Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Homer Davis, says the Government continues to place high priority on safeguarding the environment while facilitating economic growth and development.
He noted that the establishment of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation is in keeping with the Administration’s focus on driving economic growth and sustainable development.
“It also reflects the Government’s view that economic expansion, environmental protection and other elements of disaster reduction are not in conflict with each other and must be pursued together,” he said.
Mr. Davis was addressing Wednesday’s (November 3) session of the Seventh Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean (RP21), at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
The State Minister told the forum that improvement of the island’s coastal zone is critical for the preservation of the environment, which includes marine life, as well as protection of the tourism industry, agriculture, fishery and water resources, which are climate-sensitive.
“It is for that reason why the Government has initiated coastal line protection projects, such as the Montego Bay Waterfront Protection Project, which seeks to reduce the loss of beachfront acreage to coastal erosion, and to protect vulnerable coastal resources,” he added.
The four-day Regional Flatform is organised by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the Government of Jamaica, and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CEDEMA).
The event has brought together government officials and heads of disaster and emergency management agencies, and other stakeholders in disaster risk reduction, to foster collaboration and the sharing of best practices and techniques.