JIS News

Senior Director in the Environmental Management Division of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Leonie Barnaby, is urging greater private sector participation in environmental matters of national importance, through collaborations with public sector stakeholders.
This, she contends, is necessary in order to ensure the continued improvement of Jamaica’s environment, and by extension, the quality of life experienced by the population, through new partnerships forged, and the strengthening of existing ones.
She made the appeal while addressing Wednesday’s (September 15) launch of the European Union (EU) funded ‘Capacity Building of Caribbean Private Sector Environmental and Energy Management Capabilities’ project, being undertaken by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and the Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston.
Ms. Barnaby pointed out that some of the administration’s most effective approaches to dealing with environmental issues have been effected through partnerships with the private sector. She cited, as an example, a project to phase out the use of lead acid batteries, describing the results of that undertaking as being “very good.”
“In this regard, the (OPM) would like to encourage the private sector organisation to consider the re-establishment of a mechanism, similar to the business council on the environment, which had allowed for real collaboration between the private and public sectors, which have concerns about the environment,” she said.
Noting that Jamaica’s environmental framework incorporated a core set of policies, legislations and action plans, Ms. Barnaby advised that the country’s National Development Plan, Vision 2030, was being looked at to assist in guiding the processes involved in addressing environmental issues.
She pointed out that the overarching goal is for Jamaica to have a healthy natural environment. To this end, she said the outcomes are expected to result in: sustainable management and use of environmental and natural resources; hazard risk reduction and adaptation to climate change; and sustainable urban and rural development.
Pointing to the various public sector entities operating within the environment portfolio, Ms. Barnaby cited the need for greater collaboration and inter-agency approaches to dealing with environmental matters.
She highlighted an established thematic working group on the environment, chaired by National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Peter Knight, adding that “possibly, this will be an opportunity for private sector participation in dealing with looking at the strategies to implement Vision 2030.”
“From the government side, we are also looking at environmental stewardship. We are also looking at how we can conserve, and we are developing an environmental stewardship policy for government operations. So, we hope that between the public and private sectors, we will be showing a very responsible attitude to the environment, realising that it’s really up to us, not just to benefit from it now, but to preserve it for the future,” Ms. Barnaby said.