The Mona GeoInformatics Institute (MGI), in partnership with DE Design + Environment Inc (DE), was awarded January, 2020, by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, to develop and implement the National Environmental Data & Information System (NEIS). Deputy Director at MGI, Dr. Ava Maxam, leads the University of the West Indies’ Mona Campus-based software development team that will develop the NEIS online platform. The Canada-based team from Design + Environment Inc is headed by Mr. David Oswald as the environmental expert on the project.
MGI and DE will work with in-country government representatives of the Department of Environment (DoE) of the Ministry of Health and the Environment, to conceptualize and then implement the NEIS. This online platform will be focused on improving reporting processes to the key United Nations (UN) MEAs (Multilateral Environmental Agreements) for climate change,
Three years ago, the skies over the island nation of Dominica darkened, powerful winds picked up, and waves began crashing onshore with great intensity. Unknown to the people of Dominica, Hurricane Maria was gearing up to make landfall on the southwest coast of the island, a hurricane event that would eventually leave 31 people dead, 37 missing, and destroy more than 90% of the island’s infrastructure. Dominica boasts beautiful mountain vistas and 365 rivers, one for every day of the year, but the same steep terrain and rivers which were the pride of the island nation made it extremely vulnerable to the torrential downpour which bolstered overflowing rivers and caused flash floods. The catastrophic scale of the damage forced a country that has done very little to contribute to global climate change to reckon with its fierce consequences.
The Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI), in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London and the Create Caribbean Institute, has been awarded a three-year grant from the Economic and Social Research Council’s Global Challenges Research Fund. The Caribbean Cyclone Cartography project will work to map hurricane-related adaptations, survivals and recoveries in Dominica to create resources that will inform future disaster preparedness.
MGI will lead citizen-based geoinformatic surveys that will explore, analyse and document Dominican place-based knowledge of cyclonic hazards, shelters and response agencies across the island. MGI will facilitate the creation of a digital, multi-disciplinary map of Dominica, populated by historic, contemporary, ethnographic and geoinformatic data of place-based cyclone resilience. MGI has worked in Dominica on previous projects, including the,
The Mona Geoinformatics Institute is pleased to be hosting the 2nd European Union INTERREG Caraibe Carib Coast Steering Committee Workshop and Conference October 8th-10th, 2019 in Kingston, Jamaica. A public conference will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Wednesday October 9th at 6 pm entitled “CARIB-COAST: a Caribbean Network for the Prevention of Coastal Risks related with Climate Change“. This will be in association with international project partners: IFREMER, ONF, IRD, CAR-SPAW-RAC, CNRS, UWI, IMA, CARICOOS, MONA-GIS and the Association of Caribbean States.
The 3-day agenda overall is slated to cover: updates on the project’s impact across the Caribbean; regional issues and technical applications in shoreline resilience and monitoring; training in state-of-the-art shoreline monitoring technologies; as well as tours of important coastal monitoring sites. Read more
The Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) paid courtesy calls on various academic departments across Japan in April 2019. Collaboration with MGI’s coastal studies unit – MGIBlue – were main points of discussion with a goal of combining the skills, expertise and research available among the institutions to apply cutting edge science and technology in building solutions for coastal problems.
Key Research Topics for the Region
Dr Ava Maxam, Deputy Director of MGI and head of MGIBlue, met with research departments of Nagoya University (NU) and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT), where she presented on the work of MGIBlue and its Coastal Dynamics Modelling Laboratory (CDML) to faculty staff and students. Areas explored for collaboration included: fisheries research and production,
Frontiers of science wordcloud – climate change in the Caribbean
MGIBlue was on show at the UK-UWI Frontiers of Science Meeting held March 19 – 21, 2019 at Chicheley Hall, UK. This will be a 3-year programme for the advancement of science in the Caribbean and the use of science to solve big climate change problems affecting the Region. The programme was crafted through 2 years of consultations between UWI Solutions for Developing Countries (UWI SODECO) and The Royal Society.
Dr Ava Maxam at Chicheley Hall for the UK-UWI Frontiers of Science Meeting on Climate Change held March, 2019
Dr Ava Maxam represented MGI at the inaugural meeting designed to bring together groups of highly talented scientists for cutting-edge research in developmental biology and climate change adaptation.
The Kingston Harbour Waterfront, Jamaica. Photo Credit Mona Geoinformatics Institute.
Jamaica’s vital resource in the Kingston Harbour has been under constant threat from solid waste pollution for decades. Much of this garbage finds its way into the 7th largest natural deep-water harbour in the world through complex gully and river drainage systems crisscrossing Kingston, St Andrew and Portmore. Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) through its MGIBlue Division has embarked on research and assessment of these land and marine areas that are intricately linked as one vast “waste-scape”.
Map of Kingston Harbour, Mona Geoinformatics Institute.
With support from the Grace Kennedy Foundation, work is being carried out to determine the sources, linkages and impacts of solid waste on our natural and man-made resources. Read more
Technology for Shoreline Protection
Jamaica will benefit from coastal and coral reef monitoring studies to be carried out under the Caribbean-wide project CARIB-COAST: Caribbean Network for Coastal Risks Related to Climate Change. The project will provide the necessary equipment, training and expertise in deploying state-of-the-art ocean and shoreline monitoring technology.
Eroded coastline – Black River, St Elizabeth, Jamaica (Natural Hazards Atlas – Jamaica, Lyew-Ayee & Ahmad 2011)
Parts of the Jamaican shoreline will be tracked for erosion and how reef systems act to protect important coastal ecologies such as beaches and nurseries for marine life. With climate change posing a big threat to natural and man-made coastal resources – threatening populations of 45 million across our small-island states –
A great start to the New Year! The Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) has been bestowed the RJR-Gleaner Honour Award for Science and Technology for 2018. Through all three major divisions – Environment and Natural Hazards, Software Development, and Human & Social – our institute continues to apply research and innovation in practical ways using empirical evidence to inform decision-making. As the coastal dynamics modelling unit of the Environment and Natural Hazards Division, MGIBlue has contributed significantly to advancing coastal, hazards and environmental research of the institute.
The MGI family wishes to express our heartfelt gratitude to the media houses, institutions, clients and peers providing this recognition and support. We look forward to continuing our service in science and technology.
DE will be teaming up with Caribbean regional partner, MGI (Mona Geoinformatics Institute – project lead) to work on an environmental data sharing protocol for a select group of Eastern Caribbean States.
The DE-MGI team was awarded the contract to work with the 5Cs (Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre) who are the executing agency on this USAID funded project. The project is part of a broader initiative to improve adaptation to climate change in the Caribbean (CCAP).
“Data needs are evolving rapidly. With the severe impacts of storm events experienced by the Caribbean Region in 2017, our SIDS now demand greater access to climate information. Through this DE-MGI partnership, the 5Cs will significantly improve data sharing.”