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Forestry Department hosts public consultations on 10-year plan

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Forestry Department will be hosting a series of public consultations across the island to get feedback from stakeholders on the draft National Forest Management and Conservation Plan (NFMCP).

The NFMCP is a 10-year plan for the forestry sector, which outlines key activities that will be undertaken by the agency to help build a vibrant, sustainable and climate resilient forest sector.

The first in the series of public consultations targeted stakeholders in and around East Rural St Andrew and was held yesterday at Forres Park in Mavis Bank. Additional consultation sessions will be hosted at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), Port Antonio, on February 22 at 3:00 pm; at the Wexford Hotel, Montego Bay, on February 28 at 4:00 pm; at the Clark’s Town Primary School, Clark’s Town on March 2 at 4:30 pm; at Clarendon College, Chapelton on March 7 at 4:30 pm, and at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel, Kingston on March 21 at 9:00 am.

CEO and Conservator of Forests Marilyn Headley is urging stakeholders in the various parishes to attend the public consultations and provide feedback on the national plan as its successful implementation will require shared vision and effective collaboration.

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“At the heart of the plan is our engagement of the Jamaican people in the protection, conservation and management of Jamaica’s forests. The forest sector impacts several areas of the country’s social fabric, including the daily lives of the people, so it is imperative that a holistic plan is developed to guide the sector for the benefit of present and future generations. For this to happen, we need the input of all the players in the sector,” she noted.

Headley said the 2016 plan is aligned to all relevant multilateral and national policies and plans. The national policies and multilateral agreements that have informed the development of the NFMCP include the Forest Policy, the Vision 2030 National Development Plan and the Climate Change Policy Framework as well as the United Nations Forum on Forests, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention. In addition to development and protection of the forest sector, this plan reportedly focuses on strategies to build climate resilience.

“Considering the island’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change and the billions of dollars the government has spent over the years to repair damage caused by natural disasters, building climate resilience is a must for Jamaica. There is no doubt about the contribution that well-managed forests can make to climate change adaptation and mitigation and this is a key area of focus for the 2016-2026 plan,” she added.

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