The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) will be observing its 11th anniversary with a Thanksgiving Service, at the St. Luke's Anglican Church, on Slipe Road, in Kingston, on May 6, beginning at 7:00 a.m.
Manager of Public Education and Corporate Communication at NEPA, Natalie Fearon, told JIS News that the ceremony will highlight the roles and functions of NEPA regarding the environment, as well as the significant achievements of the agency over the past 11 years.
“For Jamaica, an agency such as NEPA is very critical, realising the present and potential impacts of climate change. We carry out important work in relation to climate change, and other components, that are of national importance,” she explained.
She added that the anniversary celebration is geared at sensitising the public about the agency’s work, because many persons are not aware of its purpose.
Ms. Fearon highlighted the Climate Change Adaptation for Disaster and Risk Reduction Project, which is currently underway, and involves a number of agencies, including NEPA.
“With respect to the project, NEPA plays an integral role in relation to coastal management, which involves data logging, and using shore lock technology to encourage secretion of our beaches. We are also involved in the replanting of mangroves, as well as implementing both natural and man-made coral reefs, to further protect our coastlines,” she informed.
She said the church service will also provide the agency with the opportunity to reflect on new initiatives geared at protecting the environment.
Ms. Fearon pointed out that, over the years, the agency has embarked on a number of strategies, in an effort to improve enforcement activities.
"We really have been streamlining, and re-engineering the way we operate to become more efficient. We have, indeed, buttressed our enforcement teams to operate in a more strategic manner." she said.
Ms. Fearon said the agency will continue to undertake activities to achieve its mandate, in line with Jamaica’s National Development Plan – Vision 2030.
Vision 2030 Jamaica is the country’s first long-term national development plan, which aims at enabling Jamaica to achieve developed country status by 2030. It is based on a comprehensive vision: “Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business."
With this in mind, she said NEPA will be utilising several social media sites, such as facebook and twitter, to disseminate information about the agency’s work.
NEPA is the Government’s lead agency with the mandate for environmental protection, natural resource management, land use and spatial planning.
By Jeneva Gordon, JIS PRO