The Government is to continue work on the development of a National Spatial Plan for the country this year, following the allocation of an additional $14 million in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.
The plan, work on which commenced in January 2010, is being tailored to provide the strategic spatial framework to guide urban development and investment decision making. It aims to ensure optimal use of the nation’s land resources, and outline the framework for their effective use and management.
Its overall objective is to provide: technical and project coordination and administrative support; procure equipment, goods and services; engage consultants; and draft a national spatial plan.
Achievements, up to March 2012, include: completion of land use surveys and growth centre audits for more than 73 locations; commencement of the procurement process to engage a consultancy team; drafting of sector reports for agriculture and tourism; utilizing base geo-spatial data formerly issued by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA); and establishing a Project Advisory Committee and sub-committees.
The allocation for 2012/13 will go towards the drafting of a situational analysis report and consultation plan, completion of the plan document, among other activities.
The project is jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter