17 Primary schools out of West Rural St. Andrew will contend for computers and cash prizes through the Trash to Treasure environmental school competition. The initiative was created by Member of Parliament (MP) for West Rural St. Andrew Juliet Cuthbert Flynn through the Spruce Up Jamaica programme, which is implemented by the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo).
The Trash to Treasure competition is a move by the MP to increase awareness of the consequences of the deterioration of the environment through practices such as improper garbage disposal. The MP also believes that a competition of this nature will engage and educate primary level students about the benefits of recycling and converting trash to usable and even wearable products.
Speaking at the launch today at the Lawrence Tavern Primary School, Cuthbert Flynn went on to say that it was her passion for the environment that motivated her to create an initiative that will have long term benefits and serve as a mechanism to change behaviours and attitudes as it relates to care of the environment.
“This initiative was necessary due to the growing concerns of climate change and its impact on the environment. Our planet continues to see the implications of climate change, such as hotter temperatures, flooding and an increase in hurricanes. Climate Change is also a threat to economic growth and sustainability, particularly for vulnerable countries such as our own.” She said
Advocating for a cleaner and greener space, Director of Product Development and Community Tourism, TPDCo, Julian Patrick mentioned the importance of the care of the island, as the tourism sector relies on the beauty of the island which continues to contribute to its growth and expansion.
“Jamaica’s tourism sector depends heavily on the environment. The country is usually advertised as an oasis of beaches, hotels and a prime spot for unwinding and relaxing; and while that “sun, sea and sand” image has its place, we are constantly finding ways to make this destination diverse and fit for people of various ages, cultural groups and interests. We have to be on par with trends and we have made it our duty to look in every corner for ways we can improve the product and make it unique and globally competitive,” He said.
He went on further to say that the initiative will allow the country to reap the rewards of having a clean space for visitors to enjoy for many years to come.
“This investment is not to be seen as only beneficial for present day, but a deliberate investment in our future, and to ensure that for many decades to come, nothing that is within our powers will hinder the growth and development of the tourism sector and our island home.”
The Spruce Up programme involves the allocation of Three Million Dollars to all 63 Members of Parliament across Jamaica to be used for the improvement of Jamaica’s tourism product. This forms part of the thrust by the Ministry of Tourism to keep the destination in pristine condition.