JIS News

Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding has said that poverty is a major contributing factor to environmental degradation and that any programme focused on the environment must include measures to address the needs of the poor.
The Prime Minister was delivering the keynote address on Tuesday (December 8) at the 4th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management at the Rose Hall Hotel and Spa in Montego Bay.
“Telling people not to live on gully banks cannot be the end of the sentence…because if not the gully banks where should they live? Telling people not to cut down trees to use as firewood cannot be followed by a full stop; you have to go on to tell them how they cook their food,” he stated.
“The work to harmonise the need for survival and, at the same time, to ensure that, that is synchronised in a healthy and helpful way with the need for development…is a continuing process and a continuing challenge,” he added.
According to Mr. Golding, “poverty is as much a threat to the environment as global warming and it is something that we can never remove from our agenda of concern. It’s a challenge to countries in sub-Saharan African, but it is also a challenge to Haiti and it is also a challenge to Jamaica.”
He said that the progress made by many countries towards reducing poverty by the year 2015, in keeping with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), have been significantly eroded, because of the impact of the global recession.

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