Recently, CAPRI researcher Monique Graham travelled to Bogota, Colombia to attend the conference ‘Measuring Sustainable Development Goals in Latin America and Caribbean Cities: Exchange of Experiences and Best Practice’, where she presented on the attainment of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Jamaica. The presentation highlighted that Jamaica is doing fairly well in attaining its SDGs.
The research was not localised to any specific city as it assessed Jamaica’s progress with reference to Vision 2030. Vision 2030 outlines SDGs specific to the nation. The four main goals of Vision 2030 are the empowerment of Jamaicans, ensuring a secure and cohesive society, fostering a prosperous economy and safeguarding a healthy natural environment.
Graham’s presentation spoke on the socioeconomic and environmental development of Jamaica, which encompasses all 4 goals. Jamaica has increased allocations to social programmes such as PATH by more than 70% over the past 5 years. The Citizen Security Justice Programme targets crime by involving 50 vulnerable communities in counselling, tuition, job opportunities and vocational training. Jamaica’s economic development has focused on reducing the fiscal burden of debt repayment, macro-economic stability and improving the ease of doing business on the island.
Jamaica also fares comparatively well with regards to solid waste management. Only 19% of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have solid waste management plans. Previous CAPRI research has discussed the improvement of Jamaica’s Deposit Return Scheme. In light of this and other recommendations, the Government of Jamaica has announced a 200% increase in the payout amount for returned PET waste, to come into effect on September 2019.
By the end of the presentation and the conference itself, it became abundantly clear that SDG goals in all three areas of development influence each other. None of the goals can be truly separated from the other without compromising the sustainability of the endeavour.