Our oceans and seas provide sufficient proof that the preservation of marine biodiversity is key to environmental, social and economic development. To this end, Sandals and Beaches Resorts in Negril recently collaborated with the Protected Areas branch of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) to educate team members on marine protection guidelines within the region.
Hosted during environment week, the session was led by Stacy-Ann Campbell, NEPA’s regional environmental officer. Primarily focusing on Negril’s Marine Park regulations, she shared her expertise on environmental practices that currently contribute to the degeneration of sea life. To counteract this rapid erosion of marine biodiversity, both proactive and reactive measures to underpin the health, well-being and prosperity of the protected territories were discussed at length.
“This sensitisation session was geared towards building capacity and promoting the importance, management and conservation of the delicate natural resources of the Negril Marine Park,” Campbell offered.
“Ensuring that team members, particularly the Sandals and Beaches Earth Guardians are educated on these sensitive issues is definitely a step in the right direction,” she added.
Instrumental in the engagement was Davion Brown, NEPA’s Negril-based enforcement officer. He also emphasised the significance of adhering to the abiding principles that aim to protect marine spaces.
“Marine protected areas support biodiversity and fisheries. These areas are especially effective in allowing the regeneration of fish stocks. The extent of recovery increases with the age and size of the protected area as well as the efforts of each stakeholder,” he explained.
“This means that we all need to do our part and observe the regulations put in place to save our seas,” he added.
In response, the attentive team members voiced their collective concerns about the unprecedented deterioration of marine zones and exchanged practical suggestions surrounding possible corrective actions to be implemented. Stirring opinions emerged on controversial topics regarding the role of humans in the destruction of marine regions and unpopular perspectives on existing maritime laws were posited.
Environment, Health and Safety Manager and leader of the Sandals Negril Earth Guardians, Tavia-Shea Bernard, expressed her excitement about the joint effort. She acknowledged the necessity of the session and implored her colleagues to be more responsible stewards of the environment.
“I am grateful that my team was able to benefit from this initiative. As a brand, effecting positive change in the environment and fostering sustainable development practices is part of our mandate,” she commented. “It is our goal to remain consistent in this regard and we will continue to facilitate opportunities that empower team members to protect our waters.”
Sandals and Beaches Resorts in Negril plan to spearhead similar initiatives in the near future. The ultimate objective is to ensure that marine biodiversity is protected and preserved for decades to come.
Send feedback to [email protected]