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Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., is encouraging all Jamaicans to commemorate Earth Day 2021 with environmentally conscious practices.
Earth Day is being observed today (April 22), under the theme ‘Restore our Earth’.
The theme supports the utilisation of natural processes, green technology and innovative thinking to restore ecosystems as opposed to solely mitigating and adapting to climate change.
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Charles Jr. reminded Jamaicans of ways they can acknowledge and act on their individual roles in climate conservation.
“There are so many things that we can do to contribute to the creation and advancement of a healthy planet. That starts with you at your home making a decision to give yourself the information, understand what is going on and taking steps to participate,” the Minister said.
He pointed out that Earth Day is an opportunity for all Jamaicans to really take some tangible measures, some concrete measures to restore your own space.
“Plant a tree, start a recycling programme at home, start to at least collect plastic bottles at home that can be given to Recycling Partners of Jamaica or some other company that will be able to repurpose or recycle them. Lock off your light if you are not using it, turn off your tap if you are not using it. If you have been speaking about rainwater harvesting for a long time, now is the time to get it done,” he encouraged.
Highlighting the importance of sustained action for noticeable results, the Minister said it is critical to teach a new approach to the next generation.
“The issues related to climate change can only be resolved if we have an understanding of the problem, the challenges and how we can participate in the sustainable solutions, mitigation and otherwise. What is critical is for us to teach our children, so they will evolve with the understanding and they will become participants through what is a norm or ordinary behaviour,” he said.
“Living in a sustainable way will become a practice as opposed to it having to be an effort. That is why it is important for us to start this process of engagement at an early stage,” the Minister added.
For Earth Day 2021, the Ministry, through the Forestry Department’s Legacy Programme, will plant trees at four schools and support the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the launch of their children’s publication on climate.
Along with Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister Charles Jr. took part in the April 22 Leaders Summit on Climate, where 40 world leaders were invited by the President of the United States of America to discuss global climate action.