JIS News

Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, has informed that an Orchid Policy along with a Watersheds Policy proposal have been finalized and are to be sent to Cabinet for approval.
He made this announcement during his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (June 3).
The Minister stated that the Orchid Policy seeks to establish guidelines for the conservation and management of orchids listed under the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The Watersheds Policy aims to provide guidance towards the integrated management, protection, conservation, and development of land and water resources in watersheds for their sustainable use and for the benefit of Jamaica as a whole.
He also announced that the Environmental Management Systems Policy and Strategy, the Environmental Stewardship of Government Operations and the Dolphin Policy have been completed and are undergoing final reviews.
The Environmental Management Systems Policy & Strategy seeks to establish the framework within which an organization (private or public) can improve performance by addressing the impacts of products, processes, and services on the environment.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Stewardship of Government Operations aims to promote environmental stewardship principles within the operations of the public sector by setting out measures towards the reduction and elimination of unsustainable production and consumption patterns, with particular focus on resource conservation, pollution prevention, occupational health and safety, waste reduction, green procurement and more effective and efficient management of assets.
In addition, the Dolphin Policy seeks to establish guidelines towards dolphin protection and conservation in Jamaica.
The following policies are also being developed: the Hazardous Substances and Hazardous Wastes Management Policy, which seeks to set out the institutional arrangements and guiding principles for the environmentally sound management of hazardous waste in Jamaica, and the Biosafety Policy, which aims to set out the institutional framework for experimentation, handling, management, release, use and trade of genetically modified organisms, risk assessment, and risk management.
Mr. Spencer also informed that new approaches are being considered regarding the Beach Policy, and a Wetlands Policy.
“The draft Beach Policy addresses wetlands, wildlife habitat, and mangroves. There are already guidelines and draft policies on wetlands, sea grass, mangroves, and coral reefs. It is proposed that a coastal policy incorporating these elements could be developed as an update of the National Policy on Oceans and Coastal Zone Management (2002) and the Beach Policy could address access issues,” the Minister informed.

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