(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat will be engaged in a car pooling exercise and a Walk on World Environment Day which is being observed Thursday, 5 June 2008 under the theme: Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy.
Dr Edward Greene, Assistant Secretary General, Human and Social Development of the CARICOM Secretariat said, “In an effort to reduce the use of fuel and to engage ourselves in more environment friendly modes of transportation on World Environment Day, staff members were being asked as far as practicable to pool their means of transportation to and from work.”
Dr Greene said that the Secretariat Staff will also demonstrate its solidarity with the aims and objectives of World Environment Day by engaging in a Walk from the Secretariat Headquarters in Turkeyen, to the East Coast Highway up to the Ogle Airstrip Road and return to the headquarters.
Walkers will wear or carry something green in their hands as a symbol of concern for the preservation of the environment.
Representatives of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and Guyana’s Ministries of Health and Culture, Youth and Sport are expected to join the Secretariat Staff on the Walk, which will commence at 4:00PM. World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Another resolution, adopted by the General Assembly the same day, led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Recognising that climate change is becoming the defining issue of our era, UNEP has advocated for countries, companies and communities to focus on greenhouse gas emissions and how to reduce them.
The World Environment Day 2008 will highlight resources and initiatives that promote low carbon economies and life-styles, such as improved energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption.
The Secretariat’s Walk on World Environment Day is also in keeping with the promotion of physical activities leading up the first Caribbean Wellness Day to be observed on 13 September 2008.
The observance of Caribbean Wellness Day was one of the decisions taken when the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government, deeply concerned about the physical, economic and social burdens caused by lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, obesity and cancer, met in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on 15 September 2007 to design a plan of action to stop the epidemic of chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
To be observed annually on the second Saturday in September, Caribbean Wellness Day will showcase national and community level activities to promote healthy living and encourage citizens to develop good health practices. Among the activities proposed for the day are the introduction of vehicle-free streets and smoke-free environments to provide opportunities and safe spaces for physical activity and healthy eating, free from exhaust emissions tobacco smoke and other pollutants.