Jamaica Tourism to Pony Up $10 Million in International Coastal Cleanup Day
The Jamaica Tourism Enhancement (TEF) has invested approximately $10 million in this year’s International Coastal Cleanup Day initiative, which is spearheaded locally by Jamaica Environment Trust (JET).
Speaking at JET’s flagship site at the Palisadoes Go-Kart Track on September 15, TEF’s Executive Director Dr. Carey Wallace said, “Tourism relies on our coasts being clean and beautiful.
Therefore, we believe this program is good value for money. We put $8 million into the International Coastal Cleanup Day. After that, we put another $2 million for our Ministry and its agencies to participate. We have been sponsoring for the past 10 years, and have spent approximately $50 million during that period.”
International Coastal Cleanup Day is coordinated globally by the Ocean Conservancy (USA) and locally by JET. TEF has been a major sponsor of the island wide coastal cleanup initiative since 2008. It attracts millions of volunteers in more than 100 countries who clean up beaches and waterways to raise awareness about marine pollution.
Last year, Jamaica had 9,675 volunteers at over 147 sites, which was the 12th largest ICC event in the world. This was also the largest ICC day turnout in the English-speaking Caribbean.
The cleanup activities took place days before today’s announcement by the Government of Jamaica to implement a ban on single use plastic bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam effective January 1, 2019.
The JET CEO, Suzanne Stanley, welcomed this decision and shared that she is excited about the future outcome.
The Ministry of Tourism’s cleanup activities took place at 15 beaches across the island by 487 volunteers from Destination Assurance Councils, Tourism Action Clubs, as well as members of staff.
International Coastal Cleanup is a fraction of the Ministry of Tourism’s partnership with JET through the Tourism Enhancement Fund, to protect the environment. In 2014, the Ministry expanded its commitment with a Clean Coasts Project.
To date, TEF has given $146 million, including $25 million in 2018 in funding. The project includes environmental education for adults and children along with practical strategies for tackling poor solid waste management and marine debris in Jamaica.