Piano grass (Themeda arguens), reputed to have been introduced to Jamaica as packing material in an imported piano1 . There are about 27 varieties of this highly invasive grass/weed worldwide and in Jamaica the species previously identified as Themeda arguens is of concern as it has progressively taken over lawns, pastures and roadsides . The grass is of particular concern to livestock farmers due to its highly invasive and aggressive nature and the concomitant negative effect on livestock productivity, especially during its annual seeding period (November/December – April) , when the palatability of the grass diminishes significantly and the seed awns can cause severe damage to the mouth when consumed, and feet of livestock , sometimes requiring veterinary intervention.
The goal of harnessing our biodiversity to bring health and wealth to the people living in the Caribbean Region got a boost recently courtesy of a 2016 IUCN project entitled ‘Advancing the Nagoya Protocol in Countries of the Caribbean Region’ that had five components. This project was commissioned by eight governments (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago) with GEF funding, had UNEP as its Implementing Agency and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the Executing Agency.
The control of invasive species in crops with low tolerance are seen as a public good. This makes it a collective responsibility led by government. This is done directly through public expenditure on control measures or indirectly through incentives to people whose actions may be a contributing factor to the problem. The risks associated with invasive species have been increasing especially with globalization but are changing in nature thus warranting novel strategies for their management.
Lead, a well-known neurotoxin, remains environmentally abundant, arising from many natural and synthetic processes which encourage its environmental accumulation and hence, increased interactions with flora and fauna. Therefore, tremendous research efforts have been invested into developing various methods for its analysis and sequestration, however, affordability, sensitivity and selectivity still remain formidable challenges in this area and hence here is room for further exploration.
The burgeoning of small gourmet chocolate boutiques worldwide serves as a key driver for niche and ultra-niche marketing of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.), branded as (a) geographical indication (b) estate origin or (c) based on unique genetics. Over 90% of the cacao farms globally, are small with an average size between 2 and 5 hectares and can benefit from supplying to the gourmet boutiques.
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