Anguilla, Jamaica and Barbados Students Take Home Prizes at Award CeremonySep 30, 2011
Anguilla, Jamaica and Barbados Students Take Home Prizes at Award Ceremony for 2011 Wider Caribbean LBS Protocol Collage Competition
Montego Bay, 30th September, 2011.Students from Anguilla, Jamaica and Barbados went to the head of the class today, placing first, second and third in the 2011 Wider Caribbean LBS Protocol Collage Competition, organized by UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP-CEP).
The prizes were announced at an official award ceremony which took place during a 5 day Regional Expert Workshop on the Monitoring and Assessment of Marine Pollution, convened earlier this week in Montego Bay, under the Chairmanship of the Government of Jamaica through the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).
Today’s ceremony marked the culmination of a nine month campaign to raise awareness on the importance of protecting the marine environment from pollution. The end of 2010 marked the formal entry into force of the LBS Protocol concerning pollution from land-based sources. Land-based activities contribute to over 80% of the pollution of the Caribbean Sea. Building on the momentum, many other countries, including the Governments of Dominica, Grenada and Jamaica, are now actively considering ratification. To celebrate this important milestone, UNEP-CEP launched the Wider Caribbean LBS Protocol Collage Competition earlier this year, inviting youth groups from the ages of 12 to 18 to use the medium of the collage to illustrate the theme: “A Future that is Pollution Free – Join Hands to Protect our Caribbean Sea”.
Students from throughout the region worked together to come up with creative ways of visualizing the causes of marine pollution, the consequences, and most importantly, the ways to prevent this pervasive threat to the economic development and well-being of our Wider Caribbean. A total of 9 countries held local competitions throughout the course of 2011, and sent their best entries to the UNEP-CEP office to compete for the overall regional prizes of US$ 1000, $750 and $500, to be awarded to the first, second and third prize winners.
Choosing from among the vibrant illustrations of the competition’s theme was a challenge for the 3 judges: Chris Corbin, Senior Programme Officer for CEP’s Assessment and Management of Environmental Pollution (AMEP); Margaret Jones Williams, Environment and Energy Programme Advisor, United Nations Development Programme; and, Oya Tyehimba, Jamaican Artist and Educator.
However, 3 entries were soon singled out for distinction. The third place Barbados collage beckons viewers to gaze on a multitude of three dimensional examples of marine litter, and to open a secret door leading directly to serene images of sea turtles and other marine creatures floating in an unpolluted deep blue sea. The second place Jamaica entry features the familiar caped figure of the super hero, with the recycling symbol glowing in the center of his costume, as he zaps mounds of marine debris and witnesses authorities leading away polluting offenders. The judges’ first prize choice is Anguilla’s amazing three-dimensional tapestry of the marine environment, where negative images of the impacts of pollution appear side by side with cut-outs of pristine beaches, and both sides meet in the middle under a spinning wheel of people joining hands to collectively address marine pollution.
CEP sponsored one representative and one chaperone from each of the winning youth groups to attend the award ceremony in Montego Bay, to display their creations, and to tell their stories. Lending a high note to the ceremony was Jamaican Minister Horace Chang, whose portfolio includes Housing, Environment and Water, and who graciously accepted to hand out the awards and deliver a message to the winners about the value of their contribution.
Tess Cieux, Programme Officer for Communication, Education, Training and Awareness (CETA), explained why celebrating the achievements of the LBS Protocol Collage Competition winners during a technical workshop was particularly appropriate: “While experts gather to discuss the challenges and recommendations of regional monitoring and assessment programmes within the context of the LBS Protocol, it is fitting that we recognize the budding environmentalists who have eloquently responded to our call to action, and shared with us their reflections on marine pollution prevention”.
As the Programme Officer in charge of implementing CEP’s marine pollution prevention programmes throughout the Wider Caribbean, Chris Corbin emphasized the importance of organizing awareness raising activities to motivate children and young adults in the region: “As we continue to develop and implement new projects and activities to reduce and control the negative impacts of pollution in our environment, we discover that much of the pollution arises from our own attitudes, actions and behavior. We must continue to increase awareness of all sectors of society that we need to change unsustainable practices. Who best to carry that message forward but our young people?”
About UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP)
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) in 1976 under the framework of its Regional Seas Programme. It was developed taking into consideration the importance and value of the Wider Caribbean Region’s fragile and vulnerable coastal and marine ecosystems, including an abundant and mainly endemic flora and fauna.
A Caribbean Action Plan was adopted by the Countries of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) and that led to the development and adoption of the Cartagena Convention on 24 March 1983. This Convention is the first regionally binding treaty of its kind that seeks to protect and develop the marine environment of the WCR. Since its entry into force on 11 October 1986, 25 of the 30 WCR countries have become contracting parties.
The Convention is supported by three protocols:
- Protocol concerning Cooperation in combating Oil Spills, which entered into force on October 11, 1986;
- Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW), which entered into force on June 18, 2000;
- Protocol concerning Pollution from Land-based sources and activities (LBS), which entered into force on August 13, 2010.
In addition, each Protocol is served by a Regional Activity Centre. These Centres are based in Curacao (Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean, RAC/REMPEITC) for the Oil Spills Protocol; in Guadeloupe (RAC/SPAW) for the SPAW Protocol and in Cuba (Centre of Engineering and Environmental Management of Coasts and Bays) and Trinidad & Tobago (Institute of Marine Affairs), both for the LBS Protocol.
The Regional Coordinating Unit (UNEP-CAR/RCU), established in 1986, serves as the Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention and is based in Kingston, Jamaica. As they endeavour to protect the Caribbean Sea and sustain our future, we look forward to their continued effort to combat marine pollution by facilitating the implementation of the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols in the Wider Caribbean Region.