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The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is in the process of preparing the 2017 State of the Environment (SOE) Report, which will outline the entity’s environmental stewardship over the last four years.

This was disclosed by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Government Town Planner, NEPA, Peter Knight, who said the report “is a very useful document that (will serve to) account for what we are doing”.

“This report is going to bring to the fore our accountability… how have we accounted for the resources we have spent; how have we accounted for the oversight of managing the environment,” he said.

He was speaking at a Stakeholders’ Inception Meeting towards the preparation of the SOE report held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday (October 25).

Mr. Knight further noted that the report, which is expected to be completed by March 2019, will provide information on the conditions, trends and pressures on Jamaica’s built environment, natural and cultural heritage, and socio-economic matters.

It will also include discussions on resilience, emerging risks and environmental outlooks. The methodology in preparing the document will include the internationally accepted Drivers-Pressures-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework, which examines the inter-relationship between the society and the environment.

The NEPA CEO noted that the report will provide reference data that can be utilised by all sectors.

“We want to be able to influence policy, but we also want the product to be useable, so we are looking for something that is useable for all sectors of the society. So primary schools, secondary schools, university, et cetera, should be able to use the document as a good reference,” he said.

The report will be aligned to Vision 2030 Jamaica: National Development Plan, thereby contributing to Jamaica achieving its national goals. In addition, it will enable the country to meet various international commitments.

Canadian-based firm, ESSA Technologies Limited, through its Lead Consultant, Dr. Ravidya Burrowes, has been contracted to prepare the report.