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Growth & Jobs | Economic growth synonymous with environmental stability - Emanuel

Published:Sunday | October 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer

Pointing to improvements in disaster management that have led to reductions in mortality, Elizabeth Emanuel, programme director at the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat, believes that disaster risks in general, have not been significantly reduced, resulting in economic losses and stifled growth.

Addressing the Jamaica Rural Economy Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change end-of-Project Symposium, which was held last week at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, Emanuel said environmental stability will go a far way in enhancing growth levels for Jamaica.

"Our national development plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica, continues to postulate the need for a strong relationship between environmental sustainability and economic growth and stresses that pitting economic growth against environmental sustainability is a false dichotomy - and are key lessons that we have learned and continue to learn," she said.


Dependent on coastal zones


Emanuel also noted that Jamaica's economic growth has, for a long time, been dependent on coastal zones.

"Notwithstanding, our vulnerability to these hazards remains high as Jamaica, like other small-island developing states, has a relatively long coastline and a huge concentration of economic activity in coastal zones, due primarily to the high and growing economic importance of tourism (predominantly coast-based) and the high concentration of the population on the coast," Emanuel said.

As such, the programme director suggested that more should be done to build the country's resilience in order to increase possibilities for growth and development.

"(We must) make greater use of economic instruments for environmental management as a means of guiding behaviour towards environmentally responsible activities of consumers, businesses, and even the public sector and away from undesirable actions through economic incentives and disincentives."