World Wetlands Day is Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February 1, 2011

On 2 February 2011, Jamaica will join the international community in observing the fortieth (40th) anniversary of World Wetlands Day. The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and its partners have planned several activities across Jamaica to mark the international event.

World Wetlands Day, which is celebrated annually to mark the adoption of the Convention of Wetlands signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971, will be observed under the theme 'wetlands and forests'. This is in keeping with the United Nation’s (UN) observation of 2011 as the 'International Year of Forests', which is being commemorated under the theme 'forests for people'. The slogan for this year's World Wetlands Day is: forests for water and wetlands.

Jamaica has several wetlands, three of which have been designated Ramsar sites (Wetlands of International Importance), under the Convention of Wetlands. World Wetlands Day is used to raise public awareness on the value of wetlands worldwide.

NEPA, in collaboration with the National Ramsar Committee, has organized several activities to mark this important event. Some of which include, presentations on wetlands and forests, educational displays, bird monitoring, boat tours of mangroves as well as a mini concert at the Monymusk Gun Club, Clarendon. The latter event is being undertaken in partnership with of NEPA’s chief partners in wetlands management, the Caribbean Coastal Area Management (C-CAM) Foundation.

A Church Service was held on Sunday, January 30, at the Hellshire United Church, Portmore, St. Catherine to kick off the week’s activities. It will be followed by a debating competition at the William Knibb High School Auditorium, as well as a display and tree planting exercise scheduled for Hendricks Wharf, St. Elizabeth. The Yallahs Bay and Rocky Point beaches, in St. Thomas as well as the South Negril River in Westmoreland will also be cleaned in honour of the World Wetlands Day.

The University of the West Indies (UWI), Marine Laboratory will conduct presentations and boat tours in Port Royal, Kingston, as well as a trail tour in Discovery Bay, St. Ann. The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is slated to conduct similar activities in Negril, Westmoreland, while the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) will do the same in Mason River, Clarendon. They will also mount two displays. One is scheduled for its Kingston offices, at the Natural History Museum of Jamaica and at the other will be at the Port Antonio High School in Portland.

The UDC is also slated to make presentations about wetlands at the Blemont Academy in Bluefields, Westmoreland and at the Bridgeport and Waterford High Schools in Portmore, St. Catherine. All activities get underway from January 29 to February 7. An Events’ Schedule may be found at NEPA’s website:

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June 5, 2011

February 25, 2011