Cross Keys eyes ecotourism

| July 13th, 2011 | Comments Off

The Cross Keys community, nestled in the hilly terrains of south Manchester, has many hidden treasures according to Hudlyn Pitter, public relations officer for the Cross Keys Area Development Committee. Known primarily as an agricultural community, Pitter said the area is also rich for ecotourism, and plans are now being drafted to develop the area for community tourism. “We have some heritage sites in this community, which consist of the Canoe Valley area,” Pitter discloses. “We are working with the different agencies – the Jamaica Tourist Board as well as the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica – to get this area declared as a protected area, especially the Canoe Valley region.” He said outside of a wide range of plants, the community also has the manatee on the south coast in an area called Alligator Hole, and miles of wetlands and mangroves. Reported Pitter: “We have found artefacts in some of

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Israel offers to help ease Jamaica’s energy crisis

| July 13th, 2011 | Comments Off

Moshe Sermoneta, Israel’s ambassador to Jamaica, says his country is interested in helping Jamaica solve its energy crisis. Sermoneta also said Jamaica’s agriculture and tourism could benefit from closer relations between both countries. “Israel is a country that lacks natural resources. We don’t have oil, we don’t have a lot of gas … . We have been forced to find alternative sources of energy, and solar is one of them,” Sermoneta said. He noted that many Israelis have made technological advancements in the area of renewable energy, and said Jamaica could benefit from these developments. “I think we should try bringing together this expertise with the needs of Jamaica and see how they converge,” Sermoneta said. The new ambassador was in the island last week presenting his credentials to Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. On Friday, Sermoneta said while he was not seeking to interfere in the way the Government

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Traders call for extension of clean energy concessions

| July 8th, 2011 | Comments Off

PLAYERS from the renewable energy sector have called on Government to extend the waiver allowing them to import their products tax and duty free. Failure to do so, they insist, will compromise the viability of the sector at a time when the use of clean energy sources are deemed critical to Jamaica’s efforts to help stave off the ill effects of a changing climate. “Without the waiver, it will prove impossible to create an energy sector that is environmentally sustainable with significantly increased use of economically viable renewable energy sources while fully protecting the environment and an energy sector that reflects a sustained improvement in the ways in which energy is produced,” the Jamaica Solar Energy Association (JSEA) said in a release to the media. JSEA is a non-governmental organisation comprising manufacturers, retailers, marketers and installers who serve the solar energy and renewable energy market. The association said further that

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Jamaica redoubles forest conservation efforts

| July 8th, 2011 | Comments Off

THE Forestry Department has redoubled its efforts to limit the loss of Jamaica’s forest cover at a time when the preservation of the precious natural resource is deemed critical, given the reality of a changing climate as well as its economic value. “The Forestry Department’s aim is to ensure there is minimum loss of forest cover across the island. Given that the agency only manages a third of the forested lands in Jamaica, we continue to seek to establish public/private sector partnerships to increase and maintain the present forest cover. These partnerships include our private planting programme, which invites private landowners to put idle lands to use by having them planted with trees,” said Marilyn Headley, the island’s conservator of forests, in a written response to Career & Education queries. “In addition, we also encourage private landowners who have parcels of land that are forested to declare them a forest

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Children key to safeguarding the environment

| March 12th, 2011 | Comments Off

GETTING CHILDREN to recognise and appreciate the importance of how their everyday actions can affect the environment is key to any serious effort to effect the necessary behavioural changes for safeguarding the environment. Head of the Environmental Management Unit in the Institute of Sustainable Development, UWI, Mona campus, Professor Dale Webber, on Wednesday, underscored the importance of sending the right signal to youngsters. “As we embark on environmental stewardship, it is our goal at the University of the West Indies to get the next generation involved, such that the environment becomes a natural part of what you do. It doesn’t have to be an add-on, it doesn’t have to be a subject, it should be something that you do in your day-to-day activity,” he shared with children and teachers from 13 Corporate Area schools. They were the latest addition to the cadre of 12 original schools participating in the Plastic

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Xerox meeting environmental sustainability goals — report

| March 12th, 2011 | Comments Off

XEROX Corporation released its 2010 Report on Global Citizenship which, according to chairman and CEO Ursula Burns, continued to prove “that good citizenship and good results are not only compatible, but synergistic — in good times and in challenging times”. Among other things, the report — made public on January 5 and which comes at a time when there exists concern over the impact of the use and disposal of technology tools on the environment — highlighted the company’s progress in meeting its environmental sustainability goals and climate protection. “It pointed out that, with a goal to become carbon neutral, Xerox’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were down 31 per cent between 2002 and 2009. This, the report contends, is a result of improved energy efficiency, new technologies and improved energy management practices,” said a release from the company. “At the same time, Xerox exceeded last year’s goal of delivering an

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Environment Education in Jamaica

| March 4th, 2011 | Comments Off

Jamaica has been focusing on environmental education for some time  now. Some of the milestones are:   In 1975, Jamaica became an active participant in the international debate on environmental education based on the launching of a UNESCO-UNEP International Environmental Education Programme and on the UNESCO-UNEP Inter-Governmental Conference on Environmental Education. Jamaican educators were among the authors of a UNESCO- UNEP IEEP (International Environmental Education Programme) series of curriculum guides.   In 1980, 1983, 1987 and 1988, Jamaica participated in Caribbean  regional activity on environmental education. A national training workshop on environmental education was held by the Jamaica Ministry of  Education and UNESCO in 1981.   In 1989, the Caribbean Journal  of Education of the UWI Faculty of Education published a double issue of  its journal devoted to environmental education.   In 1991, the Natural Resources  Conservation Authority was formed, whose mandate includes the promotion  of “public awareness of the

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Jamaica – Environment Data

| March 4th, 2011 | Comments Off

Among the government agencies charged with environmental responsibilities are the Ministry of Health and Environmental Control, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Natural Resources Conservation Authority. The major environmental problems involve water quality and waste disposal. Jamaica has 9.4 cu km of renewable water resources with 77% used for agriculture and 7% used for industrial purposes. About 85% of the people living in rural areas and 98% of the city dwellers have access to pure drinking water. Coastal waters have been polluted by sewage, oil spills, and industrial wastes. Another major source of water pollution has been the mining of bauxite, which has contaminated the ground water with red-mud waste. Another environmental problem for Jamaica is land erosion and deforestation. Forest and woodland decreased 7% annually between 1990 and 1995. Jamaica’s coral reefs have also been damaged. The nation’s cities produce over 0.3 million tons of solid waste per year.

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Architectural Point

| March 3rd, 2011 | No Comments »

Architectural Point – Green build design and construction with distribution of eco-build systems. contact – c.ward@architecturalpoint.com

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Webinar series on sustainable environmental design

| March 2nd, 2011 | No Comments »

THE Canadian Trade Commission in Jamaica has facilitated the presentation of a webinar series designed to encourage national development and reduce the island’s oil bill through a new approach to planning, designing and developing sustainable communities with the application of environmental design. The launch of the webinar series was hosted at the High Commission of Canada in Kingston by HE Stephen Hallihan, high commissioner to Jamaica. One of the two webinars took place on Wednesday, but another will take place on Tuesday and will look at issues of sustainable community design, which balances the three pillars of sustainability, society, ecology and the economy. The series is developed by the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Jamaica Institute of Architects (JIA). Fabian Stewart, trade commissioner at the High Commission of Canada, explained that all stakeholders, including the society, business and the government must play a part in ensuring the sustainability

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