JAMAICA | JLP Proud of Environmental Achievements

JAMAICA |  JLP Proud of Environmental Achievements
KINGSTON, November 4, 2021 - The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) says it has taken note of the comments made by the People's National Party (PNP) as it relates to the environmental management of Jamaica and our positioning in the international arena.
In a statement this afternoon, the JLP says "to be abundantly clear, the JLP rubbishes the claims put forward and labels them as hypocritical and baseless. Furthermore, the attacks on the Prime Minister while representing the country at COP26 is a vulgar display of partisan political interest over national interest."

Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr.,Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr.,
According to the JLP, "significant strides have been made in the environmental management of the country under the Jamaica Labour Party Administration of the last 6 years. Further, it is this Andrew Holness led government that has given international leadership and technical direction to global issues of Climate Change. Jamaica’s Climate Change policy and profile is acknowledged as one of the most comprehensive in the region with progressive targets for emissions reduction and carbon sequestration, and resilience building through appropriate climate finance strategies."

The party claim that some of the major achievements over the last five years include:

• 14 forestry orders which remains unprecedented.

• The declaration of the proposed Cockpit Country boundaries after 40 years of lip service.

• The declaration of the Black River Morass area.

The JLP observed that "It is important to note that these declarations have moved Jamaica’s protected areas to exceed 30% of the land mass which, interestingly enough, doubles the target of 15% set by the United Nations."

• The ban on some single use plastic items.

• Completion of the Parish Development Orders.

• The significant increases in capacity and connection to proper sewage systems.

• The tabling and enacting of a Modern Biodiversity policy.

• Converting Goat Island to a Nature Reserve, thereby reversing the PNP's decision to make it a port and logistic hub possibly powered by coal.

• The ongoing project to plant in excess of 3 million trees and restore damaged mangrove forests.

• Jamaica is the first Small Island State to issue a Catastrophe Bond to insure against climate disaster risks, and we are now developing the capacity in the Jamaica Stock Exchange to issue green bonds, leading the way in smart climate financing.

The government's approach to Environmental Management and Climate Change has been acknowledged and recognized. This is evidenced by:

• The PM’s invitation and subsequent service to the UNSG in the drive to achieve the $100 Billion USD target for the replenishment of the Global Climate Fund. This was in conjunction with President Macron of France and The Emir of Qatar.

• The invitations to the PM to represent the views of SIDS at notable fora such as the G7 and G20.

• The PM’s membership of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy convened by PM Solberg of Norway of which only 14 world leaders are members.

• Jamaica has been selected as 1 of 5 pioneer countries by the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance, for support in accessing finance for climate projects.

• Just this week, Jamaica hosted RP21, the VII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean, and became the first Caribbean country to host a Regional Platform of its kind.

We know that our record in Environmental Management and Climate Change is sufficient to ensure that the government is seen as the “greenest since independence”.

It is necessary to remind the public of the environmental record of the PNP, we can recall that in their last term of government they would have been known for the following:

1. The PNP planned to build a port and logistics industrial complex to be powered by a coal plant on Goat Island. We stopped that and are now converting it into a nature reserve.

2. They gave mining licenses to bauxite companies to prospect and mine within the proposed boundaries of the protected area of the Cockpit Country.

3. During their 18 years of government, they allowed the largest destruction of mangrove forests ever in the history of Jamaica.

4. Under the government of the PNP the greatest destruction of watershed areas took place.

The Prime Minister and Leader of the JLP has been on record saying, "There can be no sustainable economic development on the back of environmental degradation and consequently no prosperity steeped in pollution”.
 
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