JIS News

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  • The National Land Agency (NLA) was recently crowned winner of a sustainable development map competition, hosted by the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ).
  • The winning maps were developed by the GIS Analysis Unit in the Division.
  • Invitation has been extended for entries to the map competition in this year’s observance of GIS Day on November 16.

The National Land Agency (NLA) was recently crowned winner of a sustainable development map competition, hosted by the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ).

The competition was conducted as part of the Annual National Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day Exposition on November 18 last year, to raise awareness about the importance of maps and geospatial information to the management of the sustainable development goals.

During a ceremony, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on May 4, to launch GIS Day and Geography Awareness Week 2016, the NLA was announced as having submitted two of the best maps, walking away with both the first and second place prizes.

The agency’s submission: ‘The Changing Face of Jamaican Land Tenure and ‘Implications for Agriculture and Food Security in Achieving Sustainable Development’, which looked at land distribution across the island, with a focus on agricultural lands in relation to urban centres, was selected as the top entry.

This map was done to underline the theory that many urban centres have consumed perimeter lands designated for agriculture.

The second place entry was entitled: ‘Saving Hellshire Beach: Combating Climate Change, Reshaping Jamaica’s Southern Coastline’. It depicted shoreline recession due to climate change-induced coastal erosion and its physical and socio-economic impact on Hellshire Beach and surrounding communities.

The two maps covered National Development Goals 1, 2, 11 and 13, which speak to ending poverty and hunger, achieving food security and the promotion of sustainable agriculture, as well as to making cities and human settlements inclusive safe, resilient and sustainable. Goal 13 speaks to taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Manager of the Mapping and Survey Division of the NLA, Mr. Milton Saunders, told JIS News that the first place award justifies the hard work put into the entries and the development of maps at the agency.

“It means a lot to us; we are quite elated because a lot of work went into it. It makes sense to us, being the national agency responsible for the production of maps on behalf of the Government, to have been a part of this,” he said.

The winning maps were developed by the GIS Analysis Unit in the Division.

The Water Resources Authority was awarded third place, for its entry – ‘Jamaica’s Water Resource Status: 2010’ – which examined the country’s water resource for 2010, with projected 2025 demands on each water basin for the municipal, irrigation and agricultural sectors.

Portmore Municipal Council and the Westmoreland Parish Council were also recognised for their submissions.

The winning map will be submitted to the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) Secretariat exhibition: ‘Geospatial Information Underpinning Sustainable Development’, being staged in recognition of the International Map Year (IMY), this year.

It will be displayed at the Sixth Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the UN-GGIM to be held in New York in August.

Invitation has been extended for entries to the map competition in this year’s observance of GIS Day on November 16. GIS Day will conclude activities to be hosted for Geography Awareness Week from November 9 to 16, under the theme ‘Geospatial Technologies: Advancing Public Health Services’.

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