BSJ Launches Environmental Management Systems Standard

first_imgStory Highlights This international standard provides guidance for all organisations, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), on the phased development, implementation and maintenance of an EMS within their entities. Importantly, it will assist organisations in adequately observing the ban imposed on plastics and styrofoam. The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) has launched Jamaican Standard (JS) ISO 14005:2017 – Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Guidelines. The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) has launched Jamaican Standard (JS) ISO 14005:2017 – Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Guidelines.This international standard provides guidance for all organisations, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), on the phased development, implementation and maintenance of an EMS within their entities.Importantly, it will assist organisations in adequately observing the ban imposed on plastics and styrofoam.Speaking at the launch on Wednesday (March 27) at the BSJ’s Winchester Road offices, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, said that the standard is in keeping with measures to inculcate a culture of sound environmental stewardship.He noted that the national standard is applicable to any organisation, regardless of its level of development, the nature of the activities undertaken or the location at which they occur.He added that standards are a proven way of ensuring that entities and individuals implement and practise environmentally friendly behaviours to reduce waste and pollution in the society.The JS ISO 14005, in particular, is a global benchmark for environmental management best practice that can be applied to businesses of any size.“The real benefit of ISO 14005 is that it can significantly improve an organisation’s environmental performance while greatly improving its bottom line at the same time. To enjoy the benefits of the standard, it is vital that each member of an organisation, regardless of position or role, be aware of and take responsibility for environmental management,” Mr. Shaw said.He noted that the launch not only brings attention to the standard, but also seeks to energise activities around its use as a tool to achieve the government’s mandate to reduce the impact of plastics on the environment.“This will be facilitated through the combined efforts of the BSJ and identified partners,” he said.Meanwhile, Executive Director BSJ, Hopeton Heron, noted that the agency continues to align its activities to the national strategy.“The BSJ is not only supporting the ban on the use of single-use plastics, but we are publicly endorsing the importance of taking all the necessary measures in order to protect the environment,” he said.“Every organisation, in some way, affects the environment, which eventually affects public health,” Mr Heron said.Benefits of an EMS include ultimate cost savings by implementing measures in product design to avoid or minimise environmental impacts; optimisation of manufacturing operations to reduce the quantity and quality of waste generated, including opportunities for recycling; and optimal water and energy use or energy and water consumption.last_img read more

Canadian astronaut David SaintJacques set to blast off to space on Monday

first_imgMONTREAL — Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques won’t be carrying much with him when he leaves Earth to blast off to the International Space Station on Monday.If all goes according to plan, he will take off at 6:31 a.m. eastern time from the steppes of Kazakhstan on the first manned Russian rocket launch since a dramatic aborted Soyuz failure in October.What does one bring to space? A small shoebox containing items such as wedding rings and a watch.“I brought a few personal items that remind me of my family, of my children, of my parents, my wife and the people I love on the planet, so they’re mainly mementoes,” he said recently, adding that his luggage has already been sent ahead.There will also be a few Christmas presents, which he’ll unwrap as his family watches him back on Earth, his wife Veronique Morin said last week.The 48-year-old doctor and astronaut has spent years training for the six-month mission, which was originally scheduled for Dec. 20 but was moved up after the aborted Soyuz launch.Aboard the station, his role will include conducting a number of science experiments, some of which will focus on the physical effects of the weak gravity astronauts experience in orbit, as well as how to provide remote medical care.And while he’s likely to keep in touch, he says Canadians shouldn’t expect a repeat of the out-of-this-world guitar performances that brought his predecessor Chris Hadfield international fame during his own stint on the space station in 2013.“I don’t think I’m going to try to top what Chris did in terms of entertainment — that is his forte,” Saint-Jacques said on Nov. 29.“We each go there with our own personalities and our own ambitions.”People all over the world are expected to watch Monday’s launch with extra attention, given the fate of the previous mission.On Oct. 11, a rocket failure forced a Soyuz capsule carrying two astronauts to abort and make an emergency landing. Russia suspended all manned space launches pending an investigation before giving the green light Nov. 1.The crowd on the ground in Kazakhstan will include members of Saint-Jacques’ family as well as Governor General Julie Payette, herself a former astronaut.In an interview, Payette expressed confidence in Saint-Jacques and the technology that will bring him to space.“David is exceptional…. He’s been working for years, and he fully deserves it,” Payette said, adding that the fact that the launch has been moved up “demonstrates to what point everyone has complete confidence in the equipment that’s leaving.”Payette, who completed missions to the space station in 1999 and 2009, knows what to expect during the drama of the launch.“It shakes, as they say,” she said. “It’s very powerful — a rocket that’s leaving Earth’s gravity, and it’s very impressive for a spectator. In fact, it’s very emotional when you know there are people aboard.”She said the most dangerous moments will come in the moments following the launch, as the rocket passes through several “critical zones” on its way into space.Payette would not say whether she’d offered Saint-Jacques advice, saying only that astronauts are a tight-knit group.“We’re very few in Canada, they can be counted on the fingers of two hands,” she said.But while the list of astronauts may be small, both Payette and Saint-Jacques emphasize the strength and importance of Canada’s space contributions.“I believe that Canada has a big role to play in that community,” Saint-Jacques said. “To me, it’s the kind of innovative, creative, bold Canada that I would like my children to live in —  Canada is there to stay in space.”— With files from Melanie Marquis and Peter RakobowchukThe Canadian Presslast_img read more

Canada headed for conflict unless political class commits to renewed relationship with

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsCanada is headed for conflicts of Oka-like intensity unless its political leaders commit to renewing the country’s relationship with Indigenous peoples, says the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.The country is in the midst of a federal election triggered a little over two months after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its historical report on Indian residential schools. The report caused a nation-wide reaction and calls from all corners on the need to fix the long neglected relationship with the Indigenous population that finds itself within Canada’s borders.Mid-way through the current federal campaign, the TRC report and its recommendations have nearly been forgotten in the ongoing discourse about the main challenges facing the country. The issue has not even merited a specific question in any of the four federal election debates held to date.“Right now there is a bit of complacency among the political leadership in this country that they feel that pressure is not there anymore, the need for attention is not there anymore and I think people need to be careful because there is growing awareness of rights among young Aboriginal people and that has been fed by court decisions recently which have recognized the rights of Aboriginal communities,” said TRC Chair Murray Sinclair. “The result is we don’t have a lot of leeway when it comes to ignoring the plight of Aboriginal people and change is going to have to be part of the discussion going forward.”The TRC was created as part of the multi-billion dollar settlement agreement between Indian residential school survivors, Ottawa and the churches that operated the schools for over a century.Thousands of children died at the school and many are still buried in unmarked graves that have been lost to memory.The TRC issued a list of 94 recommendations in its report released this past June. The recommendations were meant as a road-map for Canada to finally fix the relationship. The Conservatives party has essentially rejected the recommendations, while the NDP and Liberal parties have accepted them all. Neither party, however, has yet presented a plan on how it would implement the recommendations.Sinclair said the continued avoidance by the political class to take the issue head-on and the simmering tensions over resource projects is creating an environment that could produce serious confrontations.“With the current climate of discussions around oil extraction and resource development and the desire by some within industry and some within government to ignore Aboriginal rights and allow those kinds of activities to take place without respecting those rights is certainly going to result in there being a reaction from the Aboriginal community, particularly among young Indigenous people,” said Sinclair. “Environmental issues are at the forefront of a lot of thinking in Canada and Aboriginal people have been part of the debate. I am concerned that if we fail to see the importance of changing the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in this country, and in particular Aboriginal people and the governments of this country, that we will be setting ourselves up for there to be more and more confrontations.”Those conflicts could resemble what Canada witnessed in 1990 with the Mohawk resistance in Kanesatake, Quebec known as the Oka crisis, he said.“My concern is that if we don’t come to terms with this relationship question, we are going to have another Oka,” said Sinclair.Politicians from all partisan stripes, and the general Canadian population, realized immediately after the Oka crisis that something had to change in the relationship between Canada and the original inhabitants of this land, he said.“After Oka, every political entity, every political party took serious steps to acknowledge and make the issue of the relationship with Indigenous people the focus of their endeavours,” said Sinclair. “With the elections that occurred in the 1990s it got lost in the scheme of things…the result is it fell off the political radar and now it needs to get back on it.”Sinclair there is a deeper issue at play that allows an almost immediate amnesia to set in the moment the smoke clears from the latest crisis.“People get their sense of what is newsworthy and what’s important from the media and it is because of the way they are fed information from the media that there are peaks and valleys in reactions and commentary. It is the lack of education about the way Canada has evolved as a nation that has really contributed to or created that problem,” said Sinclair. “It is because there has never been implanted into the Canadian memory bank any knowledge of the true relationship relating to Aboriginal people in this part of the world….When people know what the full history is they will not react with a loss of memory because it will be so deeply embedded of who they are as Canadians that they will feel that this is about them too.”[email protected]last_img read more

Smithsonian Institute installs NoDAPL marker

first_imgDennis WardAPTN NewsA pole that sat near the banks of the Cannonball River in North Dakota and was at the epicentre of the battle between water protectors, and the government approved Dakota Access pipeline is now on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.The 3-metre tall mile-marker stood as a symbol of how people had come from near and far to demonstrate against the pipeline. On January 29, as law enforcement and government continued to threaten to clear out the main camp, the marker was strapped to the top of a car and driven by a group of water protectors from North Dakota to Washington.“It was important to get the mile marker pole out of the camp so that it would not be destroyed by DAPL bulldozers” said Bryanna Patinka.Patinka, who is from upstate New York, was one of those who drove the marker to Washington D.C. to hand over to the Smithsonian Institute.“We wanted to make sure that it was preserved for future generations.”Konwenni Jacobs was also worried about the marker.“The rumours about the camp being raided were floating around and I believe the museum showed an interest in having the mile marker pole to preserve it for the future,” she said.Jacobs, drove from her home in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, and met the rest of the pole removal crew in Onondaga.From there, they drove straight to Standing Rock, rotating drivers.“It took hours to dig the pole out of the frozen ground,” she said. “A cradle was made to support the pole on top of the truck. The pole was wrapped up good for the drive and we again drove straight to DC.“It was a very intense, fast paced trip.”The pole was installed installed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in an exhibit called Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations.Patinka said the drive to D.C was “nerve-wracking” worried that it would fall off the top of the vehicle it was tied too.“When we dropped off the pole it was bittersweet,” she said. “I was happy the pole was being preserved but worried that it would never be displayed.“I’m pleased that the marking pole is being taken care of and is now part of an exhibit.According to Kevin Grover, director of the museum, there were issues at hand in North Dakota that couldn’t be ignored.“When more than 12,000 activists and hundreds of Native Nations assembled in North Dakota during 2016 to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, treaties were at the heart of the issue” Grover said in a news release.“As the largest gathering of Native Americans in protest, it was truly a historic event and one that should be address in the National Museum of the American Indian.”The museum acknowledged that hundreds of hand-made signs nailed to the post point toward the water protector’s city, state, American Indian Nation, or foreign country and indicate its distance in miles or meters.Points of origin include the small city of Fort Buffalo 50 yards away, the closest, to Sápmi in the Arctic, home of the Sami indigenous peoples, 3,913 miles away.”The mile-marker will be on view until the exhibition closes in 2021.Contact Dennis here: [email protected]last_img read more