Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Research coming on why Jamaicans pollute

Published:Thursday | July 21, 2016 | 7:00 AM
Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica brand ambassadors Bella Blair (left) and Dutty Berry (far right) and their team were on hand at JET's Fort Rocky cleanup to promote the campaign last year.

THE Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) is set to share research that provides insight into why Jamaicans pollute the environment - together with details on how the findings are to be used - next week.

The research, which focused on dumping at Montego Bay's South Gully, was undertaken in the last year and comprised a sample of more than 100 community residents, businesses and government entities from the western resort city.

"The findings are really interesting. We ourselves, while conducting the research, have learnt so much on attitudes towards waste and why people are doing what they are doing. There were things we haven?t previously considered," said Deputy CEO of JET Suzanne Stanley.

"Also, there were some things we had in the back of our minds, but it is one thing to have it in the back of your mind and then conducting a focus group or doing an interview and have people [actually] tell you why they are dumping garbage in the gully," she added.

The findings are to be presented officially next Wednesday at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, when International Coastal Cleanup Day 2016 is also to be launched.

The research forms a part of JET's Clean Coast project, which kicked off in 2014 with $34.5 million from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

Achievements under that first phase of the project included the 'Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica' campaign and marine conservation-themed field trips that have benefitted close to 600 students from secondary schools in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril.

A number of under-water sites in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril - all tourist resort areas - also received cleanups between 2014 and 2015.

Phase two of the project was launched in July 2015 with an additional $60 million from the TEF.

In addition to continuing the work under phase one of the project, phase two includes national coordination of International Coastal Cleanup Day by JET; seminars that target tourism and entertainment interests; and targeted Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica/Clean Coasts campaign in one urban and one rural area.

This is in addition to the research done on South Gully in the western resort town.

"[The Clean Coast project aims] to build public awareness and encourage personal responsibility and behaviour change with regards to how individuals handle waste and also to come up with real solutions to reduce the amount of garbage that gets to our coasts," Stanley revealed.

One element of that is the research recently done.

JET is now awaiting the decision on a third phase of the project, following the end of phase two this month.

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