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The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), is currently working on Development Orders for the parishes of Trelawny, Portland and Manchester and the towns of Santa Cruz and Negril.
According to an Agency Performance Report for 2005/06 tabled in the House last week by Minister of Local Government and Environment, Dean Peart, these orders should be completed this financial year.The orders are intended to provide guidance for development activity in these areas.
Among the major outputs are: maps illustrating property ownership, existing land use, areas susceptible to flooding and landslides, settlement nodes and their urban limits, areas subject to development pressure, environmentally sensitive sites/areas, committed urban lands, areas subject to mining/quarrying, infrastructure, heritage sites, areas of interest or scenic beauty and proposed zoning in each parish. There will also be development plans for growth centres in each parish.
According to the Report, NEPA will also be embarking on an Integrated Watershed Management Project which will cost some US$1,230,340 over the next three years.
“The aim of the project is to develop and implement a model of Best Lessons and Practices for Watershed Area Management Mechanism, including reforestation methodologies,” the document explains.
The report also states that the Government has secured additional funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to carry out the project, which is dubbed, ‘Integrated Watershed and Coastal Area Management (IWCAM)’.
Meanwhile, the performance report states that NEPA is in the process of developing a new monitoring and enforcement strategy. The strategy was developed under the National Programme of Action (NPA), which was recently presented to Cabinet.
“The NPA is intended to provide a multi-faceted, integrated management framework to assist Jamaica in the prioritization of sustainable development needs and goals,” the document explains.
The NPA will also facilitate the implementation of the Land Based Sources Protocol of the Cartagena Convention and all other regional and global multi-lateral environmental agreements.
This convention calls upon its contracting parties, including Jamaica, to develop protocols and other agreements to facilitate the Convention’s effective implementation. The Convention constitutes a legal commitment by these countries to protect, develop and manage their common waters, individually and jointly.
Regarding environmental protection legislation, NEPA has finalized the preparation of Air Quality Regulations and Wastewater and Sludge Regulations. These regulations, the report states, will be promulgated under the Natural Resources Conservation Act this financial year.
“These regulations are specifically aimed at controlling emissions and discharges from industrial sources and will give NEPA the necessary powers to enforce compliance to air quality and effluent standards,” the Report points out.

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