Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 10th 2013 Contents A17
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Environmental issues must be placed high on
the Caricom agenda to ensure the protection of
sensitive Caribbean marine ecosystems and the
survival of tourism-based economies in the
This was one of the main themes coming out
of the United Nations Environmental Programme
(UNEP) Global Conference on Land-Ocean Con-
nections (GLOC-2) which ended on Friday in Mon-
tego Bay, Jamaica.
Hundreds of the world s leading environmental
experts gathered at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort
and Spa to discuss critical issues such as marine
litter, nutrient pollution, micro-plastics and waste
water over the past three days.
Jamaica s Minister of Water, Land, Environment
and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill, who chaired
the GLOC-2, speaking exclusively with the T&T
Guardian, said his country was committed to
bringing environmental issues to the forefront of
the regional agenda.
He stressed the need for a concerted effort by
Caricom countries to protect marine ecosystems
which are facing their greatest threat---climate
Pickersgill said regional governments should
follow Jamaica s response to environmental issues.
He described Prime Minister Portia Simpson--
Miller as a "visionary" and the only regional leader
to add climate change to a ministerial portfolio.
He suggested that other regional nations follow
suit and make environmental issues a part of their
"I think that the statistics for all the islands
show that the populations live near the coast and
the 70 per cent of our population was on the coast
so we have to protect the coral reefs and the mit-
igation aspect of climate change was of extreme
importance," Pickersgill said.
He said a major part of Jamaica s environmental
thrust was waste-water management.
"Waste water is no longer to be regarded as
waste. It is an important resource," he said.
In Jamaica, he said, they have the Soapberry
Wastewater Treatment Plant which has been
instrumental in the country s drive towards waste
In his address to participants at the start of the
international conference, Pickersgill, said the plant
serves the Kingston Metropolitan Area.
"The plant has the capacity to treat of 18 million
gallons or 75 thousand cubic of waste water per
day. It is currently treating approximately 13 million
gallons or just over 49,210 cubic metres of waste
water per day," he said.
He said 70 per cent of the water was consumed
by the Ministry of Agriculture and only 30 per
cent was used for domestic use.
"We intend to very shortly to bring the waste
water up to a qualitative state where we will be
able to sell it to them (National Irrigation Com-
mission) so that we will be making a big savings
and there would be no more waste that is some-
thing that we are looking forward to. As we speak
the quality of our waste water is better than some
of the water in the rivers and we are spending
quite some money on sewage," he said.
The effect of
often leads to
the death of sea
this turtle across
on forefront of
Caribbean leaders urged:
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