CAPRI presented the findings on Beyond PET bottles and plastic bags – Fixing Jamaica’s environmental regulatory framework at a public forum on November 28, 2018 at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in the Venetian suite. CAPRI invited Hon. Daryl Vaz, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for the Land, Environment, Climate Change and Investments, Dr. Diana Thorburn, Director of Research, CAPRI, Mrs. Diana McCaulay, CAPRI Affiliate Researcher and Prof. Dale Webber, Principal, University of the West Indies Mona and Ms. Denise Forrest, Managing Director, Forrest & Associates to discuss CAPRI's research and recommendations on an environmental regulatory framework for Jamaica. The conversation was moderated by Ms. Danielle Andrade, Attorney-At-Law, Goffe Law.
Dr. Diana Thorburn highlighted from the study that the confusing regulatory framework, lack of accountability and incomplete laws, regulation and polices are the primary pitfalls to the system in place in Jamaica. The environment portfolio has not had a stable home. Where it has been moved through 13 different ministries, where there is no ability to retain institutional memory or expertise and placed in other ministries of competing mandates. The weakness of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), lack of enforcement, insufficient penalties, ministerial discretion and the absence of public participation all facilitates environmental degradation in Jamaica. The presentation concluded with Dr. Thorburn sharing the following recommendations: exploring the feasibility of an environmental court, promulgating the NEPA Act as a matter of urgent priority, fast tracking of the National Spatial Plan, complete and promulgate the EIA, increase fines and sanctions and settle the portfolio location.