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Cabinet has approved a National Plan of Action (NPA) aimed at protecting the marine environment from land-based sources of pollution.
Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman, who made the announcement at yesterday’s (Feb. 13) post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, said that the NPA represented an “integrated and strategic action plan and management framework for addressing the marine environment and its relationship to the sources of land-based pollution”, namely sewage, pesticide run-off from agricultural lands, and solid waste.
Objectives and actions, he said, were developed for each source of pollution in accordance with existing policy, legislative and institutional framework.
According to the Information Minister, “the programme is the result of consolidated or integrated proposal from various entities and incorporates a number of ideas and issues coming out of other policy documents for example, the Solid Waste Policy, Forestry Management and Conservation Plan, Kingston Harbour Rehabilitation projects and so on”.
The objective, he said, was to extract from these existing policies, and consolidate them in a manner, which impacted more specifically on the coastal zone and the marine environment.
The Information Minister noted that NPA was coming at a time when recognition was being given the importance of the marine environment to the country’s development.
“We know the economic and social benefits of the Caribbean Sea in terms of tourism, our ports, the business of transshipment and also in terms of the environment, which creates the type of life cycle that we enjoy in an island and we also know the dangers,” he pointed out.
The NPA sets out a five-year programme from 2005 to 2010, and will incorporate all the relevant projects, which are already in existence or to come on stream as a result of studies done.
Meanwhile, the Information Minister also announced that an Energy Policy would be provided for tabling as a Green Paper in Parliament later this year.