November 28, 2019
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) launched the National School Environmental Club Programme (NSECP) on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at Hotel Versailles in Clarendon. Through the programme, inactive environment and science clubs will be strengthened through the provision of guidance, technical support, print resources and access to external environmental stakeholders.
The NSECP targets secondary schools operating within St Catherine and Clarendon in the first instance, namely, Jose Marti Technical High, Innswood High, Jonathan Grant High, St. Catherine High, Old Harbour High, Central High, Glenmuir High, Vere Technical High, Foga Road High and Bustamante High and is geared toward instilling good environmental practices amongst students.
Speaking at the launch, Travis Bartley, Public Education and Community Outreach Officer, NEPA, said, "the NSECP was created based on the results of a survey of active/inactive environmental clubs that identified a need to provide students with opportunities to channel their desires for a greener, healthier Jamaica, in keeping with NEPA's mandate to provide environmental education to all Jamaicans." He added, “the launch, which took the form of a workshop was used to empower club leaders to become better environmental stewards in their local schools and communities."
Each participating school was provided with a personalized Environmental Club Kit containing promotional items, garbage bags for recyclables and non-recyclables, disposable gloves, a copy of the Environmental Club Pledge and environmental posters on Protected Species, Endangered Species, NEPA’s Adopt a Beach programme and Protected Areas. Schools were also given the Revised Guidelines for Environmental Clubs booklet produced by NEPA with permission from the authors and the Joint Board of Teacher Education and trees donated by Forestry Department.
Rainforest Seafoods also donated re-usable bags along with promotional items to help the schools re-activate their once dormant clubs.
One student from Jonathon Grant said, “I’m looking forward to our club making better connections with companies that can help us to grow. With more interest and exposure, we will be able to get more students to join and care about the environment.”
School visits will be used to monitor the NSECP as the Agency will guide the clubs through intensive projects focused on the topic of pollution prevention during 2020.
Ms Annicka Grant, Conservation Technician, NEPA, guiding participants through an activity at the National School Environmental Club Programme launch held at Hotel Versailles, Clarendon on November 27, 2019.
Mrs Natasha Parchment-Clarke, Manager, Training, Food and Beverage Operations and Environmental Programmes at Rainforest Seafoods Ltd. handing over Rainforest Seafood kits to students from Vere Technical High School at the National School Environmental Club Programme launch held at the Hotel Versailles, Clarendon on November 27, 2019.