Strengthening the Operational and Financial Sustainability of NPAS-UNDP DRR, Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounoune

Jun 30, 2016

OPENING REMARKS

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Dr. Elsie Laurence Chounoune

NPAS Grantees Workshop

Strengthening the Operational and Financial Sustainability of NPAS

30 June 2016

 

 

  • Mrs. Vivienne Williams Thompson - Director, Planning, Projects, Evaluation and Research, NEPA
  • Other staff of NEPA
  • Members of the Public Sector
  • UNDP Staff
  • Grantees
  • Partners and Stakeholders
  • Members of the media

 

A pleasant morning to you all.

I am delighted to represent UNDP at this timely and relevant event this morning. Enhancing and empowering people through human development is at the core of UNDP’s role and we recognize the contribution that ecosystems, natural resources and in particular protected areas can play in ensuring sustainable livelihoods of persons. Jamaica’s economy is highly dependent on its natural resources and ecosystems play a critical role in addressing the impacts of climate change.

Recognizing the important role of the country’s protected areas and the challenges to manage them, UNDP partnered with the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) to implement the Strengthening the Operational and Financial Sustainability of the National Protected Area System (NPAS) Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP with support from the GOJ.

While the project seeks to improve the policy and regulatory framework and sustainable financing for protected areas management at the national level, it also seeks to address management and funding issues at the local and community levels with focus on selected entities on the ground playing a role in protected areas management. The multi-level and multidimensional approach used in the project is critical to achieve and sustain results. This is in line with UNDP’s focus on effective community based interventions while improving the national system.

The award of nine (9) grants to selected entities for implementation of revenue generation mechanisms and conservation based economic activities is a testimony of the on the ground presence of the project.  Critical to protected areas management is the ability to access sustainable sources of funding and these grants valuing approximately J$ 19 million will support the entities in generating funds to contribute to the overall management of protected areas in their respective localities.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) make a difference in national and human development. They provide development and management services, humanitarian relief, innovate in service delivery, build local capacity and advocate with and for the poor. It is evident that effective management of Jamaica’s protected areas requires strong and diverse partnerships that will enable creativity and innovation and efficient use of limited resources. Co-management of natural resources is integral to their protection and conservation. Public, private and civil society partnerships will be essential for achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the Grantees here today will have an impact on all the SDGs, you will play a major role in achieving SDGs, 13, 14 and 15. More importantly, you will impact the lives of persons who depend on healthy ecosystems for survival.

I congratulate NEPA for organizing this important workshop and I laud the GOJ for its commitment to the sustainable use and conservation of Jamaica’s natural resources. I also congratulate you the Grantees for being selected to receive grants and I applaud you for the significant work that you have been doing with limited resources. I recognize your commitment, perseverance and resilience. I like the fact that there is a mix of public sector and civil society organizations who are receiving grants.

I encourage all Grantees to ensure that their initiatives are effective, results based and have a clear impact on communities and persons on the ground. In order to help you do this you must closely monitor and track the delivery of outputs. You must ensure that the grants are used in the best possible way to ensure sustainability of outcomes. You must be accountable for the use of funds and delivery of results.

I hope you will successfully share knowledge and experiences, build your capacity in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), discuss sustainability, accountability and reporting requirements and network and form partnerships. We also hope that all the partners, including UNDP, will be recognized by you for the support they have provided.

UNDP remains committed to working with the GOJ and other stakeholders in ensuring that Jamaica’s natural resources are sustainably used for the development and enjoyment of all Jamaicans. I wish you an enjoyable, informative and successful workshop.

I thank you.

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