, July 18, 2010,

Pantin made massive contribution, Trinidad Express, July 18, 2010,

CARICOM Secretary-General mourns the passing of Prof. Pantin, CARICOM Secretariat website, July 16, 2010,,

Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago website, July 17, 2010,,

Guyana Chronicle, July 18, 2010,,

Stabroek News Guyana, July 19, 2010,

Birthday funeral for Dennis Pantin, Trinidad Guardian (Michelle Loubon), July 16, 2010,

He served T&T with passion, Trinidad Express, July 16, 2010,

A major loss for our nation, Trinidad Express, July 15, 2010,

A tremendous loss, Trinidad Express (Curtis Rampersad), July 14, 2010,,

Stabroek News Guyana, July 15, 2010,

Caribbean mourns loss of Professor Dennis Pantin, Prensa Latina, July 14, 2010,

Tribute to Professor Dennis Pantin, BBC Caribbean website (Norman Girvan), July 14, 2010,, Trinidad and Tobago News, July 14, 2010, Antigua Observer, July14, 2010,,, Jamaica Observer, July 15, 2010,, The Gleaner Jamaica, July 16, 2010,

Dennis Pantin, Professor of Economics at the UWI, has died, Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago website, July 14, 2010,,

Caribbean Daily News, July 14, 2010,

Climate Change, Christophe Grant

Comments Off on Climate Change, Christophe Grant

Lyrics of ‘Young King’ Prize-winning Calypso, 2010

Never take your mother for granted,/Cause when she dead it’s too late to cry,
Now our precious air is depleted,/We miss her as the well run dry;

Continue reading

For a copy of the MP3 file with the audio of Kwesi Jeffers singing “Climate Change” send an email to Christophe Grant at <>

The Truth of What Happened at the Copenhagen Summit, Fidel Castro

Comments Off on The Truth of What Happened at the Copenhagen Summit, Fidel Castro

Until very recently, the discussion revolved around the kind of society we would have. Today, the discussion centers on whether human society will survive.

Click here to continue

Copenhagen: Key Issues Facing Developing Countries, Martin Khor

Comments Off on Copenhagen: Key Issues Facing Developing Countries, Martin Khor

Martin Khor is Executive Director of the South Centre. South Centre Climate Policy Brief.

Click here for paper,  (PDF file)

Island States Outraged At Attempts To Undermine Copenhagen Outcome, AOSIS

Comments Off on Island States Outraged At Attempts To Undermine Copenhagen Outcome, AOSIS

6 November, Barcelona – The 43-member Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) today expressed outrage at attempts this week to steamroll the world’s most vulnerable countries into accepting a watered down political agreement at the Copenhagen Climate Summit this December, rather than internationally legally binding outcomes…

Click here to continue

EU-Jamaica Food Production Initiative, Mervyn Claxton

Comments Off on EU-Jamaica Food Production Initiative, Mervyn Claxton

I read with great interest the information provided by Joyce van Genderen-Naar on the announced EU-FAO-Jamaica food production initiative that is annexed below. The initiative will, supposedly, reduce poverty and enhance the country’s food security by assisting small farmers to increase their productivity….I looked in vain for any indication/evidence that the proposed small farmer production model and the urban food production model would be inspired by successful regional pactices in those very areas, rather than by EU and Northern agricultural techniques and practices which would, perforce, be unsuitable for a number of reasons that are too numerous to detail here. The absence of such evidence augurs ill for the success and the sustainability of the EU-Jamaica initiative…

Click here to continue

Windmills Of The Mind, Mervyn Claxton


I decided to wait until all the comments on my paper Port of Spain Declaration: A Critical Analysis were posted before making a global response. Four comments were received – those by Norman and Yash in this exchange and two others – by Wendy Lee and Margaret Gill – (Wendy’s contribution is posted on the website, Margaret’s is not) in two separate, parallel e-mail exchanges. Notwithstanding the several important points made by Norman and Yash (which I discuss below), it is my opinion that only Wendy’s and Margaret’s contribution grasped the essential issue involved – sustainable development.

Wendy posed the crucially important question “How can we get decision-makers to absorb and act on the information that is so readily available about sustainable development IMPERATIVES, including critical ecological requirements, instead of pursuing the same old false, unjust and unsustainable models?” Margaret identified another key aspect (one that I explored in the paper) – how do we inform and educate the Caricom public on that essential issue.

Click here to continue

keep looking »