The Government will amend a number of climate and environment-related legislation in the 2019/20 fiscal year in an effort to strengthen the regulatory framework governing the management and sustainable use of Jamaica’s biological and natural resources.
This was disclosed by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who delivered the Throne Speech at the ceremonial opening of Parliament on Thursday (February 14) under the theme ‘In Partnership towards the new Prosperous Jamaica’.
Laws that will be amended include the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act, the Forest Act, the Wild Life Protection Act and the Watersheds Protection Act.
This move by the Government forms part of a number of activities being undertaken to ensure the protection and health of the environment.
The Governor-General pointed to other initiatives already implemented by the Government, including the first phase of the ban on some plastic packaging materials.
“The Government has also announced its support of the private sector-led initiative to institute a deposit refund system on plastic bottles; which emanated from discussions at the National Partnership Council,” he said.
“The removal of plastic from the waste stream will reduce the amount that end up in our gullies and other waterways contributing to the flooding in many urban centres,” the Governor-General added.
Meanwhile, the Government will continue its focus on improving water distribution and will increase budgetary allocation to make the commodity available to rural areas.
“The Government continues to work assiduously to address challenges being faced and will shortly announce some interim measures to improve the provision of consistent, potable water to affected areas,” said the Governor- General.