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Jamaica is one of three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to benefit from a project to increase the capacity of urban and peri-urban areas to adapt to the effects of climate change.

The project, “Building climate resilience of urban systems through Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) in Latin America and the Caribbean” or CityAdapt project in short, is funded by the United Nations Environment Programme Global Environment Facility (UNEP/GEF).

Jamaica has received funding valued at approximately JM $24 million, which will be payable in three tranches.

Senior Director, Zonal Operations (Eastern), Mr. Damart Williams says the project, which will run until April 15, 2022, will target select communities within Kingston and St. Andrew to increase climate resilience over the medium to long term through the integration of EbA in urban planning.

“Through the project, we’ll be training local stakeholders to harness biodiversity and ecosystem services to reduce vulnerability and build climate resilience and we’re hoping that coming out of this project, there will be revisions to policies and plans for climatevulnerable sectors such as ecosystem management, urban planning and water resource management,” Mr. Williams shared.

He said that the project will see the rehabilitation of 2.3 hectares of land in lower income communities with the planting of 1400 trees as well as the planting of 800 trees across communities in Kingston and St. Andrew, with 400 of those trees to be planted in schools.

“We will also plant over 3000 drought resilient tree species in forest reserves in the Hope River Watershed Management Unit as well as conduct capacity building exercises in relation to forest fire management. We will be partnering with the University of the West Indies to rehabilitate two hectares of wetlands in the Palisadoes-Port Royal Protected Area to increase water storage,” Mr. Williams said.

The CityAdapt project comes against the background of the rapid urbanization of cities in Latin America and the Caribbean which is resulting in socio-economic problems and the degradation of urban and peri-urban ecosystems, both of which are exacerbated by climate change. “Urban forestry has always been an area of focus for the Forestry Department but it has become one of our priority areas in recent years so we are grateful for this funding opportunity to do extensive work in this area and also to interact more with communities to raise their awareness and appreciation of trees in our cities”, Mr. Williams said. 

“Urban forestry has always been an area of focus for the Forestry Department but it has become one of our priority areas in recent years so we are grateful for this funding opportunity to do extensive work in this area and also to interact more with communities to raise their awareness and appreciation of trees in our cities”, Mr. Williams said.

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