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The Environmental Action Plan for Jamaica project has been aided with the allocation of $14.5 million in the 2008/09 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The objective of this project is to promote sustainable development in Jamaica by supporting capacity development of key Jamaican organizations involved in decision-making, management and use of Jamaica’s natural resources.
It also aims to improve the capability of key strategic players in the government, private sector, community and the general public to identify and solve their environmental problems in a sustainable way.
Under the greening of government/private sector component, the project has so far implemented the Environmental Stewardship Programme and updated and reviewed its guidelines; provided advanced training in Environmental Stewardship for various officers of the public and private sectors, including procurement officers, property and fleet managers, accountants and teachers; trained over 200 persons from the public and private sectors in Environmental Management; a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) policy developed and publicized; a SEA manual developed and training provided for policy analysts and other government officers; Initial Environmental Reviews conducted in nine companies; and aided in the establishment of the Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals (JIEP).
Through the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) component, the project, up to December last year, trained over 600 multi-agency officers and 140 officers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in enforcement of environmental laws; completed five facilitator guides to support enforcement training; prepared two volumes of the Planning and Enforcement Investment manual; guideline documents relating to waste water and sludge regulation were developed and stakeholder consultations were convened; and parish-based multi-agency teams were established in Kingston and St. Andrew and St. Ann.
Additionally, partnerships between local authorities and Parish Development Committees (PDCs) have been strengthened under the Local Sustainable Development Planning (LSDP) component of the project.
Under the Environment Education component, the project has been able to: include environmental education in teacher education syllabuses for secondary science and early childhood courses; train over 5,000 teachers islandwide in Environmental Management at grades two, three, five, and six; establish codes of conduct relating to the integration of environmental issues in pilot sector; convene a workshop on sustainable development in education for teacher education institutions; and develop an Environmental Education syllabus for prospective primary school teachers.
Anticipated targets for this fiscal year include the publication, communication and dissemination of an environmental stewardship policy and guidelines; conducting workshops for the development of ministry/agency specific environmental stewardship action plans; convening stakeholder consultations on drafting instructions, using a regulatory impact analyst approach; creating mechanism and materials for institutionalizing LSDP training within the department of Local Government and partner institutions; supporting NEPA to conduct research on housing; and finalizing the implementation of environmental management systems in two private sector organizations.
The project is funded by the Government and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and is expected to end in October this year.