Cabinet has approved the appointment of the Land Development and Utilization Commission, and the Advisory Board to the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). Both bodies are associated with the Ministry of Land and Environment. Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman made the disclosure today (Jan. 31) at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
The Senator informed journalists that Milton Weise has been selected to chair the eight-member NEPA Advisory Board that will also include Permanent Secretary in the Land and Environment Ministry, Donovan Stanberry.Other members comprising the Board are James Rawle, Chairman of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority; Reverend Oliver Daley; Earl Patterson of the National Works Agency; Professor Ronald Young of the Faculty of Pure and Applied Science at the University of the West Indies; Dr. Allan Kirton; and Ruth Potopsingh, Group Manager of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica.
While explaining that the Advisory Board to NEPA was an entity provided for under the Executive Agencies Act, Senator Whiteman further noted that “the law provides that there should be an advisory board to assist the Chief Executive Officer in the strategic and business planning responsibilities of the agency and the board should be comprised of persons from the public and private sectors”. The NEPA Advisory Board, he added, had taken immediate effect and the appointment of its members will last for a period of two years.
As for the Land Development and Utilization Commission, the Minister explained that “the purpose of the Commission is to ensure that occupiers of agricultural units fulfil their responsibilities under the Act to farm agricultural land in such units, and to ensure that such agricultural lands is as far as possible properly developed and utilised”. He emphasised that given that land was a finite resource, it was important that optimal use be made of agricultural lands in Jamaica.
Ruth Potopsingh has been appointed to serve as Chairman of the Land Development and Utilization Commission, which comprises nine persons. Other members of the Commission include Elizabeth Stair, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Land Agency; Lucille Brodber, quantity surveyor; Lorna Perkins, Director of Urban and Regional Planning in the Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sport; Rose Perrin-Greenwood of the Ministry of Land and Environment; and Marilyn Headley, Conservator of Forests. The remaining three members will be representatives from the Jamaica Agricultural Society, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the National Environment and Planning Agency. Minister Whiteman said the Commission has already been established, and its current membership will last for two years.