In Jamaica, Growing Awareness of the Importance of Protecting the Sea


 O. Rodger Hutchinson (JIS News) reports that Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Ronald Robinson, stated that, as climate change continues to be an increasingly topical issue, Jamaicans are becoming more aware of how the sustainability of the ocean impacts their lives, and what they must do to protect it. Dr. Robinson, who currently chairs the National Council on Coastal and Ocean Zone Management, says that, “more persons are realizing that how we care for our environment and for the ocean is very important.”

Hutchinson writes that fisher folk at the Port Henderson Fishing Beach in Portmore, agree that there have been numerous negative practices over the years that have posed challenges to their livelihood. These include the discharge of untreated waste water, garbage and other debris that destroy reefs and contaminate the ocean. They express approval of various measures taken by various institutions and the government, such as the intensification of solid waste collection activities.

Recently, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, “minister with oversight responsibility for the ocean, through the Law of the Sea, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, stated that ocean protection is critical for Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean, whose fragile ecosystems were already vulnerable to land and marine pollution and degradation. The focus on marine research further offered possibilities for scientists and institutions in developing countries to participate and benefit from marine scientific research, he said.”

Dr. Robinson also stresses that it is crucial that Jamaicans take on the protection of the island’s oceanic space and resources as a central part of their daily lives: “If that goes what else do we have? So we have a duty to future generations to protect it.”

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