March 6, 2020
On Thursday, March 5, 2020, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) in partnership with the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) hosted part one of a policy dialogue session focusing on developing an integrated waste management system for Jamaica.
The dialogue benefitted from presentations made by the heads of ministries, departments and agencies, which provided greater insights into the integrated waste management system that is required to address the nation’s complex waste management challenges. An update on the Integrated Solid Waste Management Public Private Partnership Project was presented by the Enterprise Team Secretariat housed in the Development Bank of Jamaica, headed by Mr. Lyttleton Shirley.
"The session has provided the enterprise team with an opportunity to strengthen relationships within the waste management sector and develop a Public Private Partnership that will maximize the management of waste without becoming a burden to the people of Jamaica," noted Mr. Shirley.
His Worship the Mayor of Kingston, Senator, Councillor Delroy Williams encouraged the audience of environmental stakeholders to provide seamless coordination among public agencies. “Create a city that is the pearl of the Antilles, and the light of the Caribbean,” said Williams.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Peter Knight, CEO and Government Town Planner, NEPA, challenged fellow environmental stakeholders to work assiduously to secure real commitment. “We cannot continue to kick the can further down the road. It is time to stand up and get some action,” expressed Knight.
During the main address, Mr. Audley Gordon, Executive Director, NSWMA, proposed a three-tiered structure to solve the complex environmental public health issues of waste management. This structure would include three components – public education, legal framework and enforcement. The NSWMA head expressed confidence that these measures could achieve improved environmental conditions. "Solid waste management is a process that requires that we focus on continuous improvement," concluded Mr. Gordon.
Other key agenda items included panel discussions aimed at evaluating the socio-economic impacts of an integrated waste management approach, as well as creating an enabling environment for innovation.
Representatives from the NSWMA, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund participated in the Integrated Waste Management Policy Dialogue Session. Strong representation was also received from the private sector, including WISYNCO, Total Jamaica Eco Structures and Awganic Inputs. Representatives from civil society groups, including academia were also in attendance.
Part Two of the Integrated Waste Management Policy Dialogue session is slated for July 2020 and will bring together the heads of ministries, agencies and the political directorate in the waste management sector. This is designed as the action-oriented next step that will allow for critical decisions to be taken relating to the development of policy, legislation and programmes to support strategic coordination.
(L-R) Ainsworth Carroll, Director, Planning, Projects, Monitoring, Evaluation & Research Division, NEPA, His Worship the Mayor of Kingston, Senator, Councillor Delroy Williams, Joan Gordon Webley, Opposition Spokesperson on Local Government and Community Development, Audley Gordon, Executive Director, NSWMA and Anthony McKenzie, Director, Environmental Management and Conservation Division, NEPA, pose for our lenses during the Integrated Waste Management Policy Dialogue Session-Part 1 held at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on March 5, 2020.
(L-R) Audley Gordon, Executive Director, NSWMA and Peter Knight, CEO and Government Town Planner, NEPA engaging in a discussion during the Integrated Waste Management Policy Dialogue Session-Part 1 held at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on March 5, 2020.