Jamaica scores poorly in Environmental Index
A new research tool to evaluate the progress of countries in giving their citizens rights to access information, access to justice and rights for public participation shows Jamaica scoring well below many Latin American and Caribbean countries.
This new tool, called the Environmental Democracy Index (EDI), was developed by The Access Initiative (TAI) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington, DC.
The EDI was created for civil society, governments, academics, and the private sector to allow them to assess how well their country protects access rights in matters related to the environment.
These rights have been recognised by the United Nations as fundamental to sustainable development and help promote equitable decision-making by improving transparency, stakeholder engagement, and accountability.
According to the data Jamaica ranks well below most countries in Latin American and the Caribbean in all three pillars of the EDI as well as its overall ranking.
For Ease of Access to Information, Jamaica was ranked 17th out of 23 countries.
In terms of Public Participation, only two countries in the region were worst than Jamaica, with the country being ranked 21st out of the 23 countries in the region.
In terms of Access to Justice Jamaica ranked 16 out of 23.
Overall the country was ranked 19th out of the 23 countries in the region.
Chief Executive Officer at the Jamaica Environment Trust Diana McCaulay says she welcomes the tool.
However, she says Jamaica must work harder to better its record in environmental matters.