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  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says the revised rainwater harvesting planning policy guideline will have provisions to facilitate water harvesting for housing and commercial developments.
  • The Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony for the launch of Green Expo 2019, at the National Arena in St. Andrew, on June 6.
  • “A revised Rainwater Harvesting Planning Policy Guideline was completed and the Cabinet submission is being prepared for approval and issuance. The guideline will be issued to the local planning authorities to be included as a condition of approval for all new residential and commercial buildings, where appropriate, to be constructed,” Mr. Vaz said.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says the revised rainwater harvesting planning policy guideline will have provisions to facilitate water harvesting for housing and commercial developments.

The Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony for the launch of Green Expo 2019, at the National Arena in St. Andrew, on June 6.

“A revised Rainwater Harvesting Planning Policy Guideline was completed and the Cabinet submission is being prepared for approval and issuance. The guideline will be issued to the local planning authorities to be included as a condition of approval for all new residential and commercial buildings, where appropriate, to be constructed,” Mr. Vaz said.

He said it is expected that rainwater will significantly augment the available potable water in times of drought, especially in the Kingston Metropolitan Area.

“How we build is important, but where we build is another issue, and so we are currently in the process of preparing a National Spatial Plan, which will provide the basis, guidelines and framework for the optimal use and management of the nation’s land resources,” he said

Minister Vaz said ensuring sustainable development is critical for the Administration, adding that the recently developed Construction Industry Policy of Jamaica (CIPJ) has established a framework for addressing existing gaps and strengthening weaknesses within the construction sector.

The CIPJ seeks to encourage good environmental management through the incorporation of a rewards system in the tendering of government contracts.

He said some of the environmental protection measures outlined in the CIPJ include encouraging the integration of environmental issues into the development, design and processes of construction projects; the adoption of a nature-based approach through the use of resources that have limited impact on the environment; and the adoption of green building techniques, which includes the use of resources that will have limited impact on the environment.

Meanwhile, he said the use of sound environmental policies and practices is of high priority on the Government’s development agenda.

He noted that the Government is moving to finalise the Emissions Policy framework for Jamaica that will address some of the principal sources of emission, which include fires at disposal sites, as well as the strategies and measures to be employed to address the public health hazard.

Mr. Vaz said Cabinet recently gave approval for Jamaica to sign the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, commonly referred to as the Escazú Agreement.

He said implementation of the Agreement will allow for greater dissemination of information to the public, and promote the active involvement of the public in decision-making with respect to environmental matters.

Mr. Vaz said the Government is also promoting synergies among the Green, Blue and Orange Economies, which relate to creativity and innovation and supporting efforts to achieve sustainable development.

He noted that a Green Economy Scoping Study was undertaken by the Ministry that outlines green considerations in key economic sectors, including tourism, water, housing and agriculture.

Mr. Vaz informed that the Ministry in the 2019/20 financial year, will prepare a Green Economy Investment Strategy and convene a conference to identify opportunities to showcase examples of innovation and creativity in building a green economy.

The Green Expo is an environmental exposition aimed at increasing the awareness, knowledge and implementation of environmentally sustainable practices by the Jamaican public.

The expo will run from Friday, June 7 to Sunday, June 9. It is being organised by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust, the National Environment and Planning Agency and the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica.