Jamaica gets serious about creating resilient agriculture, fisheries and coastal areas

On February 21, 2018, the government of Jamaica announced that $412 million will be spent in the next fiscal year to enhance the resilience of the nation’s agriculture, fisheries, and coastal areas.

The money will go towards the supervision of coastal protection works, continuation of program coordination and monitoring, and conducting a final program evaluation and audit.

Slated to come to an end in March 2019, the project aims to protect livelihood and food security in vulnerable communities by improving land and water management for the agricultural sector, strengthening coastal protection, and building institutional capacity against climate-change risks.

$47 million has been specifically set aside to enhance the resilience of the agricultural sector and coastal areas.

In addition, $75.3 million has been budgeted for the promotion of community-based climate resilience in the fisheries sector.

The project, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, aims to enhance resilience to climate change among targeted fishing and aquaculture communities of Jamaica.

NOTE: The photo at the top shows the coastal cliffs of western Jamaica near Negril. Those who have read The Restoration Economy—or who have ever asked me how I got my start in the world of regenerative development—will recognize that name.

Prof. Wolfe Hilbertz

It was here that I spent a week assisting the brilliant (late) German scientist Wolfe Hilbertz and his business partner Tom Goreau in developing their Biorock® coral reef restoration technology.

They needed qualified divers to help him install the experiments on the ocean floor. With full SCUBA equipment on, the only safe way into the crystal-clear water was to jump off the cliffs, an experience I’ll never forget.

It was that bit of volunteer work, about a quarter of a century ago, that opened my eyes to the fact that we don’t need to be satisfied with “merely” reducing the amount of new damage we do to our planet: we can actually undo existing damage!

Featured photo via Adobe Stock.

See Jamaica Information Service article by Alecia Smith.

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