Ja­maicans get be­hind In­ter­na­tional Coastal Clean-up Day 2016

Jamaica Gleaner - - FEATURE - Pwr.gleaner@gmail.com

JPS VOLTS in ac­tion dur­ing In­ter­na­tional Coastal Clean-up Day. WHILE EN­TI­TIES like the UNEP Caribbean En­vi­ron­ment Pro­gramme (CEP) press home the need to solve the pol­lu­tion prob­lem in the Caribbean, Ja­maicans this year threw their weight be­hind In­ter­na­tional Coastal Clean-up (ICC) Day.

The ef­fort was led by na­tional co­or­di­na­tor, the Ja­maica En­vi­ron­ment Trust (JET), who mar­shalled some 98 groups to clean 140 beaches across the is­land on Septem­ber 17.

All told, an es­ti­mated 9,000 Ja­maicans vol­un­teered their time and ef­fort, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion out of JET.

The Ocean Con­ser­vancy started ICC Day in 1985. Since then, it has mor­phed into the largest one-day vol­un­teer event in the world, tak­ing place in more than 100 coun­tries each year.

Last year, Ja­maica ranked as hav­ing the 14th largest ICC vol­un­teer turnout in the world, and the largest in the English­s­peak­ing Caribbean.

BIG­GEST INI­TIA­TIVES

This year, the big­gest cleanups were co­or­di­nated by JET on the Pal­isa­does Strip in Kingston; by the Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment and Plan­ning Agency which part­nered with the Ur­ban Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (UDC) to clean up the Hell­shire coast­line in St Cather­ine, and by the Mon­tego Bay Marine Park Trust (MBMPT) which part­nered with the Ro­tary Club of Mon­tego Bay to clean the coast­line in the west­ern re­sort city.

Over 2,500 vol­un­teers as­sisted JET in their flag­ship clean-up on the Pal­isa­does, and over 1,000 vol­un­teers at­tended both the NEPA/UDC and MBMP/Ro­tary Mon­tego Bay clean-ups.

“We are await­ing the data from the other 140 cleanup sites which we ex­pect to come in over the next few weeks,” said JET Deputy CEO Suzanne Stan­ley.

“The vol­un­teer turnout and ef­fort this year has been ex­cep­tional and is truly en­cour­ag­ing,” she added.

JET’s flag­ship clean-up on the Pal­isa­does was spon­sored by TEF and Re­cy­cling Part­ners of Ja­maica, along with in-kind sup­port from sev­eral other cor­po­rate spon­sors. Vol­un­teers from CIBC First Caribbean work to­gether to clean along the har­bour side of the Pal­isa­does Road. Over 1,300 vol­un­teers head­ing out from the Fort Rocky site on In­ter­na­tional Coastal Clean-up Day.

JET’s clean-up this year in­cluded three main sites: the Fort Rocky Beach; End of the Stones revet­ment and the Port Royal main road in the vicin­ity of the end of the air­port run­way.

Ini­tial es­ti­mates sug­gest over 1,000 bags of garbage were re­moved from those sites, weigh­ing an es­ti­mated 16,000 pounds.

Mean­while, the UNEP CEP, as Sec­re­tar­iat for the Carta­gena Con­ven­tion, con­tin­ues its ef­forts to have is­lands of the wider Caribbean re­gion rat­ify the Pro­to­col on Land-Based Sources of Marine Pol­lu­tion.

This is while they work with gov­ern­ments – 12 of whom have al­ready signed the pro­to­col – in a va­ri­ety of ways to pre­vent, re­duce and/or con­trol marine pol­lu­tion.

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