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Jamaica’s Tourism Linkages Hub in hot pursuit of SDG2

McDonald-Riley

PHOTO CAPTION: Carolyn McDonald-Riley, Head of the Tourism Linkages Network.

Tourism is regarded as one of the fastest growing economic sectors and a crucial contributor to growth, poverty eradication, the creation of employment, wealth and the preservation of the global environment.  

Tourism role in the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been documented and discussed far and wide.   The SDGs, otherwise known as the Global Goals, are described by the United Nations as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.  These goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals and include new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among others.  

The SDGs came into effect in January 2016, and they will continue to guide the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) policy and funding until the year 2030, the same year Jamaica intends to achieve the fulfilment of its National Plan for Sustainable Development (Vision 2030).

Goal Number Two of the SDGs states that: all countries will strive to “end hunger, achieve food security and nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”.  In order to achieve this, the UNWTO suggests that member states promulgate, among other things, the purchase of local food and local supplies and promotes local agriculture and trade.

Right here in Jamaica, the Carolyn McDonald-Riley-led Tourism Linkages Hub, which falls under the Ministry of Tourism, has set to accomplish this key goal under its Agriculture Network. The Hub’s function is “to increase the consumption of goods and services that can be competitively sourced locally, with the aim of increasing employment and increasing earning potential while generating and harnessing foreign exchange earnings”.

The Tourism Linkages Hub which is sponsored by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) was approved by Cabinet and established in June 2013 in a bid to fulfil the Tourism Ministry’s mandate to create and sustain linkages between the tourism sector and other productive industries within the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing and health and wellness.

And so, Jamaica appears to be on the right track after all, according to the UNWTO “tourism can spur sustainable agriculture by promoting the production and supplies to hotels, and sales of local products to tourists, while Agro-tourism can generate additional income while enhancing the value of the tourism experience”.

So kudos to the Tourism Linkages Hub, as it strives to better the lives of Jamaican farmers and the public in general.  Continue to minimize leakages by strengthening linkages.

#30

Caribnewsroom.com
News Correspondent

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