National Spatial Plan Draft to be Completed by December

“The Plan will…provide the strategic spatial framework to guide national development and investment decision-making,” he said, while addressing the opening of the NSP Technical Symposium and launch of phase two of the NSP’s development at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (August 20). A draft of the National Spatial Plan (NSP), which will outline the governance framework for the optimal and effective use and management of Jamaica’s natural resources, is to be completed by December 2019.This was disclosed by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who said the drafting of this modern national physical plan under phase two of the NSP project will update the 1978 National Physical Plan which has been in existence for over 30 years.“The Plan will…provide the strategic spatial framework to guide national development and investment decision-making,” he said, while addressing the opening of the NSP Technical Symposium and launch of phase two of the NSP’s development at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (August 20).Mr. Vaz noted that the Plan will identify priorities for the spatial planning and development of human settlements, commercial and industrial developments, and improvement of infrastructure for public utilities and social amenities.“It will support long-term development that promotes more sustainable land use patterns. The NSP will guide spatial planning and development at the national level and at the local level by guiding the preparation of local development plans and development orders,” he informed.Mr. Vaz said the NSP, which will greatly improve the development application and review process, will also address the major challenges of disaster risk reduction and climate change response, while protecting the environment and enhancing the quality of the built environment.“As a Government, we are committed to making development sustainable, as we adapt as best as we can to climate change and protect the environment while creating jobs to drive the engine of economic growth in Jamaica. The NSP: 2020-2040 will be an important tool towards this achievement,” he said.Importantly, under this second phase of the NSP project, a National Spatial Planning Information Technology (NSPIT) Platform is to be developed and will be used for the dissemination of planning information to guide spatial development at the national, regional and local levels.“The NSPIT Platform will be accessible to the general public and aims to, ultimately, provide all the spatial planning database and information to support online application and processing of development applications. All the Ministries, Agencies and Departments involved in the development processes will, therefore, benefit from a state-of-the-art and dynamic information technology (IT)-supported spatial plan,” he said.Minister Vaz commended the Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanism for the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (AP&FM-PPCR) for conceptualising and using this “sustainable, IT-based and climate-smart approach to developing the NSP”.The AP&FM-PPCR is a US$19.8 million five-year project which focuses on climate adaptation at the national, sectoral and community levels.It underpins the development and alignment of the National Spatial Plan with the National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica.The AP&FM-PPCR also provided the funds to cover the technical aspects of the plan and allocated additional funds to prepare the NSP.The development of the NSPIT is funded by the World Bank and is being implemented under the National Competitiveness Project by Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).Minister Vaz also thanked the Climate Investment Fund, and international donor partner, the Inter-American Development Bank for accommodating the NSP’s preparation.Meanwhile, Acting Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Gillian Guthrie, informed that initial work on the NSP draft is to be done over the next two days during the Technical Symposium, following which, public consultations will be held on the plan islandwide.“There will be particular focus on the engagement of civil society and the municipalities during the consultative process. After the plan is prepared, it will be submitted to the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation for the necessary approvals to be sought”, she said. Story Highlights This was disclosed by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who said the drafting of this modern national physical plan under phase two of the NSP project will update the 1978 National Physical Plan which has been in existence for over 30 years. A draft of the National Spatial Plan (NSP), which will outline the governance framework for the optimal and effective use and management of Jamaica’s natural resources, is to be completed by December 2019. read more

Tourism Ministry Mitigating Any Fallout From Collapse Of Thomas Cooke

Additionally, he said the overall impact could potentially see Jamaica lose just over US$10 million in earnings from a fallout in flight bookings of between 10,000 and 11,000 passengers. Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is confident that Jamaica will be able to mitigate any potential fallout from the collapse of United Kingdom (UK)-based mega tour operator, Thomas Cook. Story Highlights He said the immediate impact of the company’s folding will see Jamaica losing up to half of the 1,800 passengers who were booked to arrive on rotation flights from Manchester, England, between Monday (September 23) and October 31. Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is confident that Jamaica will be able to mitigate any potential fallout from the collapse of United Kingdom (UK)-based mega tour operator, Thomas Cook.He said the immediate impact of the company’s folding will see Jamaica losing up to half of the 1,800 passengers who were booked to arrive on rotation flights from Manchester, England, between Monday (September 23) and October 31.Additionally, he said the overall impact could potentially see Jamaica lose just over US$10 million in earnings from a fallout in flight bookings of between 10,000 and 11,000 passengers.Speaking at a media briefing in Kingston on Tuesday (September 24), Mr. Bartlett said that the Government, through the Ministry, is moving to cauterise any potential repercussions to another 20 flights out of Europe’s Nordic region, which incorporates countries such as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.He advised that Tourism Director, Donovan White, has been in touch with overseas tour operators and airlines with which Jamaica has forged strong relationships, to explore the most effective solutions.“As a matter of fact, he (Mr. White) is in London now… making contact with other partners such as TUI… and to make sure that Condor [Airlines] is going to fly and that they are not going to [experience a] fallout, even though they are connected with Thomas Cooke,” Mr. Bartlett said.The Minister said based on the interventions being pursued, “we believe we will be fairly well protected for the other rotations that would have come through [Thomas Cooke]”.“The good news for us, really, is that we have that resilience in terms of the outreach of our marketing activities. We think we will be able to recover, perhaps, half of those 1,800 passengers… based on re-bookings and other airlines coming in to pick up the slack… and to work with some of our other partners [to protect the other rotations],” he added.Mr. Bartlett, who is slated to fly to London to join Mr. White and other tourism officials for the Jamaica Travel Market from September 24 to 26, indicated that “when we [return] we will be able to give a fuller report in terms of the extent to which we have been able to cover ourselves and protect our market for the winter and beyond”. read more