JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Styrofoam and its effect on health and the environment will be the primary focus of Earth Day, to be observed on April 22.
  • Earth Day is also being celebrated as one of NEPA’s 15th Anniversary Signature Days.
  • The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) was established in April 2001 as an Executive Agency under the Executive Agencies Act.

Styrofoam and its effect on health and the environment will be the primary focus of Earth Day, to be observed on April 22.

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) will be encouraging individuals and companies islandwide to participate in ‘No Styrofoam Day’, as an activity or way of observing Earth Day.

The agency highlights that expanded polystyrene, though used frequently in various products such as lunch boxes, is one of the leading sources of marine debris, because it is a non-biodegradable material. The chemicals used in the creation of polystyrene can also seep into food, causing health complications.

Themed: ‘Trees for the Earth,’ the Day’s activities will also include the screening of various environmental films at the Sharon O’Connor Documentation Centre; hosting of a scavenger hunt and mounting of a display in the lobby of the Agency’s offices at 11 Caledonia Avenue, in Kingston.

Manager of the Pollution Prevention and Control Branch at NEPA, Dr. Kerrine Senior, reiterated the need for Jamaicans to take care of their environment, noting that “protecting the environment is an important task that we as Jamaicans all need to work together to accomplish.”

She pointed out that Earth Day is observed annually, due to the need to continuously sensitize the public on the importance of protecting the environment.

Earth Day is also being celebrated as one of NEPA’s 15th Anniversary Signature Days. Throughout the year, the agency will have environmental signature days to highlight its role and function, environmental issues and matters.

In June, the Agency will observe National Environmental Awareness Week; International Coastal Clean-up and International Ozone Days will be in September and World Town Planning Day in November.

The agency will recognize and celebrate with its staff at a Long Service Awards function in December.

The year-long 15th anniversary celebration will culminate on February 2, 2017 with activities for World Wetlands Day.

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) was established in April 2001 as an Executive Agency under the Executive Agencies Act. NEPA was founded to carry out the technical (functional) and administrative mandate of three statutory bodies: the Natural Resources & Conservation Authority (NRCA), the Town & Country Planning Authority (TCPA), and the Land Development & Utilisation Commission (LDUC).

Its seven core functions are: Policy and Programme Development; Conservation and Protection; Environmental Management; Spatial Planning; Application Management; Public Education and Outreach, and Compliance and Enforcement.