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JAMAICANS love parrotfish. Steamed, fried or roasted, the brightly coloured sea creature is a common feature on many a dinner plate. It’s also a favourite at the beach and at roadside eateries on the weekend.

But the enjoyment could soon come to an end as local and international groups are lobbying for a parrotfish ban. The arguments are that: 1) the fish clean coral reefs by eating the algae that grows on them, and 2) they excrete sand, which is one way of countering beach erosion.

GLOBAL Trade Services Limited plans to launch an online, business-to-business (b2b) trading platform for the Caribbean early next year.

The e-commerce site, called Ab2bmarket, seeks to make business transactions more efficient.

"We will launch in January with the pilot and then the full launch in May 2015," said Antionette Dunston, chief marketing officer at Global Trade Services in a Jamaica Observer interview.

FIFTEEN schools and three Government agencies should soon see considerable reductions in their energy bills as the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) will be installing Solar PV Systems at public sector buildings at a cost of more than $62 million.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM), Julian Robinson has announced that Cabinet has approved the projects and contracts should be signed soon.

US-OWNED BMR Energy aims to secure US$20 million in financing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for its multimillion dollar wind farm in St Elizabeth.

"IFC is considering a $20 million loan to BMR Jamaica Wind Limited to support the development of a 34 megawatt (MW) greenfield wind farm in St Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica," said the private finance arm of the World Bank in a recent disclosure.

YOUNG people in North Central St Catherine now have an opportunity to develop their business skills through a recently launched entrepreneurship grant programme.

Minister with responsibility for sports, Natalie Neita Headley, who made the announcement in her contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, said the North Central Community Youth Entrepreneur and Education Programme will serve as a catalyst of change for the youth.

RED Stripe managed to cut its water use by 17 per cent.

The 200 million litres it saved through its water recovery programme complemented the 50 per cent reduction in emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from its US$7 million combined heat and power (CHP) plant.

The local brewer also reduced the amount of waste it sent to landfill by 26 per cent, as a result of a process focused on omitting, recycling, reducing, reusing and disposing materials.

GRAND Palladium Resort and Spa in Hanover is set to save over $80 million (roughly US$730,000) in energy costs per year with the recent installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant at the resort, renewable energy company Sofos Jamaica Ltd has announced.

It was Sofos that installed the system, touted to be the largest solar power PV plant in the island to date.

Covering the rooftops of 28 villas as well as the spa, the system comprises 6,336 solar modules/panels and 67 inverters. All told, it covers around 17,000 m2 of physical space and has a generating capacity in excess of 2.2 million kWh per year.

SELECTED health care facilities across the island are to benefit from biodigester septic tanks that have been developed and patented by scientists at the Scientific Research Council (SRC).

Board member of SRC Bevon Morrison said the current technology-driven solution to sewage disposal is the largest single waste water contract for the entity and the first time the organisation is treating waste from health facilities.

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Six entrepreneurs, including two Jamaicans, were Tuesday night recognised for their successes as microentrepreneurs at the third annual Citi Foundation-Caribbean Microfinance Alliance (Citi-CMFA) awards, which formed part of the Fifth Caribbean Microfinance Forum (CMF V) now on at Iberostar Rose Hall Suites Hotel in St James.

The two Jamaicans were noted photographer William Foster, who operates Foster's Photo Studio in Kingston, and Elsa Waysome, who started T&T Herbs in Clarendon which processes and sells dried herbs such as cerasse, sarsaparilla, and Meringa. Foster and Waysome finished second in their respective categories — Best Technology Microentrepreneur and Best Rural Microentrepreneur — at an awards ceremony that saw two Belizeans and a Grenadian winning the three top prizes.

JAMAICA might see a 50 per cent reduction in road maintenance costs within 10 years.

Starting next month SKDP Haulage and Distribution plans to convert thousands of used tyres into asphalt rubber, which is said to last twice as long as standard asphalt.

The company has already stockpiled 12,000 tyres and is targeting 300,000 to 350,000 tyres -- which could be used in the paving of over 1,000 lane miles of road -- in its first year of operations.

Now the company has to complete discussions with the Government and asphalt pavement companies, which will ultimately determine if the rubber ingredient will be used in asphalt mix.

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