Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, sent the following message on this Earth Day:
“We join the world today in recognizing and celebrating the importance of environmental preservation, through the observance of Earth Day. The Ministry of Tourism and its Agencies wholeheartedly support the mission of environmental protection and preservation which this day seeks to achieve.
“Jamaica is blessed to have some of Mother Nature’s most beautiful gifts. We have the most breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, white-sandy beaches, crystal-clear rivers and a wide range of endemic species – many of which our millions of visitors travel from across the globe to experience each year. Therefore, as Minister of Tourism, it has always been a priority to ensure that we put all the necessary measures in place to preserve and protect our environment for the continued existence and growth of the country’s tourism product.
“My Ministry has taken a proactive role to guard and protect our natural heritage. In fact, one of the tenets of the Tourism Master Plan is sustainable development – a key part of which is environmental sustainability. We work very closely with stakeholders, communities and governmental agencies such as the National Environment and Planning Agency to ensure that all our projects, such as the National Beach Development Program, follow the relevant environmental guidelines.
“We will also be appointing Destination Managers in each resort town, who will work with a Destination Assurance Council and report to the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo). These Managers will be responsible for delivering on our commitment to destination assurance – which is to ensure that we provide the attractive and secure tourism product which we market to visitors.
“Our Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has also partnered with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to bolster efforts to protect the environment. In fact, we have invested over a billion dollars in marine and coastal projects, within the past five years, as a part of the sustainability mandate that we have and we are going to continue our environmental protection efforts through our recently revamped Spruce Up Jamaica program.
“As Minister of Tourism, I urge you to play your part by making a difference in your community today. Let’s join the world in this environmental preservation initiative so that this can be the most impactful Earth Day to date.”