A sum of $23.8 million has been allocated in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, to further fund efforts by the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change to enhance the resilience of the local agricultural sector and the island’s coastal areas to the impact of weather related elements.
The programme, which commenced in January, aims to increase sectoral resilience and adaptive capacity to cope with the impacts of climate change, by strengthening coastal protection, and building institutional and local capacity to address climate change issues.
The three-year project is a collaborative climate change adaptation initiative also involving the Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Tourism and Entertainment; the National Works Agency (NWA) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), with overarching activities being co-ordinated by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ). The project is slated for approval by the Adaptation Fund Secretariat in late 2012.
NEPA’s aspect aims to develop: guidelines/technical standards for beach restoration and shoreline protection; restoration of impacted sea-grass; a climate risk atlas for use in the development planning process; reduction in the rate of beach erosion, particularly in Long Bay, Negril, and installation of wave breakwater structures in the vicinity of that area; and develop adaptation plans for the most vulnerable areas along the Negril coastline.
Activities undertaken up to 2012, include: completion of a review of technical solutions for Negril and submitted report outlining detailed specifications for the proposed hard and soft engineering solutions, including alternative options and technical justification for recommendations; a detailed method of restoration of sea-grass beds, including species and appropriate locations for planning; a detailed budget, including, but not limited to, the provision of material, equipment and labour, to effect rehabilitation of the project site; and a work plan for the proposed site.
Targets for the ensuing year, under the NEPA component, include: engagement of a project engineer, and co-ordinator; establishment of a memorandum of understanding with the NWA for hard engineering works; and outlining a work programme for soft engineering solutions.
Funding is being jointly provided by the Government of Jamaica and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter