JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Young people are being urged to participate in the Youth Environmental Advocacy Programme (YEAP) in order to help influence national environmental policies, plans and programmes.
  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, made the call during the launch of the initiative at the Holy Childhood High School, St. Andrew, on June 30.
  • YEAP, a programme of the Ministry, aims to raise awareness and understanding among Jamaica’s youth about the importance of the environment.

Young people are being urged to participate in the Youth Environmental Advocacy Programme (YEAP) in order to help influence national environmental policies, plans and programmes.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, made the call during the launch of the initiative at the Holy Childhood High School, St. Andrew, on June 30.

YEAP, a programme of the Ministry, aims to raise awareness and understanding among Jamaica’s youth about the importance of the environment.

It also seeks to promote their commitment to the principles of environmental conservation and protection.

The programme’s launch is in keeping with the Rio+20 Declaration, which highlights the need for the youth to be more involved in creating the future they desire.

The initiative is targeted at high-school students, ages 11 to 19, as the Ministry feels this age cohort will be the next generation to influence change.

Mr. Vaz said that YEAP will allow for discussion between public-sector officers and the youth on environmental matters that are of concern to all Jamaicans.

He said it is the direct interaction with public-sector officers in ministries, departments and agencies who work on national policies related to the environment that makes YEAP different from other environmental programmes.

Mr. Vaz commended the various non-governmental organisations, including the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), with its School Environment Programme, for the continued efforts to raise the consciousness of the youth on environmental matters.

Meanwhile, Senior Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Paul Ashley, hailed the launch of YEAP.

Mr. Ashley, who was representing Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said it is a good idea to target the youth and to make them advocates of the environment.  “Protection and care of the environment is everybody’s business,” he said.

Director of the Environment Management and Conservation Division at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Anthony McKenzie, also welcomed the initiative, noting that young people have a critical role to play in the protection of the environment.

He said NEPA is fully committed to supporting the programme.