Mon | Apr 24, 2017

Jamaicans to walk for the climate

Published:Friday | June 19, 2015 | 6:00 AMPetre Williams-Raynor
Eleanor Jones, managing director of Environmental Solutions Limited (ESL), and Jeffrey Spooner, head of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, at the April 22 anniversary celebrations for ESL.

In a few months, Jamaicans will have the opportunity to act in the interest of the climate, thanks to the efforts of a local firm seeking to put its own stamp on the island's climate change-response efforts.

Environmental Solutions Limited (ESL) - an environmental consultancy firm established in 1991 - is to stage the island's first climate walk on October 24, which is celebrated globally as International Day of Climate Action.

According to the concept document provided by ESL to The Gleaner, the walk is to take place in bands, each reflecting themes that impact health and wellness. These themes include water, food, energy, and waste management.

"Members of each band will be asked to represent the theme as best as possible with costumes, banners or just T-shirts with messages. Corporate groups will be encouraged to sponsor different bands and encourage staff members to participate," the ESL document said.

Plans are well under way for the walk, which will begin at Emancipation Park. Walkers will make their way along Knutsford Boulevard, Trafalgar Road, Hope Road, Half-Way Tree Road, then turn on to Oxford Road to end at Emancipation Park.

 

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

 

"Contact has been made with several organisations and we have received initial commitments. Several divisions of the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change are fully supportive, and the Ministry of Health has expressed its interest," ESL said.

"Running Events is fully on board with logistics and related arrangements. Other private-sector entities have endorsed the initiative and committed their support," the concept document noted.

According to ESL, it is critical that as many people as possible get involved, given all there is to be gained.

"Companies or organisations will be recognised as taking a leading role in environmental and climate-change issues. Your health and the health of your children will benefit," the consultancy firm noted.

"Your livelihood will benefit as you maintain good health. Our economy will benefit as there will be fewer lost days and lost income from lack of productivity. You will assist children in vulnerable communities to have sustained water supply during periods of shortage," they added.

According to ESL, proceeds from the walk, which is being undertaken under the theme 'Let's Do Something, Walk for Health, Stand for Earth', will go to a worthy cause.

"The fee would be $1,000 per person. The primary purpose is not to earn money, but any surplus generated will be donated to augment water supply in selected schools in vulnerable communities, given the reported increased incidence of gastroenteritis during periods of water shortage," the concept note said.

Climate change causes rising sea levels and the associated risk to coastal life, infrastructure and livelihood. There is, too, the risk of more extreme weather events, including hurricanes and droughts, as well as rising temperatures - all of which could jeopardise food and water security.

The climate walk forms part of ESL's 25th anniversary celebrations, launched on April 22, at the Hope Zoo Serengeti Restaurant.

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