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The Government remains committed to providing an enabling framework to support the conservation and management of the country’s natural ecosystems to build climate resilience and promote a sustainable blue economy.
Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, in making the declaration noted that strides have been made in this regard.
He noted that Jamaica in on course to achieve protection of 30 per cent of landmass by 2025, five years earlier than scheduled.
The country has committed to halt environment degradation through the protection of 30 per cent of landmass and coastal marine ecosystems by 2030 in keeping with obligations under the United Nations (UN) Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, as well as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
In addition, Minister Samuda said that 15 per cent of Jamaica’s Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) are currently protected following declaration of two new protected areas by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
They are the Black River Protected Area and the Pedro Keys and surrounding waters.
“We know the issues associated with ocean spatial management, but we are working harder to ensure that we meet our 2030 targets in the protection of our marine environment,” he pointed out.
Senator Samuda, who has responsibility for Water, Climate Change and the Environment, was addressing the launch of the CoralCarib project at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on April 25.
The six-year project, being funded by Germany’s International Climate Initiative (IKI), will include interventions to restore, protect and build the sustainability and resilience of coral reefs in the Caribbean against current and future climate impacts.
It targets Jamaica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, where 60 per cent of the region’s reefs are found.
The objective is to safeguard and create healthier and more resilient ecosystems that will contribute significantly to increased biodiversity, economic prosperity and food security in the four targeted countries.