JIS News

A major initiative, involving the Government and a number of agencies, is being pursued to save the Negril beach at the western tip of Jamaica, Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, has revealed.
Mr. Bartlett says that the initiative is aimed at the sustainable re-establishment of the world famous seven-mile stretch of beach.
“I am very pleased to tell you that both the Office of the Prime Minister, through Minister Vaz, on the developmental side and the environmental side, and ourselves (Ministry of Tourism), are at one in an initiative to deal with the issue of the beach enrichment programme,” he said.
He said that the project would involve looking at the reef issues and determining how it can be restored and, more importantly, to develop a programme to re-establish the beach and make it sustainable.
The Tourism Minister was addressing a luncheon with members of the Negril Chamber of Commerce and tourism stakeholders, at the Sandals Negril Hotel, on Thursday (December 10), following a tour of tourism facilities in Negril as part of his Tourism week activities.
He pointed out that discussions have been held towards the implementation of the project, both locally and internationally.
“Only a few weeks ago I was in Kazakhstan with the director general in my office, and we put forward a programme on the Negril Beach enrichment to the World Tourism Organization (WTO) for consideration, Mr. Bartlett stated.
He said that the proposal entailed a new study to determine what is to be done. The study and the beach enrichment programme is estimated to cost approximately US$30 .5 million.
He mentioned that the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) will have a part to play in the programme, as there is a determination that Negril must be restored to pristine form.
He stated that tourism stakeholders, and other residents of Negril, have a major role to play in the process.
A 100 percent connection to a central sewage disposal system, proper management of water sports activities and other elements which disturb the ecosystem in the area, the control of how buildings are constructed along the beach front and a pro-active environmental awareness on the part of the residents are key issues in the whole sustainable re-establishment programme, the Minister said.

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