Ridge to Reef Watershed Project Allocated $63.2 Million


A sum of $63.2 million has been allocated to the Ridge to Reef Watershed Project in the Ministry of Land and Environment to continue watershed monitoring protocols, address compliance and enforcement issues, and maintain the watershed management plan and strategy.
The funds, which have been set aside in the 2004/05 Estimates of Expenditure now before the House of Representatives will also assist the Great River Watershed Management Committee and its task forces to address priority issues and provide watershed level training for trainers.
The project, which was implemented in January 2000, is jointly funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Its objectives are to work with local level organisations to, promote sustainable environmental management practices of resource users; identify and support solutions which encourage better enforcement of existing environmental regulations and policy; and enhance the capacity of local government agencies, the private sector and civil society organisations to implement effective watershed management programmes in Jamaica. The focus is on strengthening a host of partner organisations through technical assistance, targeted funding and training. This will ensure sustainable leadership organisations capable of engaging their communities in participatory ways to prioritize activities and access additional human and financial resources as is necessary. Initiatives are directed at reducing soil erosion and non-point source pollution; improving land management practices; providing clear and consistent environmental awareness; and creating a vibrant and viable market network with the potential to increase alternative income-generating activities, entrepreneurial spirit and cooperation in the watershed.
The project has seen a number of achievements up to September 2003, including the planting of 12,200 trees in the watershed through a plant a tree campaign; and successful monitoring of water quality funding projects in water supply, water harvesting, waste water management, agro-forestry and soil conservation.

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