JIS News

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  • As the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, Jamaicans are again being implored to take greater responsibility for safeguarding the environment.
  • This charge came from State Minister for Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, as he addressed the opening ceremony of World Meteorological Day 2015 held on March 23.
  • The State Minister lamented that mankind has created more harm and danger to the environment and “we here in Jamaica, continue to do so daily in a reckless way”.

As the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, Jamaicans are again being implored to take greater responsibility for safeguarding the environment.

This charge came from State Minister for Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, as he addressed the opening ceremony of World Meteorological Day 2015 held on March 23, at the Undercroft, University of the West Indies Mona campus.

“Let’s recommit ourselves in being better stewards of the environment. Let’s ensure that we can protect it for generations to come,” Mr. Hayles urged.

Climate change refers to change in global or regional climate patterns, which became apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards, and is attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.

It is a serious global issue, which can have grave impacts on the environment including rising sea levels, more intense storms, and droughts that will disrupt infrastructure, agriculture, and ecosystems.

The State Minister lamented that mankind has created more harm and danger to the environment and “we here in Jamaica, continue to do so daily in a reckless way”.

He therefore appealed to every Jamaican to do their part in better protecting the environment, whether in the way they dispose garbage, or by turning off the television and lights, when not in use.

“It’s the ownership we take and the responsibility that comes with owning the environment,” he pointed out.

Activities for World Meteorological Day included exhibitions of energy and water savings devices and methods by public and private sector agencies.

The National Environment and Planning Agency’s (NEPA) booth featured a watershed model, which showed how the ecosystem contributes to conservation of the environment.

In the afternoon, a public lecture was delivered by Consulting Scientist at the Universities Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), Dr. Arlene Laing, and there were presentations from the Climate Change Division of the Ministry; the Climate Studies Group, Mona; and the Meteorological Service.

UCAR is a United States – based consortium of more than 100 member colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related earth system sciences.

World Meteorological Day is celebrated every year on March 23 to commemorate the creation of the World Meteorological Organization in 1950. The theme for this year is ‘Climate Knowledge for Climate Action’.

The annual observance provides an opportunity to take stock of the climate knowledge built in the last decades, as an essential base to support the path towards more ambitious action to address climate change and climate variability.