SPEAKING NOTES – DESMOND YOUNG, ACTING GENERAL MANAGER (URBAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION)
I am happy to be here in Hellshire today for the corporation’s 6th annual Hellshire Enviro Fair.
How many of the young people here understand the importance of a clean, fresh and green environment?
Without a healthy environment people and animals will get sick, our rivers polluted and the temperature will only get hotter. You are already experiencing the heat and summer has not yet arrived.
We all have a responsibility therefore to ensure that we plant trees, refrain from throwing garbage into gullies, drains and rivers.
The fact that the corporation continues to implement this fair, shows that the UDC is serious about the preservation and conservation of the environment.
Our commitment is serious to the extent that we have implemented a natural resources management and environmental planning department (NRMEP) dedicated to the affairs of the environment. This Enviro Fair, is one of the public education activities organized by this department to encourage environmental awareness.
Did you know that the UDC frequently monitors the natural resources, which include wetlands, forests, caves, coral reefs, coastal water, fishery, marine turtles, crocodiles, iguanas cultural resources and recreational areas right here in Hellshire?.
In fact our security team sometimes goes out and captures crocodiles, releasing them in an environment where they are no threat to humans or themselves. One such rescue mission was carried out recently in Riverton in Kingston where the largest known female crocodile measuring 12.5 feet was captured by our brave team. Would you like to be a part of that team one day? We certainly will welcome your application!
Two Sisters Caves, the location selected for this event is one of those natural resources that the corporation continues to preserve. It is believed that the historic caves were used by the tainos mainly for ceremonial purposes. A visit to the caves actually reveals a petroglyph carving of an adult face, which is over seven hundred years old.
We also like to keep the public and especially you our young people informed about the environment. That is why we are here today. Our first Enviro Fair was held at green grotto caves and attractions during October 2006. A similar fair was held during May 2007, in Hellshire. The first Hellshire Enviro Fair was a resounding success and this led to the inclusion of the event on the UDC calendar. Following on this success the UDC introduced the environmental competition amongst schools in St. Catherine and Kingston. Some of you whom are here today, participated in this competition.
The Enviro Fair is held in celebration of international day for biological diversity, which is celebrated on May 22nd annually. Do you know the theme for this year? It is “Marine Biodiversity”.
Now for the exciting part. Do you want to know who is the winner of the Hellshire schools enviro competiton? Will it be your school? Our 2012 Hellshire schools enviro competition winners will be awarded this morning.
This year 19 schools participated in the competition which was carried out between September 2011 and May 2012. Students were required to implement environmental projects, guided by their teachers. The projects this year focused on recycling, assessing the effects of soil erosion, garbage disposal, pollution reduction and prevention of rat infestation.
Last year, an infant category was added to the competition
I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate this year’s winners in advance.
In closing, we are impressed with this year’s turnout and are confident that the Hellshire Enviro Fair will continue to grow from strength to strength.
Remember that you have a big role to play in helping to preserve the environment and this starts with keeping your home, school and communities clean. Become an environmental police today !
Remember also to take time out to visit the historic cave, and view the exhibits. Empower and enjoy yourselves today and we do look forward to your continued support as we fulfil our mandate to make development happen.