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KINGSTON, Jamaica; September 19, 2016: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett joined thousands of volunteers, who participated in this year’s staging of International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day, at 140 sites across the island on Saturday September 17, 2016.
The initiative, which is coordinated across the world by the Ocean Conservancy in Texas, is an exercise aimed at building global environmental awareness. It is organized locally by the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) with much support from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), who has been the primary donor for the event since 2008.
“ICC is a significant day globally that should signal that we are in breach of our stewardship. It should take us to another dimension of our own responsibility, to guard and protect this heritage, which is the basis of our own survival as a people. So, we in tourism have taken a very proactive role in this regard, and we feel very strongly about the need to protect and preserve the environment, for the continued existence and growth of the country’s tourism product,” stated Minister Bartlett.
“We have been spending a lot on taking care of our environment. Within the last five years over a billion dollars has been invested in marine and coastal projects as a part of the sustainability mandate that we have. In the case of ICC, we have spent $94.5 million already and we are going to continue the programme with them in this context with the wider Spruce Up Jamaica Programme that we are going to be launching shortly,” said Minister Bartlett.
International Coastal Cleanup is a fraction of the Ministry of Tourism’s partnership with JET through the Tourism Enhancement Fund, to protect the environment. In 2014, the Ministry expanded its commitment with a Clean Coasts Project, which received J$34.5 million and another J$60 million in 2015 in funding from the TEF. The project includes environmental education for adults and children along with practical strategies for tackling poor solid waste management and marine debris in Jamaica.