The Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment, and Climate Change on November 27, hosted a virtual session of the Youth Environmental Advocacy Programme (YEAP), under the theme ‘Build Back Better: Ecological Resilience for Disaster Risk Reduction.’
The forum facilitated discussions with Portfolio Minister, the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. with students from Ardenne High School, Camperdown High School, Mona High School, and Wolmer’s Boys High School.
Presentations were also made by several agencies including, the Meteorological Service of Jamaica (MET Office), the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), and the Forestry Department.
The discussions focused on areas such as climate change and the impact is has on the environment.
In her presentation, Head of the Climate Branch, MET Office, Jacqueline Spence – Hemmings said data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), indicate that Jamaica and other countries are experiencing the effects of climate change.
She informed that the data is projecting an increase in the number of hot days in most land regions, with the highest increase in the tropics.
“The IPCC and the state of Jamaica’s climate are showing that we are already committed to a certain level of climate change. No matter what we do, we are going to (feel its effects). There is some level of climate change we will have to deal with going forward,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minister Charles Jr. charged the young environmental advocates to be the solution to the issues surrounding climate change.
“I want to challenge our youth to become innovators. Some of the problems that have been highlighted by our presenters create opportunities for people who can innovate and invent to create sustainable solutions,” Mr. Charles said.
“To every problem, there is a solution. I challenge and encourage all to help to solve those problems,” he added.
YEAP, a programme of the Ministry, aims to raise awareness and understanding among Jamaica’s youth about the importance of the environment.
It also seeks to promote their commitment to the principles of environmental conservation and protection.