Jamaica Government Proceeds with Climate Change Awareness Project

KINGSTON — The climate change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Programme has received an additional $103 million in the 2011/12 estimates, now before the House of Representatives.
The programme seeks to increase resilience and reduce risks associated with natural hazards in vulnerable areas, as an adaptive measure to climate change, contributing to sustainable development in Jamaica.
It also aims to rehabilitate and improve management of selected watersheds, to reduce downstream run-off and associated pollution and health risks; restore and protect coastal ecosystem to enhance natural buffers and increase resilience; and to integrate climate change mitigation into relevant national policies and plans, and increase awareness of climate change.
This year’s activities will include, establishment of 250 hectares of forest plantation; rehabilitation of two nurseries; field assessment of 55 forested Crown Lands (Forest Estate); trail construction (30 km) and access rehabilitation (5km); establishment of 30 permanent sample plots; commencement of river protection infrastructure to minimize erosion and flooding.
Also, establishment of local forest management committees (LMFMCs); public education and awareness campaign; purchase of Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS), Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) hardware and software; purchase firefighting, seed and nursery equipment; and provision of satellite images.
As at March 2011, achievements included employment of project management, preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and the Forestry Division of Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and preparation of MoU between the United Nations environment Programme (UNEP) and the PIOJ for the implementation of the project.
There was also the signing of the project financing agreement between the European Union (EU) and the UNEP.
The project is being funded by Government of Jamaica and the EU and is slated for completion on September 2012.

By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter