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Jamaica to increase fines under the NRCA and Wildlife Protection Act

By Chris Patterson

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Stiffer fines and penalties are coming for environmental breaches, says minister without portfolio in the ministry of economic growth and job creation, senator Matthew Samuda, while making his contribution to the Appropriations Bill, 2024, debate in the Senate on Wednesday, March 27.

Senator Samuda said amendments will be made to the Wildlife Protection Act and the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act to introduce stiffer fines and penalties for individuals and corporations.

“The fines under the NRCA Act and the Wildlife Protection Act have been the source of much consternation for a long period of time. [For] the current fines under the NRCA Act, [the] ceiling is $50,000, and $1.5 million under the Wildlife Protection Act. When we table the amendments which are coming, that will move to $5 million for individuals for both pieces of legislation and $10 million for corporate bodies, this year, putting in appropriate penalties for polluters in this country,” he outlined.

Meanwhile, the minister announced that two environmental policies have been tabled in the parliament. They are the Protected Areas Green Paper as well as Jamaica’s New Watershed Policy.

Additionally, senator Samuda said Jamaica will complete its national policy on the environmentally sound management of single-use plastics.

“We will begin to separate waste, in particular plastic waste, at all government facilities nationally. Jamaica will also enter phase four of the ban on some plastic materials on June 1 of this year. This phase will include a ban on the manufacture and import and distribution of single-use plastic lunch boxes and on personal care products that use microplastics.”

Senator Samuda also noted that Jamaica currently recycles more than 30 percent of the plastic bottles produced on a monthly basis. The government is committed to working closely with the National Solid Waste Management Authority and Recycling Partners of Jamaica to improve waste management targets.



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