Economic Development And Sustainable Development Can Co-Exist

Kingston, January 21 – At a seminar held in Kingston recently, a team lead by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) outlined some ways and means by which economic development and sustainable development can co-exist.

The government agencies, sensitive to the needs of the partnership have collaborated efforts to make the public more aware of what are the rules and regulations in place and how they are moving forward to update the rules so that the quality of life for all can be achieved.

Making a presentation at the seminar held last Thursday at the Knutsford Court Hotel, Winsome Townsend of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) called on the need for unity among civil society, government and private sector.

She also noted that her organisation has made strides in ensuring that there is greater compliance among stakeholders, but indicated that the resources to monitor the projects are limited.

Alcan Professor at the University of the West Indies, Anthony Clayton is urging the government to make some changes to the current structure of NEPA.

He is suggesting the replacement of the existing tripartite structure with a single board. This he says will require a NEPA act that replaces the three acts that establishes each of the three existing, semi-merged organizations, and probably the three additional acts that confer specific responsibilities on the three organizations as well. This would require a real integration of planning and the environment, and NEPA being empowered to use a wider range of instruments.

A proper structure plan for Jamaica, with some land areas zoned for development (fast-track proposals, minimizing processing and delays), other areas put completely off-limits, and the third category of area where proposals would be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Way forward as presented by Dennis Morrison, Chief Technical Officer, Office of the Prime Minister (Development)

  1. JAMPRO will take the message to the communities along the North Coast
  2. The economy should be restructured in a way to make tourism more efficient and less intensive on natural resources
  3. Assessments and recommendations have been done on the regulatory framework and should be before Cabinet soon. Development Orders for all parishes are being undertaken. (St. James and St. Catherine will have development plans soon.)

Other activities on this campaign include an essay competition for children 13 to 18 years of age. The topic is “Economic Development, Environmental Quality – a workable partnership. The closing date for all entries is February 26, 2007.