THREE international observances relating to the environment occur this week — International Day of Forests (tomorrow, March 21), World Water Day (Friday, March 22) and World Meteorological Day (Saturday, March 23).
To commemorate them, local bodies dedicated to the preservation of the natural environment will stage a range of activities, some of which are listed below:
The department, which is in its 75th year, will tomorrow host a public forum to discuss the importance of forests to the environment, their impact over the last 75 years, as well as the current status and future of the resource. Specific areas of discussion will be water, climate change and the famed tropical rainforest in Trelawny — Cockpit Country. The event takes place at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel starting at 4:00pm.
Jamaica Environment Trust (JET)
JET will open nominations for its fourth annual Jamaica Environmental Action Awards (JEAA) on Friday. Awardees will have demonstrated innovative and effective efforts aimed at protecting and preserving Jamaica's natural environment, including water conservation. The JEAAs also award outstanding achievements in energy conservation, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity conservation, environmental awareness in schools and communities, youth environmental leadership, tree planting, among other environmentally themed categories. Nominations are open to individuals and groups from both the private and public sector.
Ministry of Land, Water, Environment, and Climate Change
The ministry and all its agencies — Rural Water Supply Ltd, National Water Commission, National Land Agency, Real Estate Board, Water Resources Authority, National and Environment Planning Agency, and the Meterological Service of Jamaica — will host a two-day exposition starting Friday, March 22, at Devon House under the theme 'Partnering for Sustainable Development'.
The featured activities for Friday will be discussion forums, and an award ceremony for the ministry's climate change poster competition. On Saturday, a concert with Voices for Climate Change will cap the proceedings.
National Environment and Planning Agency
Outside of the expo at Devon House, NEPA will be planting trees in three parishes — Portland, St Ann and Westmoreland — and will be hosting environmental awareness sessions at several schools, including Fruitful Vale All-Age in Portland.
National Water Commission
In addition to the two-day expo, the commission will open some of its facilities across the country to allow students in particular to tour them with a view to learning about the importance of water supply services.
Jamaica Conservation Development Trust
The Trust will stage a World Water Day Lapathon at the Mona Reservoir on Saturday, starting at 6:00 am.