Total Jamaica among companies supporting coastal clean-up
Diana McCaulay, Jamaica Environment Trust's (JET) chief executive officer, has hailed corporate Jamaica for its continued support of International Coastal Cleanup Day and is awaiting final reports from half of its 90 site coordinators to determine how many volunteers had turned out for the islandwide event on September 16.
McCaulay said a report deadline of Friday, October 13, should ascertain whether Jamaica reached its target of 10,000 volunteers, as well as exactly how much garbage was collected from the island's coastline last month.
"Of our more than 90 site coordinators, we have had just over a half of the reports in, saying how many volunteers showed up and how much garbage was collected," she explained.
Jamaica had the largest number of volunteers, regionally, last year - 9,200 - which put the island 11th worldwide on International Coastal Cleanup Day 2016.
Despite the inclement weather, Jamaicans again showed their commitment to protecting the environment as corporate Jamaica, schools, various organisations and civic clubs turned out in their numbers in two groups along the Palisadoes stretch, the first situated at End of Stones, near the Gunboat Beach.
At Fort Rocky, the other Palisadoes site, Total Jamaica staffers, led by managing director David Ducognon, were among the volunteers.
"It was very good to participate in this 2017 beach clean-up," said Ducognon. "As an energy company, we are committed to better energy. Our objective is to protect the environment and to reduce our carbon footprint.
"In Jamaica, we have been in a partnership with the Jamaica Environment Trust for nine years. As a Jamaican company, we want to be committed to the community in which we work and live," he added.
Participation from companies such as Total Jamaica has enthused McCaulay.
"Total is one of our large funders," she said. "We hope to continue working with Total and to get them even more on board with us.
A call for change
"We hope not just to change the minds of people who come to cleanup, but the minds of the leaders of these companies as well," McCaulay said, pointing out that the International Coastal Cleanup Day worldwide report, which is normally available towards the end of the year, had made mention of Jamaica's 11th-place finish last year.
"That report has data from all over the world. We normally release our report at the beginning of the year. she added.
McCaulay, who was also based at Fort Rocky, noted that rain, which affected the island this year on Coastal Cleanup Day, has to be taken into account when the final numbers are being crunched.
"We are hoping to top last year's 9,200 to reach our target of 10,000 volunteers, but remember it rained on International Coastal Cleanup Day, which would suppress the numbers. We saw that happening at Fort Rocky, where we were expecting 1,500 volunteers," she pointed out.