JIS News

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government welcomes the opportunity provided to Jamaican students for marine and scientific research aboard the Norwegian vessel ‘Statsraad Lehmkuhl’.

“Jamaica is grateful that you have given the opportunity to some of our student scientists to participate in this very important exercise and the effect of that on our research community will be great,” Mr. Holness said, during a tour of the ship on Wednesday (November 17), which is docked at Port Royal in Kingston.

The training vessel arrived in the island on Saturday (November 13), on the English-speaking Caribbean leg of its historic 55,000-mile ‘One Ocean Expedition’ (2021-2023).

The world voyage, which began in August 2021, is organised by the University of Bergen and is recognised as part of the United Nations (UN) Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

The expedition aims to create awareness and share knowledge about the positive impact that the protection of the ocean can have on mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and ensuring a sustainable future.

Two postgraduate researchers from Mona Campus are on board for the research expedition.

The five-day port stop in Kingston resulted from the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) collaboration with the University of Bergen.

Both institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support research collaboration, online courses, training workshops, faculty and student exchanges, and knowledge sharing on key topics such as climate change, biodiversity, fisheries, pollution, and ocean acidification.

During the visit to Jamaica, the floating academy also hosted students, teachers and researchers, representatives of scientific and development institutions, high-level meetings, and public education events.

The Prime Minister said he is delighted that Norway, along with the University of Bergen, are “leading the way” in creating awareness about the importance of the oceans.

“Your mission could be considered as a critical mission for the sustainability of our oceans. We need far more knowledge of the oceans than we currently [have], and we need to have even greater surveillance to measure and analyse changes in our oceans, and this ship is a critical instrument in that mission,” he noted.

Mr. Holness said that giving Jamaican students the opportunity to tour the ship and “seeing up close what they might have read about in books will open the minds, so we are grateful for this opportunity”.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Professor Gordon Shirley, told reporters that as the ship travels across the globe, and studies the marine environment, it is able to “extract from that data ways in which the ocean can be managed in a more environmentally-sustainable way”.

He said that the Jamaican university students who are involved in the process are gaining valuable skills and experience, noting that the scores of high-school students from across the island who visit the ship are learning about marine life.

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