The Urban Development Corporation (UDC), in partnership with the National Environmental Planning Agency (NEPA) is encouraging Jamaicans to adopt proper solid waste disposal practices, after hosting International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD) activities at Hellshire Bay Beach in St. Catherine (on September 17, 2016).
A total of 273 bags of non-recyclable garbage weighing 1812.6kg were collected at the clean-up site, while recyclable garbage amounted to 229 bags weighing 1145.1 kg. This was achieved by 1,089 volunteers from community groups, schools, government and non-governmental organizations who supported the project.
Mr. Robert Stephens, Deputy General Manager, UDC, who also volunteered, highlighted the point that “the environment is what makes Jamaica one of the most beautiful places in the world and what we are doing is we are quickly destroying it” Issuing an appeal to reverse that trend he said, “It’s time that we all get together and become united in our approach to protecting our environment.”
International Coastal Cleanup Day is an initiative of the Ocean Conservancy and is observed globally on the third Saturday in September each year, when people are exposed to their habits and how it affects their beaches. For the past five years the UDC has collaborated with NEPA in staging a cleanup at Hellshire Bay Beach which falls in the Hellshire area, a UDC designated area since 1968.
The engagement of Jamaican citizens in ICCD projects has helped to increase an understanding of how localized behaviours impact marine health. “People often do not recognize that what they do at home would end up on the beach and so it increases awareness of those habits and practices, noted Mrs. Sarah Simpson Tulloch, Director of Natural Resources Management and Environmental Planning, UDC.
The project was also supported by sponsors Wisynco, Bank of Nova Scotia, Tastee, Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), Knutsford Express, Ministry of Health, Ministry of National Security, Jamaica Biscuit Company Limited Recycling Partners of Jamaica, the Portmore Municipal Council and Jamaica Music Society (JAMMS).
In addition to the ICCD cleanup project, the UDC implements an environmental public outreach programme spanning a range of activities. These include the annual Schools Environmental Competition, targeting schools within the corporate area and St. Catherine to develop projects to help to mitigate environmental issues being faced locally.
Recognizing the importance of preserving the natural environment, while developing infrastructure, the Corporation also conducts environmental talks in schools, and partners with NEPA to stage My Croc Adventure and Friends, an environmental fair held every two years.
For further information, please contact
The Corporate Relations Department
Urban Development Corporation
12 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston Mall
September 23, 2016