Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Earth Today | ESL looks to ‘build forward better’

Published:Thursday | April 22, 2021 | 12:12 AM

WITH THE COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals and businesses have been put on pause or forced to slow down while nature, in some places around the world, has flourished. Indeed, for the first time in a long time, some people have seen blue skies and smelled fresh air.

Now as Jamaica joins the world in celebrating Earth Day today, April 22, under the theme ‘Restoring our Earth’, Environmental Solutions Limited (ESL), now in its 30th year of business, is urging consideration for some of the lessons of the last year to enable our ‘building forward better’.

- We are not invincible. Life can change in the blink of an eye, and our lives are inextricably linked with nature.

- We must always be prepared, not just for hurricanes or earthquakes. Climate change and our human activities are bringing us closer to the dictates of nature, which increase the potential for public health challenges and the probability of more pandemics.

- We must consider the multiple-hazard effect, with events occurring simultaneously or in quick succession. In late 2020, Jamaica experienced destructive rains, flooding and landslides, highlighting our climate and natural-hazard vulnerability during the pandemic. Now, on the cusp of the 2021 hurricane season, after a travel ban that stifled tourism, St Vincent and the Grenadines is experiencing a major volcanic event, reversing the nation’s development and forcing the juxtaposition of the COVID-19 health crisis.

- Social change is possible with rapid action, priority setting and prompt mobilisation of financial resources. Our local and international leaders and decision-makers showed their ability to make quick, difficult decisions to protect public health and well-being.

- Public health and national economy are intrinsically linked. Also, both are dependent on the health of our environment.

- The important things in life require investment– in people, in physical and mental well-being, in protecting our environment, and in combating inequalities.

- Expand health emergency disaster risk management to include environmental disaster risk management.

These lessons speak to the core of ESL, where for the last 30 years we have lived our mission to harmonise development and the environment, creating sustainable value for businesses and communities.

We have been making these interventions with a range of partners through, among other means, comprehensive disaster risk management; environmental planning, compliance and management; climate vulnerability and risk assessments. We have also done business continuity planning, construction monitoring and climate change adaptation across several sectors, while contributing to employment opportunities and improved standard of living.

Now as we look to the next 30 years and beyond, ESL is even more committed to ‘building forward better’, applying scientific method and technological innovation as we frame the new green growth agenda for investment, business enterprise and economic development.

In support of the pursuit of sustainable prosperity, as articulated in Vision 2030, we will also position financial progress in the bigger picture with environmental stewardship, public health, social well-being, equity, community capacity, vitality, and resilience.