Youth passionate about environment - NEPA
Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
THERE IS a renewed interest among young people as it relates to the environment and climate change.
That was the sentiment of Deleen Powell, public relations officer at the Public Education and Corporate Communication Branch, National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), who has said it is imperative that good environmental practices are instilled in persons from a young age.
Powell was speaking in recognition of National Environmental Awareness Week, which started on Sunday.
"Various stakeholders, along with us (NEPA), have been trying to reach out to youths through summer camps, and visits in schools from the early-childhood level right through to tertiary level, and what we have found out is that young people are genuinely passionate about the environment. For them, it's not something that they only read in books, but they actually understand the value of their surroundings," she declared.
"We find that some have had negative experiences as a result of bad environmental practices, whether it's health issues resulting from pollution or global warning, and so we are seeing a total transformation and renewed interest from youths and, to some extent, they are more receptive than adults," she said.
She also said there must be a concerted effort to get the agricultural sector involved and sensitised on various environmental issues.
"There was a time when farmers and persons in the agricultural sector could predict when to plant their crops, but with the changes in climate and the environment, we have to be more strategic and informed with these occurrences taking place," Powell told The Gleaner.
"One must understand that climate change affects the very food we eat, food production, food security, and in a country like Jamaica where so many persons depend on farming as their livelihood, we must take climate change seriously," she said.
Powell added: "We must be thankful for strides being made. Within the region, I am pleased to say that Jamaica is leading in terms of addressing issues with the environment and climate change."