The Government’s efforts at effecting climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies this year, have been boosted by the provision of $219 million in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure.
The undertaking, which commenced in October 2010, aims to increase Jamaica’s resilience to natural hazards, while reducing the associated risks in vulnerable areas, thereby contributing to national development.
Attendant activities are being implemented by the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, and portfolio agencies – the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), and the Forestry Department.
Achievements up to the end of March, under NEPA, include: establishment of a Project Management Unit, and recruiting of Environmental Monitoring Officers and Field Technicians; completion of ecosystem reconciliations in Portland Bight, Clarendon, and Negril, Westmoreland; commencement of the process to identify and recruit geographic information system (GIS) business specialists; and the staging of several workshops.
Those effected under the Forestry Department include: establishment of five Local Forest Management Committees (LFMC); and development of terms of reference for a nursery consultant to identify amenities fixtures to upgrade the agency’s nurseries. Both agencies also signed memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
The project is anticipated to yield: development of a database to monitor coastal ecosystems; establishment of a coastal plan nursery at the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory in St. Ann; preparation of management plans for marine protected areas (MPAs); and commencement of river protection infrastructure installation to minimise erosions and flooding, during the current fiscal year.
Funding is being jointly provided by the Government of Jamaica and the European Union (EU).
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter