A full slate of activities has been organised for Earth Day 2012 in an effort to build public awareness and to inspire individuals to become active participants in the drive to protect and preserve the environment.
The events, to run from April 19 to 22, are being spearheaded by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) in collaboration with the National Environmental Education Committee (NEEC)/Voices for Climate Change, in support of the European Union Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Project.
Earth Day will be observed on Sunday, April 22 under the theme: ‘Let’s Mobilise: Conserve, Protect and Recycle’.
At the launch held on April 17 at the National Housing Trust (NHT) car park in New Kingston, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, said the theme is quite relevant, as it calls for organisation and action and points to the fact that everyone can make a difference.
He said that by recycling materials, citizens reduce the pressure on natural resources, and as a consequence, conserve on finite resources. “This action also protects our biological and water resources, for example, by avoidance of pollution,” he noted.
Activities for Earth Day will be held in St. James and Kingston and include a media outreach seminar for journalists and business lunch for tourism and other interests on Thursday (April 19), at venues in Montego Bay.
Also on Thursday, Chairman and Consulting Principal, Environmental Solutions Limited, Dr. Barry Wade, will deliver the Distinguished Fellows Lecture at the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology on West Avenue, Kingston under the theme: ‘Environmental Justice and the Poor Jamaica: Problems of Landlessness, Squatting and Environmental Refugees in a Christian Society.’
On Friday, April 20, an environmental expo on climate change will be held at Dump Up Beach in Montego Bay, to be followed by a concert featuring artistes from the ‘Voices for Climate Change Education Project.’ A media tour of the Montego Bay Marine Park will also be held on the day.
The Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) and Palace Amusement Company Limited will host a special screening of the documentary ‘Earth Hour’ on Earth Day, April 22, at the Sovereign Centre.
International Earth Day celebrations began in 1970 as a means of encouraging awareness at the grassroots level of the need to protect the earth’s resources.
Outreach activities are also scheduled for universities, colleges and primary schools.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter