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With more than 1,400 known endemic species, Jamaica's biodiversity is a global conservation priority.
Protected areas are important not only for the conservation of biodiversity, protection of rare, threatened or endangered species, ecosystem and habitat management, but they are also important in adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction because they can enable the sustainable management of watersheds, coastal forests, and inland forests.
With support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and co-financing commitments from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), The German Development Bank (KfW), and the UNDP Country Office in Jamaica this project has national and international significance as it is expected to deliver global environmental benefits. These benefits would be achieved through a national protected areas system which is better equipped to conserve globally significant, but currently vulnerable ecosystems and related species.
The goal of this project is to safeguard Jamaica's globally significant biodiversity by consolidating the operational and financial sustainability of Jamaica‘s national system of protected areas. The six-year initiative which is being supported by UNDP, will be implemented by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) with strong involvement of the other main Government agencies with responsibility for the declaration and management of protected areas - the Forestry Department, Fisheries Division and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. Strong partnership and collaboration will be a hallmark of the project, and already, has enabled the project's substantial budget to be put in place with support from global and national partners, including state and non state agencies.
The project was launched at an inception workshop held at the Terra Nova All Suites Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica on February 10, 2011, with attendance by an impressive group of stakeholders from Government, Academia, private sector and civil society including staff from protected areas. An overall review of the project was provided as well as informative and clarifying discussions.
The event also had the presentation of the UNDP regional report "Latin America and the Caribbean: A Biodiversity Superpower". The report was presented to Mr. Peter Knight, Chief Executive Officer NEPA; by Dr. Margaret Jones Williams, Environment and Energy Programme Advisor of UNDP. It highlights the contribution that biodiversity and ecosystem services make to the region's development, equity and long term competitiveness. The report also gives innovative examples of public and private investment in biodiversity conservation and sustainable management in several countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean.
Remarks were made on behalf of Government of Jamaica's Implementing Partner, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) by Mr. Peter Knight, Chief Executive Officer; Mrs. Sheries Simpson, Manager, Projects, Planning and Monitoring Branch and Ms. Carla Gordon, Manager, Protected Areas Branch. Speakers included Ms. Akiko Fujii, Deputy Resident Representative UNDP, Jamaica and Dr. Margaret Jones Williams, UNDP Environment and Energy Programme Advisor; Mr. Lyes Ferroukhi, Regional Technical Advisor, Environment and Energy Group, UNDP Regional Office; Ms. Leonie Barnaby, Senior Director, Office of the Prime Minister-Environmental management Division; Mrs. Donna Blake, Jamaica Country Programme Director, the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Ms. Marilyn Headley, Conservator of Forests and Chair of the Protected Areas Committee (PAC).
More information on:
Latin America and the Caribbean A Biodiversity Superpower - Integral version