NEPA Hosts Inception Workshop for Protected Areas Project

February 9, 2011

Jamaica's protected areas efforts will get a needed boost with the introduction of a US$7.8 million project. Funding has been provided through the joint partnership of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Project (UNDP), the Government of Jamaica (GoJ), the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Government of Germany (KfW).

The six-year capacity strengthening project, entitled: 'Strengthening the Operational and Financial Sustainability of the National Protected Area System' will be launched on Thursday, February 10, 2011, by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). The launch event will take place at a project Inception Workshop scheduled for the Terra Nova All Suites Hotel, 17 Waterloo Road, Kingston 10, at 9:00a.m.

The goal of the project is to safeguard Jamaica’s globally significant biodiversity with an objective to consolidate the operational and financial sustainability of the country’s national system of protected areas. It includes protected areas managed by Government agencies like the Forestry Department, the Fisheries Division in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Authority/NEPA, either on their own or in collaboration with other entities. Some of which include non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

The objective of the project is to be achieved through three components: strengthening of planning and revenue generation; rationalizing and integrating the national system of protected areas and increasing the effectiveness of protected area management. The purpose of the Workshop is to establish a collaborative approach to the implementation of relevant project activities, to assist all partners to fully understand and take ownership of the project, to discuss the expectations regarding project outcomes and to review and develop the draft Annual Work Plan for the project.

The project will deliver the global benefits associated with a national protected area system better equipped to conserve globally significant, but currently vulnerable, ecosystems. Key stakeholder groups involved include: UNDP, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Bank, TNC as well as the Forestry Department and the Fisheries Division. Representatives of these organizations will be among the specially invited guests at the Workshop.

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