Mon | Oct 22, 2018

Earth Today | Progress on National Spatial Plan

Published:Thursday | September 6, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Ryan Wallace, Spatial/GIS planner at the Manchester Parish Council, asks a question while his colleague from NEPA looks on, during the recent workshop.

THE development of Jamaica's National Spatial Plan (NSP) has been progressing with a series of consultative workshops, including one held on Monday in Kingston.

Four others were held in June - two in Kingston, one in Mandeville, and another in Montego Bay. Some 140 stakeholders participated.

The objective of the workshops is to capture expert stakeholder information in the formulation of the seven technical papers that will guide the development of the National Spatial Plan.

Spatial planning refers to the various approaches used by the Government and non-government participants to influence the distribution of people and activities in spaces of various scale.

"A spatial plan is one of the most important planning instruments in any country. These workshops are a part of the process in shaping our sustainable development goals and priorities," said Frances Blair, manager at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), at the first workshop held in Kingston in June.

Monday's event was a Geographic Information System (GIS) workshop. It is a follow-up to the first GIS workshop held in June 2018. It was intended to present the draft deliverable GIS database and to present and seek feedback on gaps in the spatial data and their metadata.

It also afforded stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the handover of the geo-database and aspects of management/maintenance that will be required by NEPA and others after the handover of the database.

"We are happy that the consultations and workshops are progressing well and are well attended by a number of stakeholders, relevant organi-sations, etc, " said Dr Winsome Townsend, project manager for the Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanism for the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (AP&FM), under which the development of the seven technical papers fall.

The AP&FM is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Jamaica.

"The technical papers will help us to ensure that the NSP is climate-resilient. This is crucial for Jamaica to achieve its sustainable development goals," said Anaitee Mills, project manager at IDB's Climate Change Division.