Jamaica Gleaner / The government will be undertaking the reforestation of 60 hectares of land in the Yallahs River and Hope River watersheds of the Blue Mountains in the upcoming fiscal year.
A sum of $197.7 million has been set aside in the 2018-19 Estimates of Expenditure to carry out this and other tasks under the Integrated Management of the Yallahs/Hope River Watershed Area project.
The project seeks to reduce pressure on natural resources in the Yallahs River and Hope River watersheds by increasing the practice of sustainable land management, resulting in improved management of biological diversity and enhanced flow of ecosystem services that sustain local livelihoods.
The money will also be used for the implementation of agro forestry on 200 hectares of private lands; the purchase and installation of hydro-meteorological equipment; conducting an ecological assessment of the Yallahs and Hope River watersheds; and implementing a development communications programme.
Farmers to be trained
It is also intended that 100 farmers will be trained in land husbandry best practices, six community groups will be formed/ strengthened within the Yallahs and Hope River watersheds, and agricultural practices will be improved on farms in two communities.
So far under the project, one farmer field school was completed in Windsor Castle, where 61 farmers were trained; four additional farmer field schools have been launched and are operational in four communities; and approximately 120 farmers were trained in best land-husbandry practices.
In addition, a project audit was conducted, the ‘Trees for Life: Million Trees Challenge’ was launched in May 2017 with 15,862 trees registered to date, and 23 hectares of reforested land have been maintained.
The project is being implemented by the National Environment and Planning Agency with funding support from the Government and the Global Environment Facility.
It is scheduled to run from October 2014 to November 2019.
JAMAICA: Blue Mountain watersheds to be reforested
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