Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Jamaica

At a glance

2010-10-01 to 2013-12-01
Completed programmes
Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Forestry Department, Min. of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Total budget
4,48 M€
GCCA priority area(s)
GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Country groups
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
4,130,000.00 €

Overall objective

Increase resilience and reduce risks associated with natural hazards in vulnerable areas through the implementation of adaptive measures to climate change, thereby contributing to the sustainable development of Jamaica.

Specific objective

The specific objectives are:

  • Rehabilitate and improve management of selected watersheds to reduce downstream run-off and associated pollution and health risks;

  • Restore and protect coastal ecosystems to enhance natural buffers and increase resilience;

  • Integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation into relevant national policies and plans, enhance institutional (human and technical) capacity and facilitate awareness building amongst Jamaica's population to better adapt to climate change.

  • Rehabilitated Watersheds through slope stabilization measures such as reforestation of denuded hillsides
  • Increased resilience of coastal ecosystems to climate change impacts through restoration and protection of selected ecosystems
  • Enhanced Institutional and local-level capacity through increasing capabilities and raising awareness


Component 1:

  • Establish and/ or strengthening of Local Forest Management Committees (LFMC) in selected Watershed Management Units (WMUs);
  • Undertake reforestation and agro-forestry in selected WMUs
  • Declare forested crown lands assessed and forest reserves
  • Develop fire management programme
  • Promote sustainable livelihood/ economic activities as alternatives to current unsustainable practices.
  • Establish river protection structures in selected areas.

Component 2:

  • Improve database for monitoring changes in coastal ecosystems
  • Re-establish sand dunes
  • Replant mangroves in degraded coastal regions
  • Develop management plan for the effective management of selected marine protected areas (MPAs) & delineate activity zones in three MPAs
  • Establish and/or enhance coastal protection measures/ structures in selected areas.
  • Restore Seagrass beds/areas
  • Identify, assess for feasibility alternative livelihoods and award grants to develop these livelihoods

Component 3:

  • Design and implement climate change awareness campaign
  • Establish data-sharing mechanism
  • Conduct policy and institutional review
  • Identify capacity needs of the government sector and interventions required to address priority needs (In the areas of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction)
  • Conduct public education (pilot) project
  • Conduct pilot project on Risk and Vulnerability Assessment

Achievements to date
  • Four Local Forestry Management Committees (LFMCs) were established. These structures were expected to facilitate the introduction of more sustainable environmental practices. This included the creation of Watershed Management Units and the planting of 405ha in the Watershed Management Units. 436,823 seedlings were produced and delivered to planting sites.

  • The establishment of a master nursery at the Forestry Department headquarters for starter plants with the capacity to produce 1 million seedlings per annum has been completed. This has given the internal capacity to the Forestry Department to respond to demand brought on by the impacts of climate change.
  • In addition, 21 permanent sample plots were established where baseline data can be documented to assist in the development of an overall sustainable forestry plan.

  • Five Demonstration plots in Agro-forestry/ Sustainable Livelihood were established. In total 402 farmers from all four LFMCs registered in an Agro-forestry programme.
  • 110,011.08ha of crown lands were assessed and a Geo-data base was established. Critical information is being generated on which decisions can be made. 3,700 ha of Forest Reserves/Forest Management Areas were legally described, listed with maps produced.

  • A master forest fire management plan was developed along with six maps produced by the Forestry Department`s GIS Unit detailing high risk areas for forest fires. The Forest Fire Management Plan, training manual and maps detailing high risk areas has built the capacity of the Forestry Department and its stakeholders to respond to and prevent devastating forest fires.
  • Towards building the resilience of coastal eco-systems through restoration and protection measures, a GIS database has been developed with several features.

  • Restoration of mangroves forests in degraded coastal regions was undertaken with 7.04ha planted in two areas which is 2.0ha more than was planned. This activity was enhanced by a public awareness campaign and livelihoods activity.

  • Two Management plans for two Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were completed for Negril and Montego Bay. The management plans can now guide development activities in relation to these marine areas.

  • Implement best practices for restoring seagrass bed. The target was to plant 1000m2 of seagrass. This was surpassed in June 2013 with just over 1500m2 sea grass planted. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy had destroyed most of the initial planted seagrass. This forms part of the "soft engineering" activities of the Project to help protect shorelines. Technical support was provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in good practices relating to sea grass bed restoration. Modular Turbulence Generators Artificial Reef Structure (MTGs) were fabricated and installed in a public/private partnership between the Government of Jamaica and the Sandal Resort International at Bloody Bay, Negril. A total of 21 molds were built to fabricate Wave Attenuation Devices (WADs). By November 2013, 150 WAD units were fabricated and installed fronting Old Harbour Bay. 750m of shoreline treated and monitored in three areas. (Negril, Font Hill and Discovery Bay)
  • Sixty temperature data loggers were procured and 27 installed across the island. The temperature data is correlated with observances of coral bleaching and will continue to be a critical measure of climate change impact on marine resources
  • Interventions to build climate change awareness were carried out in 13 parishes

“It is knowledge, having accurate and relevant information, that will help us address the enormous challenges of climate change. I firmly believe that stakeholder participation is an integral part of good governance. Informed citizens can have a tremendous influence on the decision-making process and can support the dialogue for national development.”

Hon. Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, on the occasion of the launch of a public awareness and education campaign under the GCCA project (source: Jamaica Information Service).