JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaicans are again being urged to practise greater water conservation and efficiency measures by recycling the commodity wherever possible.
  • Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill stressed that Jamaicans must explore alternative means of collecting and storing water, such as rain water harvesting.
  • Minister Pickersgill said it is even more imperative to conserve, given the potential impact of climate change on the country’s water resources.

Jamaicans are again being urged to practise greater water conservation and efficiency measures by recycling the commodity wherever possible.

The call came from Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, as he addressed the inaugural Youth Climate Change Conference on Friday, September 19, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

He stressed that Jamaicans must explore alternative means of collecting and storing water, such as rain water harvesting.

Minister Pickersgill said it is even more imperative to conserve, given the potential impact of climate change on the country’s water resources, including intense and extreme weather conditions such as drought, flooding and hurricanes.

He said that projections are for reductions in rainfall especially by the end of the century. “As such, there is no guarantee that the rainfall we receive during our wet months will be enough to fill our water systems. We will therefore need to take even greater care of our fragile water resources, and it needs to start with all of us,” he said.

The Minister pointed out that while the country has ample water resources, demand is growing at an “alarming rate”, noting that in addition to domestic consumption, every sector demands and utilizes water including commercial establishments, agriculture, industries, and recreational activities.

“At the rate of population growth and development, if we are not careful to manage what we have, our supplies could easily be exhausted,” he said.

In the meantime, Minister Pickersgill noted that Jamaica has been at the forefront of the regional lobby, in a number of international forums, in the effort to persuade developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change.

“While the lobby continues however, there is much more that needs to be done to educate and inform Jamaicans that climate change is a very real issue, and one that requires our urgent attention,” he stated.

The Minister welcomed the staging of the conference, noting that it provides young people with “an excellent opportunity to learn all you can about climate change and how you can assist in helping Jamaica to adapt to, and mitigate against its impacts.”

He noted that the Ministry is seeking to engage the youth as it works to increase climate changes awareness across Jamaica. He made mention of the logo competition for students that was recently launched by the Climate Change Division in the Ministry.

It is open to all students in secondary and tertiary institutions. Persons can visit the Ministry’s website at www.mwlecc.gov.jm for further details.

The Youth Climate Change conference, themed: ‘One Climate, One Future…Empowering Youth for Action’, was staged by the Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change (Ja REEACH) project.

Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the project is aimed at protecting lives, livelihoods and ecosystems in targeted Jamaican communities affected by climate change.