KINGSTON, Jamaica - Meteorological (Met) Service of Jamaica has launched a poster competition to mark this year’s observance of World Meteorological Day, which is commemorated annually on March 23.
The competition is based on this year’s theme – ‘The Future of Weather, Climate, and Water Across Generations’.
Head of the Met Service’s Climate Branch, Jackie Spence-Hemmings said the competition will target primary and secondary students.
“They will be asked to create posters, and we will be judging this competition for Child Month, in May,” she said.
The poster designs will be judged based on the students’ interpretation of the theme. They will also have the opportunity to interpret the theme in the form of skits.
Spence-Hemmings pointed out that while the competition is targeting both cohorts, it is only for students in grades one to four at the primary level.
“We are dealing with the students who are not involved in the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) [exams], as we do not want to interrupt them,” she said.
Four schools were selected for the competition’s launch. These are Mount Liberty Primary, Lawrence Tavern Primary, Excelsior High School, and Calabar Primary.
An official letter detailing the competition and outlining the rules and requirements will be sent to the other schools.
Application forms will also be sent, which are to be completed and submitted to the Met Service at 65¾ Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10.
MET Service’s Principal Director, Evan Thompson, noted that “we want to ensure that our generations continue to get the kind of information about weather, climate and water that they need; so we are going out to a number of schools across Jamaica”.
“We actually decided that [for the launch] we want to make sure that we have an impact on all of our counties. So we looked at Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey and we identified a couple of schools that we would take our staff to, so that we could share with the students what weather, climate and water [are] all about and how they are important to sustaining life on the planet,” he explained.
Regarding this year’s theme, Thompson explained that “we recognise that we need to ensure that we think about the future when we are talking about our weather and climate concerns”.
“As you know, climate changes are what we have referred to as an existential threat. It threatens whether we survive on this planet or whether the planet survives. So it’s important that we consider the weather and climate and, of course, the sustainability of water resources as we look to the future,” he added.
Meanwhile, Thompson said March 23 is also acknowledged as the day the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was established in 1950.
The WMO evolved from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO). Jamaica became a WMO member in 1963.
“On this 23rd day of March, the WMO Convention was signed; so, we want to celebrate all of that as we think about the future. But, also, we’re focusing on what went on through the generations. It has started a long time ago, it’s continuing today, and we have to think about what will come,” Thompson further stated.
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