Just over $14 million has been allocated in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives, to effect the National Quick Start Programme Trust Fund Project, in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change.
The project, formerly known as the Globally Harmonized System of the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, is being implemented by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).
It aims to build Jamaica’s capacity to manage chemicals in an environmentally sound manner, in keeping with the 2020 target of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Strategic Approach to International Chemical Management (SAICM).
Activities envisaged under the programme include: preparation of drafting instructions for legislation to govern the management of chemicals; updating the national chemical profile, slated for implementation by 2014; development of a National Chemicals Emergency Response Plan (NCERP); training of officers in the handling of hazardous materials; developing and implementing a national programme for the environmentally sound management of electrical and electronic waste; and undertaking a mercury and asbestos inventory.
The allocation for 2012/13 will go towards the preparation of drafting instructions; undertaking of inventory and training; and development of the NCERP, and programme for environmentally sound management of electrical and electronic wastes.
The project, which is slated to be executed between April 2012 and March 2014, is being funded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter