The delegation, consisting of nineteen (19) students pursuing the Masters of Science (MSc) Built Environment in the Faculty of the Built Environment at the Kingston-based institution and two (2) academic staff, will be spending time in St. Kitts and Nevis learning more about the various aspects of environment and architecture management, and will engage with numerous stakeholders in correlated industries.
The delegation will be led by Mr. Laurence Neufville. The Jamaican geologist and landscape specialist has been part of the Institution’s faculty for over eight (8) years. He is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Management from the Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester, UK); while he already holds a Masters Degree in Earth Observation and Environmental Geosciences from the International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Science (ITC, Netherlands); a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology and Geography from the University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica) and numerous post graduate and certificate qualifications and accreditations.
In his professional capacity as a Chief Inspector of Mines in Jamaica, Mr. Neufville has been charged with:
· Supervising and regulating all Mining and Quarrying companies for proper engineering techniques, occupational health and safety, land reclamation and restoration;
· Managing and directing the affairs of the Inspectorate Unit;
· Conducting training exercises for staff members;
· Monitoring all Exploration Activities;
· Examining Applicants for Blasting Licences;
· Establishing and Maintaining a Computer database for Mining, Rehabilitation and Mineral Production;
· Developing a GIS to manage Bauxite Mining data.
Joining Mr. Neufville on the trip to the Federation will be Dr. Amani Ishemo, who is a senior lecturer at UTech; an adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), (Mona, Jamaica) and an adjunct Professor at the University College of the Caribbean (Kingston, Jamaica). He received his PhD in Environmental Management from UWI (Mona, Jamaica) in 2005, a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Ball State University (Indiana, USA) in 1984 and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Dar-Es-Salaam (Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania) in 1980.
Dr. Ishemo has held posts as Senior Regional Planner in Tanzania and Physical Planner specialist with the United Nations Development Program in the Eastern Caribbean. His main research interests lie in small scale development strategies, rural development, natural hazard management and land use planning. His recent work was published in the Geographical Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, and the Journal of Management of Environmental Quality. In addition to serving on various committees of Jamaican Government Ministries, Dr. Ishemo is currently an advisor to the office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) for the Inter-American Development Bank funded project on “Natural Hazard Management in Urban Coastal areas of Jamaica”. He is also a researcher on a European Union funded programme “Reinforcing the Caribbean Islands’ Capacity to Face Risks”.
The delegation will benefit from the expertise of local specialists in the area of built environment management. Among their scheduled meetings and briefing sessions will be included:
· Presentations on Land Administration and Management Issues by the Director of Lands, Calvin Esdaille from the St. Kitts perspective and by Claudia Walwyn, Environment Officer, on the Nevis perspective;
· A presentation on Environmental Protection, Managing The Natural Environment and Approaches to Sustainable Development by the Director of Planning, Randolph Edmeade;
· A presentation on the State of GIS, by GIS/IT Consultant, Eduardo Mattenet; and
· Presentations on Urban & Regional Planning/Physical Planning, by the Departments of Physical Planning on Nevis and St. Kitts.
The group will also be exposed to some related areas such as:
· Disaster Risk Reduction & Disaster Management presented by Carl Herbert of NEMA;
· National Economic Development of the Federation by Terrence Crossman, Chief Executive Officer of the Sugar Diversification Investment Fund;
· System of Government of the Federation presented by Sir Probyn Inniss; and
· History & Culture of the Federation by Director of Culture, Creighton Pencheon.
Field trips to many of the major development sites on both Nevis and St. Kitts will round out the technical experience of the group while they will be treated to guided island tours on both islands.
President of the JamKit Association, Carol Phillips, indicated her pleasure that the delegation could visit the Federation in this year in which Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary of Political Independence is being celebrated. She pointed out that, given the challenges facing the Region and the need for sustainable development, it is a positive sign to have a group of individuals engaging meaningfully with the issues surrounding development, not only in Jamaica but throughout the wider Caribbean Region.
The Association looks forward to welcoming the delegation and anticipates that the Federation will provide a dynamic and positive experience for the team which she expects to benefit significantly from the unique cultural and developmental experiences offered by St. Kitts & Nevis.