$31 Million Earmarked for Natural Resource Valuation Project


The sum of $31 million has been earmarked for the Piloting Natural Resource Valuation within Environmental Impact Assessment project in the 2010/11 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.
This project, which is being implemented by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) aims to develop a set of natural resource valuation tools, which will form an integral part of the implementation procedures for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessments.
It also seeks to pilot the incorporation of natural resource valuation tools into the EIA process, to test natural resource valuation in a site of national significance, namely the Cockpit Country; and train and sensitise natural resource valuation professionals.
The money allocated this fiscal year, will facilitate the generation of a report on current natural resource valuation best practices; development of a sourcebook of best practices for undertaking natural resource valuation; the use of appropriate data gathering methods to initiate and provide values and costs to ecosystem services and needs from the pilot project site; and aid policy negotiations to integrate natural resource valuation with the EIA process.
It will also provide technical consultations to facilitate institutionalising natural resource valuation calculations into the planning process, and develop a training module on natural resource valuation.
Up to September 2009, a number of targets have been met. These include the establishment of a project management unit and steering committee, and approval of contracts for technical consultants such as the lead environmental economist and the local economic expert.
Also, a natural resource valuation training module was incorporated into course offerings at academic and training institutions and the preparation of lesson material.
The programme is jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the United Nations Development Programme. The project, which started in September 2008, is expected to last until September 2011.

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