Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas and the Cayman Islands

EU Delegation and Canadian High Commission Show Commitment to Prevention of Marine Litter

09/10/2019 - 22:57
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Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Jamaica, Malgorzata Wasilewska along with Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Her Excellency Laurie Peters led a joint EU/Canada team and other volunteers in clean-up activities at the Port Royal Beach at Foreshore Road on October 5.

The event was part of global efforts to raise awareness about the need to reduce and avoid plastic pollution and marine litter.

Ambassador Wasilewska said the EU's participation in this global initiative is a recognition and demonstration of its commitment to taking urgent action to reduce the threat of disasters associated with climate change.

"Climate change poses a threat to the well-being of all of us, especially the most vulnerable. It is therefore a struggle that requires global action and the full support of all sectors of society working together. We cannot fail in our responsibility to do all we can to protect and preserve the environment for today's and future generations," she said.

This is the second year that the European Union in Jamaica and the Canadian High Commission are collaborating to host a beach clean-up in observance of International Coastal Clean-up Day.

High Commissioner Peters said she was pleased with the partnership. "The Canadian High Commission and our Environment Committee recognises the importance of doing our small parts, as guests, to support the local environment. We were therefore pleased to join hands with the EU on this beach clean-up as a reflection of our shared concern."

Participants included members of staff of the EU Delegation, the Canadian High Commission and their family and friends, students and teachers of the St Hugh's Preparatory School's Environmental Club and other Jamaicans concerned about environmental protection. Together they collected close to 600 pounds of litter.

 Besides the beach clean-up activity, the EU Delegation is engaged in other environmental actions. These include support to Jamaica's forest sector, including reforestation efforts. In this regard, the EU is supporting the Forestry Department to reform the forest legislation, provide alternative revenue sources to those who depend on the forests for a livelihood, plant over 300,000 trees with special emphasis on native species, update data on Jamaica's mangroves and the amount of carbon stored in the forests and raise awareness about forestry and climate change in all schools in the forest dependent areas.

The EU also participated in the National Tree Planting Day 2019 ceremony, which saw some 100 seedlings being planted on the grounds of Jamaica House, where the office of the Prime Minister is located. A climate-themed short-film competition for youth 15-25 year-olds is now underway, aimed at giving young people a platform to raise their voices in defence of the environment and to offer solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.

 

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