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The Land Information Council of Jamaica and the National Spatial Data Management Branch have been commended for their continued use and promotion of geospatial technologies locally and regionally.

Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., hailed the organisations as he delivered greetings at the virtual staging of the 18th National GIS Day Exposition, held on November 18.

“I am very happy that Jamaica is a pioneer and continues to lead in the use of this technology in the Caribbean, and they are ranked first in the region and ninth out of 55 countries within the North, South, Latin American and Caribbean region. In fact, Jamaica is the only Caribbean country that is ranked in the top 25,” the Minister said.

“This landmark achievement for our nation is evidence of the pioneering work in the field that is being carried out by our Land Information Council of Jamaica, as well as the National Spatial Data Management Branch, and also reflects the hard work that they put in to promote the technology both here, throughout the Caribbean and globally. I extend my congratulations and commendations to both entities,” he continued.

The Minister also acknowledged the efforts of partner entities like the University of the West Indies, Mona, which have promoted the use of geospatial technologies through “training, education and public awareness initiatives such as the annual National GIS Day Exposition.

He cited the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) push to equip public-sector workers with the geospatial knowledge and other skill sets needed to carry out duties, and underscored the Administration’s commitment to preparing youth for future career options through initiatives like the GIS in Schools Education Programme.

“Additional support has now been provided to facilitate an enterprise licence agreement for schools programme, with the provision of GIS software, licences and training. The Ministry and the Council both remain committed to partnering with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, as well as UWI Mona, in promoting the continued and effective use of geospatial technology in driving education and in driving training opportunities towards future viable and innovative career options for our youngsters,” said Minister Charles Jr.

Geospatial technologies are utilised in decision-making processes by planners, entrepreneurs, academics, environmentalists, policymakers and many others.

The 18th staging of the National GIS Day Exposition was held virtually this year due to COVID-19 and was observed under the theme ‘Geospatial Technologies: Shaping Our Future’.

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