LICJ to Make Submission for Geospatial Legislation

Photo: JIS Photographer Land Information Council of Jamaica Chairman, Alexander Williams.

Story Highlights

  • Chairman of the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ), Alexander Williams, says that body will shortly be submitting a proposal to the Government regarding the crafting of legislation to govern the country’s geospatial and land information management framework.
  • “Advancing geospatial information management and the creation of spatial data infrastructures will assist to alleviate global issues such as poverty, food security and natural disasters,” he contended.
  • The move, he said, will reposition the country and bring it on par with other Caribbean territories such as The Bahamas, which already has such statute in place.

Chairman of the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ), Alexander Williams, says that body will shortly be submitting a proposal to the Government regarding the crafting of legislation to govern the country’s geospatial and land information management framework.

He said the Council has reviewed the policy guidelines, “and we are about to make recommendations to the Cabinet to put in place a basic legislative framework”.

The move, he said, will reposition the country and bring it on par with other Caribbean territories such as The Bahamas, which already has such statute in place.

Mr. Williams was speaking at the opening of the inaugural two-day Jamaica Geographic Information System (GIS) User Conference at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday, October 10.

The LICJ Chairman noted that Jamaica has been a pioneer in the English-speaking Caribbean in the use of geospatial technology and land information management.

He said this dates back to 1992, when the LICJ was established to coordinate the implementation of the National Land Information Policy and Strategy as well as develop a national GIS network.

He pointed out, however, that “we have not been a pioneer… with the (creation of) a legislative framework”.

The LICJ Chairman said many countries have recognised the value of using geospatial information and tools to plan, develop policies, make decisions and manage their physical and natural resources in order to address challenges and improve the lives of citizens.

“Advancing geospatial information management and the creation of spatial data infrastructures will assist to alleviate global issues such as poverty, food security and natural disasters,” he contended.

Against this background, Mr. Williams said the GIS Enterprise Licence Agreement (ELA) signed between the Government and American technology firm, Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) in 2015, represents a major investment in national development.

The four-year ELA provides ministries, departments and agencies with unlimited access to Esri’s suite of GIS technology software, which has served to boost their operations in areas of land administration and management; planning, hazard mitigation and emergency management; environmental science; national security; and utilities and infrastructure.

“By getting the ELA established in Jamaica, the Government has provided the platform to ministries, departments and agencies to use, so that they can exploit the layers of geospatial data and information and (related) data in diverse locations for planning and making strategic decisions,” Mr. Williams added.

The two-day conference, which concluded on Wednesday, October 11, was jointly staged by the LICJ and National Spatial Data Management Division under the theme ‘Geospatial Technologies: Mapping Our Way to Secure Communities’.

It formed part of the activities marking the LICJ’s 25th anniversary.

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