Web Developer , Stan Armstrong , fields questions after taking NCC top brass and the media through the re-launched website.????

Persons seeking permission to use public parks as well as obtain up-to-date information on the various commercial services offered by the National Conservation Commission (NCC) can now do so with a click of the mouse.

??These are just a few of the services now available on-line at http://www.nccbarbados.gov.bb/ ??via the Commission’s interactive, multi-media website which was today re-launched at its Codrington, St. Michael headquarters.

In addressing the website’s re-launch, Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe, said he was delighted that the NCC had decided to "catch up and keep pace with technology and trends in their business."

"The re-launching of this website, in my view, creates an opportunity for the Commission to get closer to its publics by creating access to information on products and services. I believe that the NCC does a lot more than the public seems to be aware of and, therefore, I see this as a timely vehicle to bring the consuming public and the NCC much closer than they have been in the past," the Minister added.

Noting???? that the NCC’s products and services were critical in light of the fact that it was the only revenue-generating institution within the Ministry, Dr. Lowe contended: "If you want to maximise your opportunities, you have to create a platform where information can be easily dispensed to the public, and I believe that the re-launching of this website is an attempt to achieve that objective."

He, however, advised the Commission to not only put out?? information for the public to access, but to ensure that it had staff?? on hand?? to service their?? emerging needs. The Environment Minister also underscored the need to ensure that items advertised on-line were kept in stock, and the website was constantly updated.

In giving the rationale for the new-look website, NCC’s General Manager, Keith Neblett, said given the myriad changes in the way information is transmitted today, his organisation recognised that one of the critical things they needed to enhance was their web presence.

He also gave the assurance that a cadre of staff members would be trained to facilitate timely updates and quick response to customer queries, complaints and suggestions.

For the future benefit of locals and tourists alike, Mr. Neblett announced the NCC would also be collaborating with the Barbados Transport Board to provide on-line bus routes to the various parks, beaches and places of interest. Additionally, he said that plans were also in train to allow members of the public to purchase plants on line, and have them delivered by the NCC.

In terms of on-line application forms, the NCC head noted that on any given day, they received between 10 and 15 requests for the use of various parks and beaches, with persons often sending in an inadequate amount of information. He observed that with the on-line forms now available, applicants could fill them and fax or bring them in to the NCC to facilitate timely response. Mr. Neblett disclosed that application forms for the NCC’s summer swim programme, Operation Save our Selves were also among those available on-line.

Chairman of the Commission, Tyrone Lowe, said the website signified the NCC’s maturity, and would help them in terms of service delivery. He indicated that in the future, the website would also feature linkages showcasing partnerships with private sector entities, on projects which foster environmental stewardship.

In addition to videos, photo galleries and multi-media presentations, the website contains historical information on the NCC, as well as its projects, products and services. Information on beach access, services provided at beaches, parks and public gardens, marine protected areas, signage and a blog are also included. Carol Gaskin (CG) – cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

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