JIS News

The South Coast Sustainable Development Project in the Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, has been allotted $1.5 million in the 2006/2007 Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the House of Representatives.
The sum will facilitate the sustainable development of the environment, as well as tourism, social development, and the generation of employment and institutional strengthening.
The project is funded by the Inter American Development Bank (IADB) and will be implemented by the Tourism Development Company (TPDCo).
The South Coast Sustainable Development Project began in April 2002 and was scheduled to end in March 2006. It has since been extended to the end of the 2006/2007 financial year.
A number of achievements have been made to date, inclusive of a feasibility study which comprised; initial, diagnostic and interim reports by consultants, monthly steering committee meetings, and the production of two newsletters.
In addition, a meeting was held with the relevant agencies such as the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the National Investment Bank of Jamaica (NIBJ), the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), and the former Ministry of Land and Environment.
Meetings were also held with the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (CCAM) regarding the Global Environment Funding (GEF) counterpart funding for the Portland Bight Protected Area.
A number of targets have been set for this financial year, and include; the completion of the project planning process; the negotiation of external funding for the project; the establishment of an institutional framework, which will focus on tourism development and marketing, fisheries management and protected areas components, as well as the establishment of a community tourism development and marketing plan.
Targets envisioned for the project in the long term include; the construction of a headquarters to incorporate a museum as well as the construction of a bio-diversity centre and botanical gardens. A number of areas would also be refurbished. These include; Peak Bay Boardwalk and Recreational Area, the Hellshire Beach Recreation Area, and the Taino Museum and Trails.