Monday 23 November, 2020

Jamaicans encouraged to protect country’s biodiversity

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, is calling on Jamaicans to protect the country’s biodiversity, to build long-term environmental sustainability.

“For us here in Jamaica and other small island developing states, effective action may be as simple as planting a tree, recycling our waste, conserving our water, properly disposing of our garbage, eliminating the use of plastic packaging and other materials that are harmful to wildlife and their habitats,” the minister said, in a virtual panel discussion on International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22.

“The measures that we take today will go a long way towards helping our environment and building long-term sustainability,” he added.

The day is being observed under the theme ‘our solutions are in nature’, and the panellists were drawn from agencies within the ministry, and from the ministry of tourism, academia and the private sector.

Citing the latest World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report, the minister, who has responsibility for the environment, pointed out that the top-five environmental risks likely to occur in the next decade are extreme weather events, the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation, natural disasters, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, and human-made environmental damage and disasters.

“Given all of these risks, there is no doubt that our present and future health and well-being are linked to the health of our natural environment. But can nature indeed hold the solutions to some of these challenges that we face? The answer is yes. More and more persons are turning to nature-based solutions in everyday life,” Minister Vaz said.

The use of solar panels, rainwater harvesting technology, green walls or roofs are some popular international responses to sustainable environmental management, which require significant time and investment. Jamaica has incorporated some of these technologies in its climate action, along with others.

“Measures being taken by Government include the recent submission of the sixth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity. We have made significant progress in relation to sub-targets, including increasing the establishment, under law, of marine and terrestrial protected areas. As we celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity, let us pledge to do all we can to preserve our biodiversity and to embrace the solutions that nature has to offer us as we rebuild our economy and our country,” Vaz said.

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