JIS News

Governor General Sir Howard Cooke has expressed the opinion that the increase in natural disasters happening around the world, has created an urgency for everyone to be more conscious of their responsibility to respect and protect the environment.
He said that with proper environmental practices, persons and countries could be prepared as well as prevent some of these disasters.
The Governor General was giving the main address at an awards banquet at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay, on Wednesday, October 12. The awards banquet was hosted by the Jamaica Association of Public Health Inspectors (JAPHI) in collaboration with the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), in honour of retired Public Health Inspectors and Vector Control workers within the Western Region.
With specific reference to Jamaica, Sir Howard expressed displeasure at the actions of some land developers, stating that some of these developments left a lot to be desired environmentally.
“Unless the environment is protected we will not survive. I know that some of the developers have been destroying the swamps filling them in, and say they are creating places for people to live. I want to warn them that we must maintain those very important aspects of our lives, the mangrove swamp,” he stated.
Sir Howard noted that whether developed or developing, countries needed to protect the environment as this was an essential factor, adding that sustainable development could not take place without environmental protection.
Turning his attention to the all important tourism sector, the Governor General expressed the view that there is the need for greater demand on coastal zone management and serious environmental impact assessments before any new tourism developments are approved.
“I know it is nice to build these hotels, they employ a lot of people, but now the environmentalists must tell people where they are to build hotels, they must tell people where they are to build houses,” he emphasized.
He called for serious thought to be given to assessing the impact of tourism and solid waste management on pollution. Sir Howard described solid waste disposal as “the greatest problem of the future”. He noted that although Jamaica was referred to as the land of wood and water, bad environmental practices increased the risk of contamination of the water resources.
Approximately 25 retired Public Health Inspectors were presented with plaques from JAPHI and WRHA at the ceremony in recognition of the many years of invaluable service they gave towards the promotion of good health practices in the western region of the island.