#EarthDay2017: What’s Happening in Jamaica?

Saturday, April 22 is Earth Day. The theme is Environmental and Climate Literacy – in other words, the importance of educating ourselves on these complex and wide-ranging topics. Until recently, by the way, I didn’t know the day is also called International Mother Earth Day. The Earth Day Network (Earth Day is primarily a citizen-oriented effort) is expecting around one billion humans around the world to participate for the good of the planet.

Here are a few things happening in Jamaica on or around Earth Day. We’re a bit low key, but I do feel that awareness is growing.

The Environmental Foundation of Jamaica is partnering with Panos Caribbean to host a one-hour pre-Earth Day Twitter chat. You could call it a “Teach-In.” In other words, participating organisations and individuals will be gathering as much information as possible on the environment and climate change, especially as it relates to Jamaica and the Caribbean. Join them at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow evening (Friday, April 21). @The_EFJ and @PanosCaribbean

There will be two big community cleanup events under the Jamaica Environment Trust’s new Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica campaign on Saturday:

The Port Morant Community Development Committee in St. Thomas will clean up along the main road from the Style Hut/Harbour Head round all around to the cotton tree in Port Morant. To get involved, contact Pansy Murphy at 872-1837/457-1046 email: portmorant_cdc@yahoo.com.

At the other end of the island, the Duncans Bay Citizens Association in Trelawny will be cleaning up the Jacob Taylor Beach and the Dolphin Head Beach, both adjoining the Duncans Bay Beach. For details, contact Sandra Thorpe at 385-9736.  Email: duncansbayhomeowners@gmail.com 

And let’s not forget the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation’s Green Run! Starting at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday at Rocky Point Port in Clarendon and ending at C-CAM’s Salt River Field Station. Contact C-CAM for further information! (See the flyer…You might still be able to join them although the deadline has passed).

Here’s one great activity I wanted to highlight, too – from the Breds Treasure Beach Foundation in the supercool, laid-back community of Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth. One Love One Step walk arrived in Treasure Beach on April 16. The group has been walking around the island since April 1 to raise awareness and support for Jamaica’s environment, protection of our coastlines and support for fish sanctuaries such as the one Breds manages at Galleon Bay. At Jack Sprat restaurant, the group did a flash mob with open mic with No-Maddz, Wayne J, Black Hero and dub poets.

Meanwhile, our friends in Saint Lucia (the Saint Lucia National Trust, about which I have written recently) are showing JET’s film Jamaica For Sale – a powerful documentary on the impact of tourism on the environment, made around the time of the building of vast Spanish hotels along the north coast. This is a very timely message for Saint Lucia, one feels! If you’d like to watch this film, you can find it on YouTube here. It’s still relevant.



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