FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jamaica Scotiabank Mobilizes Labour Day Volunteers for Coastal Clean-Up
Jamaica Scotiabank Mobilizes Labour Day Volunteers for Coastal Clean-Up
Kingston, 23rd May, 2011: Building on the success of their coastal clean up of March 5th, Scotiabank today launched the second phase of their three part campaign to draw attention to the importance of preventing marine pollution.
Scotiabank, Jamaica, a subsidiary of the Bank of Nova Scotia, has operated in Jamaica since 1889, and has contributed more than J$297.8 million to the education and health sectors in Jamaica through its Scotia Foundation. Today’s clean-up day is the second in a series of three activities which focus on the “greening” of Jamaica’s coastline. The campaign culminates on September 17th -- International Coastal Clean up Day.
Mobilizing Labour Day volunteers at four different sites on the island (Port Royal, Gallion Beach, Port Maria and Sav-laMar), Scotiabank joined with UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP-CEP) and other partners to once again tackle the collection of garbage clogging up Jamaica’s beautiful mangroves, littering its picturesque beaches and polluting the Caribbean Sea.
Representatives from UNEP-CEP were on hand to coordinate the volunteers, who were instructed not just to clean up, but to record every item they found on standardized data cards. Once the results of the Labour Day clean up have been finalized, they will be compared to the previous figures. The top three items tallied from the March 5th clean up at Port Royal, were: styrofoam, with over 6,000 pieces; plastic bottles, with over 5,800 pieces; and plastic bags, with over 2,000 pieces. This ranking represents a miniature snap shot of the top five polluters in world wide statistics, which include plastic bags in second place, styrofoam pieces in third place and plastic bottles in fifth place globally.
UNEP-CEP’s own educational campaign to raise awareness on the importance of preventing marine pollution from land-based sources has taken the form of a Collage Competition, inviting children’s 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 Caribbbean Sea”. The competition deadline is June 30th, with national winners from each of the 28 countries of the Wider Caribbean including Jamaica competing for the regional title and cash prizes. Jamaica’s national competition is being coordinated by the Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) Programme of the Ministry of Education.
Commenting on Scotiabank’s coastal clean-up campaign, Tess Cieux, UNEP-CEP’s Communication Officer explained: “UNEP-CEP welcomes Scotiabank’s leadership by example, and is proud to partner with Scotiabank in engaging governments, civil society, other private sector entities and the general public to work together on practical solutions to address marine litter and other sources of pollution which threaten the development of Caribbean countries.”
For further information, please contact:
Communication, Education, Training and Awareness (CETA)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Caribbean Regional Coordinating Unit (CAR/RCU)
Tel: (876) 922-9267 Fax: (876) 922-9292
UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP)
Recognizing 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, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) in 1976 under the framework of its Regional Seas Programme.
A Caribbean Action Plan was adopted by the Countries of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR), which 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 28 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, which entered into force on August 13th 2010.
The Convention’s Protocol concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and activities (LBS Protocol), consists of obligations to reduce the negative environmental and human health impacts of land-based pollution, and provides an ideal framework for combating marine litter. Although not yet a contracting party to the LBS Protocol, the Government of Jamaica has already begun a process that should lead to their ratification of this legal instrument. This would allow them to benefit from improved access to funding and increased technical support in addressing land-based sources of pollution including marine litter.
Each Protocol is served by a Regional Activity Centre. These Centers 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.
Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With more than 70,000 employees, Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve some 18.6 million customers in more than 50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With assets above $526 billion (as at October 31, 2010), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.
Protect the Environment Trust
Protect the Environment Trust (PET) is a non-governmental organization with a focus on offering a means for Jamaicans to properly dispose of all plastic waste material.
PET’s activities include an educational programme designed to inform and sensitize the public about the negative impact of carelessly discarded plastic on land, in the gullies, at sea, as well as the detrimental effects of burning plastic on the human body and the environment at large.
In order to do this, PET partners with representatives from schools, communities, businesses, Government offices and even event promoters desirous of implementing a plastic recovery and recycling programme in their respective areas of influence.
PET provides the necessary tools to launch the programme, thereby empowering these entities to successfully dispose of plastic in the most environmentally -friendly way while ensuring that it is collected, processed and channeled for recycling.