• JIS News

    Jamaica is on target to successfully complete the European Union (EU) budget support programme, ‘Addressing Environmental and Climate Change Challenges through Improved Forest Management for Jamaica’, next year.

    The announcement was made by Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., during his address at the 32nd meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Forestry Commission (LACFC) on September 6.

    “It is set to end next year, and I am proud to say it is on track to be a phenomenal success. The Forestry Department has, so far, met all annual targets outlined and the local Forest Industry is gaining recognition and interest as a driver of growth,” Minister Charles said.

    He went on to detail some of the ways in which the EU’s €14 million provided assistance in the forestry sector. These include implementing aspects of the Forest Policy for Jamaica (2017) and the National Forest Management and Conservation Plan (NFMCP) 2016-2026.

    “The funding has allowed us to make significant advancements towards strengthening our forest related legislation… . I am proud to declare that my Forestry Department has reforested more than 300 hectares, with at least 50 per cent native tree species, over the last two years…[and] we have also made great strides in advancing work to protect our mangroves, which we know are so important, and swamp forests,” Minister Charles continued.

    He added that all of these are helping Jamaica to build its climate resilience and encourage the increase of biodiversity in our forests and the wider environment.

    The Forestry Department has also aided in the development of sustainable alternative livelihood projects in forest-dependent communities and has been building its capacity to develop an appropriate methodology for measuring carbon sequestration in Jamaica’s forests.

    The EU’s funding assistance of €14 million came in 2018, under the 11th European Development Fund through a Budget Support Programme for the Forest Sector.

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