JIS News

Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, has informed that work is ongoing on the finalisation of the country’s National Implementation Plan (NIP) for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
“These chemicals pose a serious threat to human health and the environment. The NIP outlines the country’s status in relation to the 12 POPs, commonly referred to as the ‘dirty dozen’, listed under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants,” Mr. Spencer informed in Gordon House yesterday (June 3).
The Minister added that it is anticipated that the NIP will be finalized and submitted to Cabinet for approval in the first quarter of the 2008/9 financial year.
On another matter, Mr Spencer said work continued towards the completion of an Act for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer and the Natural Resources Conservation (Wastewater and Sludge) Regulations.
The Act for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer seeks to facilitate the phasing-out of the importation of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), while the Natural Resources Conservation (Wastewater and Sludge) Regulations will regulate the treatment and discharge of wastewater and sludge in the environment.
“It is anticipated that the regulations will be promulgated in the 2008/9 financial year,” Mr. Spencer said.
Meanwhile, the Bio-Safety and the National Environment and Planning legislation are being developed. The Bio-Safety Bill deals with the issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and will facilitate the country’s accession to the Protocol on Biosafety under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
For the National Environment and Planning legislation, Mr. Spencer informed that through funding from the Environment Action Programme (ENACT), a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed for the review of the existing environment and planning framework and the development of a new environment and planning regime in Jamaica. “A consultant was contracted to conduct this review,” Mr. Spencer said.