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The 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ) will be held during the 11th annual recognition of Geography Awareness Week (GAW).
The LICJ was established in 1992 to coordinate the development of a network of GOJ agencies, and other stakeholders and to manage a National Spatial Data Infrastructure. Geography Awareness Week aims to promote awareness about the importance of Geography education while demonstrating the breadth of Geography and its relevance to almost any other subject. The LICJ/ National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD) has responsibility for coordinating GAW activities under the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in Schools Education Programme. A key strategic objective of the NSDMD is to inform and educate the government and people of Jamaica on the use and benefits of GIS and related technologies and how place-based data can improve our development.
A series of events are planned leading up to GIS Day 2017 in recognition of the 25th year anniversary of the LICJ. These activities will highlight the successes in utilizing GIS and related technologies over the 25 years and how GIS is being implemented within Jamaica, as well as its applicability across various sectors ranging from land administration and environmental management to disaster response and socio economic analyses.
National and global security are areas of concern that resonate in development policies and programmes, including Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, otherwise known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal 16 of 17 SDGs speaks to promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. “Security and safety” is a major development concern for the Jamaican society. Current trends in the incidence of crime and violence as well as the resulting levels of insecurity and fear of crime have been identified as major contributors to the low levels of economic growth and threats to the achievement of inclusive development goals.
GIS is a cross cutting subject that can be used to achieve the Ministry’s strategic objectives and the Government’s overall goal of economic growth. Aside from improving the sustainable management of the island’s natural resources, GIS as a tool, can be used to address major national security and public safety challenges. Geospatial tools offer the capability of monitoring, predicting and countering threats while helping to strategize and support field operations. The use of advanced spatial analytical tools and advanced imaging technologies enables the continuous flow of data between intelligence, law enforcement agencies and security companies in pre, real time and post operations.
The focus area for GAW 2017 is therefore “Geospatial Technologies- National Security and Public Safety for All.”
A GIS User Conference will be held October 10-12, 2017 in Kingston Jamaica, with the final day being an award ceremony to recognize contribution to the advancement of the local geospatial industry and the work of the Land Information Council of Jamaica. The conference will comprise a special track dealing with the overall focus area of GIS for national security and public safety, with an emphasis on implementation of the SDGs. The GIS User Conference will therefore look at how geographic information, combined with other information, will help the government measure and monitor implementation of the SDGs, and why it is important to improve the availability of and access to geographic data.
The concept is an agenda spanning a three (3) day period with concurrent sessions focused on particular stakeholders from specific sectors (from business to academia). The intention is to incorporate international speakers as well as local and regional geospatial experts. The structure has therefore been designed with the objective of ensuring targeted presentations and deliberations by the most active regional stakeholders as well as a wider discussion on key topics. The plenary sessions on each day will centre around the focus area of security and public safety.
To bring key players, ideas and innovations together to enhance the use of geospatial technologies for development and publicize the various ways in which GIS and geo-spatial technologies are being utilized.
To create a platform to network with leaders, policy makers and experts of industry and talk about best strategies, approaches and practices.
To focus on the ways that GIS technologies can help to address public safety and security.
To increase public awareness on the utility of GIS technology.
To highlight the achievements to date of the Land Information Council of Jamaica and recognize the achievement of GIS icons.
It is anticipated that some 200-300 participants from both the geospatial and development communities locally and across the region will participate. The forum targets geospatial technology providers, users, policy makers, the security sector, social sector and academia with market intelligence, latest technology knowledge, success stories and for capacity building.
Increased use of GIS in decision-making in Government and the private sector.
Expanded use of GIS technology to track sustainable development priorities/goals.