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Animation keeps spotlight on Save Goat Islands campaign

Published:Sunday | December 15, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter

With environmental groups staunchly against the formation of a logistics hub on Goat Islands, the Jamaica Environmental Trust (JET) is now lobbying to protect the area through an animated video.

The minute-long piece, Don't Mess with Goat Islands, was uploaded to JET's YouTube and Facebook pages earlier this week.

With audio to match, the video shows two lizards, as well as fish being affected by the new development.

The lyrics were written by Inilek Wilmot, vocals by Quecee, and music and production by Jeremy Osbourne, while the animation was done by Nivek Animations.

Earlier this year, it was announced by the government that they were giving serious consideration to a proposal from a Chinese investor to construct a transshipment hub on the protected islands that are located off the coast of Old Harbour, St Catherine. The property is owned by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and has 617 acres.

Environmental groups have opposed the plan as they say it is likely to affect flora, fauna and marine life.

Visual stimulus

JET is one of the groups against the plan. While animation is not the only method being used, Diana McCaulay, chief executive officer at JET, said animation was used because "we think it has a wider appeal and is another way of getting the information out. We also wanted to try something new and Jamaicans respond to images, music and humour".

She said there is also a 30-second version of the video that, if given funding, might be put on TV.

But since the posting of the minute-long video only a few days ago, it has racked up almost 2,000 views on YouTube, and more views on its Facebook page.

Since the posting, she said the response has been good, with some persons suggesting it should be turned into a serial. She said there were also suggestions to do videos of a similar nature that tackle other environmental issues.

"We are just asking everybody to watch and comment. My job is to generate interest in the subject. This is just one method," McCaulay said.

In addition to the animated video, McCaulay says there is also a website, And over the next six weeks, JET will continue to roll out its campaign that include 'Save Goat Islands' T-shirts, a calendar, a TV infomercial, and a briefing paper about the issue.

"I would like to encourage the public to look at the various products, comment on them and buy the T-shirt," she told The Sunday Gleaner.