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JIS News

Jamaica and Guadeloupe have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate the production and promotion of bamboo products.
The signing was held yesterday (Jan.12) at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) offices in New Kingston and the signatories were JAMPRO President, Pat Francis; Teddy Isimat-Mirin from the Guadeloupe-based Institute for Franco-Caribbean Cooperation; Paula Hurlock, Executive Director of the Dolphin Head Trust; and Damien Labelle, designer at the Kleasion Bamboo Company in Guadeloupe. The project is set to get underway in Hanover in March, with residents being trained in bamboo design by Mr. Laballe, who is a renowned bamboo craftsman and designer.
Mrs. Francis, in her address at the signing ceremony, informed that the decision to forge the partnership had been in the works for some time and was another solution to the socio-economic problems of both countries.
“This partnership is a potential solution to a number of problems including rural poverty and environmental degradation. These fantastic bamboo products will bring a breath of fresh air to the industry here in Jamaica. Indeed, this is an exciting partnership,” Mrs. Francis noted.
She added that all stakeholders in the project should strive for growth from poverty to wealth creation. Meanwhile, Arlene McKenzie, Senior Consultant at JAMPRO, explained that Mr. Laballe will be in the island for a few months to train the people of Hanover in making and designing bamboo crafts and the finished products will then be marketed by JAMPRO to the Jamaican as well as Guadeloupe markets.
Karlene Lemair from the French Embassy hailed the partnership as another step towards further cooperation between France and Jamaica and assured of its commitment towards its success. When the project gets underway, all operations will be carried out from the Dolphin Head Bamboo facility in Lucea, the community based project of Dolphin Trust and one of only two bamboo facilities in the island.
Residents of Lucea will be engaged in the design and production of wall hangs, vases, magazine racks, coffee tables, bamboo screens and plant holders.