JIS News

Deputy Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Kevin Rushing has emphasised the need for the preservation of Portland’s beauty, heritage and culture in the implementation of development initiatives in the parish.
Addressing a seminar on wetland conservation at the new Port Antonio Marina on February 2, Mr. Rushing said the vast potential which existed in the parish in the areas of social and economic advancement, made it necessary for every effort to be made to ensure that the sustainable development process was conducted in a successful manner.
The seminar, which was organised by the Ridge to Reef Watershed Project and the Coastal Water Improvement Project was aimed at sensitising participants about the beauty, diversity and utility of wetlands.
Noting that sustainable development of Portland was critical to the development of the parish’s tourist industry, Mr. Rushing said Port Antonio had the potential to become Jamaica’s favourite tourist destination, adding that current efforts by the Port Authority of Jamaica and other interests to re-define and re-invent its appeal were appropriate initiatives in that thrust.
He pointed out that Port Antonio’s potential to become Jamaica’s premier tourist destination was being enhanced by a number of initiatives introduced by government, including the recently constructed new Port Antonio Marina by the Port Authority of Jamaica, and the soon to be implemented third phase of the Northern Coastal Highway.
Mr. Rushing said those developments would open up Port Antonio and Portland in general, to a wide range of social and economic possibilities, and gave an assurance that the USAID would assist Portlanders to guide and manage the development of the parish in a sustainable way.
He commended the Jamaican government for recognising the importance of wetlands to both society and biodiversity, and added that the USAID would continue with the comprehensive programme of environmental management which it has been conducting in Port Antonio and other communities of the parish.

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