Acting Minister of the Environment, Denis Kellman (centre, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Permanent Secretary, Lionel Weekes and National Coordinator, Caribbean Youth Environment Network Barbados, Asha Jones share a light moment at the competition launch. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Over the next two months, children across the island will have the opportunity to use their artistic talents to depict the theme of an environmental collage competition entitled A Future that is Pollution Free – Join Hands to Protect our Caribbean Sea.

The competition, which will be facilitated by the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) and the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), was officially launched last Friday at the Ministry of Environment’s offices at Hincks Street, Bridgetown.

Minister of the Environment, Denis Kellman, commended the Ministry’s participation in the creative endeavour, which represents the national contribution to the regional United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Caribbean Environmental Programme’s (CEP) Wider Caribbean Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (LBS Protocol) Collage Competition.

"The LBS Protocol is one of three protocols of the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, also known as the Cartagena Convention…[which] is the only regional, legally binding environmental agreement for the protection and development of the region," Mr. Kellman said.

He also highlighted the steps which have been taken to protect the environment since Barbados signed onto the Protocol.

"Barbados became a signatory of the LBS Protocol to the Cartagena Convention in October, 1999…since then, Barbados, through EPD has made several steps to reduce the negative environmental and human health impacts of land-based pollution to our marine environment.?? In 2000, the Marine Pollution Control Act was proclaimed… [it] aims to prevent, reduce and control pollution from sources that are likely to impact the marine environment….based on the information collected through public consultation in 2004 and 2008, the Government of Barbados has evaluated the implications of ratification of the LBS Protocol and will work to confirm ratification in the 2011/2012 financial year," the Minister revealed.

He lauded the collaboration between the EPD and CYEN and added that "it demonstrates that improving the quality of our environment is not a government task only.?? It is a task for the private sector and all citizens and residents in Barbados".

The CYEN, a non-profit, charitable body, encourages and supports the involvement of young, Caribbean people in sustainable development and environmental activities.?? As such, it was deemed that the organisation, with assistance from the Ministry and the EPD, should function as the focal point for the competition.

Children ages 12 to 18 may participate via their schools, community or youth groups, environmental clubs or faith-based organisations.?? Participants will create a collage, using various media such as photos, sketches, and paintings, to depict how the coastline and marine environment could be protected from land-based sources of pollution.

Entries should be no larger than 18 inches by 24 inches and should not include any text, as this will lead to disqualification.?? Pieces shown or submitted elsewhere will not be accepted and the full name and contact details of the organisation and a list of the names of the participants must be placed on the back of the collages.?? Original copies of the entries should be submitted to the UNEP-CEP country representatives for national judging no later than Thursday, June 30, 2011.??

Winners, who will be announced in September, will be awarded at both the national and regional levels, with the latter to be chosen from among the first prize country winners.?? Regional first, second and third place winners will be given cash prizes of US$1000, US$750 and US$500, respectively, while those successful at the national level will receive prizes from their respective countries.

For more information on the competition, persons may contact CYEN National Coordinator, Asha Jones, at 248-3535 or 437-6055/66.

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