Caption: Robert Pickersgille, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change address the gathering at the Launch of the Bull Head Local Forest Management Plan.

Northern Clarendon residents to benefit from Bull Head Forest Plan

Residents of the Northern Rio Minho area of Clarendon are to gain a range of benefits with the implementation of the community’s Local Forest Management Plan.

The Bull Head Local Forest Management Plan, which was developed by the Forestry Department and the Northern Rio Minho Local Forest Management Committee (NRMLFMC) was officially launched on Thursday, June 14, 2012 in a ceremony at Bull Head Forest Reserve in Northern Clarendon.

Among the benefits that residents are expected to receive are income earning opportunities, increased environmental benefits, improved income for farmers and greater training opportunities.

Honourable Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change and guest speaker at the function noted that the plan was an opportunity for the Government and the community to work together. “This management plan details measures for the sustainable use, conservation and protection of the natural resources of the Bull Head Forest Reserve and enables you, the members of the Committee to collaborate with the Forestry Department to create and implement a model of sustainable forest management,” he said.

He added that each community will need to play a role in ensuring that the plan is successfully implemented. “I am told that the Northern Rio Minho Local Forest Management Committee is comprised of 23 communities in Northern Clarendon. It is this kind of "buy in" that we want in order to manage and preserve our forests across the length and breadth of Jamaica. It enables you the members to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for the area under your protection,” he said.

According to Minister Pickersgill other communities in the Northern Rio Minho area are also set to benefit from other projects including capacity building, the establishment of agro-forestry plots for economic harvesting of produce and an eco-tourism project that will provide a range of jobs.

Work has already started for the establishment of the agro-forestry plots under a Global Environment Facility (GEF)/ United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded Sustainable Land Management (SLM) project. Five farms have also been selected and prepared for the establishment of demonstration plots. In addition some training sessions have already been done with some farmers. Dozens of farmers are expected to benefit directly from the agro-forestry project and the wider community will also yield indirect benefits from the training provided.

Following the launch, the NRMLFMC, The Forestry Department along with the Government Agencies involved in implementing aspects of the plan such as Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Tourism Development Company (TPDCo) and the Social Development Commission (SDC) will be meeting with the communities within the Northern Rio Minho area to discuss the plan in greater detail and outline the steps and activities involved in implementing it.

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For more information, please contact:

Public Relations and Corporate Communication Branch
Forestry Department
173 Constant spring Road
Kingston 8
Tel: (876) 924 - 2667/8