I posted the press release earlier this week from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, correcting an announcement that Jamaica had both signed and ratified the Escazú Agreement. In fact, Jamaica signed but has not yet ratified. This is the Jamaica Environment Trust’s response…
The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) notes the October 1 press release from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, correcting an earlier announcement that Jamaica had both signed and ratified the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters (the Escazú Agreement) at the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York last week. The release stated that although Jamaica had signed the landmark treaty to ensure environmental justice in the region, ratification must be done by Cabinet.
JET records its disappointment at this turn of events and hopes that a timeline of the process to develop the required legislation with the necessary public input will be released shortly, in order that ratification of the Escazú Agreement can be achieved without delay.
“As an example of what now needs to be done, regulations for the conducting of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) including public participation requirements have been languishing for several years,” said JET CEO, Suzanne Stanley. “Bringing these rules into line with the standards set by the Escazú Agreement would be an excellent first step in the process.”
The Escazu Agreement will enter into force after ratification by 11 countries.