Jamaica’s Green Expo 2009 kicks off on June 5th – World Environment Day. The weekend-long exposition, held biennially during National Environmental Awareness Week, is organised by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust and attracts families, school groups and businesses. This year’s main theme is climate change, alternative energy and energy conservation.
Jamaican companies, government agencies and environmental organisations will be exhibiting a host of environmentally friendly products, services and projects aimed at raising national awareness of ways in which to ‘take positive environmental action’ in their everyday lives.
The Expo, which has been held biennially since 1996, is marketed to school and family groups for an inexpensive, fun and educational day out. The event attracts up to 15,000 people every year and its key messages reach a far wider audience through steady media coverage throughout the week. A survey after the 2004 Expo showed that 71% of visitors had come to the event for the first time, showing that organisers had been successful in attracting new visitors each year.
The organizers are the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT), a non-governmental organisation, established in 1988 to promote environmental conservation and sustainable development in Jamaica. JCDT is an IUCN member and its main focus is management of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park (BJCMNP) under a delegation agreement from the Government of Jamaica through the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), also an IUCN member.
Green Expo 2009 will feature a model of an affordable, environmentally friendly home that will demonstrate how to live sustainably and economically. It will also include a planetarium and a number of interactive activities for children. Seminars on topical environmental issues will also be held along with an award ceremony for exhibitors demonstrating the most environmentally friendly booth, product and message.
Funding for the event has been made possible by the United Nations Development Agency, Jamaica Tourist Board, NEPA, Environmental Foundation of Jamaica, Forest Conservation Fund, Jamaica Protected Areas Trust and USAID. Sponsorship has also been secured from several corporate sponsors such as: Radio Jamaica Communications Ltd, Jamaica Observer Ltd., Jamaica Public Service Co. Ltd. and Pear Tree Press.