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World Environment Day: Play your part to help, Pickersgill urges

Thursday, June 05, 2014 | 8:12 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- On the observance of World Environment Day today, June 5, environment minister Robert Pickersgill is encouraging Jamaicans, from the man on the street to private sector entities, to do more to help the country adapt to the effects of a changing climate.

“I urge you to play your part today by helping to reduce climate change by planting trees and protecting our forests; organise clean-up campaigns, and recycling drives because every action counts.

“According to UNEP, when multiplied by a global chorus, our individual voices and actions become exponential in their impact,” Pickersgill said in a statement issued yesterday.

The statement was prepared for National Environment Awareness Week, observed from June 1 to June 7.

“We can help to reduce the impact of climate change by switching to alternate energy sources such as wind and solar, manage our waste properly and plant more trees, which help to remove the greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” the minister continued.

“Therefore, I call upon all Jamaicans, in line with a popular song, 'Rise up, stand and take your place, shine like the sun, your journey has just begun…'. Our journey as it relates to climate change will be long and hard as we adapt to the changing climate, we must seek to realise the opportunities that will present themselves. In this regard, government is required to put a robust policy and legislative framework in place that will assist the country to respond to a changing climate.

"All citizens will be required to play their part in responding to the challenges of climate change, therefore we call upon the private sector to increase their investment in green technologies and processes which are environmentally friendly and will allow for decreases in our greenhouse gas emissions; we call upon the man in the street to do his part by conserving on energy where you live, work and play,” he said.

The theme for World Environment Day, an initiative of the United Nations, is 'Raise your voice, not the sea level' to bring awareness to climate change and Small Island Developing States which are particularly vulnerable to its effects.

The UN is encouraging people to get involved by powering down, reducing their footprint, going greener and purging plastics.

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