Sustainable Meetings in Jamaica
As part of its mandate to make Jamaica a sustainable tourism destination, the JTB supports the efforts of our partners in facilitating solutions and implementing strategies for care of the environment and communities at large. These efforts are all part of Jamaica’s National Energy Policy 2009-2030.
In order to enhance the island’s sustainability framework, Jamaica has been encouraging the use of renewable energy sources such as wind, water and solar. Several tourism establishments are working to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing their reliance on fossil fuels and reducing the use of potable water on landscaping and other operations. Other efforts include the use of environmentally friendly products and services which can be recycled, re-used or are bio-degradable. These efforts help to not just preserve the island’s eco-system which is a key component of the tourist industry, but also to ensure that our island’s beauty remains for generations to enjoy.
Here are a few of the initiatives that are currently being undertaken:
Wigton Wind Farm is the largest wind energy facility in the English-speaking Caribbean. The wind farm is located in the parish of Manchester, one of the most elevated areas of the island, and has the capacity to generate 62,7 megawats of power. Wigton was also the first entity in Jamaica to successfully register Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As a result the company has successfully traded carbon credits under an Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) with the Dutch Government.
Wigton has paved the way for Jamaica to realize greater savings through the use of renewable energy. The company also offers training courses in solar energy, photovoltaics, and energy audits.
Content Solar, a 154 acre solar farm in Content Village, York Town, Clarendon, in Jamaica’s central region, has been reimagining renewable energy in Jamaica. The farm is equipped with 91,200 solar panels, which generates the equivalent of enough power for 20,000 homes. In additional to providing employment to the area, the farm supplies the local power company with additional power for community consumption.
The Montego Bay Convention Center (MBCC)
The Montego Bay Convention Centre has been leading the way in sustainable operations for tourism facilities. The Convention Centre – the largest of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean – has hosted several major conferences and events including a regional UNWTO conference, the Jamaica Bridal Expo and Caribbean Marketplace. Catering to such large groups can be challenging but the Montego Bay Convention Centre has sought to ensure that the impact on the environment has been minimized through sustainability initiatives.
The convention centre through its sustainability efforts emphasizes recycling, water and energy conservation and ensuring that the operations of the centre are eco-friendly, and the effect on the environment is minimized. See http://mbconventioncentre.com/recycling/ and http://mbconventioncentre.com/sustainability/operations/