February 25, 2011
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, last Thursday (February 17, 2011) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize what is already a productive collaborate relationship. (See photos attached).
NEPA and UWI will strengthen collaboration on a number of environment focused research and development activities through the MOU which is intended to foster and expand the cooperation between the country’s premier environmental regulator and the University.
"The MOU signing comes at a critical point in our [NEPA’s] existence, as the signing of the MOU will allow us to achieve a number of objectives." said Mr Peter Knight, Chief Executive Officer of NEPA. Mr Knight added that the Agency wants to use evidence-based information to drive the operations of Agency and the MOU will facilitate this process.
Professor Gordon Shirley, Principal of the Mona Campus agreed noting that he "hopes UWI will become NEPA’s back office". Professor Shirley noted also that UWI has much to offer from its research arms and that the MOU will allow students of the University to work with NEPA on real-life projects. Professor Shirley signed on behalf of the university.
The specific areas of cooperation under the MOU include the management of natural resources, biodiversity, ecosystems and protected areas, as well as pollution assessment, hazard mapping, environmental models and simulations, rapid ecological assessment and GIS and data management.
The MOU signing was witnessed by Professors Dale Webber and Ishenkumba Khawa from the UWI, Mr Anthony McKenzie, Manager for Strategic Planning and Policies, NEPA and other representatives of NEPA and UWI.