Gov't to protect public access to beaches

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Gov't to protect public access to beaches

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica - The government yesterday revealed plans for a Beach Access and Management Policy aimed at increasing access to the foreshore, and improving the quality of beaches available to the public.

A copy of the proposed policy, tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday by Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change Pearnel Charles Jr, listed a number of changes aimed at meeting these goals.

These include increasing the number of public beaches of “good quality”, properly maintained and accessible to the general public; establishing requirements for public consultations at parish level on the adequacy and types of beaches to be made available for recreational purposes; and prohibiting the sale of public beaches without Cabinet approval.

The policy also intends to provide and maintain access to the foreshore; promote good beach house practices; review and promulgate legislation to include the right to access the beaches; streamlining the categories of beaches and other fees, where applicable, to be regulated under the Beach Control Act; and rationalising the ownership and management of fishing beaches.

A Ministry Paper (#78\20), which was also tabled by the minister, noted that subsequent to the tabling of the draft policy as a Green Paper in Parliament, public consultations will commence, and comments coming out of those consultations will inform the revision of the policy.

Charles said that, thereafter, the revised policy will be submitted to Cabinet for approval and tabled in Parliament as a White Paper.

Balford Henry

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