Kingston and St Andrew to get environmental boost through CityAdapt project

October 21, 2021
Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Pearnel Charles Jr. (right), looks on as Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Department and Conservator of Forests, Ainsley Henry (left), points out features of a hibiscus plant, during National Tree Planting Day activities at the Forestry Department in Constant Spring, St. Andrew, recently. At centre is Head of European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Marianne Van Steen.

Environmental rehabilitation is coming for sections of Kingston and St. Andrew through Jamaica’s participation in the CityAdapt Project. 

The ‘Building Climate Resilience of Urban Systems through Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA) in Latin America and the Caribbean’ or CityAdapt, is being undertaken by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) through funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). 

Jamaica is one of three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in which the initiative is being implemented, with the others being El Salvador and Mexico. 

National Coordinator for CityAdapt Jamaica, Shanice Bedward-Grant, said that the initiative “promotes climate resilience in urban areas through the implementation of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for adaptation.

The goal of the SCCF is to facilitate the creation of strong, climate-resilient economies and communities by helping countries address a range of barriers”. 

She noted that CityAdapt is being executed by the UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, together with the local authority with responsibility for environment and climate change, which for Jamaica, is the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change. 

Speaking at the recent National Tree Planting Day ceremony at the Forestry Department, portfolio Minister, Pearnel Charles, Jr. announced the department’s participation in CityAdapt and shared some of the activities to be undertaken. 

He noted that the initiative aims to increase the capacity of urban and peri-urban areas to adapt to the effects of climate change. 

“The project is valued at $24 million and involves various activities to be executed in Kingston and St. Andrew. It includes the rehabilitation of 2.3 hectares of land in lower income communities through the planting of 1,400 trees as well as the planting of 800 trees across communities with 400 of those trees to be planted in schools in the targeted parishes,” Minister Charles said. 

Additional features of the project are the planting of 3,000 drought-resilient tree species in the forest reserves of the Hope River Watershed Management Unit, and a partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI) to rehabilitate two hectares of wetlands in the Palisadoes Port Royal Protected Area. 

The UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean is working on finalising partnerships with two additional entities to support the remaining project activities. 

Project implementation is scheduled to end in 2022.

-JIS NEWS

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