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Story Highlights

  • Persons are invited to tune in to the Facebook pages of the Ministry, NEPA and the Forestry Department at 12:30 p.m. on each day to participate in the sessions.
  • Director of Natural Resources in the Ministry’s Environment and Risk Management Branch, Joni Jackson, told JIS News that the exhibit is open to artists, students or anyone that is artistically inclined.
  • Meanwhile, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Department and Conservator of Forests, Rainee Oliphant, said that the entity is looking at contributing a special publication of ‘Forest News’, which focuses on forests and biodiversity.

The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation is spearheading the week-long commemoration of International Day for Biological Diversity from May 18 to 22 under the theme, ‘Our Solutions are in Nature’.

A series of activities have been organised in partnership with agencies under the Ministry such as the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the Forestry Department, while engaging entities such as the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT) and civil society groups.

“We kick off the week on May 18 with lunch-hour sessions up to the 21st. For each of these days, we will have a session highlighting a national project that is related to biological resources,” Acting Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Gillian Guthrie, told JIS News.

Persons are invited to tune in to the Facebook pages of the Ministry, NEPA and the Forestry Department at 12:30 p.m. on each day to participate in the sessions.

On International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22, a panel discussion will be held, involving representatives from various sectors.

“We will have representatives speaking on the theme from the agricultural, health, marine and coastal resources and tourism sectors,” Ms. Guthrie noted.

Some of the projects to be highlighted include the Integrated Management Project of the Yallahs Hope Watershed Area; Invasive Fern Removal and Native Plant Restoration; a National Approach to Forests as a Solution; and Solutions for the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park and World Heritage Sites.

Members of the public can tune in to the discussion via the Ministry, NEPA and the Forestry Department’s Facebook pages.

The week’s activities will also include a virtual art exhibition under the theme ‘Build Back Better with Nature’.

Director of Natural Resources in the Ministry’s Environment and Risk Management Branch, Joni Jackson, told JIS News that the exhibit is open to artists, students or anyone that is artistically inclined.

“They are invited to create art or if they have existing art that fits in with our theme, to upload those to their social media accounts, whether Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, tag the Ministry and its agencies in the posts and include the hashtags that we will be using,” she said.

The official hashtags are #BiodiversityDayJA, #BiodiversityJA, #BiodiversityIsLifeJA and #SolutionsInNature.

“We want to see art that represents our own biodiversity in Jamaica from Jamaican artists. We will be posting some of these images received during the week on our web page on the 22nd,” Ms. Jackson said.

During the week, NEPA and the Forestry Department will undertake activities to engage students.

NEPA’s Manager of Public Education and Corporate Communication, Ollyvia Anderson, told JIS News that webinars will be facilitated with students from Glenmuir High School and St. Joseph’s Teachers’ College, highlighting the importance of pimento, bitter wood and coral reefs.

“We are also using our staff as ambassadors, so we want to provide them with information about the importance and benefits of these to help them articulate to persons how important it is to preserve and conserve these three [resource] areas,” she told JIS News.

Meanwhile, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Department and Conservator of Forests, Rainee Oliphant, said that the entity is looking at contributing a special publication of ‘Forest News’, which focuses on forests and biodiversity.

“This will be made available to members of the public so they can have a greater appreciation of our forests,” she added.

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