Construction Sector Urged to Engage in Sustainable Development Practices

Story Highlights

  • Construction industry stakeholders are being urged to engage in sustainable development practices that will support the Government’s commitment to provide adequate and affordable housing solutions for all Jamaicans.
  • “By utilising alternative sustainable technologies (for example), construction engineers can mitigate poor pollution and waste-water treatment practices and other threats in the quality of our environment,” - Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang
  • Dr. Chang argued that resilience and economic prosperity are “intertwined” and can be further strengthened through good governance.

Construction industry stakeholders are being urged to engage in sustainable development practices that will support the Government’s commitment to provide adequate and affordable housing solutions for all Jamaicans.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, made the call at the Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) launch of Engineers’ Week 2016 at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on September 19.

The Minister said the Administration is seeking to build safe communities capable of withstanding factors such as the effects of climate change.

Describing sustainable housing development as the provision of shelter that is “in harmony with the environment,” Dr. Chang emphasised that “we cannot always want to build on every green space that is available.”

In this regard, he challenged engineers and developers to play their part as “keepers of the environment” by instituting safeguards against factors with potentially negative impacts for the country.

“By utilising alternative sustainable technologies (for example), construction engineers can mitigate poor pollution and waste-water treatment practices and other threats in the quality of our environment,” the Minister said.

Dr. Chang argued that resilience and economic prosperity are “intertwined” and can be further strengthened through good governance.

As such, he said the Government’s role in shaping policies that govern the construction industry is “critical,” as the regulatory framework would promote investments and sustainable development.

This, Dr. Chang noted, was the primary reason for the creation of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

He explained that the portfolio groups several sectors with responsibility for growth under one umbrella, “to remove all hindrances to the growth agenda.”

Dr. Chang acknowledged that some of the regulations facilitating this process are “antiquated,” while others seem virtually non-existent, and stressed that “new ones are required as times change.”

Against this background, he assured that the Ministry would not only seek to facilitate the drafting of supporting policies and legislation, but “it is our intention to enact and enforce them.”

Dr. Chang cited drafting of the National Housing Policy and Implementation Plan as an example of this undertaking.

It seeks to bolster the system of development in response to environmental concerns arising within the construction industry.

The Policy, Dr. Chang explained, will seek to ensure that housing developments are in harmony with the natural environment; discourage developments in areas prone to natural hazards and, where possible, relocate those that already exist; and promote initiatives supporting environmentally friendly developments, such as the establishment of systems that facilitate proper waste and sewage disposal.

Engineers’ Week is being observed from September 19 to 24 under the theme ‘Engineering a Pathway to Resilience and Prosperity’.

JIS Social