Thursday, June 4, 2009
Our Sweet Jamaica
Our financial sustainability, environment, music, culture and humanity are interconnected.
There was a time when bauxite was king, but that time has passed. In the wake of the declining bauxite market, Jamaica has had to search for alternative sources of revenue. Limestone may be such as option according to Minister of State in the Ministry of Energy and Mining Laurence Broderick. In a guarded but informative interview, Minister Broderick revealed that the Ministry is moving from a regulatory focus to a developmental focus in its operations.
He dismissed concerns expressed by environmentalists that the mining operations would be indiscriminate and widespread but indicated that the government had sought advice from the Czech Republic and other nations regarding mining without destruction of the natural resources. He estimates that the initial mining projects will generate 300 jobs and bring in $50-70 million on revenue from royalties and taxes.
Financial sustainability versus environmental impact is a debate that rages on both national and individual levels. As citizens, there is a lot that we can do to protect our environment and many of these options will be on display at the Green Expo this weekend at the National Arena. Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT) Chairman Robert Stephens says there will be many booths, displays and activities present at the Green Expo including a model home centre piece. Architect Sean Wright conceptualized this green home with energy saving devices and building materials all available for immediate construction in Jamaica.
Taking care of our environment is our duty as humans, so too is taking care of animals. Dr. Matthew Brown of the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA) stopped by with a puppy in tow to inform us about arthritis in pets, and dogs in particular. Once diagnosed, he advocated a three pronged treatment approach which includes diet, exercise and medication. Further, he encouraged the viewers to adopt a pet from the JSPCA. It’s easy, cheap and the right thing to do.
The nation is gearing up for Independence Celebrations with a host of activities; Gospel Song, Popular Song, Festival Queen and Performing Arts competition are all well underway to showcase and develop talented individuals and groups right across the island. A concentrated celebration week has been planned for July 30 to August 6 to cap off months of warm up events according to Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Marketing and Public Relations Consultant Dahlia Harris.
During the show, we enjoyed musical performances from Charmaine Lemonious, Ruth Royes and Sertse Small. Sertse is also the promoter of Jazz for Hope, an annual fundraising event for the Hope United Church. Jazz for Hope takes place at the Church Hall on Old Hope Road this Saturday.