World Wetlands Day 2004 -- Jamaica

02/03/2005


Jamaica’s Report

World Wetlands Day 2004

“From the Mountains to the Sea, Wetlands at Work for Us”

-- Prepared by Protected Areas Branch, April 2004

1. Introduction

Jamaica conducted a week of events (February 2nd-6th) in commemoration of World Wetlands Day, 2004; these activities included an open day, presentations, poster competition, drama production, exhibitions and extensive media coverage (radio, print and television). Activities were held across the island in the parishes of Portland, Westmoreland, St. Elizabeth and Kingston, which are located along the north-eastern, western, and southern coasts of Jamaica (Figure 1). The activities were both educational and entertaining in nature. 

Figure 1: Map of Jamaica indicating areas where World Wetlands Day activities were held

2. WORLD WETLANDS DAY ACTIVITIES

2.1 Port Antonio – Portland

The day was marked with a ceremony held at the new Port Antonio Marina in the parish of Portland. The highlights of the day included presentations on natural and constructed wetlands and the importance of wetlands by guest presenter Peter Edwards, Scientific Officer at the Centre for Marine Sciences, University of the West Indies. A drama piece was also presented by the Action Boyz a drama/dance group, from the parish of St James. The piece was entitled “Wey you dash wey nah wash weh” (see photographs).

Other speeches were made by Kevin Rushing, Deputy Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Franklin McDonald, CEO of the National Environmental and Planning Agency (NEPA) and Dr. Scott McCormick, manager of the Coastal Water Improvement Project (CWIP) 2 project and Leo Douglas, Project Support and Logistics Manager of the Ridge to Reef Watershed Project. Over 150 persons were in attendance. 

2.2 Negril - Westmoreland

The day’s celebration was due to a collaborative effort by the Negril Environmental Protection Trust (NEPT), NEPA, Sandals Negril and several other organizations. There was an open day at the Negril Royal Palm Reserve in Sheffield, Westmoreland. The main activity for the day was an environmental exposition which included exhibitions from the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society (NCRPS), Forestry Department Western Region, NEPA and Sandals Negril Hotel.

Other activities included guided boardwalk tours; a talk on the American crocodile and wetlands; fishing in a pond on site; tree planting and labeling activity; craft making class, this involved making crafts out of items that were used at lunch time (i.e. cups, plates, forks) and a demonstration and presentation by the Negril Fire Department which incorporated a fire drill as well as a presentation on the importance of fire safety and awareness. 

Information on the theme “From Mountains to the Sea, Wetlands at Work For Us” were provided to students from twelve schools in Westmoreland with materials for the development of posters. The judges represented Sandals Negril and the National Environmental Societies Trust (NEST). The top three posters were selected and the winners were presented with awards and certificates. Approximately 400 persons participated in the day’s event, including 17 schools, community members, and a number of representatives from government and non governmental organizations. The children indicated that they enjoyed the day (see photographs).

2.3 Kingston

The Institute of Jamaica mounted an exhibition entitled “From the Mountains to the Sea” in keeping with the theme for the day. The central feature of the exhibit was a 10ft x 15ft diorama that showcased the interconnectedness of the mountains and the sea with the focus on mangrove wetlands. Preserved specimens which enhanced the exhibit included the American Crocodile, Hawksbill Turtle, mangrove prop roots and several species of wetland birds and invertebrates such as crabs, echinoderms and snails.

The opening ceremony was attended by students from local primary schools, the University of the West Indies (UWI), members of the National Environmental Education Committee (NEEC) and the Natural History Society of Jamaica (NHSJ). Guest speaker Dr. Eric Hyslop, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences, UWI, Mona, made a special presentation on the importance of wetlands. 

2.4 Black River – St. Elizabeth

The National Environment and Planning Agency mounted an exhibition at the Black River Parish Library. The Agency also developed and displayed posters depicting the theme for this year (see photographs).



Plate 1: Poster developed around the theme "From the Mountain to the Sea, Wetlands at Work for Us"

Plate 2: Poster identifying Jamaica's wetlands that are protected


Photo 1: Portland centre piece on the theme 'From the Mountains to the Sea, Wetlands at Work for Us'

Photo 2: Leo Douglas, Project Support and Logistics Manager of the Ridge to Reef Watershed Project making a presentation
Photo 3: Dr Scott McCormick, manager of the CWIP 2 project giving a presentation in Port Antonio, Portland
Photo 4: Action Boys performing "Wey you dash wey nah wash weh" (Portland)
Photo 5: Action Boys "Wey you dash wey nah wash weh" (Portland)

Photo 6: Exhibit by the Sandals Negril Hotel at the Negri Royal Palm Reserve
Photo 7: Exhibit by the Forestry Department Western Region at the Negril Royal Palm Reserve
Photo 8: Exhibit by NCRPS at the Negril Royal Palm Reserve
Photo 9: Presentation by the Negril Fire Department at the Negril Royal Palm Reserve
Photo 10: Crocodile presentation and demonstration by Mr Canute Tyndale, NEPA, at the Negril Royal Palm Reserve
Photo 11: American Crocodile, Crocodylus acutus, at the Negril Royal Palm Reserve
Photo 12: Participants listening to announcement of poster winners at the Negril Royal Palm Reserve
Photo 13: First place winner of the poster competition at the Negril Royal Palm Reserve
Photo 14: Student participants and tour guide on the boardwalk at the Negril Royal Palm Reserve
Photo 15: West Indian Whistling Ducks at the Negril Royal Palm Reserve

Photo 16: Participants having fun at the Negril Royal Palm Reserve


Photo 17: Exhibition at the Institute of Jamaica, Kingston, showcasing the interconnectedness of the mountains and the sea

Photo 18: Preserved specimens of wetland birds at the Institute of Jamaica's exhibition
Photo 19: Preserved specimens of wetland birds at the Institute of Jamaica's exhibition

Photo 20: Schoolchildren from St Aloysius Primary viewing the exhibits at the Institute of Jamaica


Photo 21: Exhibition at the Black River Parish Library, St Elizabeth

Photos 22 and 23: Exhibition at the Black River Parish Library

Photos: National Environment and Planning Agency


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