In observation of International Day for Biological Diversity, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) will co-host a forum and exhibit with the theme ‘Island Biodiversity’ on Thursday, May 22, 2014 in the UDC Information Centre and the adjoining Orange Park, 12 Ocean Boulevard, downtown Kingston.
The UDC is part of a group led by the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, which also comprises the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Forestry Department, and the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), which has organized this forum.
Taking place from 10 a.m. to 12 noon the forum’s speakers will include Professor Ronald Young, Chairman, Natural History Museum of Jamaica Board; Dr. Sean Townsend, Manager, National Resources Management & Environmental Planning, UDC; and Ngozi Christian, Project Manager, National Protected Area Systems Project (NEPA). There will also be a presentation by Alessandra Khouri, Programme Officer, United Nations Environment Programme.
Additionally, the forum will have an exhibition on the island’s biodiversity by a number of environment-focused entities including the Forestry Department, NEPA, IOJ, UDC, and UNEP in Orange Park.
The theme ‘Island Biodiversity’ was chosen to coincide with the designation by the United Nations General Assembly of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States. Islands and their surrounding near-shore marine areas constitute unique ecosystems often comprising many plant and animal species that are endemic — found nowhere else on Earth. The legacies of a unique evolutionary history, these ecosystems are irreplaceable treasures. They are also key to the livelihood, economy, well-being and cultural identity of 600 million islanders – one-tenth of the world’s population.