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Story Highlights

  • Jamaica, today (March 22) marked another milestone on its continued path towards a green economy, with the official handing over of the country’s Green Economy Scoping Study.
  • A green economy, as defined through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Green Economy Initiative, is one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.
  • The Scoping Study, which was financed by the UNEP, through the European Commission, sets out several options of enabling conditions for the Agriculture, Construction, Energy, Tourism and Water sectors.

Jamaica, today (March 22) marked another milestone on its continued path towards a green economy, with the official handing over of the country’s Green Economy Scoping Study.

The study, entitled ‘Green Economy: A Tool for Sustainable Development’, along with a separate document highlighting how a green economy ties in to Jamaica’s national development plan, Vision 2030, were officially presented to Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz, at a ceremony, held at the Devonshire,  Devon House, in Kingston.

Mr. Vaz, in his remarks, said the Scoping Study reveals that the green economy provides a robust engine for economic growth and job creation, which he noted is in keeping with the tenets of the newly-established Ministry.

“It is a generator of jobs, which is a vital strategy for the elimination of poverty, and a pathway to prosperity for our people and our country,” he said.

A green economy, as defined through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Green Economy Initiative, is one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

Mr. Vaz said the report also encourages policy makers to create the enabling framework for increased investments in the transition to a green economy, as well as reiterates the need for public-private partnerships.

 “We must advocate for greater involvement and renewed commitment by the private sector in terms of their environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility,” he said, adding that there are opportunities for public-private partnerships for the use of technology and innovation to drive sustainable development.

The Scoping Study, which was financed by the UNEP, through the European Commission, sets out several options of enabling conditions for the Agriculture, Construction, Energy, Tourism and Water sectors. The five targeted sectors were identified to be first for examination under the project, due to their direct impact on the environment, as well as their contribution to economic growth and development.

“The sectors are the country’s primary foreign exchange earners, the largest consumers of water and significant energy consumers,” Minister Vaz said, noting further that the Green Economy Scoping Study documents provide a response to the country’s challenges, such as poverty, inequitable sharing of resources and environmental degradation.

 Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Lt. Col. Oral Khan, in an interview with JIS News, indicated that the Study was developed under the direction of the Green Economy Steering Committee, led by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Ceation, and included inputs of stakeholders from sectors identified. The University of the West Indies (UWI), was also a key partner.

“The document highlights opportunities that exist. It shows what is possible and what we need to do if we are going to progress towards a green economy and makes recommendations for practical steps. It can guide government, it can guide stakeholders and it can guide private sector on how to engage with the government, so it’s a very useful document,” he said.

Also addressing the function was Minister of Environment and Drainage from Barbados, Hon. Denis Lowe;  Regional Director of UNEP, Leo Heilman; Head of Cooperation of the European Union delegation to Jamaica, Jesus Orus Baguena; and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative in Jamaica, Bruno Pouzeat.