NEPA to Spearhead Events for World Wetlands Day

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Story Highlights

  • The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) will be spearheading a slew of activities in observance of World Wetlands Day (WWD), celebrated annually on February 2.
  • Themed: 'Wetlands for disaster risk reduction', the day will allow countries around the world to increase awareness of the important role of wetlands in safeguarding against natural disasters. Highlighting the various activities, Senior Public Education and Community Outreach Officer at NEPA, Ava Tomlinson, said the main events will be an expo and wetlands oratory competition at the Anglican Church Hall in Morant Bay, St. Thomas, on February 2.
  • Activities for World Wetlands Day will culminate on February 7 with Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) displays, wetlands tours and games at Mason River, Clarendon.

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) will be spearheading a slew of activities in observance of World Wetlands Day (WWD), celebrated annually on February 2.

Wetlands cover a range of ecosystem types, such as lakes, rivers, floodplains and coastal mangroves, and provide a range of important services for both people and the environment.

They act as natural safeguards against disasters, which make them important for protecting communities most at risk and vulnerable to the devastating effects of floods, droughts and storm surges.

Themed: ‘Wetlands for disaster risk reduction’, the day will allow countries around the world to increase awareness of the important role of wetlands in safeguarding against natural disasters.
Highlighting the various activities, Senior Public Education and Community Outreach Officer at NEPA, Ava Tomlinson, said the main events will be an expo and wetlands oratory competition at the Anglican Church Hall in Morant Bay, St. Thomas, on February 2.

Several Government and non-government entities will mount booths and display areas, including NEPA; Institute of Jamaica (IOJ); Forestry Department; St. Thomas Municipal Corporation; National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA); Jamaica National Heritage Trust and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Miss Tomlinson said that between February 1 and 7, NEPA will facilitate library displays at the Kingston & St. Andrew Parish Library; St. Thomas Parish Library and other branches throughout the parish.

In terms of the oratory competition, she explained that several schools in St. Thomas, including Robert Lightbourne and Paul Bogle High will be speaking on the theme.

“The students were asked to participate in our oratory competition and so schools have opted to display information about wetlands and let their voices be heard on the chosen theme,” the Senior Public Education Officer noted.

Outside of St. Thomas where the main activities will be hosted, several institutions and entities across the island will be engaged in related events.

On February 2, the Negril Environment and Protection Trust (NEPT) will be spearheading quiz, essay, poster, comic and song competitions at the Negril Community Centre.

From February 1 to 3, the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory will mount displays at the University of the West Indies (Mona), while the Port Royal Marine Laboratory and Biodiversity Centre will be having tours of the facilities, an open day and boat tours on February 2 and 3.

The UWI Alligator Head Marine Laboratory in Portland will be planting mangroves at the Salt Creek in Port Antonio, and the Montego Bay Marine Park will be doing its planting of mangroves at several locations in the parish of St. James on February 4.

Activities for World Wetlands Day will culminate on February 7 with Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) displays, wetlands tours and games at Mason River, Clarendon.

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