Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, is assuring residents of Negril of the government's commitment to working with them to tackle all planning and environmental issues affecting the resort area.
Minister Pickersgill, who was addressing a Stakeholders Meeting held on April 26, at the Couples Swept Away Hotel located in the Westmoreland town, said that as Negril has developed, the matter of the sustainability of the area has come to the fore and tackling the various issues will require the input of all stakeholders.
"Negril is much too important to the country and your businesses for us not to coalesce around the issues, identify solutions, decide on a plan of action and measure successes through credible means of evaluation,” he stated.
He told the stakeholders that the government is making climate change a priority, evidenced by the establishment of a ministry with specific responsibility for issues related to the phenomena, and is integrating climate-proofing in its policies, planning processes and programmes.
In addition, the Minister, earlier this month, announced a new specialised Climate Advisory Committee headed by Dr. Conrad Douglas, who will be working along with scientists and other professionals from academia, government ministries, departments and agencies, civil society, and non-government organisations.
The committee, he said, “will grapple with the issues and present science-based advice to allow the government to execute activities to place Jamaica at the forefront of climate change."
Minister Pickersgill said an educational programme on climate change, to cover the entire island, will also be undertaken.
Also participating in the meeting were Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Luther Buchanan; Minister of State for Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Ian Hayles; and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water, Land Environment and Climate Change, Genefa Hibbert.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter