Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Title: Jamaica journal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090030/00070
 Material Information
Title: Jamaica journal
Series Title: Jamaica journal.
Abbreviated Title: Jam. j.
Physical Description: v. : ill. (part col.) ; 31 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Institute of Jamaica
Publisher: Institute of Jamaica.
Place of Publication: Kingston
Publication Date: June 1996
Frequency: semiannual
Subject: Periodicals -- Jamaica   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Jamaica
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Dec. 1967 issue.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090030
Volume ID: VID00070
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01797964
lccn - 75027862
issn - 0021-4124

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Back Cover
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
Full Text






c -s
The Evironenta Impeativ
TrpclRanoet o aac


Editor Leea Heame
Subscription/Editorial Assistant Faith Myers
Design and Production Dennis Ranston

JAAlCA JouRNAL is published on behalf
of the Insitute of.Jamaica by
Institute of Jamaica Publications Limited.
Managing Director
Patricia V. Roberts
Accounts Ngozi Cockeu
Sales Reps Denise Clarke
Gassan Snuth
Advertising Sales Gloria Forsyth
Printers Hyde, Held and Blackburn Ltd.
All correspondence should be addressed to:
IOJ Publications Limited
2a Suthemnnre Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica
Telephone (809) 929-4785/6
Fax No: (809) 92-68817
Back issues: Some back issues are available. List
sent on request. Entire series available.on microfilm
University Microfilms,
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106, USA.
Subscriptions: JS600 for 3 issues (in Jamaica only);
UK: Individuals: 15, Institutions: 20.
Al other countries: Individuals US$25.
Institutions: US$30.
Single copies: JS.... (in Jamaica only)
All sent second class airmail.
Advertising: Rates sent on request.

Index: Articles appearing in JAMAICA JOURNAL are
abstracted and indexed in HISTORICAL ABSTRACTS,

Vol. 26 No.l. Copyright @ 1996 by Institule of
Jamaica Publications Ltd. Cover or contents may
not be reproduced in whole or in pan without
written perminnion.

ISSN 0021-4124

Cover Design: Dennis Ranston

Cover Photograph: Our Destiny
by Louis Davis


Vol 26 No 1 June 1996

Special Environmental Issue

Published in association with the Canada/Jamaica Green Fund

2 Jamaica Sea Turtles
by Rhema Kerr

7 The Environmental Imperative
by Barry Wade

13 A National Environmental Policy

14 National Parks
by Susan Otuokon

22 The Growth of the Environmental
Movement in Jamaica
by Catherine Levy

26 The Tropical Rainforests of Jamaica
by Alan Eyre

39 Out for a Duck: the need for
conservation of ducks
by Ann Haynes-Sutton and Robert L. Sutton

59 A Voice from the Past
E. Barton Worthington

62 The Canadian/Jamaican Green Fund

Regular Features

49 Book Reviews
D. Barker and D. McGregor (eds.) Environment and
Development in the Caribbean. Mark Griffith and
Bishnodat Persaud (eds.), Economic Policy and the
Environment by Raymond Wright.
A.R.D. Porter, Jamaica: a geological portrait,
by Stephen Donovan

53 Youth Journal
The Wind Turbine at Munro College

64 Contributors





Hope Zoo

Sea turtles represent a unique part of the world's biological diversity. The
reptilia have colonized most of the earth's terrestrial niches, but only the sea
turtles and the sea snakes (relatives of the cobras) have successfully tackled
the marine environment.

S scientists currently recognize seven species in two families
(the Cheloniidae and the Dermochelyidae). Of the seven,
six are found in the Wider Caribbean. The seventh, the
flatback turtle (Natator depressus), is confined to the waters of
Northern Australia. The remaining sea turtle species are the
hawksbill, the green, the loggerhead, the leatherback, Kemp's
ridley and Olive ridley. Sea turtles appear in the fossil record
well over a one hundred million years ago. They saw the
passage of the dinosaurs, and roamed the seas in numbers that
we can only have the vaguest appreciation of today.
In common with all the Chelonia (tortoises, terrapins and
sea turtles), the most obvious feature is a body encased in a
bony box. Sea turtles, however, show important adaptations to
a saltwater existence. Ocean dwellers thought they are, sea
turtles are tied to the land in a very fundamental way. To
reproduce, adult females must leave the security of the sea to

come ashore on sandy beaches in the tropics and sub-tropics,
where the heat of the sand is sufficient to enable the embry-
onic turtles to develop and hatch.
On her nesting beach, a female sea turtle will lay and bury
in the sand as many as 180 eggs. After successful incubation,
some fifty to sixty days later, the eggs hatch, and the young
make their way to the ocean, returning only to complete the
cycle some thirty or more years later.
This dichotomous existence has great implications for the
sea turtle. With the limits of the nesting beaches set by the
need for sufficiently warm climates, distances then arise
between the feeding or foraging grounds, and the nesting
grounds or rookeries. A highly migratory natural history arose,
and characterizes the group to this day. The greatest of these
ancient mariners, is the giant leatherback sea turtle, which
almost circumnavigates the globe in moving from the sub-


arctic feeding grounds, where jellyfish are abundant, to the
tropical nesting ground.
While the adult sea turtle has no natural predators beyond
man and sharks, the eggs and young turtles are highly vulner-
able to a wide assortment of ills and vagaries of nature.
Through multiple nestings, sea turtles produce hundreds of
eggs in a season, compensating for the high mortality rates of
those other life stages.
A long-lived, late-maturing group, the sea turtles have
provided those who study them with seemingly endless rid-
dles. How do the sea turtles locate their nesting beaches after
several decades? Where do the young sea turtles go? Their
open-ocean existence has frustrated our efforts, and it is only
with the advent of satellite technology that the story of the sea
turtles begins to unravel. At the heart of it all is the fact that
sea turtles have in their tiny brains the equivalent of a sextant,
a compass, and a time-piece.
Many of the characteristics evolved by turtles to deal with
their complex life history have made them very attractive to
people. Among the most useful items of the marine catch, their
large size, and awkward movements on land have rendered
them extremely vulnerable to exploitation. The large number
of eggs, and repetitive nesting at predictable intervals
compound this situation. Many breeding colonies have been
wiped out, and others severely depleted. Currently, six of the
seven species are endangered or vulnerable, and all seven are
listed as Appendix 1 of CITES (Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). In
addition to direct take and accidental capture in fishing gear,
the degradation of critical habitats (primarily coral reefs and
seagrass beds) caused by oil spills, marine debris, chemical
waste, and high density tourism has damaged or eliminated
nesting beaches and feeding grounds.
The Wider Caribbean is a case in point for all of the above.
As with other regions, and certainly in Jamaica, man and
turtles in the Caribbean go back over a thousand years. The
islands were poorly supplied with land animals, and turtles
were probably a dietary staple. This suggests that our
dependency on coastal and marine resources is nothing new.
The arrival of the Europeans saw even greater advantage
being taken of this, in the words of Hans Sloane, 'never failing
source'. Four species of sea turtles are known in and around
Jamaica's shores.
Initially, only the green turtle was considered edible but
later, probably as the local breeding colony or rookery, and the
very large adjacent one in the Cayman Islands became
depleted, all other species (primarily hawksbills and logger-
heads, leatherbacks being very rare) came to be considered so
as well.
Suffice it to say that a breeding population that once
numbered in the tens of thousands is today so diminished that,
the cultural and social significance of these creatures, if not
the culinary appeal, is all but gone. Perhaps only a few
hundred animals are the remnants of the once great popu-
The local, regional and global decline of so valuable a
resource and such a unique and diverse group has prompted
much activity aimed at conserving, managing and encouraging
recovery of the population. However, as sea turtles are highly
migratory, effective programmes require cooperation and
coordination across geopolitical divides. This is exemplified
and carried out primarily through two Conventions, the
Washington Convention (better known as CITES) and the

Cartegena Convention. Plans are under way for a third Con-
vention, which will encompass sea turtles in the western
hemisphere as the Cartegena Convention covers sea turtles in
the Wider Caribbean. Pacific Ocean turtles are beyond the
ambit of this treaty. The third convention will seek to address
this and other issues that relate to the survival of sea turtles,
particularly to the issue of incidental capture of sea turtles in
fishing trawlers.
For our work in the Wider Caribbean, including Jamaica,
the Cartegena Convention provides a most useful framework
on which to build recovery programmes. Article 10 of the
1991 Protocol to the Cartegena Convention concerning
Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol)
stipulates that the parties 'carry out recovery, management,
planning and other measures to effect the survival of
[endangered or threatened] species' and regulate or prohibit
activities having 'adverse effects on such species or their
habitats'. Article 11 of the SPAW Protocol declares that each
party 'shall ensure total recovery to the species of fauna listed
in Annex II'. Annex II covers all species of sea turtles occur-
ring in the region.
To assist Caribbean governments discharge their
obligations under the SPAW Protocol, the Wider Caribbean
Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), an auto-
nomous NGO, aims to produce Recovery Plans for each of the
territories of the region.
WIDECAST is comprised of sea turtle experts, in-country
coordinators, and a network of interested citizens. Each
recovery plan seeks to compile all the known information on
the status of sea turtles in the territory and charts the key
elements in implementing a recovery plan. In carrying out this
programme, WIDECAST receives the support of the CEP
(Caribbean Environment Programme) of the United Nations
Environmental Programme (UNEP). The Regional Co-
ordinating Unit for this Programme is headquartered here in
So, along with local laws, such as the Wild Life Protection
Act (WLPA), which since 1982 has provided complete protec-
tion for sea turtles, Jamaica's international obligations also
commit us to taking action.
In 1991, with the support and leadership of WIDECAST, a
local Sea Turtle Recovery Network was formed, with the task
of preparing the Jamaica Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan.
We were faced with a dilemma. Current information on sea
turtle distribution was limited and came primarily from
surveys done in the early 1980s by the Natural Resources
Conservation Department (NRCD) now the Natural Resources
Conservation Authority (NRCA), and the Fisheries Division.
We could not begin to say what needed to be done because the
information simply did not exist. So the Network has, with the
assistance of hundreds of volunteers, spent the last four years
attempting to fill the many blanks in our knowledge of what
has been happening to our sea turtle population. With over
three hundred kilometres of sandy shore suitable for sea turtle
nesting, there is a lot of ground to cover.
It has always been our goal to produce a plan that will be
implemented because it is both consensual and realistic,
reaching some agreement as to the roles and activities of each
of the stakeholders.
The work received a tremendous boost in 1995 with the
award to the Network of grants from the Environmental
Foundation of Jamaica, and UNEP. This funding allowed for
intensive surveys of the Portland Bight Cays, and for a more


Olive Ridley Arribada Costa Rica
Unlike solitary nesting Hawksbills, they synchronize their nesting in mass emergences or 'Arribadas'

S. Eckey

Coral Reef JCDT/KarlAiken
The preservation of the coral reef is important in the survival of sea turtles, especially Hawksbills.


Hawksbill Nest (St Elizabeth) Hope Zoo Hawksbill Hatchlings
Hawksbill turtle nests are inconspicuous to the uninitiated. Hatchlings are an investment that lies well into
(Nest below seagrape) the 21st century, perhaps past the year 2020.



Hawksbill turtle Nesting
On her nesting beach a female sea turtle will lay and bury in the sand as many as 180 eggs.

A. Donaloson

rapid ground-truthing of the coastline west of
Alligator Pond. The former has been carried out
by the South Coast Conservation Foundation
(SCCF) staff in association with the NRCA, and
supported and coordinated by the Network. In
our broad sweep of the south coast, we utilized
the expertise of a fisherman. We needed someone
who was well versed in identifying sea turtle
nesting activity. This is not always easy.
Hawksbill turtle nests are inconspicuous to the
uninitiated, and the tell-tale tracks on a beach are
ephemeral, becoming very faint after two days.
The grants also allowed us to conduct a series
of meetings and workshops in communities
across the island. These proved tremendously
informative to both presenters and participants.
We attempted to offer what we understood about
sea turtle biology, and prepared to hear what was
the participants' understanding on this. In all
work-shops, we asked a fisherman to lead or act r
as a facilitator for the meeting. We felt that this Leatherback S
helped to establish one of their own as an The greatest
authority figure. among om
At the Little Bay workshop, we were startled to learn of an
apprehension, arrest and conviction of one person in the
community for killing a sea turtle. This remains to date the
only apprehension, arrest and sentencing of anyone for killing
a sea turtle as an offence against the Wild Life Protection Act.
We also had the participants agree on a list of stakeholders,
and then grouped them so as to have them look at the conflicts
raised by a ban on the taking of sea turtles from what they
thought was the perspective of the given interest groups. In
this role-playing exchange, we hoped to make persons more
cognizant of divergent perspectives and, optimistically, more
open to mediation and consensus.
All our survey work and our community meetings climaxed
with the National Symposium held on October 19, 1995. The
Draft Recovery Plan in summary was presented at that
meeting, and we were delighted with the spirit and debate that
ensued. Consistent throughout all this was the call for more
education and for more support for the coastal communities as
they fight for an improvement in their way of life. The

'ea Turtle S. Eckey
f the ancient mariners, the leatherback almost circumnavigates the globe,
ub-arctic feeding grounds to her tropical nesting ground.
challenge now is to distil the essence of the discussions into
the Recovery Plan.
The Network has a tremendous task ahead to keep up the
present momentum. We have to sit down with the NGOs, the
official agencies, local and national, and encourage them to
undertake programmes that will in some way assist sea turtle
conservation in Jamaica. We hope that all such activities will
be fully rooted in the community, not only enhancing aware-
ness, but also assisting the community to find alternatives to
killing turtles and taking eggs.
Many, many more years of work lie ahead of us. Each
female sea turtle that remains alive, and the future generations
she represents, is an investment that lies well into the twenty-
first century, perhaps well past the year 2020. Pain-
staking work for years still lies ahead. As the future is where
we will spend the rest of our lives, we ask everyone to work
with us to see that it is a future that contains these magnificent

Andrea Donaldson, Director of Wildlife at the NRCA, gave valuable assistance in the preparation of this article.


Think Globally .. Act Locally






One of the outcomes of the Rio Conference was the convening in May, 1994 of a
conference in Barbados to deal with the problems of Small Island Developing
States. This conference identified the particularly fragile nature of island ecosys-
tems and explored in depth the economic consequences of their disruption or
destruction. The considerations were far-reaching and the conclusion frighten-
ing that several Small Island States face enormous development threats with the
distinct possibility of environmental and economic collapse.

A s a result of these painful realities, the developing world
has been searching for new models of development
which are more in keeping with the need to utilize their natural
resources while not reducing or destroying future options for
use. In this regard, the concept of sustainable development,
newly discovered by the economist but long regarded by
ecologists through theories of sustainable yield, has found
increasing favour. In truth, however, while the concept has
been explored and explained, it has not been widely
implemented. One reason for this, among many, is that we
have not been able to translate the global theory to the local
need, taking into account not only the elements of the natural
environment but also the social and economic factors.
As it is in many other parts of the world, some degree of
sustainable development is an urgent need in Jamaica and the
rest of the Caribbean and we have barely begun to address it.
Jamaican development
Economic development in Jamaica, and most of the
Caribbean, has been based on three main pillars: agriculture;
extractive industry; and tourism. Each of these has had and

continues to have considerable impact not only on the
economy of the islands but also on their sociology and
Early Caribbean development was based on sugar. The
sugar cane plantation system common to most of our islands
created its own economic and cultural norms while having
profound impacts on how we viewed the right of ownership of
land and other resources, how we exploited them and how we
cared for them. So much so, that even today our attitude to the
environment in the cane belts of Jamaica is fashioned by what
we regard as a right to use land, water and air in ways that
would not otherwise be tolerated. Thus we turn a blind eye to
the gross pollution of our rivers and aquifers by sugar and rum
wastes because it has always been so, and we allow
undesirable social conditions to persist in the face of
irreversible changes elsewhere. It is as though, in many
respects, we are still trapped in the past while current realities
cry out for new approaches and solutions.
Take the case of coffee in Jamaica, for example, where there
has been a resurgence in interest and investmentOn the basis
of previous experience, one would have expected that after
years of decline and almost dormancy of the industry we


would have approached the cultivation of coffee in a new and
enlightened manner as far as protection of the environment is
concerned. But what do we find? Wide-scale destruction of
our hardwood forests, poor soil-maintenance practices, and
excessive and careless use of fertilizers and pesticides, all
resulting in proven damage to our watersheds, accelerated soil
loss and the pollution of our rivers, streams and coastal waters.
Added to this is the development of a new coffee fanning sub-
culture characterized by rich and powerful private interests
which intervene in fragile social and ecological environments
with little attention to continuity and sustainability as essential
elements of success.
Thus, our agriculture, which should depend on the sensitive
tending and caring for the environment, has historically
proceeded on the basis of careless exploitation of natural
resources resulting in considerable damage and economic loss.
The second pillar of Jamaican economic development,
namely the extractive bauxite/alumina industry, has also had
profound impacts on our social and ecological environments.
In Jamaica, new lifestyles have developed reflecting on the
one hand, greater wealth and disposable income but, on the
other, an inclination towards imported tastes and culture as the
desirable and ideal In turn this has influenced not only social
behaviour but also consumption patterns and use of resources.
The landscapes have changed with the lifestyles and the result
has been greater pressures on the environment.
In Jamaica, forest removal, land alteration, red mud dis-
posal, water contamination and air pollution have been
associated with bauxite exploitation. In recent years, we have
come more and more to understand that these impacts need
neither be inevitable nor irreversible and that, with careful
planning and sensitive management, they can be significantly
mitigated if not eliminated altogether. Indeed, the approach
taken by some players in the bauxite/alumina industry in
Jamaica has given considerable hope that some of the past
mistakes can be remedied and the current practices corrected.
Furthermore, if certain projections have any credibility, we
may yet see the development of a new bauxite/alumina facility
in Jamaica which is environmentally friendly. In the
meantime, however, we still have to deal with the environ-
mental damage and impairment of development options which
have resulted from the industry and we have to factor the cost
of these into our economic planning.
Tourism, the third pillar of our economic development, is
an industry which is based very heavily on the quality of the
environment. Its success in the long term depends directly on
the maintenance of that environment. Yet our experience in
Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean is that tourism
development has resulted in considerable ecological and
social tensions which threaten its own sustainability. For
example, the increasingly common experience in our hotel
areas is that coastal waters are being polluted by sewage
discharges from hotels and that several of our critical tourism
resources are being impaired through chronic unsatisfactory
practices and neglect. Indeed, Negril and Ocho Rios in
Jamaica are two clear examples of how we have injured the
goose that has laid the golden egg. Fortunately, the goose in
most cases is not yet slain, but we have done very little to
either cease inflicting the injury or to render any effective
healing. Indeed, there is now good documentary evidence of
just how much our tourism environments are being degraded
and through what causes (Negril, for example), but very little
to show that any reversal of this decline is taking place.

In the opinion of some, tourism in Jamaica and the
Caribbean has been following an inevitable path through
infancy, development and maturity to senescence and death.
The final stage, death, will be brought about by destruction of
the environment. While this has undoubtedly been the case in
some parts of the world, I do not believe that it is inevitable for
us. But we must recognize the problem for what it is and begin
to do something about it. As is the case for our agriculture and
extractive industries, there are ways and means available for
reversing the trends, but we must show the will.

The Jamaican environment
In the meantime, the impacts of our economic activities on
the environment are clear for all to see and the depletion of our
capital stock of resources is now being well documented.
Table 1 illustrates just some of these.
The major losses have been the destruction of our forests,
damage to our watersheds, loss of soil to the sea, drying up of
our rivers, pollution of our inland and coastal waters, contam-
ination of our natural systems, by pesticides and other
chemicals and reduction in our biodiversity. In brief, the three
main components of our environment which have suffered the
greatest damage are our watersheds, our wetlands and our
coastal Waters.
Of the twenty-three major watersheds in Jamaica, nineteen
are considered to be severely degraded (The World Bank,
1993). Jamaica, land of wood and water, now has less than 10
per cent of its original forests intact and the current rate of
destruction of our forests exceeds 5 per cent per year which
places Jamaica at the head of the list of all countries suffering
deforestation. As a result of this watershed damage, fifty rivers
have dried up, flooding after rains with consequent damage is
more frequent, and valuable top soil estimated at more than 50
tons per acre per year is lost from our agricultural lands. A
consequence of this damage to our watersheds appears to be
the reduction of rainfall islandwide, resulting in severe water
supply shortages in certain areas.
The wetlands of Jamaica, particularly the coastal wetlands,
have traditionally been seen as prime target areas for real
estate development, especially since they occur near major
urban or resort centres. Hence, huge tracts of mangrove
swamps have been dredged and filled to create hotel or
residential sites. Only recently have the damaging con-
sequences of these actions been understood, but old habits die

28% reduction of rainfall over 30 years in 10 selected
50 named rivers have lost perennial flow since 1950.
Annual deforestation rate of 3.3%
Over 324,805 acres of forest lost from 1981-1990.
400 million tonnes of soil lost from surface watersheds
from 1951-1990 (more than 50 tonnes/acre/year)
52 endemic flora lost and 224 are rare or endangered out
of a total of 427 species.

Table 1. Depletion ofNatural Resources in Jamaica
(after Eyre 1991)


hard and problems remain with efforts continuing to clear
more of our wetlands for such purposes.
The beaches and coastal waters of Jamaica provide the
resource base for our tourism industry and almost all of our
tourism development has taken place along the coastal strip.
However, inappropriate development and inadequate attention
to environmental matters have resulted in contamination of our
coastal waters, erosion of our beaches, degradation of our coral
reefs and littering of our shorelines. Despite these problems,
Jamaica does not yet have a well developed coastal zone
management programme although the need for such a
programme has been recognized.
One environmental threat spanning all the ecosystems is
Jamaica's susceptibility to natural disasters including
hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes. Hurricane Gilbert in
1988 demonstrated how vulnerable the country's economic
development, as well as its environmental integrity, is to the
hazards of nature and to what extent years of effort aimed at
protection and improvement can be set back overnight While
strategies for disaster preparedness and mitigation have been
adopted, there is much that can be done to reduce the impacts
of disasters and there is still a great need for proper land use
planning and implementation, sensitive environmental
management and wide-scale environmental education and

Environmental management in Jamaica
The history of environmental management in Jamaica is a
mixed one. As a former British colony, Jamaica had aspects of
environmental management built into several sectors of
government. It may not be surprising to learn that over forty
pieces of legislation related in one way or another to the
protection of the environment have been in existence for some
years. However, in many cases the legislation, which reflected
official policy, catered more for the safeguarding of individual
access to environmental resources than for the protection of
these resources for the common good. Furthermore, the
administration of the various bits of legislation left much to be
desired as penalties were generally low and enforcement
ineffective. As Jamaica modernized with the introduction of
new technologies and as conflicts for resource allocation and
usage increased, the earlier laws were found to be completely
inadequate. Consequently, much effort has seen made in the
last ten years to write new legislation pertaining to environ-
mental management.
The most important and far-reaching legislation.is now the
Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act of 1991. This
Act recognizes the need for a single body to oversee en-
vironmental management on behalf of the government It
empowers the Natural Resources Conservation Authority
(NRCA) to have that responsibility, binding the entire
population with all its sectors, including the government, to the
provision of the law. Thus the NRCA as the main regulatory
authority on environmental matters is able to hold any and all
parties liable for almost all kinds of environmental damage.
The only other environmental regulatory body which has
responsibility approaching that of the NRCA is the Environ-
mental Control Division (ECD) of the Ministry of Health
which is responsible for controlling pollution at point sources.
Whereas the NRCA Act clearly established the res-
ponsibility of the NRCA, a second Act now being prepared, the
Natural Resources Conservation Act, will provide the

necessary framework under which the NRCA will conduct its
operations, including its regulations, standards and means of
enforcement. Hence, there is currently much activity in
preparing detailed mechanisms for management of the
environment. An important aspect of the NRCA Act (1991) is
the provision for the requirement of Environmental Audits
(EAs) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in such
cases where the Authority feels that any current or future
activity is affecting or likely to affect the environment. The
requirement for Environmental Audits and Environmental
Impact Assessments has resulted in a considerable increase in
the effort to evaluate environmental impacts and provide
baseline conditions against which impacts may be assessed.
This has resulted in significant increase in the environmental
database for Jamaica and will continue to do so, thereby filling
important gaps in our body of of information.
Another fresh approach being considered is implementation
of the 'Polluter Pays Principle'. This means that responsibility
is to be placed on those polluting the environment, or using
environmental resources, to pay costs proportional to the level
of their use or abuse. When this is fully in place, polluters of
the environment should take much more care in how they
affect the environment However, much work still needs to be
done to implement the 'Polluter Pays Principle'.
As a result of government's lead through new legislation
and the establishment of the NRCA, public awareness and
response have grown considerably. The responsibility for
environmental management is now being recognized and
shared throughout the community. In this regard, a number of
new stakeholders in environmental matters have emerged with
commendable interest and energy.

Role of stakeholders
A public opinion poll conducted about five years ago
revealed that only about 20 per cent of Jamaicans viewed the
environment as a major public issue. Since that time, although
we have had no polls to substantiate this view, the general
feeling is that the level of understanding and concern about the
environment may have doubled. If this is so, we may be
witnessing in Jamaica the beginning of a ground swell of
public opinion with regard to protection of the environment. In
some situations we may be observing the beginning of a 'green
consumer movement' in the island. What is clear is that there
are now many more stakeholders involved in the overall effort
to properly manage the Jamaican environment.
The government's role has been to lead by setting policy
and establishing the legislative framework, but it has also
played a role in promoting environmental education among the
public. However, efforts here have been piecemeal and not
entirely effective. Fortunately, one area of need is being
addressed and that is the introduction of an environmental
curriculum into the primary school system. This initiative
needs to be extended throughout the entire educational system
and requires much more support in the way of personnel
training, support services and general funding. Adult environ-
mental education needs also to be increased and a com-
prehensive programme is required.
One area in which the government should also be leading
but in which it is severely delinquent is in the cleaning up of
its own operations. For example, in many situations, such as
the pollution of our coastal waters, government is the main
offender. The society at large still waits to see how serious the


government is about its commitment to the environment by
how capably it attends to its own pollution problems.
As a result of the new legislation, as well as other pressures
both national and international, the private sector has been
waking up to its responsibility towards the environment. Many
leading companies in agriculture, bauxite/alumina and tourism
have demonstrated their intention to pursue sound environ-
mental management Indeed, through EAs and ElAs a number
of companies are in the process of 'greening' their businesses
and, in some cases, solving long-standing problems. This is
very commendable and demonstrates how much can be done
by the private sector when it has the proper incentives and
when it puts its mind to it However, the majority of the private
sector is still dormant and efforts at mobilizing their interest
and action need to be stepped up. This must be done by
government through the legislative regime it continues to
establish and by the incentives and disincentives it provides.
At the same time, private sector leaders should play a critical
role in educating their colleagues and in demonstrating the
benefits of sound environmental management. After all, as has
been demonstrated in many countries and under several
different conditions, 'Good Environmental Management is
Sound Business'.
Over the last five years we have seen considerable growth
in the number of environmental non-governmental
organizations operating in Jamaica. To a large extent, these
NGOs have become the conscience of the environmental
movement. However, they have also undertaken responsibility
in an number of areas for research, public education,
monitoring and project implementation. One noticeable
initiative has been the assumption of responsibility for
management of the first National Parks to be established in
Jamaica, the John Crow/Blue Mountain National Park and the
Montego Bay Marine Park.
Of even greater significance to these stakeholders are the
local community groups which have become active players in
environmental matters. Beginning with one particular group
which was galvanized as a result of their water supply
becoming contaminated by industrial waste, we have seen
various communities taking firm action against polluters and
promoting for themselves and others principles of sound
environmental management. These groups have begun to
understand their strength as power brokers in the society and
are now exercising political clout as a result of their newly
found status. Consequently, the politics of the land are slowly
becoming greenedd' and the major political parties now have
manifestos which speak to their positions on the environment.
This is a far cry from the situation as it was just ten years ago
and speaks to what I have referred to as the new ground swell
in public opinion.
With all the various stakeholders playing their rightful
roles, the forecast is for rapidly increasing public action in the
environment. In the long run this, with education, will be the
most potent force in the cause of the environment.

Priority programmes
If environmental education is the foundation on which we
must build an enlightened environmental programme, social
involvement must be the vehicle by which to achieve it. The
challenge which the society faces is how to mobilize all the
population towards comprehensive and effective programmes.
Aligned with this is the definition of priority programmes and

the allocation of the necessary resources to make them viable.
It is generally agreed that the watersheds of Jamaica require
the most urgent attention and that a programme to restore them
must be comprehensive and islandwide. Pilot studies have
shown clearly that such a programme can only be achieved
through intimate community involvement Local communities
play the pivotal role. For example, the setting of seedlings, the
clearing of land, the planting, protection and care of young
plants and the eventual management and use of the forests all
have a high labour content and are all vulnerable to
disturbances and destruction through contact with uninformed
and uncaring individuals. In this context, therefore, the local
community must play the role of midwife, parent and
guardian. This is a considerable challenge to governments and
central authorities far removed from the communities and
from where the action is taking place. Nevertheless, this is a
task that has to be performed if Jamaica is to recover those
watershed resources which it has lost over time and to protect
its remaining ecological integrity.
A second challenge is in the implementation of a really
effective Coastal Zone Management programme. Because the
coastal zone is so complex and consists of such closely
integrated components, management of the whole is difficult.
But a management programme is exactly what is required if
we are to protect our beaches, our reefs and our coastal waters.
Impacts on the coastal zone have come not only from the
tourism industry, but also from urban pressures such as
housing, road construction and waste disposal. Clearly,
interests in the tourism industry have a major role to play in
the management of the coastal zone. However, it has only been
in the most recent years that those in the industry have shown
any understanding of this. What is required today is to bring
all the stakeholders in the coastal zone together to develop and
implement the kinds of integrated programmes necessary.
There is urgent need to protect the quality of the air of our
cities and industrial areas. This is a need which has been
recognized for a long time but there has been very little action.
Hence, the emission of industrial gases, the belching of
exhaust fumes from motor vehicles, and the burning of solid
waste create increasing problems for the population at large.
There is need for creative thinking and enlightened public
action to reverse the very damaging trends which are so
obvious in our air quality.
Another urgent need is the development of effective waste
management systems to deal with solid and liquid wastes.
Regrettably, we do not have a strong culture in Jamaica of
waste ownership and management. To many, waste is
something to be got rid of, no matter where or how.
Fortunately, this problem is now recognized and there are a
number of efforts on the part of government and the private
sector to change this approach and to turn wastes which are
currently a problem into useful resources.
Finally, there is an urgent need for policy formulation and
implementation. It may be expressed in terms of the economics of
environmental management

Environmental management and economic development
The Caribbean's depleted natural resources and degraded
environments have contributed significantly to a reduction in
our options for future developments, but this has not been
widely understood. Consequently, we continue to approach the
management of our resources in a casual and short-sighted


manner as though there were no limits to what the environment
can endure nor any constraints on the use of these resources.
One underlying reason for this attitude is that we have failed to
put any real value on our natural environment while, at the
same time, we have not accounted for the true cost of depleting
our capital stock through over-consumption and abuse. We
really do not know what worth we have squandered through
the cutting down of our forests, the contamination of our water
resources or the fouling of our beaches We will never manage
our natural resources in a responsible manner until we have
begun to appreciate the economics of our ecology.
In the World bank publication Environmental Management
and Economic Development. (Schramm and Warford, 1989),
several authors have sought to address resource management
and economics particularly from a Third World perspective.
We would do well to consider their case for a true marriage of
ecology and economics in national development.

Environmental education at all levels . .
must become an integral part of Jamaica's
educational system.
As the authors point out, man-made resources have been
valued as productive assets and written off against the value of
production as they depreciate, whereas natural resources are
not: instead they are considered to be free gifts. This leads us
to count the non-sustainable depletion of natural wealth as
income rather than as cost Schramm and Warford argue,
therefore, for an incorporation of environmental and natural
resource effects in a national accounting system, and attempt
to demonstrate how the costs of non-sustainability need to be
enumerated and valued in order to truly assess the costs and
yields of development According to them, the appropriate
concept is the Marginal Opportunity Cost (MOC) which is a
measure of the social costs of resource depletion. This measure
combines the direct costs of resource use, the externalities
arising from ecological linkages, and a user cost component
that arises from non-sustainable resource use.
The World Bank publication is at pains to explain why these
considerations are especially significant for developing
economies which are usually more dependent on the
environmental resource base than are developed economies. It
also demonstrates why a high premium must be placed on
safeguarding that resource base as an integral part of those
processes that are conducive to sustainable development.
Without this change of perception, we will continue to see
draw down of the stock of natural capital, that is, depletion of
our natural resources as a gain in income and not as a loss of
irreplaceable wealth.
By incorporating the cost of natural resources utilization
into our national accounting system, we open ourselves to new
ways of conceiving and measuring development Indeed,
conventional measures of national development such as Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) per capital may be found to be
meaningless in the face of long-term considerations of net
economic growth.
Repetto et al. (1989) have applied the Natural Resource
Accounting System to measures of development in Indonesia
where revenues from the production of oil, gas, hard minerals,
timber and forest products have driven the economy for the
past twenty to thirty years. Generally, Indonesia's economic
performance over this period has been judged to be successful

with a per capital GDP growth averaging 4.6 per cent per year
from 1965 to 1986. However, when corrections to GDP are
made by subtracting estimates of net natural resource
depreciation for only three sectors, petroleum, timber, and
soils, and a Net Domestic Product (NDP) measure is gener-
ated, it is found that the rate of growth has been overstated by
more than 3 per cent. When all resource depletion is consid-
ered, the over-statement may be by as much as 6 per cent.
In this scenario, it is more likely that countries which have
been recording GDP growth of 3-5 per cent per capital per year
or less, as Jamaica has, may in fact be truly experiencing a
negative Net Domestic Product growth.
It is probable that considerations of this sort do not find
ready acceptance among all economists. After all, they
challenge conventional thought and call for methodologies
which are new and are neither clear nor simple. But they are
absolutely essential. Until we submit ourselves to this process,
we will never truly understand the limits to our development
nor properly arrive at macroeconomic policies that ascribe to
our natural resource base its true value and take into full
account the cost of depleting or degrading that base.
The plea from those of us who would be managers of the
environment is that we must submit ourselves to the discipline
of incorporating ecological thinking into policies for economic
development As the previously cited World Bank publication
has put it: 'An agenda for action is emerging; economics has a
major role to play in bringing together and mutually rein-
forcing environment and development'
In order to achieve this, a significant paradigm shift is
required and this can only be achieved through fundamental
changes in our values and perceptions brought about by a
comprehensive educational process. Therefore, environmental
education aimed at all levels of the population must become an
integral part of Jamaica's educational system. This must
include, by special design, the decision makers who are now
not only fashioning the environmental policies of the country
but who are also those charting its economic path.
Environment, the Economy and Education are therefore
inseparable. Our planning and our actions must now reflect

EYRE, L. Alan (1991). 'Jamaica's Crisis in Forestry and Watershed
Management'. Jamaica Naturalist 1 (1).
REPETmO, Robert et a.l (1989). Wasting Assets: Natural Resources
in the National Income Accounts. World Resources Institute,
Washington DC.
SCHRAMM, Gunter and Jeremy J. Warford,eds. (1989). Environ-
mental Management and Economic Development. Published
for the World Bank by Johns Hopkins University Press,
Baltimore & London.
The World Bank (1993). Jamaica: Economic Issues for
Environmental Management. The International Bank for
Reconstruction, Washington DC.


He's Jamaican


When we harm
our environment,
we harm ourselves.
Like this Jamaican Owl
(Pseudoscops Grammicus or Patoo),
every tree, river, fish and bird...every creature of ..
Nature contributes to life on this planet and deserves
our respect. In Jamaica we must take care to sustain the
quality of our air, sea and land.
Shell is helping the cause of environmental
conservation in Jamaica. Shell helped found
the Jamaica Junior Naturalists which teaches our
children to value our country's
plant and animal life.
Shell uses its calendar to encourage the protection of
endangered marine life. Company representatives
have discussed with community organizations
the need to balance economic progress with
environmental preservation. They also have urged
business groups to "bring the environment into
the boardroom." Within its own operations, Shell uses
many opportunities to show its customers how to use
its products safely...and in ways that won't hurt the
environment. It was Shell's marketing initiative that
brought unleaded gasoline to Jamaica.
But Shell knows it still has some way to go in its own
operations. The company conducted an exhaustive
environmental audit at all its installations, then
hired a full time, in-house environmentalist to
carry out the improvements.
Everyone of us ... children, professionals,'
the man & woman in the street... must help make
sure we have a healthy environment.
After all, we're all Jamaicans too!

The Shell Companies in Jamaica
1 Rockfort, Kingston 2. Tel: 928-7301-9 / 928-7231-9


The Government of Jamaica has made proper environmental planning and protection a
national priority, and will seek multiple avenues to ensure sustainable development, including:
1. using economic tools and incentives to encourage efficient use of natural
2. working with the private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations in
environmental management and protection; and
S3. looking to strategic use of external sources of investment for meeting critical needs on
the road to looking to population control as a means of reducing the pressure on the
natural resources base, some of which is non-renewable.

The Environmental Policy of Jamaica is embodied in a statement of objectives set out in the
Jamaica National Environment Action Plan, 1995:
S Creating attitudes and behaviour which are responsible and oriented to action in
environmental protection and the sustainable use of natural resources.
Encouraging the use of non-renewable resources including bauxite, limestone
and other minerals for the greatest social and economic benefit of the Jamaican people
while minimizing harmful environmental impacts.
Ensuring that renewable resources including forests and wildlife are used in a sustainable
Ensuring good air quality in Jamaica.
Ensuring that surface and underground water are in sufficient quantities and quality
appropriate for present and future human needs and ecosystem integrity.
Ensuring that urban and rural land is used in the most beneficial and sustainable way.
Providing for the protection and conservation of plants and animal species, particularly
endemic species.
Minimizing the impact of natural hazards and environmental hazards on the population,
the economy and on natural systems.
Allowing for global environmental co-operation and security with special attention to the
needs of developing countries and the circumstances of vulnerable island states.
Enhancing the natural beauty of the island in natural areas, built-up areas, roadways, and
open spaces on both public and private land.
Protecting and preserving the marine environment and territorial waters within the
exclusive economic zone.
To the above are now added the following objectives:
Promoting research and development of appropriate technology which is environmentally
Promoting socio-economic and technical research as it relates to the development and use
of the natural resources of the environment
Promoting the reduction of inefficiency and waste as a method of yielding additional
financial resources for environmental management.
Developing renewable energy sources while seeking to reduce the use of fossil fuels.





a path



T he average Jamaican must be
forgiven if the term 'national park'
conjures up images of a fenced-off green
area with a few benches laid out under
trees amidst beds of flowers and a statue
or two. In the environmental or natural
resource management field, however, a
national park is essentially an area

protected from certain kinds of develop-
ment because of its natural values and
for the benefit of the nation. These
values include:
* high biodiversity the presence of a
wide variety of plant and animal


Susan Otuokon,

An International Perspective
Although the concept of nation-
al parks is new to Jamaica, the
first national park in the world,
Yellowstone, USA was estab-
lished in 1872 and the second,
Royal, Australia in 1879. Of
course, the concept of setting
land aside, protecting it from cer-
tain destructive uses and preserv-
ing it for other uses beneficial to
people is even older than this, as
even so-called primitive societies
had such sacred sites.

presence of rare or endangered
presence of endemic species those
found only in that country or region
watershed functions rainfall over
forests trickles down to feed rivers
and springs


oxygen source trees and plants
produce oxygen
carbon dioxide sink trees and
plants use up carbon dioxide
provision of economic benefits
by direct consumption e.g. fruit,
wood, fish
provision of benefits which are
not consumed e.g. production of
sand from coral reefs
option values species as yet
unresearched are likely to have
values of economic benefit
provision of recreational, cultur-
al and spiritual benefits.
A national park is therefore a
natural area established by the legis-
lature for the national good. The
legislation discourages the use of
the site for activities and develop-
ment which would devalue the re-
sources through misuse or overuse.
It also provides for the management
of the site for the protection of its
Since the establishment of
Yellowstone National Park pri-
marily as a 'pleasure-ground for the
benefit and enjoyment of the
people' (US DOI), many sites
around the world have been
legislated as other kinds of pro-
tected areas. In addition to the exis-
tence of various types of protected
areas, the term 'national park',
means different things in different
parts of the world. In some countries
for example, the UK, a national park
can include places where people live
whereas in others such as the USA,
permanent human occupation is not
permitted. The term expresses the
importance of the site to the nation
but management systems vary -
widely from country to country.
There is however an international
body, the World Conservation
Union (IUCN), which has set up a
system of nomenclature and
guidelines for management. The
categories of Protected Areas sites
protected for their natural and
cultural values according to the
IUCN are (IUCN):-
CATEGORY I Strict Nature Reserve/
Wilderness Area: protected area
managed mainly for science or
wilderness protection.
CATEGORY II National Park: protected
area managed mainly for ecosystem
protection and recreation.
CATEGORY m Natural Monument:
protected area managed mainly for

the conservation of specific natural
CATEGORY IV Habitat/Species Man-
agement Area: protected area managed
mainly for conservation through

management intervention.
CATEGORY v Protected Landscape/Sea-
scape: protected area managed mainly
for landscape/seascape conservation
and recreation.


CATEGORY VI Managed Resource Pro-
tected Area: protected area managed
mainly for the sustainable use of
natural ecosystems.
Hence, national parks in England and
Wales are all IUCN Category V in terms
of their management but, because of the
national pride inferred in the name,
'national park' is the term of choice. In
these countries, as in most of Europe,
there is very little land which is truly
natural in the sense of not having been
changed by humans. Even areas which
were not settled had their trees cut down
for charcoal, building ships, forts, and
other purposes particularly during wars.
Industrialization led to the development
of large, over-crowded, polluted cities.
This and other factors resulted in the
growth of clubs which encouraged
walking and hiking in the countryside,
as a healthy pastime. This culture was
transferred from Europe to the USA and
Canada. Thus, even though in the latter
two countries there is much more truly
natural land than in Europe, sites have
been set aside for their recreational and
spiritual values.
The developing world is composed
mostly of tropical countries which are
rich in their biodiversity of plants and
animals. Many of the forested areas are
still in their natural state, with very little
interaction with humans except for the
indigenous peoples who tend to live in
harmony with the forest rather than
changing it completely. The establish-
ment of protected areas in these
countries has therefore tended to focus
on the protection of plant and animal
diversity rather than on the enjoyment of
the nation. This trend, of course, led to
enmity between national park manage-
ment and neighboring communities,
particularly in Africa and Asia (where
the oldest parks in the developing world
are found). In the last twenty to thirty
years there have been changes leading to
national park management becoming
more people-friendly. For example, in
Zambia's South Luanga National Park,
as part of the move towards integrated
rural development projects (integrated
referring to the integration of conser-
vation goals), an important policy was
changed in 1985. The change allows
revenues from safari hunting con-
cessions to be returned to local villages.
These revenues are applied to local
development initiatives at the discretion
of local chiefs. Another important
feature of the project is the community
harvesting and processing of wildlife,

particularly hippopotamus, the skins and
meat of which are marketed inside
Zambia. Revenue for this programme is
lower than from the revenue returns, but
employment generation is high, which is
of major significance in the region
(Wells, Brandon 1992).

National parks and community
Disregard for people in the estab-
lishment of many of the older National
Parks led to the disenfranchisement of
many rural communities. Naturally, this
led to very negative feelings towards
national parks. However, much has
changed over the last twenty years. The
establishment and management of
National Parks and other kinds of pro-
tected areas must now include the
involvement of communities at all
different levels. It has been said that en-
vironmental management is not about
managing plants, animals and various
parts of ecosystems but rather about
managing people and their use of the
resources. This is certainly true and the
evidence is seen as more and more
social scientists find work in the
environmental field. However, it is an
unfortunate reflection of the tendency
humans have towards setting ourselves
apart from the environment. The fact is
that we are a component of the environ-
ment it is our environment we impact
on it and vice versa.
Management of national parks and
the other categories of protected areas
now involves community members from

Top of Jamaica tour guides in training.

the early planning stages. Community is
generally widely defined so that it
* people living within the site
* people living around the site
* people who use the resources of the
site on a small scale
companies public or private, which
use the resources of the site.
Community members often know
more about a site than the planners and
managers. This means that their involve-
ment can provide invaluable guidance in
the preparation of management plans.
For example, in the Blue and John Crow
Mountains National Park, which was
established within the boundaries of a
forest reserve, older members of com-
munities (some of whom were pre-
viously employed as Forestry Wardens)
were sought out to assist in locating the
boundaries on the ground. Such persons
also have local cultural information
which will make park trails more
interesting or open up an opportunity for
a community-based business.
Any member of a community is
interested in seeing the community
improved and properly managed but the
benefits to individuals and their families
must be clear and tangible to result in
full participation. Unfortunately, some
environmentalists have an anti-people/
anti-development approach and an
attitude which suggests that they think
that community members do not even
know that some of the things they do are
damaging their environment. This is
often not so. People may know that their

courtesy: UAM Nantonal Park


activities are destructive in the long term
to themselves, their children and other
people. However, if they cannot see any
alternatives or do not have the resources
to pursue a better alternative then they
can only continue the destructive
activity. This is not only bad for the
environment but also for the spirit, lead-
ing to negative, despondent feelings. It is
therefore not surprising to hear environ-
mentalists talking about empowering
communities by providing training,
assistance in accessing funds and
encouraging discussion leading to the
development and implementation of
community projects. When people see
and reap the benefits of following an
alternative, then they will be willing to
change their actions. Park managers
therefore see conservation compatible
with socioeconomic development as
essential in the rural areas surrounding
the park in order to protect the resource
Examples of such efforts in Jamaica's
first two national parks include:

1. Rebuilding of the Yallahs River
fording near Mavis Bank. Com-
munity members from Hagley
Gap and other villages above Mavis
Bank identified this project as one
that would help improve infra-
structure in the area. With support
from the Blue and John Crow
Mountains National Park in the form
of publicity, assistance in obtaining
technical advice and financial sup-
port, the community formed a

committee which led the project The
committee organized fund-raising
activities and then workdays when
they had raised enough money to do
the job.
2. Training of spear-fishermen in
alternative skills. Prior to the banning
of spear-fishing within the Montego
Bay Marine Park, discussions were
held with the men involved in this
activity. They asked the park manage
ment if training could be arranged for
some of the men to assist them in

getting jobs in other fields. This was
done through a training course funded
by the United Nations Development
Programme and saw thirty men
receiving training and certification in
basic boatmanship, life-guarding,
life-saving and CPR, tour-guiding,
basic marine biology, the history of
Montego Bay, small business man-
agement and other useful areas.

National parks and sustainable
Concern is aroused in those who feel
that developing countries and small
islands in particular cannot afford to set
aside areas for 'non-development' or
non-traditional development. This is
where the proponents of a national park
system in Jamaica will disagree with the
development lobby. For the latter group,
national parks are actually seen as a tool
or vehicle for sustainable development
and the disagreements are caused by the
differing definitions of development.
Jamaica is one of the countries leading
the way in developing national parks and
protected areas as part of a wider policy
of sustainable development or the
integration of conservation and develop-
ment purposes.
The natural resources of a country
(including people) provide the basis for
economic development. Coral reefs form
and protect the white-sand beaches used
in our tourism industry. Mangrove


Sea Fan Courtesy: NCRPS

swamps are the nurseries for the
lobsters, shrimp and fish that contribute
to the food industry. Forests on moun-
tains and hills ensure clean, plentiful
supplies of water for domestic, agri-
cultural and industrial use. If a nation is
to benefit from these resources well into
the future, they must be conserved or
used wisely. Conservation should be
seen as an important component of
development. Many industries have
recognized that efficient and careful use
of energy, water and other raw materials
leads to less wastage and greater profits.
National parks protect the resources we
need for Jamaica's development.
The establishment and management
of national parks and other protected
areas are intended to ensure that there
are certain areas in a country which will
forever be able to provide benefits
locally and nationally through natural
processes. This service becomes more
and more critical and valuable as other
natural areas are used for towns, agri-
culture and industry.
The Jamaican government recently
published a policy paper on the subject
which states:
The country's two existing national parks
and others still to be created have a
crucial role to play in preventing
degradation of land and marine eco-
systems. Special types of protected areas
will be equally crucial to maintaining the
island's extraordinary biological, scenic
and cultural diversity. In most instances,
the creation of additional parks and
protected areas will not reduce the private

use and ownership of land. It will instead
lead to more productive use on a su-
tained basis, with benefits for local
residents and for Jamaica's economy.
(NRCA, 1995).

National Park development in
The December 1995 publication of
the government's policy statement on
protected areas was the culmination of
decades of movement towards the pro-
tection of Jamaica's natural heritage.
The history of protected areas in
Jamaica began with the creation of
forest reserves in the 1930s and 1940s.
In the 1960s, a group of scientists
formed a National Parks Committee and
developed a list of sites that should be
protected for their biological and other
values. The National Physical Plan of
1970 recognized the need for a compre-
hensive system of national parks and
protected areas. The Natural Resources
Conservation Department (NRCD, now
NRC Authority) had prepared a number
of documents concerning the protection
of certain areas as national parks. How-
ever, the only action towards this end
was a project in Canoe Valley, Man-
As a result of the proposal for the
establishment of national parks in the
USAID funded, Country Environmental
Profile, 1987, the Protected Areas Re-
source Conservation (PARC) project
was conceived and signed by USAID
and the Government of Jamaica in 1989.

Several agencies collaborated in the
implementation of this project including
the Forestry Department, the Planning
Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and the
NRCD. The project implementation
team included a non-government
organization (NGO), the Jamaica Con-
servation and Development Trust
(JCDT). This was a landmark move in
Jamaica, and even internationally, as it is
only fairly recently that NGOs are being
formally involved in bilaterally funded
projects. This move helped to influence
the development of Jamaica's system of
protected areas in terms of non-
government participation. As the Green
Paper states, 'Local initiative and
responsibility for planning, managing
and funding protected areas is strongly
encouraged. Local organizations may be
delegated management authority for
particular areas by NRCA.' (NRCA,
The aim of the PARC project was to
integrate natural resource conservation
with rural economic development in
order to achieve sustainable develop-
ment. The project was coordinated
through a project management unit
operating out of the PIOJ and each of the
organizations involved had specific
implementation responsibilities. The
outputs of the three-year project were:
1. Two pilot parks established (one
terrestrial, the other marine): Blue
and John Crow Mountains National
Park and the Montego Bay Marine
Park. These two areas were selected
because of the importance of their
natural resources to Jamaica's socio-
economic development as well as the
high level of biodiversity, particularly
in the Blue Mountains. These were
initially implemented through the
Forestry Department and the NRCD.
2. A Plan for a System of Protected
Areas for Jamaica was produced by
the JCDT, summarized from exten-
sive background documents prepared
by Conrad Douglas and Associates.
This document provided the frame-
work for the selection and manage-
ment of sites to form a system of
protected areas across the island. It
was presented to the NRCA in 1993
and revised with NRCA's comments
in 1994. This was one of the docu-
ments used in preparing the gov-
ernment's policy on protected areas.
3. National Park and Marine Park
Regulations drafted, by Mr Winston
McCalla and passed in 1993 and
1992 respectively.


4. The Conservation Data Centre was
established at the University of the
West Indies to collect and store on
computer databases, information on
Jamaica's rare, threatened and en-
dangered plants and animals. This
information can be made available to
the managers of protected areas to
assist them in developing manage-
ment and operational plans and
5. The Jamaica National Parks Trust
Fund (JNPTF) was legally registered
in 1991 and capitalized with the
proceeds of Jamaica's first debt-for-
nature exchange on Earth Day, 1992.
It is managed by the JCDT under
direction from a Board of Trustees,
primarily as an endowment, and pays
its expenses through investment
income, its principle remaining
untouched. The purpose of the Fund
is to support national parks in
Jamaica. Up to the end of 1995 it had
provided JA$10.8 million to help
support the operations of the two
parks and the Conservation Data
Centre (JCDT, 1996).
Towards the end of the PARC project,
it was decided that as the project had
been successful in meeting its goals,
another phase of the project, PARC II
should be funded by USAID. It was
therefore agreed to extend PARC I and
then enter into a bridging stage to
connect the two projects. PARC Phase II
was to consolidate the two parks and put
them under the management of non-
government organizations. In addition, it
was hoped that this second phase of
PARC would see the establishment of
national parks in Black River and the
Cockpit Country. During this bridging
stage, another environmental project was
formulated by USAID the Develop-
ment of Environmental Management
Organizations (DEMO) project and it
was decided that PARC II would fall
within this larger project. The DEMO
project provided assistance to the
NRCA, the National Environmental
Societies Trust (NEST) the umbrella
environmental organization and initial-
ly assisted with the formation of two
new umbrella type groups: the St James
Environmental Protection Trust (STEPT)
and the Negril Area Environmental
Protection Trust (NEPT). For a number
of reasons, PARC Phase II did not result
in the establishment of national parks in
Black River and Cockpit Country, two of
the most important sites in Jamaica. By

Local Community and Park Management examine flood damage at Millbank

early 1996, the NRCA had agreed in
writing to delegate the authority to
manage the Montego Bay Marine Park
to the Montego Bay Marine Park Trust
and had sent a letter of intent to the
Jamaica Conservation and Development
Trust regarding likely agreement to
delegate authority. In both cases the
meeting of certain criteria was stipu-
lated. This, however, was after years of
PARC II being in limbo with little
consolidation taking place.
Thus, after beginning in the pro-
verbial blaze of glory and achieving
more than it had set out to accomplish,
the PARC project suffered many
setbacks between 1994 and 1995. The
parks have had to operate under severe
constraints in terms of all the necessary
resources and this has led in some cases
to the feeling that nothing was being
done. Some of these problems should be
seen as the difficult teething stage as the
project moves towards becoming part of
a permanent programme of natural
resource management in Jamaica.
Despite the difficulties, however, the
parks have managed to continue oper-
ating and implementing a number of
projects. With the new support that is
developing, the future still looks bright.

Management of National Parks in
Each park has a manager and two
teams of staff administrative and
operational (field staff). The latter team


includes Rangers and may also include a
Scientific Officer (as in the case of the
Marine Park) and a Community Out-
reach or Projects Officer (as in the case
of the BJCMNP). The work of each park
can be considered under three main
1. Development of management plans
and administering their implemen-
tation. This involves gathering
information, coordinating research,
ensuring collaboration with other
relevant agencies and analysis of all
the available data to produce plans
which when implemented will
ensure the protection of the
resources within the park. Organi-
zations such as the Conservation
Data Centre, UWI, the Institute of
Jamaica and the Scientific Re-
search Council are important in
terms of the research aspect. Others
such as the National Water Com-
mission and the Jamaica Tourist
Board may be important in terms of
operations. Both parks seek to work
with other agencies as there is no
single group which can on its own
meet the needs of these protected
2. Implementation of plans and
projects. This includes the enforce-
ment of legislation. The 'on-
the-ground' implementation is
primarily the role of the Rangers.
These men and women practice
interpretive enforcement, that is,
they focus on explaining and


educating offenders and potential
offenders as to a) why a particular
offence is bad for the resources and
for people and b) what the alter-
natives are. The first set of Rangers
had a special, intensive course at
the Police Academy, Twickenham
Park, but most of the subsequent
training has been through on-going
'in-house' courses. All the Rangers
are sworn in as Special District
Constables giving, them the author-
ity to make arrests in specific
parishes. The duties of the Rangers
include patrolling, monitoring,
assisting park visitors, teaching,
and prosecuting offenders after
following the process of inter-
pretive enforcement.
3. Promoting public participation.
This aspect can also be looked at
under three headings:
a) Education: an understanding of
our environment how it works,
why it is important to us and how to
take care of it is essential in order
for people to have positive attitudes
and actions towards conservation.
Education at all levels through
programmes directed at students,
business people, visitors and com-
munity members is therefore an
essential task for the parks. This
task is carried out by the Rangers
on a one-to-one basis, and through
brochures, radio programmes and
other means. This is one area in
which the parks collaborate with
other organizations. For example,
the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Education Project, implemented

The Rio Grande from the bridge looking towards Millbank.

between 1993 to 1994 with funding
from the RARE Centre for Tropical
Birds. This project focused on the
need for our forests to be protected
for the sake of the second largest
butterfly in the world, which is
endemic to Jamaica, and also for
ourselves. It was coordinated by
Janet Bedasse with the JCDT as the
lead agency and a group of
organizations forming a steering
committee. These organizations
included NGOs like the Natural
History Society of Jamaica and
government agencies like the
NRCA and the Ministry of
b) Public support of the parks: this
has to be encouraged by the park
management through collaboration
with companies and other organ-
izations. Both parks need financial,
human resource and in-kind sup-
port at all levels. The Montego Bay
Marine Park has been able to obtain
support through the Jamaica Hotel
and Tourist Association's local
chapter as well as from individual
hotels. This is because the tourist
industry can clearly see the role
that the MBMP plays in protecting
the industry. The parks assist the
general public through the pro-
vision of a variety of services but
local communities are assisted
through community development
projects. It is therefore beneficial to
both the parks and the community
at large to support each other.
c) Participation in management-
local involvement was sought early

Susan Otuokon

in the establishment of the first two
parks in Jamaica's system of
protected areas. One method was
through the formation of local
advisory committees with rep-
resentatives of the various interest
groups in the area. These com-
mittees meet regularly with the
park management to comment on
plans submitted by the parks and to
provide advice and guidance on the
various projects. Community mem-
bers can also participate in manage-
ment of the resources of the parks
by acting as eyes and ears and
reporting abuses of the resources to
the Rangers.

The Future
The PARC project, and particularly
the involvement of a non-government
organization, the JCDT, led to several
initiatives being taken across the island
by other NGOs. For example:-
Plans for a Port Antonio Marine
Park, spearheaded by the Portland
Environmental Protection Ass-
ociation (PEPA)
Plans for a Negril Marine Park and
Negril Watershed Protection Area
spearheaded by the Negril Coral
Reef Protection Society (NCRPS)
and the Negril Area Protection Trust
Plans for a Portland Ridge and Bight
and Hellshire Hills Protected Area,
spearheaded by the South Coast
Conservation Foundation (SCCF).
All these organizations are working with
the NRCA, and they have been able to
access a variety of funding sources to
prepare plans and implement projects
aimed at the establishment of these
protected areas.
The government has outlined a two
year implementation programme in its
Green Paper. This suggests a number of
actions that should take place to plan the
system, protect significant biological
diversity, ensure financial sustainability,
build institutional capacity, promote
local management and operations
capacity, increase public awareness,
ensure sustainable natural resource
management within the protected areas
system and use the system to support
economic development. (NRCA, 1995)
Jamaica is a land full of potential and
numerous resources, many of which are
over-used and under-used. Over-use and
misuse of our natural resources tends to
occur due to policies encouraging the


exploitation of those resources without
concern for environmental issues
together with a lack of appreciation of
the indirect values of the resources.
Under-use can also be considered a
problem in the sense that many of our
plant and animal species and other
natural resources are likely to have uses
which are unknown to us. This is often
due to lack of research and the develop-
ment of appropriate technology. If
something is seen as having no use or
value, then in addition to being 'under-
used', it is also likely to be abused. In
Jamaica forested land tends to be seen
as useless 'bush'. The only value placed
on this land is when the trees are cut for
lumber or charcoal or when the land is
cleared for agriculture, housing or some
other use. It is not considered that there
may be valuable resources that can be
tapped into without cutting down the
trees, for example, collection of seeds
for nurseries, bee-keeping, nature
tourism, sustainable harvesting of plants
or branches for charcoal.
Wise management is necessary for
the sustainable development of the
nation and national parks and protected
areas have an important role to play in
this process. Six goals are stated in the
Green Paper on protected areas which
give direction to this role:

The Institute of Jamaica
was founded in 1879. Its main functions
are to foster and encourage the
development of culture, science and
history, in the national interesL
It operates as a statutory body under the
Institute of Jamaica Act 1978 and falls
under the portfolio of the Minister of
Culture. The Institute's central decision-
imaking body is the Council which is
,appointed by the Minister.
The Institute of Jamaica consists of a
central administration and a number of
divisions and associate bodies operating
with varying degrees of autonomy.
Chairman: Sonia Jones
Acting Executive Director. Elaine Fisher
Deputy Director: Yvonne Dixon

1.Environmental Protection the
system of protected areas will pre-
serve our natural and cultural her-
2.Sustainable Resource Use the
system will protect the ecological
systems which provide goods and
3.Economic Development the
system will expand and diversify
Jamaica's natural resource based
4. Recreation and Public Education -
the system will provide recreational
and educational opportunities to
improve the quality of life for all
5.Public Participation and Local
Responsibility the system will
promote local interest, commitment
and support for protected areas.
6.Financial Sustainability the
system will achieve and maintain
financial sustainability for the
protected area system. (NRCA
The achievement of these goals
will clearly benefit Jamaica and all
our people. The NRCA will guide the
implementation of this system of
protected areas as it is the govern-
ment agency charged with the overall

Central Administration
12-16 East St.,Kingston. Tel: 922-0620
Aflican Caribbean Instllute/Mueory
Roy West Building. 12 Ocean Boulevard
Kingston Mall. Tel: 922-4793
Institute of Jamaica Publleations Ltd.
2a Suthermere Rd., Kingston 10
Tel: 929-4785/6 926-8817
Junior Centre
19BJIt St., Kingston. Tel: 922-0620
H-ad Office: 12-16 East Street, Kingston
Tei 922-0620
National Museum of Historical
Archaeology, Port Royal. Tel: 924-8871

responsibility for environmental
management. It will be necessary,
however, for all Jamaicans to play
their part in the protection of our
natural heritage through national
parks and other protected areas.


IUCN, 1994. 'From the CNPPA Chair.'
IUCN Newsletter. CNPPA #63,
June 1994.
JCDT, 1996. 'The Jamaica National Parks
Trust Fund' Tody News. JCDT
Newsletter Vol. 7, No. 2. Jan 1996.
NRCA, 1995. 'Towards a National System of
Parks and Protected Areas.' Green
Paper #1, 95. December 1995.
USA Department of Interior, National Park
Service, Factsheet
WEIuS, M., K. Brandon, with L. Hannah,
1992. People and Parks Linking
Protected Area Management with
Local Communities. The Inter-
national Bank for Reconstruction
and Development/The World Bank,
Washington DC.

Opening Photographs by the author, taken in
the Blue and John Crow Mountain National
Park: p.14 Tree fern. p.15 Bromeliad.

Fort Charles Marist- eum ?r
Arawak Museum, White. Marl:- :._
Military iuse -
Up Park Camp, 3rd GR Compotd. i
Jamaica People's Museum of Canft and
Spanish Town Square-Tel: 984-2452
Old King's House Archaeological
Museum, Spanish Town Square Tel:
National Gallery of Jamaica
Roy West Building, Ocean Boulevard
Kingston Mall. Tel: 922-1561/4
National Library of Jamaica
12-16 East Street., Kingston Tel: 922-0626
Natural History Library and M :ffui iK
12-16 East Street, Kingston. Tel: 922O,2(Q







Catherine Levy

T he environmental non-
governmental movement in
Jamaica owes a great debt to the
teachers ofyesteryear. These
dedicated persons helped to
found and maintain volunteer
groups many of which still exist
today. In the face of prolonged
and serious degradation and
devaluation of the natural
resources of the island since the
1950s, they have been the
guardians of information. The
growing awareness in the
general society of the importance
of the natural environment can
also be traced to their efforts.
However, at the time they were
formed they were not called
'Environmental Non-
Governmental Organizations' as
this is a term of relatively recent
usage, reflecting present-day
problems and concerns.

Over thirty-five NGOs have regis-
tered as members of the National
Environmental Societies Trust (NEST).
A large number of these call themselves
environmental NGOs, using this in the
sense of the totality of the environment,

with man at the centre. Many are
community-based, such as Bluefields
Community People's Association, or the
'Environment Protection Associations'
in nearly every parish. Others are more
general, usually purporting to undertake
management, conservation and develop-
ment of a specific area, for example, the
Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society,
the Jamaica Conservation and Devel-
opment Trust and the South Coast
Conservation Foundation. Groups of
this type, where relevant, have to take
into account both the human population
and the biological and physical prop-
erties within the boundaries of each
specific area. This necessitates under-
standing of all the resources in order for
proper administration to be put in place
and be effective.
Most of the NGOs which are mem-
bers of NEST are under ten years old
and have not had time to demonstrate
strong and lasting impact. Therefore this
article will look at those environmental
NGOs which have been in existence for
thirty years are more and will review the
impact they have had. These are the
organizations, all voluntary, which con-
cern themselves directly with the study
of the natural environment, that is, the
biological and physical resources of the
island. They do not attempt to undertake
management or development of areas or
resources, but provide the knowledge
base which should underline wise action
and sustainable management and

The endangered environment
The biological communities which
have been built up on this earth over
millions of years are been devastated by
human actions and by 'development'. In
the late 1960s, scientists became aware
that a change in natural communities
was taking place very quickly. Reports
of mass extinctions of organisms were
received, with the rate of loss in modern
times compared to that caused by
prehistoric natural catastrophes, for
example, by the landing of a gigantic
asteriod on earth. It is felt that the loss of
biological diversity in modern times is
greater than any that had ever happened
in the past; that this loss is gaining
momentum because of human-induced
effects, for example, over-hunting, de-
forestation, use of chemical pollutants. It
is also felt that the causes of loss in
biological diversity may have a deleteri-
ous effect on human populations as well.
Islands such as Jamaica have a high
rate of unique organisms because of
separation from source locations (e.g.
pre-Central and North America) over a
very long period, thus the organisms
have had many thousands of years to
adapt to the specific ecosystems that
developed on the island. The situation of
Jamaica in the tropical belt and within
the Caribbean plate means that the
island is prone to hurricanes and earth-
quakes. Further, the physical structure of
the land, with over two-thirds being
limestone substrate, exacerbates the
effects of periodic droughts and floods.
There has been loss of biological
diversity due to the destruction of
natural vegetation, but also the growth
of the human population and the
resulting need of land for cultivation and
housing have meant that unsuitable
areas are being used for those purposes.
As a result such areas become sus-
ceptible to hazardous consequences
resulting from natural disasters.

The Natural History Society of
One institution which has provided a
central base for knowledge, research and
documentation since 1879 is today
severely neglected the Institute of
Jamaica's Natural History Division.
Generations of children, adults and vis-
itors have found the Natural History
Division to be a source of information,
learning and enjoyment. More import-
antly for the environmental movement,
it was through the inspiration of staff


there that the idea was conceived of a
science camp for teachers to be held at
Clydesdale in 1940. Out of this was born
the Natural History Society of Jamaica.
As with all voluntary organizations,
the Natural History Society of Jamaica
has undergone periods of activity and
influence, after a time becoming dor-
mant only to rise again to greater
heights. Under the aegis of staff of the
National History Division, the Society
remained vibrant for years but in 1955
like Rip van Winkle, it fell asleep. In the
meantime, the University College of the
West Indies, established in 1948, was
gaining strength and in 1975 the Natural
Resources Conservation Department
came into being. A small group of mem-
bers reorganized the NHSJ in 1977 and,
with input from staff at the NRCD, it
took on new life. Gradually, the Faculty
of Natural Sciences of the University of
the West Indies was playing an in-
creasingly active role in the formation of
local scientists and teachers and it was
only natural that the headquarters of the
NHSJ eventually shifted to the UWI at
The phases which the NHSJ went
through reflect the concerns of those
who knew about and appreciated the
natural resources of the island. First
came the study of flora, fauna,
ecosystems and processes then, on re-
forming in 1977, the Society focused
much more on conservation. In fact, out
of concern at the lack of public know-
ledge of the value of natural resources, at
the extent of degradation of the natural
environment, and because the govern-
ment's response to growing problems
was weak, some members of the NHSJ
initiated the formation of a group that
would develop into the Jamaica Con-
servation Trust, later to become the
Jamaica Conservation and Development
Trust (JCDT). The latter organization
wished to focus on the management of
natural areas. Thus it was in the 1980s
that the governing body of the Natural
History Society deliberately and with
considerable thought, decided to return
the group to its main focus: the study of
flora and fauna, with special attention
being given to indigenous species.
Evidence of the work of the Society is
provided in the mimeographed 'Natural
History Notes' which were published
from 1941-1955, and restarted in June
1977. Many of the articles used in
Natural History Notes, and in two other
early publications, Glimpses of Natural
History, volume 1 and volume 2, were

first produced as texts for radio broad-
casts. The impact of these talks cannot
be measured but must have been con-
siderable, particularly as television did
not exist and radio was truly a source of
information and entertainment, especi-
ally in rural areas. In 1991 a change was
made from the old mimeographed
format, available only to members, to a
printed magazine with colour illus-
trations, the Jamaica Naturalist, which
would be on sale and accessible to the
general public. These publications have
been and continue to be an invaluable
source of information on the island's
animals, plants, and ecosystems.

Other lasting societies
The period of dormancy of the
Natural History Society from the 1950s
to the late 1970s, saw the birth and
development of a number of other
organizations or groups which aimed to
foster the study of species or systems.
Many of the founder members of the
new groups had been active members of
the NHSJ. In June 1950 the Association
of Science Teachers of Jamaica was
formed; in November 1955, the Geo-
logical Association of Jamaica was
launched, and in 1960 (two years before
Geology was introduced as a subject at
the University of the West Indies) it
became the Geological Society of
Jamaica. In the mid-1950s, the Gosse
Bird Club started to meet informally and
commenced publication in 1963; and in
1966 the Jamaica Geographical Society
came into being, a year after Geography
had become a degree subject at UWI.
The NHSJ thus helped to pave the way
for the numerous other groups which
later concerned themselves with nature
in its various manifestations on the
island. Until the other organizations
began their own publications, the
NHSJ's 'Notes' was the main source of
printed information (at a reasonable
price) to the growing body of teachers
who instructed the island's youth, and to
the general public.
The Association of Science Teachers
of Jamaica, founded in 1950, is the
oldest association of its kind in the
Caribbean. It seeks to improve the teach-
ing of science and the promotion of
research and technology in teaching
institutions, and the wider community, at
both the formal and informal levels.
Although this group does not publish, its
activities include an Annual General
Meeting (with lectures and workshops);

an Annual Science Exhibition, Science
Quiz, and workshops for teachers and
students. Workshops on ecology for A-
level students have been found to be
very helpful.
The ASTJ maintains international
links through organizations in the wider
Caribbean, the Commonwealth, and
North America. In July 1995, the
Association co-hosted (with NASTA and
the OAS) the Third International Con-
ference of the North American Science
Teachers Association in Ocho Rios.
These linkages permit the Association to
keep in touch with developments in the
sciences and science education and to
keep its members informed through four
Regional committees.
In the last issue of the first set of
'Natural History Notes' (November
1955) is an account of the formation of
the Geological Association of Jamaica
spear-headed by geologists working with
the government's Geological Survey
Department. So keen were these geo-
logists that they had great influence on
teachers. As a result, the subject was
taught at Rusea's, Knox College and
Clarendon College in the 1950s. In 1960
the Association became the Geological
Society of Jamaica, and when geology
entered the curriculum at the University
of the West Indies the Society soon
found a headquarters there. The focus of
this group is to 'foster the progress and
science of Geology and to encourage
research and the development of new
methods'. Field trips are arranged for
members to visit sites of geological
interest which demonstrate the effects of
natural hazards and events. However, as
with the NHSJ, the most visible
evidence of its presence is its pub-
lications, first 'Geonotes' and, more
recently, the Journal of the Geological
Society, with special issues reporting on
conferences, workshops of symposia.
Topics dealt with in the special issues
1971-86 Bauxite Symposia (1986:
Trends in the Economics of
Alumina & Bauxite)
1981 Industrial Minerals Symposium
(including mineral springs)
1985 Limestone and Clay in
Jamaica: their industrial
mineral applications
1989 Caribbean Industrial Mineral
Resources: new frontiers for
1992 Natural Hazards in the


In January 1953 the first West Indian
Conference on Birds, sponsored by the
Institute of Jamaica and the Natural
History Society, was held in Jamaica.
The occasion was graced with the
presence of such notables as James
Bond (author of the first field guide to
the birds of the West Indian islands).
Seth Low, US Fish & Wildlife Service;
and Virgilio Biaggi from Puerto Rico.
Some time after, it was suggested at an
Annual General Meeting of the NHSJ
that an arm of the Royal Society for the
Protection of Birds be started in
Jamaica. However, the motion was
deferred for further consideration, and
soon afterwards the Society became
Although the exact date of origin of
the Gosse Bird Club is obscure, the
NHSJ 'Notes' up to 1955 indicate a rich

active with field-trips or tall
national programme, proje&
constantly growing membe
Club also responds to qu
NRCA and other organize
information and advice.
What is remarkable about
is that, without a base su
Institute of Jamaica or a De
the University of the West
baton has been carried indef
volunteers for forty years.
The Jamaica Geographic
was formed in 1966. Like the
Society, a forerunner of the
Jamaican branch of the Ge
Association of the UK forme
siastic local geographers
active from the early 1950
tunes of the society have fluc
the years, but focus on h


Natural History Socsty
of Jamowco

Three generations of NHSJ publications: 1995, 1984,

interest in the birds of the island and
contributions on distribution, breeding
and migrant species appeared regularly.
In 1959 an active member of the NHSJ
bird group, May Jeffrey-Smith, sent out
a letter asking if people were interested
in setting up bird-watching groups
around the island. In August 1963, the
publication of the Club's Broadsheet
commenced, and it has continued to be
issued ever since with nos. 66 and 67
due for publication in 1996. A Cumu-
lative Index of Authors and Subjects of
Broadsheets nos 1-60 was published in
In 1989 a decision was taken to
formalize the existence of the Club with
a constitution, elected officers, and
regular meetings. The first general
meeting was held in November 1989,
and since then the Club has become very


students and teachers, coll
publication of data from
cursions, and the activity
Geography Department at
helped the society to survive
to celebrate its thirtieth ann
September 1996.
The many and widely va
of geography in Jamaica and
activities were demonstrated
exhibition which was illus
wide range of topics: inpu
tainable agriculture; nature
coastal environment; land,
and watershed management;
species; and historical trails.
letter of the JGS, 'Jama
grapher', is a further addition
material on the natural reso
island, and of the impact of

More recent NGOs

.ani u a Other organizations have contributed
rship. The to the environmental movement in the
nations for promotion of special conferences. One
ons or which had a special impact was the 1983
S Caribbean Regional Seminar on Forests
ch as ther of Jamaica, organized by the Jamaican
cn as the Society of Scientists and Technologists
apartment at (JSST). Papers presented at the meeting
Indies, the were published in Forests of Jamaica
atigably by which has become a standard reference
work on the biology and ecology of the
:al Society island's natural forests and woodlands,
Geological and for applied topics such as agro-
JGS was a forestry and watershed management.
geographical It is striking that the majority of the
d by enthu- founding members of these societies
who were were teachers. The aim of many persons
s. The for- who join, even today, is to learn more
tuated over about topics within the field chosen, and
igh school to understand the relationship between
disciplines. The groups have contributed
enormously to the general education of
members, and reflect a vital and healthy
search for knowledge in the wider
society. Some non-governmental organi-
zations have contributed by, among
other activities, raising awareness of
environmental matters among school
children and have worked with par-
ticular schools. There is often an overlap
among members, which enriches
information and appreciation.
Most of the groups hold regular
activities, host special events such as
conferences or workshops (e.g. on
natural disasters), and promote lectures
by local and visiting professionals
providing a valuable interchange of
ideas and methods. Taken together, the
EricGarraway publications make a rich and reliable
source of information available to
section and teachers, teacher-trainers, planners, and
field ex- other interested persons. Further, where
ies of the there are strong contacts with insti-
UWI have tutions such as the University of Tech-
and be able nology or the University of the West
niversary in Indies, the societies are able to draw on
a storehouse of resource persons, in-
ying facets formation, data, and audio-visual and
tying aces other material useful for lectures,
the group's displays and presentations. What indi-
in a recen vidual members or participants take to
rated by a their occupations or professions from
t into sus- these events and publications is a benefit
ul4i hiA

U4a,;1 Ut e
solid waste
The news-
lican Geo-
n to source
urces of the

that can never be measured.
Professionals in disciplines such as
ecology (terrestrial and marine), geo-
graphy and geology are among those
who contribute to understanding pro-
cesses, especially on land where a
burgeoning population finds that natural
events such as earthquakes, drought,


sS, an edu-
A~ ~r

floods, and hurricanes affect their
dwellings, livelihood and facilities. For
example, the Mona Reservoir built in the
mid-1940s suffered from excessive
seepage when filled; some years and
much expenditure later the problems
were eventually solved. This happened
because the location chosen had a
substrate of sand and gravel the project
had been undertaken without input from
The occupations of the members of
each group varies enormously. In some,
the presence of government personnel is
advantageous as it permits interaction
with other professionals, but it also
allows the government to keep abreast of
developments, theories and research, to
stay involved, and to take into account
the perspective of the island as a whole.
Teachers benefit tremendously and are
able to improve their presentation of the
subject in schools. However, there is a
wide cross-section of occupations such
as engineering, farming, journalism, fine
arts, photography, medicine (including
veterinary medicine), and fishing, apart
from staff and students of secondary and
tertiary-level institutions.

The value of the NGOs
The environmental societies, singly
or in combination, provide the people of
Jamaica with a vehicle for advocacy, for
expressing their voice in a society which
has often seen the government as the
sole agent for decision-making and
accomplishing national projects. The
inclusion of a representative of NGOs on
the Board of the Natural Resources
Conservation Authority gives further
evidence of the importance of such
groups in helping to shape decisions
about natural resources, about manage-
ment and development. Further, the
majority of persons who were respon-
sible for establishing the National
Environmental Societies Trust in 1989,
in order to give cohesion to the environ-
mental lobby, were drawn from the five
older organizations looked at here.
An opinion expressed by some today
is that management of natural resources
is, in effect, management of human
populations. This reflects a narrow side
of the whole picture, removing from it
the multi-dimensional approach that
understanding biological diversity and
processes provides. Management of any
resource cannot be truly effective if the
resource is not known or properly under-
stood. Therefore, management must take

into account the flora, fauna and natural
systems as well as the human impact.
The knowledge and understanding of
natural sciences is continuously develop-
ing but without practical experience in
the field, knowledge remains a set of
theoretical principles which are often
forgotten in the haste to find solutions to
pressing human problems. The societies
described here have been providing for
their members assistance in data
collection based on field experience
under the guidance of practising
It is regrettable that more persons in
quest of content for 'environmental
education' are not assisted to contact the
groups. The data and information are
available, but all the groups encounter
great difficulty in publishing, par-
ticularly as the journals or newsletters
are seen as 'academic' or not practical
enough to merit funding from founda-
tions, local and overseas. Yet local text-
books on these subjects are seriously
lacking. Even if satisfactory texts for
schools were available, the updating of
knowledge and data would make the
journals of particular value.
As all of these groups are member-
ship organizations, their first obligation
is to the membership; their validity and
effectiveness must be judged on whether
or not they fulfil their stated objectives,
and how far each adjusts to change as
warranted. Fortunately, they have also
been building an abiding legacy in their
influence and publications yet all have
operated on a volunteer basis without the
benefit of paid staff or a strong financial
position. This undoubtedly has con-
tributed to the general society's lack of
appreciation of the role and benefits that
each has provided. The other side of the
coin is that any attempt to publicize a
group or its activities brings extra tasks
and, as with so many voluntary organ-
izations, it is the very few who bear the
greater burden of work. Full credit must
be given to those individuals who have
persevered in the face of ignorance,
indifference and nonexistent income in
keeping the societies alive. A great deal
of effort goes into maintaining the
interest of members especially when
many in Jamaica do not have an
appreciation of nature they do not
comprehend the relevance of lizards,
insects and plants (except in the light of
economic gain) and have to be assisted
to 'see' the wealth and beauty of our

I am grateful to the following who
provided information, documents, and time
for discussion: Dr Eric Garraway (NHSJ);
Dr Trevor Jackson and Professor Edward
Robinson (GSJ); Dr David Barker and Althea
Johnson (JGS): Dr Joy Royes (ASTJ); as well
as staff of the Institute of Jamaica and NEST

Source Material
Geological Society of Jamaica. Journal.
no. 1- 1964-
Geonotes. 1958-1963. Geological Society
of Jamaica.
Glimpses of Natural History. 1946, 1949.
vol. 1, 2. The Institute of Jamaica. Kingston
'Gosse Bird Club Broadsheet', nos. 1-
'Jamaican Geographer'. No. 1- 1966-
Newsletter of the Jamaican Geographical
Jamaica Naturalist. no. 1- 1991- News-
letter of the Jamaican Geographical Society.
'Natural History Notes'. (1st Series) nos.
1-75, 1940-55. Natural History Society of
'Natural History Notes' (New Series) v. 1
nos. 1-10; v.2 no.l, 1977-1986. Natural
History Society of Jamaica.
Porter, Anthony R.D. 1990. Jamaica. A
Geological Portrait. IOJP. Kingston.
Primack, Richard B. 1993. Essentials of
Conservation Biology. Mass., Sinauer Assoc.
Robinson, Edward. 'The Geological
Society of Jamaica-its History'. in Journal of
the Geological Society.
Thompson, D.A., P.K. Bretting and M.
Humphreys. Forests of Jamaica. Jamaica
Society of Scientists and Technologists,

Major Environmental NGOs
Natural History Society of Jamaica
President: Paul Byles
Tel: 927-1202 *
Association of Science Teachers of Jamaica
Chairman: Miss Vilma McLenan
Tel: 927-2831 Fax: 977-3494
Geological Society of Jamaica
President: Earl Wright
Tel: 927-2728
Gosse Bird Club
President: Catherine Levy
Tel/Fax: 978-5121
Jamaica Geographical Society
President: LawrBence Neufville
Tel: 927-2129
National Environmental Societies Trust
Executive Director: Maureen Rowe
Tel: 960-3316 Fax: 960-3909


'~~~~~~;.* -tL~~~ ''
.. ... .." .

. 8 ^ f 'YJ H M R ^

Tre Tropical


of Jamaica

L Alan Eyre
University of the West Indies Department of Geography 1996

Tropical rainforest is the most genetically
diverse, biologically productive and
scientifically exciting arena of terrestrial
life on our planet.

It is a dynamic ecosystem, that is to say, an interacting
geographic association of climate, soil, flora, fauna,
and micro-organisms. The principal characteristics
which distinguish it from other ecosystems are:
equability of climate, absence of frost and fire, very
rapid recycling of biomass and energy, and a
morphology of all life forms which is adapted to all-
pervasive warmth and moisture.
The geographic extent of tropical rainforests can be


defined in meteorological terms by
parameters of temperature and
precipitation. There is a surprising
latitude in the definitions offered in
the scientific literature. This is
because most published definitions
are theoretic, not empiric, and very
few have been directly checked in
the field against actual forest mor-
phology and distribution, at least
not on a wide scale. The classic
work of Wladimir Koppen early
this century and of L.R. Holdridge
in the sixties are notable excep-
tions; K6ppen's criterion of 200C
mean temperature for the coldest
month has stood the rigorous test of
time (Holdridge 1967, K6ppen in
Richards 1952). A more recently
proposed temperature limit is an
annual mean temperature greater
than 23.80C (Raven 1990). In the
Jamaican context, where the tem-
perature limit is altitudinal not
latitudinal, this translates into a
boundary at 1250 metres a.s.l.
defining the upper limit of tropical Fig
rainforest. Obviously, this bound-
ary is rarely sharp, and is marked by a
transition zone. However, there is no
doubt that around this level there is a
sufficient change in most aspects of
forest morphology to warrant a defin-
itional distinction between tropical
rainforest and sub-tropical montane
forest This latter category is an intensely
interesting ecosystem, but it is not the
subject of this article.
In terms of precipitation values
defining the extent of tropical rain-
forests, there is much greater inex-
actitude, and intelligent guesses abound
in the literature. Over many years at the
University of the West Indies, many of
these guesses have been tested in the
field with the assistance of Geography
students and found wanting. In some
cases it is hard to believe how they ever
came to be accepted for publication. At
the risk of being charged with attempt-
ing, as it were, to re-invent the wheel,
Figure 1 provides a graphical solution to
the definition of tropical rain-forest by
using precipitation data. This has been
found repeatedly to have a high degree
of correspondence with forest mor-
phology worldwide. Sixteen typical
rainforest climate stations in Jamaica are
plotted on each of these figures. Com-
bining the temperature and precipitation
criteria, tropical rainforest can, in the
author's experience, be delineated in
theory and empirically with a fairly high
degree of accuracy. 1

? /

,p 0 4 8
5 52 48 44


aa o

12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48 52 44
40 36 32 28 24 20 16 1
^ 15 o <
12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48 52
40 36 32 28 24 20 16 12 8 4 0

ure 1: The tropical rainforest dimate. The rainfall stations are listed in the caption to Figure 3.

Tropical rainforest in Jamaica
Jamaica possesses less than 0.02
percent, a mere six thousandth, of the
world's 6.4 million square kilometres of
tropical rainforest. Nevertheless, the
amount we do possess is both a unique
and a precious commodity. Objectively,
one would have thought that with such a
minuscule proportion of the world's
great green treasure, active conservation
and wise utilization would be axiomatic.
Alas, such is not the case.
Table 1 presents quantitative data on
the extent of Jamaica's tropical rain-
forests in 1491 2, 1791 and 1991. Figure
3 indicates the location and extent of the
western and eastern forests. The western
and eastern rainforests differ somewhat
in their climatic regime (Figure 2). The
climograph for Darliston, typical of the
west, shows the influence of troughs and
depressions associated with the Inter-
tropical Convergence from April to June,
whilst in the east late-year frontal rain is
more pronounced.
In 1995, the World Resources
Institute, in collaboration with the
Swedish International Development
Authority, the Netherlands Government
and the World Bank, published an author-
itative figure for the extent of Jamaica's
rainforests as they existed in 1991:
1220.0 km2. This figure includes high
altitude sub-tropical montane forests
which cover approximately 225 km2 in

the Blue Mountain range. Thus the
World Resources Institute statistic and
the author's slightly earlier surveys, each
obtained independently by different
methods, vary by only a tenth of one
The first tropical rainforests to be
studied by European naturalists were
those in Jamaica. Enormous plant and
animal collections were taken to Europe
as early as the 17th century. Some of
these still exist, as herbaria or as living
specimens. British craftsmen eagerly
sought Jamaican cabinet timbers in
Elizabethan times. It is all the more
surprising, therefore, that no com-
prehensive study of Jamaican rainforests
(or any other forest type for that matter)
has ever been made. No book length
research has been published on any
aspect of Jamaican forests. There is one
standard monograph of 53 pages pub-
lished forty-three years ago (Asprey and
Robbins 1953). Detailed taxonomic
studies of the flora exist, but few studies
of the forest as an ecosystem. In the
voluminous, exploding corpus of
literature on tropical rainforests world-
wide, Jamaican rainforests receive
hardly a passing mention. A small
number of articles in botanical journals
deal with specific specialized topics
based on research in Jamaica (Adams
1991, Beard 1944, Eyre 1987, Howard
and Proctor 1957, Kelly 1985, 1986,


52 WEEKS 25 50 MM / WEEK

Figure 2: Typical climate regimes of the western and eastern rainforests.

Sader et al. 1985), and there are a few
graduate theses. But the resulting
bibliography is disappointingly brief.
Even Proctor's contribution to the
timely Forests of Jamaica, 'Cockpit
Country and its vegetation', is only 1400
words in length (Proctor in Thompson et
al. 1986). In a personal communication
to the present author, Proctor, a world-
ranking botanist whom Jamaica ought to
have honoured by heeding his pleas for
better care of our rainforests, admitted
he was too disgusted with the official
(and unofficial) indifference to the fate
of this wonderful vegetation to think it
worth writing about except as a
historical footnote.
With a maximum canopy height of 30
to 35 metres and few giant emergents
besides the dwindling number of
Ceiba Pentandra and Terminalia lati-
folia, along with the few remaining
Swietenia mahogani, the tropical
rainforests of Jamaica may not compare
in grandeur with the almost pristine
Koompassis forests of Brunei with 75
metre emergent dipterocarps rising
above a 45 to 50 metre canopy, or even
the magnificent couratari rainforest of
Costa Rica. But what our forests lack in
size they make up for in richness. The
renowned Irish botanist Daniel Kelly
describes the parish of Trelawny as
having 'a forest of extraordinary
richness' (Kelly 1988).

Characteristics of the tropical
rainforest in Jamaica
In the early 1990s, with the support
of the Nature Conservancy (Virginia,
USA), members of several environment-
related government and non-govern-
mental agencies in Jamaica carried out a
"Rapid Ecological Assessment" of the

land cover of the island. With the
assistance of the Jamaica Defence Force
Air Wing, the team identified, in some
cases for the first time, vegetation
formations and associations covering the
entire country (Grossman et al. no date).
Within the rainforest, as defined earlier
in this article, several forest sub-types
are subtly distinguished by the criteria of
geology, seasonality of precipitation,
and degree of human disturbance. Four
principal sub-types are described in
language which is botanically special-
ized, but which presents a rigorously
scientific picture:
la. Canopy between 15m and 33 m, and a
lower storey 3m to 16 m. Leaves are pre-
dominantly simple, notophyll or mesophyll,
drip tips frequent or occasional, cauliflorous
species rare. Thick stemmed woody climbers
are rare but other climbers often frequent and
vascular epiphytes are abundant.
lal. Forest over limestone. Canopy 26m to
28 m, understorey 10m to 13 m and a tree
fem-dominated third stratum at 2m to 7 m.
Epiphytes and ground herbs are abundant.
Diagnostic species combination: Calophyllum
calaba, Calyptronoma occidentalis, Drypetes
alba, Heliconia caribaea, Cyathea grevilleana
(tree fern).
la2. Forest over shale or volcanic sub-
strata, frequently in gullies. A depauperate
form of rainforest, smaller in stature than the
true type (la) with fewer species. Canopy
height 12m to 18 m, with three species,
Laplacea haematoxylon (ironwood), Sola-
num punctulatum and Turpinia occidentalis
contributing significantly to the forest
structure. Tree ferns are very frequent. The
thick-stemmed woody climber Marcgravia
brownei is present. North facing gullies have
an abundance of pendent bryophytes and
filmy fems, as well as a more hygophilous
ground flora.
la3. Forest over limestone. Has been
selectively cut for timber in some areas,

leading to a less diverse flora and a structur-
ally diminished form of the forest. Occasional
plantings of economic species, including
Hibiscus elatus (blue mahoe) and Cedrela
odorata (cedar).
One sub-type of rainforest described
by Grossman et al. occurs in many
localities along the margins of the area
delineated as rainforest in Figure 3. It
can be considered a transitional forest,
having elements of true rainforest but
with some features adapted to temporary
periods of moisture stress. However, the
very occurrence of a minor degree of
stress may have been a factor in making
this sub-type one of the richest floristi-
cally, and most interesting scientifically:
Id. Forest over limestone. Canopy 16 to
20 metres, with emergents to 24 m. Floristi-
cally this forest is rich, and many tree species
have equal importance in the canopy,
although there are areas in which one may
gain dominance. There is also great floristic
variation in these forests, not only between
hilltop, midslope and valley, but also between
nearby sites of identical topographic situation.
There is a high number of local endemic
species, which may be confined to one hill
despite having similar forest stands on
adjacent hills. Terminalia latifolia (broadleaf)
and Cedrela odorata are occasional emer-
gents. Swietenia mahogani was frequent in
these forests in the past, but is now rare.
There are no tree fems, and although the
other fern flora is diverse, they do not
contribute substantially to the cover of the
ground layer. Epiphytes are abundant, and
tank bromeliads occur down to ground level.

Threatened endemic species of world
Binney et al. (1991) have described
the tropical rainforests of Jamaica as "an
ecological wonder". In respect of bio-
logy, out of 423 endemic Jamaican
macrospecies, we have recently lost 52,
and a further 244 are categorized as rare,
endangered or vulnerable (Eyre 1991;
Morgan and Woods 1986). Wilderness
areas within the tropical rainforest
biome provide the only remaining
refuge for most of these.
Species endemism in the climax
lowland rainforest of western Jamaica is
recognized to be of universal scientific
interest: 101 plant species are endemic
to the Cockpit Country, not found even
in other limestone forests elsewhere in
Jamaica (Asprey and Loveless 1958;
Proctor 1986; Swabey 1949). "No two
hills are exactly alike in their
vegetation" (Binney et al. 1991).


Figure 4: Kinloss, Trelawny, a community on the margins of the rainforest

two orchids to be exhibited in flower at
Kew Gardens, London, in 1787 and
1788, were from Jamaica. Today
Broughtonia negrilensis, the name of
which clearly betrays its Jamaican
provenance, is popular in the American
and international orchid markets.
Another famous species is Dendro-
phylax funalis, the ghost orchid of St
Thomas. Given the present level of en-
vironmental degradation in Jamaica, it is
likely that 38 percent of native orchids
are doomed to extinction, most of them
tropical rainforest species.3 Terry (1992)
identifies several immediate threats to
our famous orchid flora: commercial
forestry, illegal cultivation of marijuana,
charcoal burning, and urban expansion.
These, of course, are the same familiar

threats that menace the tropical
rainforest environment as a whole.
Many species of Jamaican fauna
exhibit features of universal interest. Of
80 endemic species of fireflies in
Jamaica, many of the more spectacular
ones occur only in the rainforest. Most of
these are now vulnerable due to
deterioration of habitat. Some species
are confined to a single forest glade less
than one square kilometre in area. One
genus of crab completes its entire life
cycle without leaving the canopy
bromeliads which form its sole habitat.
One rare bat species, Noctilio leporinus,
occurs at Oxford Cave. Very few
specimens of this large bat have ever
been collected or studied, but it is
particularly interesting because it is a
fish-eating species. It is also unusual
among Chiroptera in that it has been
occasionally observed to fly and feed in
bright sunlight (Lynn 1949). Remote
areas of rainforest are almost the last
refuge for Jamaica's 18 species of native
frogs (Lynn 1940), for the western
hemisphere's largest swallow-tail butter-
fly Papilio homers (Turner 1991), and
almost the very last retreat for the
beautifully marked Jamaican boa
Epicrates subflavus (Diesel 1992).
The avifauna of Jamaica's tropical
rainforest is world-renowned, and is a
potentially valuable ecotourist resource.
A review in 1991 by the author of nature
tours promoting 'birding' in Ecuador
was convincing evidence that, despite
the recent havoc wrought on them, our
remaining Jamaican rain forests still

Species diversity in respect of ferns,
bromeliads and other epiphytes, and
rainforest emergents is regarded
internationally as being exceptional. The
fact that the six principal canopy
emergents represent six different botan-
ical families is remarkable. It has been
established that the Cockpit Country
contains, relative to area, more species
of ferns than any other rainforest in the
tropics. Most of Jamaica's 550 indige-
nous species of ferns are to be found in
the Cockpit Country (Binney et al. 1991;
Proctor 1985). The prickly pole palm,
once very abundant and providing
valuable food for wild hogs as well as a
flexible wood once used to make bows,
was said as long ago as 1946 to be 'very
scarce' (Swabey 1946).
The western rainforests of Jamaica
are among the last places in the world
where saplings of Swietenia mahogani,
the world's premier cabinet timber made
famous in Europe by Chippendale,
Adam and Sheraton, can still be found,
though mature specimens of this 40 m
emergent are now extremely rare. This
fact alone is surely a prime reason for
conservation of this rainforest eco-
system, with the hope that some of the
saplings may eventually reach maturity
and so save one of the world's most
valuable and majestic trees.
There are 237 native species of
orchids in Jamaica, of which 60 are
endemic. In the case of some endemic
species such as Dichaea jamaicensis,
Erythrodes jamaicensis, and Pleuro-
thallis jamaicensis, only one specimen
has ever been observed or collected, and
we may assume that the chances of their
long-term survival are hopeless. The first


Figure 5: This stretch of gallery rainforest along the YS River in St Elizabeth is far more valuable
preserved for ecotourism than utilized for any other purpose.

provide superior sites for this ecotourist
More endemic bird species occur in
Jamaica than on any other Caribbean
island or on most other islands of
comparable size around the world
(Downer and Sutton 1990). Most of
these species require a tropical rainforest
habitat, a fact which alone makes the
current lack of rain forest conservation
in Jamaica an international disgrace.
The western rainforests, particularly
the deeper recesses of the Cockpit
Country, are the last refuge for many of
our most spectacular endangered avian
endemics. The unmistakable woof-woo
of Geotrygon versicolor (mountain
witch) or the mournful croo croo
crooooo of Columba caribaea (ringtail),
one of the most beautiful and graceful
birds in the world, echoing through a
Trelawny valley after a heavy shower is
a signature tune beloved of any
Jamaican who truly loves his land.
Trapping and poaching of several
threatened species, particularly the two
increasingly rare Amazona parrots, for
the illegal wildlife trade, is persistent
and virtually uncontrolled. It is note-
worthy that a splendid canopy tree of the
western rainforests, Margaritaria
nobilis, is dependent exclusively upon
these parrots for seed dispersal.
Many endangered endemic bird
species absolutely depend upon the
rainforest for survival, and it is difficult
to imagine how they can avoid early
extinction if deforestation continues for
long at its present rate. Saurothera
vetula (Old Woman Bird) and Hyetornis
pluvialis (Rain Bird) with their
spectacular coloration; Pseudoscops
grammicus (the quaint Jamaican owl or
Patoo); Todus todus, a gorgeous jewel-
like creature of tiny proportions;
Myiarchus validus (the Big Tom
Fool); the rare Vireo osburni; Corvus
jamaicensis (the Jabbering Crow); all
these require large rainforest trees for
nesting and most of their food. It is to be
hoped that the establishment of the Blue
Mountains John Crow Mountains
National Park may perhaps save
Nesopsar nigerrimus, the magnificent
shiny jet-black Wildpine Sergeant, not
just an endemic species but an
interesting endemic genus confined to a
few locations in the eastern tropical
rainforests and some high montane
forests above them. Because of shrink-
ing habitats, nearly forty endemic bird
species and sub-species face an
uncertain future.

One argument against conservation
of the rainforest avifauna, an ir-
replaceable natural resource, which is
frequently heard from government
spokespersons as well as vocal ad-
vocates of the rural poor, is that the com-
munities proximate to the rainforest
need to shoot the birds to survive.
Research by the author in a number of
such communities in St Ann and
Trelawny (for example, Kinloss, Figure
4) has revealed that whilst there was
hunting of birds by locals for food, the
impact appeared to be minimal. Far
more destructive (and pointless) was the
systematic shooting, both in and to some
extent out of season, of many endemic
species by wealthy urbanites who
travelled to the forest by car. There was
not a single community which received
benefit from this activity. In contrast,
environmentally-friendly use of the
rainforest such as ecotourism and
scientific research would certainly
benefit the local population (Figure 5).

In 1987, the United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organization shocked our
political directorate and associated
business interests by publicizing world-
wide that Jamaica's annual rate of
deforestation was 3.3 percent. Horrified
howls of protest and insistent cries of
incredulity, for the most part unbacked
by any hard data, were heard from gov-
ernment departments and especially
from the Forest Industries Development
Company and the Forestry and Soil
Conservation Department.
The Hon. Anthony Johnson, the
government minister whose portfolio
included responsibility for our forests,
requested the present author to carry out
independent research specifically to
confirm or deny the FAO statistic. It is to
the credit of Mr Johnson that when this
research confirmed the FAO's assess-
ment, in fact to the precise decimal
point, he did not flinch or cavil though
nothing was done to arrest the trend.
Imagine, then, the furore in 1994
when an even more startling and
shameful statistic was given worldwide
publicity, this time by the prestigious,
impeccably careful, even conservative,
World Resources Institute. It is evident
that the annual rate of deforestation in
Jamaica has now risen to an alarming
5.3 percent, by far the highest of any
country in the world. For rainforests
specifically, the rate is the same, 5.3

percent per annum, likewise the world's
highest. At the time, the author was
completing a worldwide survey of trop-
ical rainforests and, alarmed himself,
hastened to verify or otherwise his
nation's shame. Once again, a rigorous
check, by independent methods con-
firmed that we are hacking our rain-
forests to death at a rate more than twice
that of Costa Rica, and more than four
times that of Mozambique, the highest in
Africa. And we should remember that
the 5.3 percent per annum is net, and
takes account of our feeble efforts at
reforestation as well as of natural
Our rainforests are being 'whittled
away from all sides' (Kelly 1988). As
one example, a road is being pushed into
the forest in the Crown Lands district of
Trelawny for political reasons, deliber-
ately in order to facilitate illegal ex-
ploitation of all kinds within the state
forest reserve. This road has been des-
cribed by Proctor as a dagger pointing at
the heart of the Cockpit Country.

Lumber extraction
At the last count, by the Caribbean
Development Bank (1984), there were
71 sawmills in Jamaica, most of them
using lumber trucked from the tropical
rainforests. The Forest Industries Devel-
opment Company's hardwood mill in
Spanish Town was reported to be
producing 4000 cubic metres of premi-
um quality cabinet, timber annually.
This only amounts to an average of one
mature rainforest tree per day. Neverthe-
less, the Bank was counting on FIDCO
to make a profit of J$8 million per year
(1996 dollar values) on sales of ten
times that figure. Whether that target is
being achieved at present is not known
to the author. However, the Bank itself
is said to have recognized that profitable
exploitation of rainforest timbers in
Jamaica is completely unsustainable.
Most of the present annual growth incre-
ment which is retrievable goes to small
entrepreneurs for charcoal and yam
sticks, or is simply burned. Most of the
hardwood used by sawmills is logged
from immature trees, a practice which is
eroding the future resource at an
alarming rate. Sadly, no control of any
kind to achieve sustainability is in place.

Altered river regimes
A scientifically proven, but rarely
foreseen, consequence of deforestation
is unintentional modification of river


Figure 6: An illegal small farm within the state forest reserve near the former Quao's Pond.

regimes. Perennial flow becomes sea-
sonal and erratic. According to Cunning-
ham (in Thompson et al. 1986), more
than one hundred perennial rivers have
ceased flowing year round during the
last fifty years. In the parish of St Mary,
within the area with a rainforest climatic
regime, the following twenty rivers,
which used to provide year round water
power as well as water for industrial and
domestic purposes, are no longer peren-
nial: Back, Brave, Chant, Forked, Flint,
Frenchman's, Little Spanish, Llan-
rumney, Orange, Negro, Paved, Pencar,
Plantain Walk, Roaring, Salt, Spanish
Crawle, Stileman's, Stony, Tiber, and
The Roaring River
In 1945 the Roaring River in
Westmoreland produced 136 million
litres of sparklingly pure water per day.
Then the protective rainforest was
logged over by a private company. More
than three thousand lumber homes were
built and sold in the sugar belt com-
munities and beyond. By 1968 the daily
river flow had fallen to 23 million litres.
After some remedial measures by the
late Sir Harold Cahusac, it has recovered
to 41 million litres, but the health of the
watershed is never likely to recover
fully. Moreover, the river is badly
contaminated, and typhoid is now stub-
bornly endemic in the groundwater
feeding the Roaring River (Environ-
mental Solutions Ltd., personal
communication). Even if completely
protected from abuse which is
politically impossible it would take a
century at least to repair the damage
inflicted in a few months.

The Great River
The rate of complete deforestation
and of rainforest degradation in one of
Jamaica's most important river basins
can be assessed by comparison of
remotely sensed data in the Rural
Physical Planning Unit of the Ministry
of Agriculture for 1981 and 1986 -just a
five-year time span. The Great River
itself is a tourist resource, at least for
now, a major source of water supply for
more than 100,000 people, and an input
to agriculture. Unfortunately, there is
absolutely no control of land use in the
basin, no environmental protection, and
no restrictions on the felling of trees or
charcoal burning. Raw logs and charcoal
are viewed as limitless resources. The
fate of the rainforests in this 436 km2
basin is evident from Table II.
Since 1986 an overseas company,
with supporting finance from a major
Jamaican bank, has acquired a large part
of the Great River basin. In an uncon-
trolled and misguided effort to convert
their entire holding into citrus mono-
culture, whether agronomically suitable
or not, much of the remaining conser-
vation rainforest has been completely

Famous last words
George Proctor published these
pointed words in 1986 after almost an
entire professional lifetime studying our
unique flora:
Wherever roads provide access,
nearly all the economically valuable
trees have been cut down for lumber
or for railway sleepers. So long as

roads continue to be cut into the
region, the destruction of the forest
will proceed accordingly. There is no
effective control whatever, despite
gazettingg of] a forest reserve and
supposedly a sanctuary. In many
cases it is the forestry workers
themselves, and their families, who
are most active in cutting down the
[forest]. Much of the economically
valuable forest has already been
destroyed. The chief danger now is
from the cutting of yam poles, the
cutting for charcoal, and the in-
credibly destructive clear-felling of
rocky hillsides for cultivation that at
best can only be productive for two or
three years." (Proctor 1986, p.45).
These are probably the last words on
Jamaica by one of the most illustrious
and dedicated scientists ever to have
worked in our rainforests.

Unfortunately, our rainforests are not
just being 'whittled away from all sides'.
They are being thoroughly gutted and
eaten away from the inside also, which is
a far worse fate. The richest rainforest
biome in Jamaica, and acknowledged to
be an outstanding biological treasure of
world significance (British Museum,
Natural History, personal communi-
cation), is an area of approximately 25
kmi surrounding remote, historic
Quao's Pond in Trelawny. At the
author's last visit in 1994 the pond was
completely dry, and being grazed by
domestic cattle. The whole surrounding
area is being systematically logged and
transformed into small farms (Figure 6).
Aerial survey and Spot satellite imagery
reveals hundreds of such small farms in
the area, all totally illegal, and all within
supposedly strictly protected 'forest
reserve', and part of a unique ecosystem
which should be designated for UN
World Heritage status and earning
ecotourist dollars in consequence (Eyre
Two of the most pervasive agents of
degradation are the cutting of regener-
ating saplings for yam poles (Figure 7),
and charcoal burning. Barker and Miller
(1995) have documented the patterns
of encroachment and degradation caused
by the former, and Eyre (1988) made a
World Bank funded study of the impact
of charcoal burning on the integrity of
the forest reserves (Figure 8). It seems
incredible that not even the prestige and
clout of the World Bank could




S I Tropical rainforest

5i Deforested areas

....... Boundary of Blue Mountains John Crow Mountains National Park

Figure 3: The tropical rainforests of Jamaica. Hanover. 3. Bethel Town, Westmoreland. 4. Cambridge, St James.
Numbered dimate stations are 1. Green Island, Hanover. 2. Blenheim, 5. Deeside, Trelawny. 6. Balaclava, St Elizabeth. 7. Whitney,

sufficiently influence the Jamaican
government to adopt the licensing
of charcoal burning as was recom-
mended. A glaring example of the
mind-set of Jamaican officialdom
regarding the value of the rainforest
is the construction of the new high-
voltage line from the White River
hydro power station to the north
coast main road at Frankfort, St
Mary (Figure 9). Lining both banks
of the White River, and protected by
the environmentally conscious
owners of Prospect Plantation, a
tourist resort, was one of the richest
rainforest remnants in St. Mary,
habitat for several rare species. At
minimal, if any, extra cost, the
power line could have easily been
constructed with no loss of
rainforest. Instead, utilizing their

powers under the law, the Jamaica
Public Service Company, and their
contractors, deliberately ran the line
right through this marvellous piece
of rainforest, regardless of the
destruction they caused.

The Cockpit Country
The area known as the Cockpit
Country with a contiguous extent of
446 km2 of uninhabited, roadless
rainforest, represents Jamaica's
largest wilderness (Eyre 1992).
With its many endemic and en-
dangered species of flora and fauna,
it is a priceless, though dwindling,
biological resource of global sig-
nificance which also ought to be
seriously considered for World
Heritage Listing (Eyre 1995;

Thompson et al. 1986).
An area of approximately 600
km2, which includes the contiguous
forest, was proposed for national
park status as early as 1970
(Jamaica Ministry of Finance and
Planning 1970). In the twenty-six
years since then the rain forest has
been reduced by nearly a third and
degraded considerably. Indeed, a
survey showed that there was a 16
per cent reduction in the area of
rainforest over a period of less than
six years, 1981-1987 (Eyre 1989).
Unplanned roads and trails have
been driven into and through it, in
one instance involving a fabulously
expensive blasting operation run-
ning through a rugged landscape of
massive tower karst with no
apparent objective in view except




Manchester. 8. Moneague, StAnn. 9. Troja, St Catherine. StAndrew. 13. Port Antonio, Portland. 14. Manchioneal, Portland.
10. Highgate, St Mary. 11. Castleton, St Mary 12. Mount James, 15. Bath, St Thomas. 16. Millbank, Portland.

income for politically aligned
World Heritage Listing is
granted in order to ensure the
conservation of 'areas which con-
stitute the habitat of threatened
species of animals and plants of
outstanding universal value from
the point of view of science or con-
servation' (UNESCO 1989). Fund-
ing is available, under some tight
conditionalities, for saving threat-
ened biota and even entire

Will the tropical rainforests of
Jamaica be saved?
The crying and wringing of
hands over the international dis-
grace of the 5.3 percent per annum

deforestation rate will not make
trees grow. The nurseries of the
Forestry and Soil Conservation
Department have a capacity to
produce three million tree seedlings
annually, but are only producing a
tenth of this number. Why? Huge
logging trucks are penetrating our
finest rainforests (I have watched
them come and go) removing large
immature timbers that would be
more than twice as valuable in
twenty years. Why? I showed video
footage at an international con-
gress in Ecuador (where it raised
cries of protest) of men and women
burning and cutting great swaths of
officially protected state rainforest
to plant yams, dasheen, and another
species of plant in large quantities
(Eyre 1992). Why? There are laws

against burning protected state
forest reserves, yet passengers on
trans-island flights marvel at the
number of fires they see as they
cross over St Ann, Trelawny and St
James. Why?
Campbell tries to answer those
insistent questions:
The Forestry and Soil Con-
servation Department [of the
Jamaican government] has
received barely enough money
to retain staff, far less to do
effective work. The result is
little new planting, unmonitored
forests, unregulated felling and a
demotivated staff. . There is a
planting scheme under which
grants are paid, but these are
inadequate and virtually no one
applies to join the scheme. So


Figure 7: One of many loading points for yam poles cut illegally from state rainforest. About ten thousand
saplings a year are loaded at this spot near Quick Step.

while the deliberations go on, wood-
based industries continue to exploit
the forest, little replanting is done and
the forests go on diminishing... And
there is a new dimension to private
timber harvesting in Jamaica the
Alaskan chainsaw for cutting trees
into planks just where the tree falls.
The rough sawn planks are then
headed or taken by mule to the road-
side. Many timber trees, previously
considered inaccessible, are now
being cut (Campbell 1990, p.15-16).
And the Forestry and Soil Con-
servation Department has to admit that
"even after years of management, it is
not known exactly what is out there
... there is a severe lack of information
on Jamaica's forests".
If we do not know what we have, or
do not have, we cannot plan for its use.
The mentality of exploitation must be
replaced by recognition that tropical
rainforest is a renewable resource,
productive indefinitely on a sustainable
basis, but only if its potential is
accurately known and managed ac-
cordingly. It, and we with it, will perish
otherwise. Unless this concept is firmly
accepted and it is a long-term strategy,
not the kind of quick fix so beloved of
politicians there is no hope whatsoever
of saving our rainforests. There must be
no return to the dream world of, for
instance, the 1977 Emergency Produc-
tion Plan: it proved impossible to
implement because it contained a host of
environmental inconsistencies and its
authors seemed totally unaware that the
country's land area and resources were
finite (Jamaica House of Represent-

atives 1977). Nature cannot be squeezed
to provide a safety net for social and
political emergencies except with
enormous long-term costs that will
ultimately have to be paid.
Realism is rare among Forestry De-
partments in poor Third World countries.
Typical is the case of Bangladesh. The
government forest administration, in
annual 'progress' reports, persisted in
publishing a figure of 699 km2 of
rainforest in the Madhupur tract, despite
'rumours' of serious illegal deforest-
ation. A costly independent ground
sample survey reduced this to 168 km2,
whilst an inexpensive analysis of Land-
sat satellite imagery soon proved that

there was a mere 91 km2 remaining
(Whitmore and Chadwick 1983). Today
only 28 km2 are undisturbed productive

The need for ideological rethinking
and sustainable economics
Binney et al. (1991) envisage profit-
able private sector involvement:
Interest from the tourist sector would
help to provide impetus for active
conservation and sustainable devel-
opment of this valuable area where
more than one hundred species of
plants are rare and endangered.4
Boo (1990) strongly urges the further
development of Caribbean ecotourism
as a conservation strategy.
Establishment of a forest canopy
research facility in the prime rainforests
south of Windsor, Trelawny, similar to
those maintained in several other
countries in the tropics would be an eco-
nomically viable bonus for environ-
mentally minded academics and nature
lovers visiting Jamaica (Mitchell 1986).
There is a spirit of ideological re-
thinking evident in Jamaica and the
wider Caribbean that envisages a fruitful
marriage between ecology and econ-
omics (Girvan 1991; Mills 1991). With
the new paradigms which are emerging,
reversing deforestation and conserving
the rich resources of the Jamaican
rainforests will be economically viable -
and should be sustainable indefinitely
(Eyre 1991).

Figure 8: This area was formerly an exceptionally rich and biodiverse tract of rainforest in St Elizabeth.
It has been entirely cleared by charcoal burners, a destruction facilitated by construction of the road.


Figure 8: Destructon of this irreplaceable tract of
rainforest in St Mary could easily have been

1. In 1992 the U.S. Department of State,
through the Fulbright Foundation, initiated,
and the Rockefeller Foundation later
supported, an investigation by the author of
tropical rainforest extent, loss, and
degradation worldwide, using data from
government sources and international
agencies, remotely sensed imagery (Landsat,
Spot, etc.), and field surveys in more than
twenty tropical countries. Preliminary results
indicate that the tropical forest biome, that is

The only way forward
Up to the present, there has been only
one way forward for any Third World
country which has reversed or even
checked the deforestation trend: India,
Fiji, Thailand, Grenada, even Cambodia.
That policy has involved a massive tree
planting programme, spearheaded by the
private sector that means individuals as
well as companies and aided all the
way by a conservation-conscious gov-
ernment. This involves a truly national
approach, from the widow planting a tree
to memorialize her husband to a
youngster doing the same to celebrate
her birthday.
No alternative to this policy has been
found (Eyre 1991). There is no reason to
think that Jamaica can be an exception.
Eleven years ago, the author
addressed the United Nations in New
York, with big-screen graphics, on the
peaceful uses of outer space (United
Nations Symposium on Satellite
Detection of Changes in Land Surface
Properties, to give the big international
get-together its pompous title). Even
after so long, the final paragraph, sadly,

the area with a tropical rainforest climate
regardless of current use, amounts to almost
exactly ten million square kilometres
(10,090,000 kn2). In 1992, 63 percent of this
area, 6,360,000 km2, were covered with
standing rainforest with greater than 75
percent canopy closure. See Eyre 1994.
2. "Prior to European colonization the
island was apparently almost entirely
forested" (Kelly 1988). This would certainly
have been true of the tropical rainforest
biome, and only areas known to have been
cleared by the Taino Arawaks, or to have

still echoes both a relevant and a timely
A challenge to the international com-
munity is being made, and it is
becoming too urgent and insistent to
be ignored any longer. .The Thir-
teenth International Congress of
Botanists meeting in Sydney in 1982
passed a resolution urging govern-
ments of the world to make rainforest
conservation a national priority.
Scientists worldwide are crying: the
large scale destruction of tropical
rainforest is one of the major
conservation issues of the world
today. Man has the technology to
survey, monitor, and assess what is
happening to our tropical forests
more accurately, more rapidly and
more inexpensively than ever before
in human history. What is needed is a
greater appreciation of the value of
what is being so rapidly lost, and a
greater motivation to conserve and
put to optimum utilization this
precious and irreplaceable terrestrial
environment. (Eyre 1985, p.9).

been in natural morass have been deducted
from the total area with rainforest climate
(column A).
3. An estimate made in 1992 by the
Orchid Society of Jamaica.
4. The actual number in trouble is in fact
much higher. Eight years ago, Kelly (1988)
stated: "131 taxa are assessed as Rare, 153 as
Vulnerable, 91 as Endangered, and 52 as
Indeterminate (apparently extinct)". Proctor
(1988) notes that in the Cockpit Country
alone plants from 43 families must be
considered Endangered.


Western Rainforests

Parish Area of tropical 1491 1791 Percent 1991 Percent
rain forest climate km2 km2 of A km2 of A

Hanover 337.5 337.5 62.0 18 47.5 14
Westmoreland 525.0 510.0 276.5 53 55.0 10
St Elizabeth 500.0 450.0 176.5 35 80.0 16
Manchester 112.5 112.5 99.5 88 29.0 26
Clarendon 34.5 34.5 25.0 72 4.5 13
St Ann 12.5 12.5 6.5 52 3.5 28
Trelawny 487.5 487.5 414.5 85 328.0 67
St James 312.5 312.5 188.0 60 94.0 30

Total 2322.0 2257.0 1248.5 54 641.5 28

Eastern Rainforests

St Ann 375.0 370.0 226.0 60 78.0 21
St Catherine 146.5 146.5 39.5 27 17.5 12
St Mary 362.5 362.5 51.0 14 12.0 3
St Andrew 52.5 52.5 5.0 10 2.0 4
Portland 762.5 762.5 358.0 47 191.0 25
St Thomas 375.5 374.0 153.5 41 51.5 14

Total 2074.5 2068.0 833.0 40 352.0 17

All-Island Total 4396.5 4325.0 2081.5 47 993.5 23

Depletion: 1491 1791 2243.5 km2; 1791 1991 1088.0 km2; 1491 1991 3331.5 km2

Table 1. The Tropical Rainforests of Jamaica: Extent and Depletion 1491 1991
Source: 1491, 1791: Maps, plans and documents in the National Library of Jamaica, and Higman (1988); 1991:
author's surveys, using both satellite and field data.

1981 227.2 km2 (52.1%)
1986 111.6 km2 (25.6%)

Degraded Forest
4.4 km2 (1.0%)
44.5 km2 (10.2%)

204.4 km2 (46.9%)
279.9 km2 (64.2%)

111.6 km2 of 1981 forest remained reasonably intact.
40.1 km2 of 1981 forest became degraded forest.
75.5 km2 of 1981 forest were converted to other uses.
Table 2



ADAMS, C.D. 1991. 'Phytogeography of
Jamaica'. In Biogeographical Aspects
of Insularity. Rome: Accademia
Nazionale dei Linei.
ASPREY, G.F. and A.R. Loveless 1958.
'The Dry Evergreen Forests of
Jamaica'. Journal of Ecology, 46,
ASPREY, G.F. and R.G. Robbins 1953.
'The vegetation of Jamaica'. Ecolog-
ical Monographs, 23, p.359-412.
BARKER, D. and D.J. Miller, 1995.
'Farming on the fringe: small scale
agriculture on the edge of the Cockpit
Country'. p.271-292 in D. Barker and
D. McGregor, D., eds. Environment
and Development in the Caribbean:
Geographcal Perspectives. Kingston:
WI Press.
BEARD, J.S. 1944. 'Climax vegetation in
tropical America'. Ecology, 25,
BINNEY, M., J. Harris and K. Martin
1991. Jamaica's Heritage: An
Untapped Resource. Kingston: The
Mill Press.
BOo, E. (1990). Ecotourism: The Potentials
and Pitfalls. Washington, DC: World
Wildlife Fund. 2 Vols.
CAMPBELL, C. 1990. 'Forest industries,
Jamaica: what future industries, what
future forests?' Tody News, 2, p.15-
Regional Forestry Sector Study: Final
Report. Barbados: Caribbean Devel-
opment Bank.
DIESEL, R. 1992. 'Snakes of Cockpit
Country'. Jamaica Naturalist, 2,
DOWNER, A. and R. Sutton 1990. Birds of
Jamaica. Cambridge: University
EYRE, L.A. 1985. What is Happening to our
Tropical Forests? New York:
Symposium on Satellite Detection of
Changes in Land Surface Properties.
.1987. 'Jamaica: test case for tropical
deforestation?' Ambio Journal of
Human Environment, 16, p.338-343.
1988. Charcoal Burning in Jamaica
and its Impact on the Environment.
Washington, DC: UNDP/The World
.1989. 'Slow Death of a Tropical
Rainforest: the Cockpit Country of
Jamaica, West Indies'. p.599-606 in
M. Luria, Y. Steinberger, and E.
Spanier, eds. Environmental Quality
and Ecosystem Stability: Vol. IVA.
Jerusalem: ISEEQS Publications.
1991. 'Jamaica's Crisis in Forestry
and Watershed Management'.
Jamaica Naturalist 1(1), p.27-44.

- 1992. Depletion of the Jamaican
Rainforest: The Social and Cultural
Consequences. Quito: Universidad
San Francisco de Quito and Associ-
ation of Academic Programs in Latin
America and the Caribbean.
- (1994). 'Loss and Degradation of the
Tropical Forests. What has gone
wrong? What can be done?' p.97-115
in P.R. Sharma, ed. Regional Policies
and Development in the Third World.
Varanasi, India: Rishi Publications.
---. (1995). 'The Cockpit Country: a
World Heritage site?' p.259-270 in D.
Barker and D. McGregor, eds.
Environment and Development in the
Caribbean: Geographical Perspect-
ives. Kingston: UWI Press.
GIRVAN, N.P. (1991). 'Economics and
Environment in the Caribbean: An
Overview', p.xi-xxiv in Girvan, N.P.
and D. Simmons, eds. Caribbean
Ecology and Economics. St Michael,
Barbados: Caribbean Conservation
GROSSMAN, D.H., S. Iremonger, and D.M.
Muchoney. No date. Jamaica: A
Rapid Ecological Assessment.
Arlington, VA: The Nature Con-
HIGMAN, B.W. 1988. Jamaica Surveyed.
Kingston: Institute of Jamaica
HOLDRIDGE, L.R. 1967. Life Zone Ecology.
San Jose, Costa Rica: Tropical
Science Centre.
HOWARD, R.A. and G.R. Proctor. 1957. 'The
vegetation on bauxitic soils in
Jamaica'. Journal of the Arnold
Arboretum, 38, p.1-50; 151-169.
Emergency Production Plan.
Kingston: Government Printer.
PLANNING 1970. A National Physical
Plan for Jamaica 1970-1990.
KELLY, D.L. 1985. 'Epiphytes and climbers of
a Jamaican rain forest: vertical
distribution, life forms and life
histories' Journal of Biogeography,
12, p.223-241.
1986. 'Native forests on wet
limestone in north-eastern Jamaica'.
p.31-42 in Thompson, D.A. et al., eds.
Forests of Jamaica. Kingston:
Jamaican Society of Scientists and
1988. 'The threatened flowering
plants of Jamaica'. Biological Con-
servation, 46, p.201-216.
LYNN, W.G. 1940. The Herpetology of
Jamaica. Kingston: Institute of
Jamaica (Science Series no. 1).
1949. 'The Bats of Jamaica'. p.18-21
in Lewis, C.B. (ed.), Glimpses of

Jamaican Natural History, Vol. 1.
Kingston: Institute of Jamaica.
MILLS, C.W. 1991. 'Marxism and Caribbean
Development: A Contribution to Re-
thinking', p.14-54 in Wedderbum, J.
(ed.). Rethinking Development. Mona,
Jamaica: Consortium Graduate
School of Social Sciences.
MITCHELL, A.W. 1986. The Enchanted
Canopy. New York: Macmillan.
MORGAN, G.S. and C.A. Woods. 1986.
'Extinction and the Zoogeography of
West Indian Land Mammals'.
Biological Journal of the Linnaean
Society, 28, p.167-203.22
PROCTOR, G. 1985. Ferns of Jamaica.
London: British Museum (Natural
S1986. 'Cockpit Country Forests'.
p.43-48 in D.A. Thompson et al. eds.
Forests of Jamaica. Kingston:
Jamaican Society of Scientists and
RAVEN, P.H. 1990. The Emerald Realm:
Earth's Precious Rain Forests.
Washington, DC: National Geo-
graphic Society.
RICHARDS, P.W. 1952. The Tropical Rain
Forest: An Ecological Study.
Cambridge: University Press.
SADER, S.A.,et al. 1985. 'Monitoring tropical
forests from satellite and aircraft
platforms'. p.473-482 in Pecora 10
SWABEY, C. 1946. 'Some Trees of Jamaica'.
p.70-97 in C.B. Lewis, ed. Glimpses
of Jamaican Natural History, Vol.2.
Kingston: Institute of Jamaica.
1949. 'Classification of Vegetation in
Jamaica'. p.55-61 in C.B. Lewis, C.B.
ed. Glimpses of Jamaican Natural
History Vol.1. Kingston: Institute of
TERRY, S. 1992. 'Wondrous world of orchids
Jamaica'. Jamaica Naturalist, 2,
THOMPSON, D.A., P.K. Bretting, and M.
Humphreys, 1986. Forests of
Jamaica. Kingston: Jamaican Society
of Scientists and Technologists.
TURNER, T.W. 1991. 'Papilio homers
(Papilionidae) in Jamaica, West
Indies: Field Observations and
Description of Immature Stages'.
Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society.
45(4), p.259-271.
UNESCO. 1989. A Legacy for All: The World's
Major Natural, Cultural and Historic
Sites. Paris.
WHITMORE, T.C. and A.C. Chadwick 1983.
Tropical Rain Forest: Ecology and
Management. Oxford: Blackwell.
Resources 1994-1995. Oxford:
University Press.


Every company

likes to talk about

its assets.

These are ours.

In conventional terms, Jamaica National's more than billionn in assets make us the
leading building society in Jamaica. But, we also treasure our experience of 120 years,
our 376,000 shareholders and our proud record of helping Jamaicans save and achieve
their dreams of home ownership and financial security. These are assets too.
Come into Jamaica National for savings and home loans. We'll help you increase
your assets.
Profit from our 120 years of strength, stability and service.

Jamaica latianal





T,- N



SAVANNA- i [..'




Centre for Tropical Conservation.
Painted by T.D. Pedersen

We are patient but eager. Seven people from several coun-
tries, waiting, hoping for the chance of a lifetime... the
opportunity to glimpse one of the rarest ducks in the world.
Time passes slowly, although we enjoy watching the Pied-
billed Grebe's evening rituals. The ghostly white form of a
Barn Owl dips low over the water hyacinths. Finding nothing,
it glides silently on. Our ears strain. The weird booming call of
a bullfrog resounds over the marshes. "Perhaps," I think,








Ann Haynes-Sutton and
Robert L Sutton

It is dusk on the Black
River Upper Morass.The
sky is gaudy with colour
as the sun retreats behind
the Lacovia mountains.
The hills are mirrored in
the calm lily-fringed
pools, frosted with
snowflake flowers. Coots
and moorhens patrol the
margins of tall reed beds.
All is quiet, except for an
occasional cacophonous
"Chack-chack - chack-
chack-chack!" a bittern
protesting the iniquities
of life.

"perhaps they will not come tonight. Perhaps the swamp has
become too polluted. Perhaps someone cleared their nesting
area. Perhaps they have all been shot."
Then we hear them. Far away, faintly at first, a sequence of
plaintive, crying notes. "Whistling ducks!" I point urgently
into the direction of the eerie sound. "Kkkk KEYohhh, Kkk-
- KEYohhhh." Seven pairs of binoculars scan the sky. Seven
avid bird watchers breathe deeply with satisfaction.


Black River Upper Morass
Ann Haynes -Sutton

The birds are in sight now, a group of three, flying low over
the logwood. Large they are, and powerful in flight. Strong
deep wing beats, long almost goose-like necks. Legs that trail
behind. Exquisite tawny speckling on their dark flanks. As
they fly overhead we can see every detail and hear the feather-
over-feather creak of their wings. Then, with a rush of air, they
have passed us and their silhouettes fade into the rosy horizon.
All that is left is the echo of their mystical cries.
The duck we were seeking the West Indian Whistling
Duck is found only in the Greater Antilles (including
Jamaica, Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico) and in a few of
the Lesser Antillean islands. Once the species was very
abundant' but today the World Conservation Union (IUCN)
estimates that the global population is between 2000 and 8000
How many remain in Jamaica? No one knows. In the mid-
nineteenth century, West Indian Whistling Ducks were
'numerous in the morasses of Westmoreland'3 Today they are
hard to find, although small numbers can still be seen in
remote and inaccessible wetlands all round the island. Family
groups of three to five, or very rarely as many as sixty, roost
by day in reed beds and grassy banks in fresh or saline swamps
or on trees or bushes in mangroves, swamp forests and
limestone islands. As dusk falls they fly, seeking shallow pools
in which to graze on aquatic plants. Their secretive nocturnal
habits make it particularly difficult to estimate their numbers.
In November or December they nest on the ground or among
mangrove roots.
Very little is known about the biology or status of this
species. Indeed until 1994, when a study commenced in the
Bahamas, no one had ever studied this bird. In the absence of
any scientific information, conservationists on each island

tended to assume that even if the duck and its habitats were
apparently declining in their territory, conditions were
probably better elsewhere. When communication among
Caribbean ornithologists improved in the 1980s (facilitated by
organizations such as RARE and the Society for Caribbean
Ornithology) the overall picture began to emerge. The 'Global
waterfowl conservation and management plan'2 and other
reports' showed that everywhere the problems are the same.
Almost all known wild populations of West Indian Whistling
Ducks are small and declining, although efforts to protect the
species in the Cayman Islands have met with some success.
The causes of the general decline include destruction and
disturbance of wetlands which has reduced the availability of
suitable feeding and breeding habitats; unsustainable hunting,
exacerbated by the attractiveness of the species to subsistence
and sport hunters; and the heavy predation by introduced
mammals (including mongoose,4 cats and dogs) to which the
ducks were not naturally adapted.1
When populations are small they can easily be extirpated
by unfortunate events. In Cuba, which previously had a large
population of West Indian Whistling Ducks, ornithologists
report that acute food shortages mean that ducks are under
increasing pressure from subsistence hunters.5 Controlling
hunting and managing habitats is not an easy task, even in
relatively wealthy territories. Recently in the Cayman Islands
there was a public outcry after large numbers of West Indian
Whistling Ducks were illegally shot.6 Everywhere in the
Caribbean coastal wetlands and associated areas are being
developed and degraded7 often to facilitate the expansion of
ecotourism. In some ducks and geese traditional behaviour is
an important determinant of distribution. This means that if a
local population is eliminated the area may not be re-



-^^ f



Figure 1. Origins of Blue-winged Teal recovered in
Jamaica Ann haynes Sutton


. Main breeding areas for North American ducks
:0* Main wintering areas for North American ducks

Major flyways for ducks
Places where banded ducks which were recovered in
SJamaica were banded (state totals) mostly Blue-
winged Teal
SOURCE : Data on recoveries of ducks in Jamaica provided
by US National Biological Service.

colonized, even when conditions are suitable, because the
tradition has been lost. No one knows the extent to which West
Indian Whistling Ducks depend on tradition.
Lack of knowledge about Anatidae in Jamaica is not
confined to Whistling Ducks. Very little is known about the
two other species which breed in Jamaica Masked and
Ruddy Ducks. Masked Ducks are widely distributed but
uncommon throughout their range in Central and South
America. They frequent freshwater and brackish lakes and
pools, swamps and marshes skulking during the day among
dense emergent and floating plants on the edges of ponds. At
night they venture out to feed, (mostly by diving) on seeds,
roots and water plants, as well as insects and crustaceans.
They breed in the winter in nests made of reeds, carefully
concealed in dense vegetation. As cattle ponds and wetlands
are drained and cleared, masked Ducks are losing their
habitats. Even when suitable habitats remain, the ducks will
abandon them following human disturbance.9 A pair of
Masked Ducks which had bred successfully along the Water
Hyacinths in the mini-dam at Hope Gardens for several years,
left the area following an attempt to capture them in 1995.
Ruddy Ducks are much more tolerant of disturbance, and
are the most abundant and widely distributed of the three
resident species of ducks. In Jamaica, Ruddy and Masked
Ducks can often be found in similar places but they rarely
coexist on the same pools.9 Diving to the bottom of shallow
pools to sieve the detritus, Ruddy Ducks feed mostly on on

aquatic insects and crustaceans. Although they are common
and widespread, their global populations are probably
declining as a result of habitat destruction.8
As well as the three breeding species of ducks, sixteen
migratory, transient and vagrant species winter in or pass
through Jamaica annually (Table 1). Of these the only species
which is seen regularly in large flocks is the Blue-winged Teal.
Groups can often be found dabbling for seeds, roots and
aquatic invertebrates or grazing in the grassy margins of
shallow brackish and saline ponds and freshwater swamps.
The teal we see here have flown south to spend the winter in
Central America and the Caribbean after breeding in the
prairies potholes of North America. Some will stay in Jamaica
for the winter, while others stop for a short while to feed,
before flying on. Figure 1 shows the main breeding and over-
wintering sites for ducks in North America and the Caribbean
and the major fly-ways along which they migrate.
Occasionally ducks, (mostly Blue-winged Teal), banded in
North America, are recovered in Jamaica. Through the US
National Biological service it is possible to find out where and
when the birds were banded. Figure 1 shows the banding
locations (by state) of ducks recovered in Jamaica since the
1960s. Almost all are Blue-winged Teal. There have been only
two exceptions an American Wigeon (which was banded in
North Dakota and recovered in Luana, St Elizabeth) and a
Wood Duck (which was banded in Ohio and recovered in
Black River, St Elizabeth). The recoveries of banded Blue-

N I ~'~'
~' /


S M -

0 1 T I I i I I '- I I -- ; I 1 _- i I I I- .
1070 1170 1270 471 174 1176 1276 177 1281 11.81 584 187 987 11.88 1288 4.8 489 990 1890o 93 119 3 1294 11.95 895 11961295 1.95 396
DATE (month.year)


Figure 2. Irregular observation of Blue-winged Teal at Great Pedro Pond, St Elizabeth






- 0





Ann Haynes-Sutton

Common Moorhen
Robert L. Sutton

winged Teal suggest that most come here from central and
eastern North America along the Mississippi fly-way. Most
recoveries are of teal in their first few years but one individual,
recovered in Discovery Bay in 1995, was thirteen years old.10
In the mid-nineteenth century Blue-winged Teal were so
abundant that they were shot in Galleon Harbour for sale in
Spanish Town market3 but by 1990-1 the winter population of
Blue-winged Teal at Old Harbour Bay was only about 100.11
There have been no systematic long-term surveys of any
Jamaican sites of importance to ducks (although John Fletcher
has been keeping records of shore birds at Yallahs Pond for
many years). We have visited Great Pedro Pond, St Elizabeth,
frequently over the last thirty years, usually making detailed
field notes and total counts of the birds seen there. Although
this is no substitute for a formal survey (in which counts would
be standardized according to method, frequency, time of day,
and other factors) the results are of interest (Figure 2). They
show that there were seldom more than fifty ducks on the
pond. In some years no ducks at all were seen.
Occasionally numbers of Blue-winged Teal increased
dramatically. This was observed in January 1965, in March
1974 and again from December 1995 to January 1996. The
reasons for the episodic change in the teal populations at Pedro
Pond and how they relate to populations in the rest of the
region are not understood. A superficial comparison of data
from Pedro Pond with data on the breeding populations of
Blue-winged Teal in North America12 (Figure 2) does not
suggest any simple relationship. A 10 per cent overall increase
in duck populations was reported in North America in
The data from Pedro Pond demonstrate the danger of basing
assessments of duck populations on one or two observations of

a single site. In the winter of 1995-6 a visitor might have
concluded that Pedro Pond was an outstanding site for ducks
and that by comparison with the previous year, duck
populations were booming. There is little in the long-term data
to support this view. Until more evidence becomes available it
is best to take a precautionary view andassume that, like the
fluctuations observed in 1965 and 1974, the increases are not
of great local significance. In fact many hunters and bird
watchers agree that there has been a decline in Jamaican duck
populations over the last thirty years.
What are some likely causes of the apparent decline? The
official position is that 'Habitat destruction is the single
biggest contributor to the continuing decline of Jamaica's
unique plant and animal communities.'14 Birds are generally
considered to be good indicators of the health of the ecosystem
in which they live. It is likely that a decrease in duck popu-
lations (specially West Indian Whistling Ducks) could be a
symptom of serious problems in Jamaica's wetlands.
Research has indicated that Jamaican wetlands are
declining rapidly in area and in quality.15 16 Everywhere the
story is the same they are being 'reclaimed' to make space
for tourism, factories, ports, power stations and settlements.
They are being degraded by charcoal burning, illegal
fishermen, harvesters of timber and bark, by boat tours and
pollution. As wetlands are destroyed, the wildlife suffers and
the larger animals such as ducks and crocodiles are particularly
at risk. Their decline is an indication of other drastic but less
obvious changes. People often forget that wetlands provide
many important 'free services', such as sheltering juveniles of
commercially important species of fish in nursery areas;
contributing significantly to marine productivity; providing
lumber, craft materials, dyes and fuel wood; protecting the


Mangrove Pool, Luana,
St Elizabeth
Ann Haynes-Sutton

coastline from erosion and flooding;
and absorbing excess nutrients, sedi-
ments and other pollutants which
threaten coastal water quality and
coral reefs (Table 2). Jamaica's
wetlands make up about 2 per cent of
her land surface, but they are of great
importance to the subsistence and
formal economies. Wetlands and their
resources must be used widely, so that
their natural values are preserved or
enhanced, if things that we take for
granted, such as supplies of fresh fish
from the sea and clear coastal waters,
are to be maintained.
Protecting duck habitats means
conserving wetlands and ponds. Not
one is presently included in Jamaica's
national park and protected area sys-
tem (apart from a small area adjacent
to the Montego Bay Marine Park) al-
though many wetlands have been
proposed for protection and manage-
ment (including Black River Morass,
Negril, St Thomas Great Morass,
Canoe Valley and Hellshire/Portland
Bight)17 but it will be some time be-
fore any of these areas can be afforded
effective protection and management.
Even then many areas of critical im-
portance to ducks and other wildlife Snowflake water-lilies on the Black River Upper Morass Ann Haynes-Sutton
will remain outside the system.



A. RESIDENT SPECIES (breed in Jamaica, present all year round)
Dendrocygna West Indian Greater and Endangered Endangered Unknown Unknown
arborea Whistling Duck Lesser
Oxyura Ruddy Duck W.I. Central Common Common in May be Unknown
aomaicensis and Southern the right declining
N. America & habitat
S. America

Oxyura Masked Duck W.I., Mexico Probably Uncommon Unknown Unknown
dominlca and eastern fairly
S. America common

B. COMMON WINTER VISITORS (regularly seen throughout the winter Inmany places in Jamaica)
Anas discors Bluewinged Amercas Very Common Possibly Unknown
Teal common declining

C. UNCOMMON AND RARE WINTER VISITORS (occasionally seen throughout the winter in Jamaica)
Anas creca Green-winged Worldwide Common Rarely Stable Unknown
Teal reported

Anas clypteata Northe Worldwide Common Uncommon Increasing Unknown

Anas americana American Americas Common Uncommon Declining Unknown
Aythya Ring-necked Americas Fairly Rarely Increasing Unknown
Colaris Duck Common reported
Aythya affinis Lesser Scaup Americas Common Uncommon Stable Unknown

D. TRANSIENT AND VAGRANTS (occur very rarely In Jamaica, often by chance)
Dendrocygna Fulvous- Worldwide Common but Rare ? Unknown
bicolor Whistling Duck local

Aix sponsa Wood Duck Americas Uncommon Rare 7 Unknown
Anas acuta Norther Worldwide Very Rare ? Unknown
Pintail Common

Anas Cinnamon Teal Americas Common Rare ? Unknown
Anas Mallard Worldwide Very Rare Stable Unknown
platyrhynchos Common
Aythya Canvasback Americas Uncommon Rare Declining Unknown

Aythya Redhead Americas Common Rare Declining Unknown
Aythya marila Greater Scaup Worldwide Common and Rare 7 Unknown

Bucephoal Bufflehead Americas Common Rare ? Unknown

Table 1 : Status and distribution of ducks which occur in Jamaica

Wise management of wetlands alone will not be sufficient
to ensure the survival of ducks if illegal and uncontrolled
hunting continues. Although hunting can be sustainable under
the right circumstances, at present it is a major threat to
Jamaican duck populations. The Wild Life Protection Act
(1974) contains provisions for the Minister to declare an open
season for migratory ducks (but not for the three resident
species). There has been no open season for ducks since 1974,
when national security problems coincided with an apparent

decline of populations of all game species (doves, pigeons and
migratory ducks) and precipitated a ban on all sport shooting.
However, illegal hunting of ducks continues and with many
hunters claiming to be unaware of the ban. As recently as
October 1995, a group of members of the Natural History
Society of Jamaica were on field trip in Treasure Beach when
they came across a party of illegal duck hunters. Apparently
neither the perpetrators nor the police in the area were aware
that duck shooting is illegal.



GOODS 1. Mineral resources (salt)
2. Energy resources (peat, biomass)
3. Water supply
4. Forest resources (woody biomass, fuelwood,
5. Agriculture resources (food, fibre, acquaculture)
6. Forage resources (grassland, grazed plants)
7. Fishery resources ( finflsh, crabs, shellfish)
8. Wildlife resources (birds, mammals, crocodiles)
9. Miscellaneous resources (eg. dyes, craft materials)
SERVICES Water supply
1. Groundwater recharge
2. Groundwater discharge

Coastal protection and water quality maintenance
3. Flood and flow alteration (storage and
4. Sediment/shoreline stabilization/erosion
control/shoreline protection
5. Sediment/Toxicant retention
6. Nutrient removal/retention/transformatbon
7. Production export (nutrients) and support
to neighboring ecosystems (eg, coral reefs)

8. Fish and shellfish habitat
9. Wildlife habitat
10. Endangered species habitat
ATTRIBUTES 1, Biological diversity
2. Visual qualiy/aesthetics/landscape value
3. Education/scientific value
4. Recreational value
5. Uniqueness/heritage value

Table 2 : Goods, services and attributes derived from
Jamaican wetlands Source: adapted from Bacon (1995)

Bird shooting is a deeply-rooted cultural tradition and from
time to time there is pressure to open a duck season. Some bird
shooters feel that they have been asked to exercise restraint for
too long. Pointing out that hunters in the USA bag many
thousand of birds annually, they argue that the Jamaican ban is
unfair. They admit that illegal hunting is a problem, but
suggest that with strict enforcement it could be reduced to
acceptable levels. Legalizing shooting could provide the
necessary funds and the opportunity to improve enforcement.
Unfortunately the evidence from the columbid shooting season
does not tend to support this view. Although some gun clubs
have set an excellent example and shown that they can act in a
responsible way, managing their shooting preserves and
members efficiently, there is much room for improvement in
the overall enforcement of the season. An innovative approach
to managing hunting, including training of hunters and strict
zoning of hunting areas, is urgently needed.
A very important consideration is that if a duck season was

to be declared, Blue-winged Teal would be the main target.
This species is not internationally threatened, although North
American populations of this species seem to be declining
(Figure 2).12 Shooting in Jamaica is unlikely to have any effect
on global populations of this species. Unfortunately, Teal occur
in the same habitats as West Indian Whistling Duck and,
therefore, it would be particularly difficult to ensure that there
was no incidental take of West Indian Whistling Ducks.
Hunters often make mistakes. Studies of hunters in France
have shown up to '22 per cent of hunters cannot correctly
identify a bird even after they have bagged it.'18 To compound
the problem, West Indian Whistling Ducks breed in the winter,
when migratory ducks are present. There is a serious risk that
breeding adults would be shot. The loss of breeding adults, and
consequent failure of nests, would have disproportionate
effects on the population.
Hunting reduces the number of aquatic birds present in
Jamaica both during and after the season. It causes them to



Some measures which would help to preserve the West
Indian Whistling Ducks include:

-Protection of Important feeding and breeding
Enforcement of the Wild Ufe Protection Act
Implementation of the Natural Resources
Conservation Act,to provide Interim protection
and strict planning controls for development in
Development of a public education campaign to
make people more aware of the Importance of
protecting the duck and its habitats
Design and Implementation of a natural recovery
plan for the West Indian Whistling Duck
Research Into the distribution, population dynam-
ics, ecology and the potential for suitable use of
the West Indian Whistling Ducks.

What you can do

-Report illegal hunting to the Naturall Resources
Conservation Authority, your local Conservation
Warden or to Ann Sutton
Learn to teach others to recognize the duck
Help to determine the size of the Jamaican popu-
lation and the most important habitats by report-
ing all your observations of West Indian Whistling
Ducks feeding, nesting flying or loafing to Ann
-Support creation of reserves and national parks.

Masked Ducks
(females and young)
Robert L. Sutton

move to ever more remote places where they are less
visible, or even to move onto other islands. With
ecotourism assuming great importance on the south
coast, it is vital to ensure that there is plenty of wildlife
to see. Ducks and other waterbirds are disturbed by
shooting and become more secretive. Concern has been
expressed by various groups (including the Central and
Southern Tourism Organisation, a non-government
organization based in Mandeville) about the possible
effects of legalization of duck hunting on the observable
wildlife of the south coast. The risk of increased
accumulation of poisonous lead shot in wetland habitats
is another problem.
Could duck hunting be sustainable in Jamaica? This
is a controversial issue. In the absence of information
about populations of prey and hunters, it is impossible
to assess the national costs and benefits of an open
season for ducks. It is important to remember that duck
hunting will continue to be a threat to waterfowl
populations until an effective way of controlling it has
been found, even in the absence of a season.
Ducks and wetlands, like other wildlife and their
habitats, are a resource and part of our national
heritage. They play an important role in the way
ecosystems work and are valuable to hunters, scientists,
tourists and lovers of natural history. Like all resources
they can be used wisely in the long-term or wasted in
the short-term. Finding the best way to use them
requires research, analysis and discussion. One way to
synthesize all the available information and try to build
consensus for a workable solution is to prepare a
species recovery plan. These plans are usually written


.44 44 x


Blu-wi-gT Dc

Blue-winged Teal Ducks


Unlimited Inc.

~*-~t- --r


by multi-disciplinary teams including experts, stake-holders
and interest groups who work together to collate and analyse
all the available data, and to create a strategy for recovery. The
Jamaica Sea Turtle Recovery Network is currently using this
approach for sea turtles in Jamaica.Their plan will form part of
an international effort to protect sea turtles. Something similar
is urgently needed for ducks (especially West Indian
Whistling Ducks) which, like turtles, are an international
resource. A recovery plan would take into account the need for
a workable strategy to ensure adequate habitat protection,
better law enforcement, control of hunting, control of intro-
duced predators when appropriate. It would need to consider
the feasibility of sustainable use (including tourism, con-
trolled hunting and other types of commercial activities) and
whether or not captive or semi-captive breeding is relevant.
Ducks are adaptable. Generally their populations increase

rapidly following the introduction of conservation measures,
so there is a good chance of success, if a recovery plan can be
implemented before populations become impossibly small.
Identification and effective protection of areas of special
importance for West Indian Whistling Ducks (including,
among others, Black River Upper and Lower Morasses and
Hellshire/Portland Bight) are likely to be high priorities in any
plan. Protection of either of these areas will provide Jamaica
with the necessary prerequisite to join the Convention of
Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl
Habitat, (usually called the Ramsar Convention). This will
bring international recognition and support to Jamaica's
efforts to protect her wetlands.
If we do not act responsibly now, the call of the West Indian
Whistling Duck will soon be just a faint echo, as forgotten as
the wetlands the duck once inhabited.

1. Collar, N.J, Gonzaga, L.P., Krabbe, A. Madrona Nieto, L.G.
Baranjo, T.A. Parker L, and D.C. Wege. 1992. Threatened Birds of
the Americas: ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book 1992. International
Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge.
2. Ellis-Joseph, S., Hewston N. and Green, A. 1992. Global
Waterfowl Conservation and Management Plan. IUCN and The
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge,Glos.
3. Gosse, P.H. 1847. The Birds ofJamaica. London, Van Voorst.
4. Norton, R.L., Yntema, H.A. and Sladen, F.W. 1986.
'Abundance, Distribution and Habitat Use by Anatids in the Virgin
Islands'. Carib. J. Sci. 22 (1 -2): 99-106.
5. Orlando Garrido, pers. comm.
6. Redman, J. 1995. 'Duck Killings Spark Concern Gun Licensing
to be Tightened'. Caymanian Compass, 19th October 1995.
7. Bacon, P. 1995. 'Wetland Resource Rehabilitation for
Sustainable Development in the Eastern Caribbean'. In Barker, D.
and McGregor, D. 1995. Environment and Development in the
Caribbean geographical perspectives. The Press, University of the
West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.
8. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. 1992. Handbook of
Birds of the World. Lynx Editions, Barcelona.

9. A. Downer, pers. comm., 1995.
10. Information provided by US National Biological Service
(formerly US Fish and Wildlife Service).
11. P. Manser, unpublished data.
12. US Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. Status of ducks.
13. Vickery, H., 1995. Service Issues final 1995-6 Waterfowl
Hunting Regulations. US Fish and Wildlife Service, press release.
14. Government of Jamaica. 1987. 'Jamaica: Country Environ-
mental Profile'. Prepared by the Government of Jamaica, Ministry of
Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Division and Ralph M.
Field Assoc. on behalf of the International Institute for Environment
and Development. Kingston.
15. Fairbairn, P. and Haynes, A. 1986. 'Jamaica'. In Scott, D. and
Carbonell, M. (Compilers). 1986. A Directory of Neotropical
Wetlands. IUCN Cambridge and IWRB Slimbridge.
16. NRCD and Traverse Group International, 1981. 'Environ-
mental feasibility study of peat mining in the Black River and Negril
wetlands'. Ministry of Mining and the Environment.
17. GOJ, 1995. Green Paper: 'Towards a National System of
Protected Areas for Jamaica' (draft).
18. Patel, T. 1995. 'Migratory Birds Caught in Political Crossfire'.
New Scientist 148 (2009/2010).


12Q)B 0 7LL IiUM

Jamaica: A Geological Portrait
Anthony R D Porter
Institute of Jamaica Publications
Kingston, Jamaica. 1990

Stephen K Donovan

T he literature of Jamaican geology is almost entirely
concentrated in sources that are either inaccessible or un-
intelligible to the layman, in research theses, monographs and
papers published in scientific journals. This is unfortunate, as
there are popular to semi-popular books and booklets covering
various other aspects of the island's natural history which are
no more, or less, deserving of consideration than the geology.
Indeed, to the initiated, rocks have many advantages over
other subjects in field natural history: they don't fly away
when you approach them; collecting a specimen does not alter
its physical state; and a sample can wait for years before being
identified without going mouldy! Prospective botanists and
zoologists are further encouraged by being able to study
biology at school, while the geological sciences are generally
only mentioned in courses on physical geography, which are
unlikely to consider such basic topics as mineralogy,
palaeontology and geophysics. Most people thus remain,
throughout their lives largely ignorant of the history, structure
and behaviour of their island and planet.
The one general text that has hitherto been available is
Minerals and Rocks of Jamaica by the three Ts of Jamaican
geology, Tony Porter, Trevor Jackson and Ted Robinson
(1982, Jamaica Publishing House). This compact and
inexpensive volume is a mine of information, but perhaps
scares the casual reader, who glances through only to find
chemical formulae, tables of physical properties of minerals
and apparently incomprehensible maps of Jamaica and the
Caribbean. Although all of these features are well-explained,
they are of much greater interest to the professional or student,
than, say, to a tourist who wants to discover, as painlessly as
possible, the origin of Dunn's River Falls or a red mud pond.
This is why Tony Porter's Jamaica: a geological portrait
deserves to become a best seller amongst amateur and
professional visiting and resident natural scientists.and natural
historians. It is based on thirty-four articles that were
published in the Daily Gleaner between 1983 and 1986. The
articles (or some of them) have been revised and expanded
where necessary to form sixteen chapters (plus two
appendices) which are grouped into three sections:
Introduction to Geology; Historical Highlights; and Natural
Attractions and Other Features. This structure is entirely
sensible, outlining the techniques and terminology of the
science before discussing some of the important events in the
development of our understanding of Jamaica geology and
later explaining those features of the island, such as caves and
blue holes, that are a fascination to just about everyone.
Before I say more about the text, let me emphasize that the
excellent range of photographs chosen to illustrate important
points really do steal the show. Many are in colour and all

form a valuable adjunct to the text. Particularly striking are
the photographs of rising flood waters in Newmarket in 1979.
The line drawings are also generally very clear, although the
figure of flow beneath the water table (p. 94) is too dark in my
copy for the precise positions of the arrows to be seen. One
last question does Dr Carby of the Office of Disaster
Preparedness always wear a topee in the field?
However, having praised the illustrations, I must
emphasize that the text is also generally excellent. The
structure of the book is such that it can either be read from
cover to cover or it can be dipped into, individual chapters
standing up very well on their own. The author tackles the
difficult task of writing both for the layman and the
professional well, technical terms being kept to a minimum
and generally being well-explained when they first appear.
The section on the geological history of Jamaica could be
made clearer by the addition of explanatory maps showing the
palaeogeographic evolution of the island. I disagree with only
two of the author's definitions. We are told (p. 15) that "Most
minerals form by precipitation from solutions", an
oversimplification, which ignores, for example, the huge
diversity that crystallize from an originally molten state in
igneous ('volcanic' in the broadest sense) systems (see p. 17).
On p. 73, it is stated that '. . each organism has a name
consisting of two words, the first of which is the generic name,
while the second is a specific name, and signifies the species
within the genus.' The second name is, in fact, the trivial
name. The (generic and trivial) names together form the
specific name. Also, corals are aragonitic, not calcitic (p. 40).
My principle complaint about this volume is that the
typesetting and proof-reading could have been better. There
are a number of spelling errors, omissions of spaces between
words and unnecessary hyphens. The general reader will be
misled by 'montmorillionite' for the clay mineral mont
morillionite (p. 42) and 'paleographic' for palaeogeographic
(p. 45). American and English spellings are mixed, such as
'Paleozoic' (p. 75) and 'Palaeozoic' (p. 27).
Despite these problems with spelling, etc., I recommend
JAGP to anyone with an interest in Jamaica and its environ-
ment, be they professional geologists, student or layman.
Because of the brevity of the book, a number of concepts are
introduced, but cannot be discussed in the detail that they
perhaps warrant. Hopefully, a thirst for geological knowledge
will be kindled, to be supported by the brief, but compre-
hensive, reference list and eventually leading to a desire to
examine rocks in the field. We await developments.
Stephen Donovan is Reader in Palaeontology in the Department of
Geology, University of the West Indies (Mona).
Note: IOJ Publications is planning to publish a new and revised edition of
Jamaica: a geological portrait in 1997.



Environmental Concerns

Reviews by Raymond Wright

Geographical Perspective

ram vamma

David Barker and
David McGregor (eds.)
The Press.UWI, 1995

T here is a growing awareness of the interrelationship
between man's activities and the environment as well as
the effect of natural events such as earthquakes and hurricanes.
The basic premise is that man must learn to live in balance
with his physical environment. This balance is being
rigorously analysed by a number of workers because it affects
the present and determines the future. Physical and social
scientists, engineers, agriculturalists, industrialists, planners
and land developers must collaborate in the effort to provide a
clean and civilized environment both for this and future
generations. The view cannot be adopted that effective family
planning alone will prevent the taxing of land and other
resources to the limit nor can a return to the subsistence
patterns from which man is trying to emerge be accepted. The
concept of people living in balance with their environment is
one of exciting potential. It cements the split in the intellectual
community between physical scientists, social scientists,
engineers and humanists.
In Environment and Development in the Caribbean -
geographical perspectives, authors representing a range of
disciplines present insights into some of the environmental
issues we face in the Caribbean. The organization of the book
is straightforward. Although the chapters can be read in any
order, they are presented in a logical sequence covering coastal
zone management, tourism and development planning, natural
hazard management, land resources planning and national
parks. The sixteen papers represent a part of the proceedings of
the British-Caribbean Geography Seminar held at the UWI,
Mona Campus, in August 1992.
Coastal zone management is assuming an increasingly im-
portant role in Caribbean resource development. In the first
paper, Leonard Nurse, Kenneth Atherley and Leo Brewster
examine the effect of a power-generating plant on the coastal
zone of the southern west coast of Barbados. Their message is

The Caribbean Experience

Mark Griffith and
Bishnodat Persaud(eds.)
Published by Centre for Environment
and Development (UWICED) UWI, 1990

that mitigation measures should be planned pre-project since
rectifying the damaging effect of any plant is costly later. Neil
Sealey describes the importance of blue holes in Barbados,
noting the need for protection of these hydrologic features and
their development as a tourist attraction. Peter Bacon
completes the trilogy on coastal zone management with the
presentation of extensive research on wetlands in the eastern
Caribbean. He calls for investment in rehabilitation and spells
out the importance of wetlands to economic development.
Tourism is perhaps the most important economic product of
many Caribbean states. Recognizing that ecotourism is new to
the Caribbean, Lesley France and Brian Wheeler examine the
premises on which sustainable tourism is based. Klaus de
Albuquerque and Jerome McElroy present a comparative
analysis of Bermuda and St Maarten/St Martin. They show
that development controls in the island are weak and the
tourism product is deteriorating because of degradation of
environment and facilities. However, Bermuda, because of
strong development controls, has maintained its status as a
growing up-market destination.
Frank Mills completes this section by analysing the impact
of tourism on the housing market in the US Virgin Islands.
Tourists often return to buy houses, pushing prices beyond the
reach of the islanders themselves.
Natural hazards are a component of Caribbean life. The
need for resources to be focused on the development of mitiga-
tion strategies rather than on assistance for rebuilding is
demonstrated by Jeremy Collymore. He searches for quanti-
tative approaches on which to base such strategies. Alison
Reading and Rory Walsh examine hurricane activity, showing
that the storm tracks have shifted westwards, southwards, and,
more recently, eastwards, into the Atlantic Ocean. Two other
papers in this section explore the effects of landslides. Rafi
Ahmad relates the history and pattern of landslide incidence in


Jamaica to geological factors such as lithology, structure and
slope. His comprehensive paper suggests mitigation measures
pertinent to the varying conditions under which landslides
occur. His former student, Russell Maharaj, details and
evaluates the landsliding phenomena in the parish of St
Andrew, Jamaica. He discusses the range of conditions under
which landslides occur and identifies and describes the
geological features that obtain before and after landslides.
Three papers recognize the importance of land resources
and development planning. Duncan McGregor, noting an
impending crisis, underlines the lack of empirical data on soil
erosion in Jamaica and points to research approaches. Fatima
Patel, who studied the Scotland District of Barbados,
demonstrates the sensitivity of the natural landscape to
geomorphological processes. She looks at particular de-
velopments that are high risk in respect to geomorphological
hazards. The subject of coastal drainage and irrigation in
Guyana is developed from long research by Patrick Williams.
His analysis of drainage of wetlands near the Berbice River
for rice and sugar production is a case study for the Caribbean.
The development of national parks in Jamaica forms the
topic of the remaining papers. David Smith shows that al-
though community involvement is a major feature of the first
national park, the Montego Bay Marine Park, established in
1992, enforcement of environmental laws has proved diffi-
cult. The unique karst features of the Cockpit Country region
of Jamaica have encouraged plans to make it a national park.
To this end, while suggesting it as a world heritage site, Alan
Eyre pleads for enforceable protection and reduction in the
rate of deforestation. Finally, David Barker and David Miller
identify the impact of small-scale farming on the northern
edge of the Cockpit Country. They warn against easier access
to the limestone cockpit terrain because human intrusion will
deplete the integrity of this world-class forested area.
The issues dealt with in the book are fundamental and most
of the chapters can be understood by even the lay reader, so
that members of the general public can use it as a sup-
plementary environmental source book for the Caribbean.
Environment and Development in the Caribbean will go some
way in instilling in its readers an understanding of certain
aspects of the ecology of the Caribbean and a positive
environmental attitude. From the geographical perspective
presented, the future comfort and economic survival of
Caribbean peoples require a widespread understanding of the
environment and wise application of that knowledge.

integration of economic and environmental issues is the
theme of Economic Policy and the Environment the
Caribbean experience. The book examines many of the
relevant approaches to evaluating environmental costs and
benefits and indicates some fiscal policies that will ensure
'greening' in tandem with growth. The problems are well en-
unciated and lead us to wonder if Caribbean countries have the
political will to tie environmental policy instruments to eco-
nomic strategies such as 'polluter and user pay', subsidies or
premiums on the use of non-polluting resources, and refund-
able deposits. This would strengthen environmental manage-
ment with greater cost effectiveness, efficiency and flexibility.
The book treats primarily with domestic policy and the role
of environmental management in macro-economics. The per-
spectives given by the twelve papers span a great diversity,
encompassing matters such as environmental and resource

economics, structural adjustment, budget planning, legislative
requirements, tourism, agriculture, waste management and
natural hazards. The editors choose, perhaps by design, not to
deal directly with a major factor in sustainable development,
the question of energy use, which is a primary cause of
environmental damage. UWICED has been sensitive to this
issue and has supported study of and publication on the matter
Access to the body of information in the book is facilitated
by an Introduction by the editors which presents an overview
of the content of each of the twelve papers. Two of these
papers address concepts and measures in sustainable
development. In the first, David Pearce identifies the policy
requirements for sustainable development, supported by
evidence that investment in environmental enhancement gen-
erates high positive returns. The second, by Dennis Pantin,
recognizes the Caribbean to be as developed as the met-
ropolitan economies with respect to the socio-cultural and
ecological areas of sustainable development. The paper then
briskly identifies areas for policy research agenda pertinent to
small Caribbean states.
Three papers examine some aspects of macroeconomic
policy as they affect the environment. Bishnodat Persaud
advocates structural adjustment, indicating that such reform is
an essential complement to 'command and control' measures
and that fiscal policy can be shaped to help in meeting revenue
needs. DeLisle Worrell presents ways of measuring the cost of
environmental improvement strategies. He identifies a major
problem: Caribbean governments have tight fiscal budgets
and expenditure on environmentally friendly policies will
cause a decrease in expenditure on other sectors. A joint paper
by Naresh Singh and Stephan Berg presents lessons from the
experience of other countries that are applicable to the
Caribbean. They show that the political directorate should be
sensitive to the issue and that multiple instruments are usually
required to achieve environmental objectives.
The two papers on institutional and legislative arrange-
ments by A.R. Carnegie and Mark Griffith present different
elements necessary for development. Carnegie argues that the
discipline required for planning and environmental control
must first be applied to Caribbean governments themselves.
Griffith points out that fragmentation of environmental
responsibility still exists among government agencies and that
much lip service is paid to the environment without
demonstrable support and operational commitment.
The remaining five papers address differing subjects. In
dealing with natural resources, Thomas DeGregori presents a
teasing analysis which contends that the environmental and
conservation groups have had an adverse impact on develop-
ment in some poor countries, particularly in food supply and
health delivery. Carlton Davis and Ballyram show ways in
which agriculture, economics and environment can form a
pragmatic hub that can spur development. For them, agro-
systems must be equitable and based on their concepts of
Tourism is an important product of the Caribbean and Eric
Bloomestein contends that the myth that standards and regu-
lations are cost increasing, and negatively affect the tourism
economy, must be dispelled. H.O. Phelps addresses waste
management in the Caribbean and outlines strategies for
improvement including legislation, technology, and economic
and regulatory instruments. Tony Gibbs reviews the economic
impact of natural hazards on man-made construction in the


Caribbean. He supports a Caribbean Uniform Building Code
so that buildings can better withstand earthquakes and
The cardinal message that threads through the chapters is
that growth and environment are not separate concerns and
that growth needs to be given priority over environment.
Economic decision making should consider, and internalize,
all prospective costs and benefits including environmental
ones. Also, the pricing of natural resources should take into
account their scarcity value so that they are not underpriced in
the world markets.
Current in information and thought, Economic Policy and

the Environment- the Caribbean Experience presents a variety
of perspectives all of which underline the need for a melding
of environmental and economic policy throughout the region.
I commend it to a wide readership and consider it required
reading for regional decision makers.

Raymond Wright is Group Managing Director of the Petroleum
Corporation of Jamaica. He is the author of Jamaica's Energy: Old
Prospects, New Resources, now in the press.

-ma k i PrntI

Institute of Jamaica Publications Limited
Available at leading bookstores and our office, 2A Suthermere Road, Kingston 10.

Port Royal
A History and Guide

by Clinton V. Black
fCmorn V. B
A Walking Tour of Port Royal (map/poster)

The name 'Port Royal' conjures up a vivid picture of pirates and buccaneers, a
English sea-dogs, destruction by earthquake and fire, a town that would never
die.... This lively history gives us the full story of Port Royal from pre-history to
the present a glimpse into its future.
An attractive package which will be popular with Jamaicans and visitors alike.
Poster is a magnificent aerial view of Port Royal.
90pp. 41 b/w illustrations 8.5 x 5.5 in. ISBN 976-8017-06-6 (PB)
Map/poster 17 x 22" in full colour on art quality stock. Text and photos for a
walking tour keyed to the map.B

ir the British Wesl Indies during Slavery

Lucille Mathurin Mair

The Rebel Woman in the
British West Indies during

by Lucille Mathurin Mair
"... women, who are often regarded as the submissive sex ...
took an important part in forms of protest against slavery.
Female slaves adopted some of the same techniques as men
to defy the system". Many of these techniques as well as those
peculiar to women are described in this booklet. The Rebel
Woman is placed in a historical context starting with the
women's roles in West Africa from where they came to the new
world, to their most powerful manifestations in Jamaica,
Nanny, leader of the Maroons.
40pp. Illustrated 7.6 x 8.5 in. ISBN 976-8017-24-4 (PB)



Wind Turbine generator at Munro College Photo Raymond Wright

GENERATOR Keeping pace with Technology
Evon Mullings
Munro College, established in 1856, has undoubtedly been at the forefront of the more
notable learning institutions in international stalwarts, but it is now contributing in a
more tangible manner to the economic development and growth of Jamaica. This status
has been earned as a result of the installation of Jamaica first wind turbine generator
nestled beautifully on the northern end of the campus.

Munro Old Boys, Paul Stockhausen and Laurie Sharp,welcome Prime Minister, PJ.
the occasion of the commissioning of the Wind Turbine.

This novel idea was born out of the need to provide the
school with a sustainable means of supplemental income.
When the new Board of Governors was appointed in 1992, the
members sought to identify a source to provide funds for the
school. Initially, solar power was contemplated. However, the
low-level efficiency of solar panels together with solar
power's lack of cost effectiveness forced the other members to
rule out this possibility. Nevertheless they persisted. Finally,
from the creative ingenuity and astute engineering acumen of
one man's hope, Mr Paul Stockhausen, and a team's aspira-
tions for the school, a wind turbine project was proposed.
Strong winds are a familiar and almost constant feature at
Munro. This being the case the
wind turbine project was deemed a
suitable one.
The moving spirits behind the
project were the Chairman of the
Board, Laurie Sharp, and Engi-
neer/Pioneer Paul Stockhausen,
Vice-chairman of the Board of ,
Governors. Once the wind turbine
project had been accepted, Paul -
Stockhausen began investigations W
into the different models of W
turbines available. Without much
delay, he identified a 65 KW wind p
turbine available from an
American manufacturer at a cost of
US$ 65,000. In order to accumu-
late sufficient funds to purchase the
turbine, several commercial con-
cerns were approached.
Meanwhile, however, news of
the project had reached outsiders
and Mr Stockhausen was advised
to attend a conference on renew-
able energy in St Lucia. The
valuable exposure, contaThree Munro College students
valuable exposure, contacts and

technical advice which Mr
Stockhausen received at the
conference proved beneficial. Not
only was he made aware that the
turbine to be purchased by Munro
did not have a proven track record,
but he was given a list of the best
wind turbine generators in the
The Danish firm of Vestas was
eventually selected. However, the
cost of the new turbine was three
times as much as the one previ-
ously contemplated. Nevertheless,
the excitement generated by the
whole idea of a wind turbine in
Jamaica, enabled the Board of
Governors to garner funds and
support quite easily from a variety
of sources.
The Environmental Foundation
of Jamaica and the Canadian Green
Fund provided US$110,000. The
Patterson, to the College on UWI Foundation for the Environ-
ment donated US$6,000 while the
Multicare Foundation gave the project
a healthy JA$5.4 million. Renewable Energy Systems of
England sent an engineer to assist in setting up the turbine;
Vestas provided free technical installation and the Producers
Group in Jamaica contributed freight transportation of the
turbine from Belgium.
After three weeks of intensive engineering work by
English, Danish and Jamaican engineers, the generator was
put into service on Saturday, December 20, 1995.
The Vestas V27-225 KW turbine is a very sophisticated one
indeed. With three blades 100 feet in diameter and weighing
9.5 tons, the turbine stands 120 feet above ground level. It can
generate up to one million kilowatt hours of energy each year.

entertain the audience with a musical item.


The new generator is fully computerized. Its capabilities are
such that not only does it adjust its position automatically to
get the most benefit from the wind, but it can be monitored and
operated through a telephone line. If a fault develops in the
system, it automatically produces a detailed analysis which it
transmits by facsimile to the operator.
Munro College has therefore not only pioneered the local
use of wind energy, but is also increasing renewable energy
options to augment the island's electricity supply.
Under a contractual arrangement, the JPS Co., headed by
Munro old boy, Derrick Dyer, not only agreed to purchase the
power from Munro, but also installed the transformer and high
voltage wiring, free of cost; a contribution worth US$5,000 to
the venture.
The J$10 million project will earn Munro over J$2 million
each year. This income is expected to be used to finance
various development projects. However the Munro Board is
considering taking some of the project's reserves to purchase
a second turbine. The long-term goal of the Board of

Governors is to expand this project into a wind farm and
replicate it in other areas around Jamaica as way of generating
more funds for the institution.
At the official commissioning ceremony held on February
9, 1996, Prime Minister, the Right Hon. P.J. Patterson des-
cribed it as 'a timely initiative...' Indeed, the funds from the
project will enable Munro to improve and modernize the
school's physical plant. This, on the whole, can only provide
scope for a greater institution, ready to face the challenges of
the twenty-first century.
It is apparent, therefore, that the creation of this facility
continues to epitomize the excellence for which Munro
College has been distinguished in Jamaican society over the
years. Undoubtedly, the wind turbine, with every turn of its
blades, will serve to consolidate for past and present
Munronians the pledge of allegiance to that noble city set upon
a hill Munro College.
Evon Mullings is an Upper 6th form student at Munro

The Munro College Wind Turbine Project

A Student Survey

An informal survey was carried out to discover the responses of Munro students to
this trail-blazing project.

What are your views on the Wind Turbine Project?

Form 1
Well, the wind turbine generates electricity which is sold to
JPS Co. which means extra funds for the school that has
erected the first wind turbine in Jamaica.
Ricardo Demetrius

Form 2
It is the only wind turbine project in Jamaica and this
makes the community in which it is erected proud.
Sean DaCosta

Form 3
I think the wind turbine project is an excellent
all, it will help Munro College to earn over $2 mil
and it will earn foreign exchange for Jamaica
tourists who will want to see for themselves tl
cessfully operated Wind Turbine in Jamaica.

What have you learnt from the Wind Turbine

Form 3
I have learnt that wind generated energy can be the way
forward for the country as such a project will be the first of its
kind to be successful. It can save the school $2,000,000 and an
extra $2,000,000 in the pocket of the school will make it a
more viable institution.
Davion Williams

What do you think your school will derive from this

Form 2

FIic ItI rUf

.lion per ar Well, frankly I think that, being the first and only one of its
lion per year
by attracting kind so far in Jamaica, it should not only generate electricity
e ony sc- for the school and the immediate community but should also
-provide publicity for the school.
This publicity or 'good press' should benefit the school and
Darren Neil wider community in more ways than one.
Duane Goodin



A Celebration of the Windmill

O windmill majestic windmill,
A truly magnificent/awe inspiring work of art,
You rotate on your axis day after day,
Symbolic of inborn frivolity like children at play.
Standing so tall you are truly astounding,
boosting our economy with your power abounding.
How Hi-Tech you are -
with your own on-board computer,
Detecting the wind direction without even a blunder.
You equip our school with a monetary policy,
Which will benefit our society and eventually our economy,
Observing you daily punches our pride to the fill,
Strengthening our allegiance to our alma mater Munro
-the noble city which is set on a hill.

Craig L. Neil
Upper Sixth

The Windmill

Do you know how graceful you are?
Effortlessly spinning through the air,
making the world seem to move at snail's pace.
And bestowing a calm, serene feeling on all observers.
It's true.
Do you know that you are a symbol of hope
To those sinking in their private quagmires of despair?
That you give joy to the young and a feeling of youth to the
You do.
So now tell me, honestly,
If, given the chance, would you fly
Away as you seem to want to?
Or would you stay and continue
To be our bestower of serenity,
Our symbol of hope?
Would you?

Akil Baker
Lower Sixth






One that records the keen, personal
attention given to every job that comes
our way.

Maybe it's a simple programme, flyer
or invitation. Or classy stationery.
Perhaps a poster, a brochure,
catalogue, magazine, newsletter or
annual report. It could even be a
complex full colour job.

Whatever it Is, we won't merely print.
We IMPRINT your Job with the high standards
of quality, speed and efficiency that we hold
So that with all your printed material, you make
an impression.
A lasting one.

967-2596-9, Fax: 967-1807


Student Survey continued:
Form 2
I think that this project is a very good step forward for both
the Munro community and for Jamaica on the whole.
Old Boys of this most prestigious institution developed this
brilliant and lucrative project that will set the tone for other
projects like this one. Of course, this is the very first of its kind
that has been constructed in the island and has been recorded
in the history books, so to speak.
Frankly, I must say that we, the students, and the Munro
College family are extremely proud of this our first Wind
Lerone Bailey
Form 5
I think my school will benefit financially and it will also
gain popularity. Since it is the only one in Jamaica, people will
want to come to view it, foreign exchange will be gained.
Gregory Blair

Upper Sixth
The erection of the Munro College wind turbine is the first
stage in the Munro College Wind Energy Project. Seeing that
the preliminary stage has been completed, our school, with the
help of the publicity that it has been getting, will be aided in
terms of the acquisition of funds and equipment, in order to see
our proud project through to completion. This publicity will
help to convince influential people and authorities, about the
viability of wind energy, on the vast expanses of land owned
by Munro College. Hence, funding for the project will be
readily accessed.
Kadir Mullings

Lower Sixth
With the introduction of the wind energy project, the school
has benefited financially and environmentally. In addition, it
has gained national recognition. The financial status of the
school can now be more stable, allowing it to be more
accessible to the less fortunate. National recognition means the
possibility of getting funds for the expansion of the project.
The connection of the windmill to the national grid results in
the reduction of the use of fossil fuel which pollutes the air.
Maurice Aitcheson

Do you think that wind energy is a financially viable

Upper Sixth
Yes. If we examine practical examples from countries that
are quite advanced in the production of wind energy, such as
Denmark, one sees electricity being produced to the magni-
tude of over 500 MW. This 500 MW supplies more than half

of Denmark's electricity needs. In the Jamaican context, this
amount of electricity would more than amply supply all of our
requirements and can be produced on a 200 acre wind farm.
This acreage can easily be allocated at points that are
appropriate in the country. Thus, from my perspective, I con-
sider the cost of setting up such wind farms as being well
within the means of this country. Wind energy is not only
financially practical, it is also economical path to pursue in the
O'Neil Blair
Upper Sixth
Yes. The viability of the Wind Turbine as a source of power
can indeed prove to the Private Sector that investment in Wind
farms can be a very profitable alternative. Not only does this
energy source have the potential to curtail the importation cost
of fuel to the country, but it can provide for Munro College, a
sustainable source of income.
Craig Neil

What do you think are the implications of wind
generated energy for your country?

Upper Sixth
With the increasing cost of fossil fuel, the price of
electricity generated from traditional sources has become very
expensive. Jamaica, by using the cheaper alternative of wind
energy, will benefit and the limited resources we currently
have could be utilized for other ventures.
Damieon Fagan

Upper Sixth
Jamaica will certainly reap both environmental and
economic benefits from the establishment of wind farms. Such
an innovation operates in conjunction with the efforts of the
Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) in the
eradication of the abuse of the environment.
On the other hand, economic critics have found wind
energy to be a viable source of power and I believe it would be
a move in the right direction if most of Jamaica's electrical
energy were wind generated.
Hartley Cawley

Form 5
This can produce cheap energy only depending on wind.
Doesn't require use of petrol etc. Therefore it definitely saves
more. Thus, net profit will be beneficial generally.
Craig Gayle


Think Globally ... Act Locally

Jamaica oJmal and the Environment

From its first appearance in December 1967, JAMAICA JOURNAL has carried articles on the environment. The
Natural History Division of the Institute of Jamaica has consistently contributed timely articles and notable
environmentalists have submitted important papers on special areas of interest. The following selection gives
an overview of the range of topics presented.

1970 4:4
1971 5:1
1974 8:2
1975 9:4





1983 16:1,2
Marine Topics
1972 6:2
1980 44
1983 6:4
1984 17:4
1985 18:3
Natural Hazards
1967 1:1
1976 10:2
1976 10:2
1987 20:1
Water Resources
1973 7:1
1973 7:3
1989 22:4



Conservation and Ecology
Biological Control in Jamaica
The Preservation of Fern Gully
Soil Conservation in the Yallahs Valley

Mason River Field Station
Some Ecological Questions
The Black River

A History of the Jamaican Fauna
A Saga of Frogs
Looking for Coneys
Nanka or Yellow Snake
Land Animals of Jamaica
Manatees and their Struggle for Survival
Avian Refuges

Jamaican Aquatic Plants
The Secret Lives of Jamaican
Plants and Animals
The Flowering Plants of Jamaica

Coastal Water Pollution in Jamaica
The Portland Bight Oil Spill
Sea Grasses of Jamaica
Lobsters: Their Biology & Conservation
The St Thomas Fish Kill

Earthquake Risk and Hazard
Judgement Cliff
Fire in the Tropical Environment

Must Kingston go Dry?
Bringing Forth Water from the Rock
Water Resource Conflict on the
North Coast

Biogas: A Fuel from Wastes
Quarrying in Jamaica
Jamaica, the UN and the Environment

E. Barton Worthington
Thomas H. Farr
Dulcie Powell
Anne Baxter

George Proctor
Barry Wade
Barry Wade

Jeremy Woodley
George Proctor
William Oliver
William Oliver
Thomas Farr
Ann Haynes & Wendy Shaul
Ivan Goodbody

George Proctor
Peter Bretting

Peter Bretting

Barry Wade
Barry Wade
Barry Jupp
Karl Aiken
Karl Aiken & Barry Jupp

Ireland C. C. McArthur
Raymond M. Wright
Bernard Lewis
Alan Eyre

Roy Fletcher
Raymond M. Wright
Alan Eyre

K. Magnus & K. Lee
Calford Scott
Don Mills


A Voice from the Past

Portland: The magnificent northern slope of the Blue Mounain Ridge. Sept.1969 J.S. Tyndale Biscoe

Conservation and Ecology

E. Barton Worthington

In July, 1970, a Caribbean Cultural and Conservation
Conference was held in Kingston, Jamaica. The noted
British conservationist, Dr E. Barton Worthington, gave the
keynote address on environmental issues. After more than a
quarter of a century, his message is still meaningful for
Jamaica and the Caribbean.

My object is to consider what ecology and conservation
mean to the Caribbean countries today in relation to the
quality of the environment tomorrow. My foremost impres-
sion is that, unlike highly industrialized countries, you in the
Caribbean have not yet grossly polluted your environment.
You have polluted in some respects but not grossly, so that
you have a chance to apply the principles of prevention rather

than the much more expensive one, cure, which the
industrialized countries are having to face at the present time.
First, I would like to ask or try to answer the question:
What is ecology? In the first place, ecology is not truly a
scientific discipline; it is more a mode of thought. Literally,
the word means the study of habitats. So it implies looking at
all aspects of the environment, identifying the points at which
knowledge is insufficient, plugging those gaps, and drawing
conclusions. You might say that this is just common sense and
I agree, but it is the kind of common sense based on experi-
ence and applied by disciplined minds.
Ecology started with plants, which are relatively easy to
study because they do not move about very much; it was
developed with animals and now is applied to problems of the


most mobile animal of all, mankind. Today with the aid of new
techniques called 'systems analysis' of computers, much of
ecology is devoted not only to understanding the past and the
present situations, but also to prediction of what will happen
in the future.
The second question which I would like to answer is: What
is conservation? It is different from preservation. Conser-
vation is dynamic, preservation static. Theodore L. Roosevelt
early this century coined the phrase 'conservation through
wise use' which sums it up pretty well. In the 'fifties'
everything was economic development rather than culture,
rather than social development. In 1957 the International
Union of the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
(IUCN) wanting to get away from the preservation idea and to
emphasize economic advantages, described conservation of
natural resources as their use in the best way by the greatest
number of people for the longest possible time. Personally I
feel that this was over-doing it because, while all conservation
of natural resources implies some form of management, the
best management for some of them may be to ensure that they,
at least for the time being, are left alone. For example, there
may be no obvious use today for the gene pools of the unique
plants and animals which exist in the Caribbean Islands. But
surely, they are of value for their own sake and some of them
may become of importance to plant and animal breeders if they
are enabled to survive the hurly burly of development.
In my own international biological programme, we have a
world operation in saving plant gene pools which, in effect, is
saving species; which may or are likely to be of economic
importance in the future.
What do ecology and conservation mean to the Caribbean?
In the context of this Conference, one could perhaps think that
there is an ecology of history; and also of the arts of music,
dance and decor.
I am sure there is an ecology also of economics, and
sometimes I believe that the usual cost benefit analysis of a
development project might, with advantage, be replaced by
ecological criteria and also by social criteria. But in this Con-
ference context, I suggest that two aspects of ecology and
conservation need special emphasis at the present time in the
Caribbean area. One is the importance of studying the eco-
logical effects of development projects before, and I underline
before, decisions are taken to undertake them.
The other is the need to have a series of conservation areas,
national parks and nature reserves and so on, in each country
as yardsticks for study, by which to measure the change
brought by man. So let us examine these two aspects.
Many development schemes in these islands which are
likely to have ecological effects are already in progress or
proposed. Many more will be advanced in future. They include
new roads, water supplies and drainage schemes, mining and
agricultural enterprises, re-afforestation of mountains, creating
new resorts and public facilities on the coast, draining and
filling-in of swamps. Every one of them has influence on the
environment, some relatively obvious, others obscure and
difficult to predict. Ecological study in advance will often
show how modification of a project may remove or, at least,
soften undesirable impacts. It may increase that impact if the
changes are for the better. Do not think that ecologists exist to
hamper progress; often they may point the way to it. But there
may be examples where ecological study reveals that a project
would cause so much ancillary damage to an amenity or a
resource that the project should never be undertaken at all.

In the old days, the planners and the engineers could see all
round a project, and were well experienced in this respect. It is
difficult, I think to fault many of the structural developments
in these islands of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
considering the social values of those times. But today special-
ization is intense and the power of machines is very great so
that the specialist has to be brought in. How many civil
engineers today study local botany in order to determine
appropriate plants to prevent erosion when the soil and rocks
are disturbed? Such was a commonplace in the early days of
railway construction.
Consequently, today the ecological and ancillary effects of
development projects are apt to be forgotten or thrust into a
back place. But the importance of retaining quality in the
environment is at least becoming recognized Those who take
this broad and longer view of the development may draw much
encouragement from a recent pronouncement by Mr.
McNamara, President of the World Bank, that in future
ecological study will form a part of the assessment of all
development schemes submitted to the Bank for finance.
Let us think, for instance, of a project in the special field of
wet land. A project say, to drain a swamp in connection with
the development of a coastal resort. There is much more in a
swamp than the mosquitoes and bugs which may annoy
tourists. Swamps, like forests, have a place in the conservation
of water supply; they have a capacity for using and purifying
pollutants, if this is not overdone; they often support rare and
exciting kinds of plants and animals; and on this account they
may, like the Everglades National Park, for instance, become
an attraction to tourists and the residents also. Each of these
attributes needs examination and assessment before a decision
is taken to destroy a swamp.
Now the second major problem I want to mention can be
dispatched perhaps more quickly, and that is the subject of
conservation of areas national parks and nature reserves.
Frankly, the record of the Caribbean in the conservation of
areas and species does not appear to an outsider to be too good
- in contrast to the strides which Mr Concannon has mentioned
in the related subject of archaeology and historic buildings.
Even from this island of Jamaica a unique Macaw, a giant
Iguana and the Arawak race of Homo sapiens have been wiped
off the earth and many other unique species have gone also or
are liable to do so soon.
Now, international prestige attaches to these matters so I
was disturbed to find in the official list of national parks and
equivalent resources of the world which has been prepared by
the IUCN and accepted by the UN, no firm entry for Jamaica,
and little for the other Caribbean countries. In the eyes of
many, the unique works of natural evolution are as exciting
and beautiful as those of man himself. I am sure that the time
is overdue to recognize this and to adjust the balance before it
is too late.
Fortunately, in these islands there are specialists in botany
and zoology and related subjects who know what areas and
what species are of special value, and a number of persons in
authority recognize the need, not only for well-ordered
recreational areas for the many, but also national parks where
nature can be enjoyed away from too many of ones own
species, and for nature reserves, some of which must be kept
strictly for scientific research and teaching. I admire the
foresight of Jamaica in arranging last year for a group of
conservation specialists to visit this island. In addition to
conserving areas designed wholly for recreation purposes, they


proposed, with the aid of local scientists, some eighteen areas
of national parks and an additional fourteen smaller areas as
nature reserves. Some of these areas, which include marine as
well as land areas, are already under threat of development, so
their designation and development as national parks and
reserves is urgent. One of these areas, Mason River, is already
firmly protected and reserved. Perhaps this conference could
be an occasion to look at this question on the Caribbean scale;
to urge those countries which have not yet done so, to prepare
such a list of sites; and to take appropriate steps to study and
conserve them.
This brings me to a few thoughts about ways and means.
There is so much to be done and so little time before the
damage becomes irreparable and that goes for my own field of
biological conservation just as much as it does for archaeology
and folk lore conservation. To achieve both these objectives
means that for good ecological advice on development
schemes and on conservation areas, a number of specialists
will be needed. Moreover, this is a continuous process, for it is
important not only to have initial study but to follow through
the after effects of conservation. Most clearly a limited one for
there is clearly a limit to the value of short-term visits by
outsiders, however eminent they may be.
Is it not time that the Caribbean trained its own ecologists?
This, indeed, has already started through the Universities. But
if the principle of prediction before prosecution of develop-
ment projects is accepted looking before leaping then a
cadre of ecologists will be needed, woven into the permanent
fabric of government and university. To obtain good students,
this implies an organized service with career prospects and it
also implies a post-graduate training scheme. The cadre of
ecologists must be a matter for each country now to organize.

The systems of government vary and the appropriate agencies
for ecological advice will differ; but I would urge that
ecologists, if appointed, should be kept together as a group to
learn from each other rather than distributed in ones and twos
in the departments of government which particularly need
their services. As to training them, which involves several
disciplines Biology, Geography, Geology and some of the
Social Sciences too surely this might become a co-operative
operation, with perhaps one post-graduate school for the
whole Caribbean.
Finally, I would like to enunciate what I believe to be an
important guiding principle in these matters. In any natural
environment the countless pressures have pulled and pushed to
reach a form of stability not a total stability but one which is
adapted to the daily, seasonal and long-term changes in
climate, water supply, natural erosion, and the productivity of
plant and animal life. Whatever changes are brought by
mankind, nature will tend to pull the environment towards a
new relative stability, which may become better or worse for
It follows from this firstly that development of Caribbean
countries should be a partnership of man with nature, not a
fight between the two.
Secondly, that any natural system should be not drastically
interfered with unless the reasons for doing so are compelling
and over-riding after considering the alternate advantages of
leaving it alone. I believe that if this simple ecological thought
were more often borne in mind, we should not put any brake
on sound development; but we should help to ensure that our
children and our children's children will not blame us for
doing it wrong.
This paper first appeared in JAMAICA JOURNAL 4:4, December 1970

Mountain Peak Coffee

Pe ectionfor the

Discover the extraordinary taste of Jamaica
Mountain Peak Coffee, renowned for its
incredible bouquet and exquisite flavour. This
superb coffee is roasted with expertise
that is a time-honoured
part of our heritage. Salada
Come enjoy the
coffee with us.


Salada Foods Jamaica Ltd.
20 Bell Road, Kingston 11, Jamaica W.I. Tel: 923-7114


Two Canada/Jamaica Green Fund Projects

Former Canadian High Commissioner Kathryn Hewlett Jobes (2nd left) on a tour of the 'Mangrove Boardwalk' (funded by
Green Fund) of the Bluefields Peoples Community Association. Looking on are Green Fund Coordinator, Valerie Gordon,
(2nd right) and members of the Bluefields Peoples Community Association.

The Tropical Learning Centre, an educational resource centre to facilitate implementation of the educational programme of the Hope Zoo. A
contribution ofJ$810,000.00 was made by the Green Fund towards construction of the main building and deck.


he Canada/Jamaica Green Fund
was developed within the context
of increasing environmental degra-
dation in Jamaica. The country faces
major environmental problems including
pollution of the island's interior and
coastal waters; the erosion of the coast as
a result of illegal removal of beach sand;
the subsequent erosion of the remaining
shoreline leading to further vulnerability
of inland areas to coastal flooding; poor
solid waste disposal in and around major
settlements, creating health hazards for
residents; and air pollution caused by
effluent from refineries, power stations,
bauxite and other plants, and the emis-
sions from gas-burning vehicles.
All these problems combine to
diminish the quality of life and threaten
the sustained development of Jamaica.
As a small island, its ecosystem is
closely integrated so that destructive
activities in any one sector often have
far-reaching impact on other sectors. The
damage to the limited resource base of
the island now threatens Jamaica's
economic development and will have
serious repercussions on the potential for
socioeconomic development if action is
not taken to reverse the trend. The health
sector, agriculture and tourism are the
most obvious examples of imminent
The Jamaica National Environment
Action Plan (JANEAP) highlights the
need to address a range of environmental
problems at the community level. As
part of the strategy for accomplishing
this, the Plan identifies the need to
increase national involvement in en-
vironmental issues.
In keeping with this, the regional
policy framework of the Canadian Inter-
national Development Agency (CIDA)
has identified environmental manage-
ment as one of the most important
development challenges facing Jamaica.
It stresses the need to assist Jamaicans to
establish local institutions and com-
munity-based organizations with the
purpose of managing the country's
natural resources in a sustainable
Several of the major environmental
problems which have become increas-
ingly evident in recent years are, in large
part, due to inadequate public awareness
of the issues involved, especially those
associated with solid waste, defor-
estation and coastal pollution. This has
resulted in a lack of meaningful public
participation in the process of managing
the country's natural resources. A





number of events, however, have effec-
tively focused public attention on the
importance of sound environmental
practices. For example, the National
Conservation Strategy Consultations in
1988 generated a great deal of primary
information which previously had not
been readily available to the general
public. Concerns raised at that forum
were among some of the driving forces
which resulted in the formation of
several ENGOs (Environmental Non-
Governmental Organizations) in the
ensuing two to three years.
The May rains of 1991 dramatically
demonstrated the destructive effects of
poor watershed management and defor-
estation to which the consultations had
pointed years before. Many com-
munities, and the country as a whole,
suffered extensive loss of infrastructure
and property as well as accelerated soil
erosion. Episodes such as these con-
tributed to growing public concern about
the state of the island's natural resource
base and pointed to the need for
increased action to alleviate the
Recent government economic poli-
cies have resulted in budgetary re-
sources becoming increasingly limited.
More responsibility has been placed on
individual communities to address their
own needs. As a result, sound natural
resource management has emerged as a
priority for sustained community devel-
opment and is motivating a variety of
environmental initiatives independent of

the government. The evidence is seen in
the establishment of new community-
based environmental groups and a shift
in focus of many existing groups
towards placing more emphasis on
environmental activities.
In recognition of these trends, CIDA
determined that its programme of
assistance for improved environmental
management in Jamaica needed to be
delivered by way of two mechanisms.
The first, the ENACT Programme,
would strengthen the institutional
framework for environmental manage-
ment by supporting organizations such
as the Natural Resources Conservation
Authority and other public sector entities
which play a role in managing the
island's natural resources. The second
would provide grant funds to non-
government organizations and public
environmental awareness activities.
Following consultations with groups
and environmental organizations island-
wide, the latter mechanism emerged as
the Green Fund. It was formally
approved by CIDA in February 1992
and began operations in July of that year.
The project was to provide Cdn$2
million over a four-year period and
would address sub-projects, depending
on the particular priorities and capacities
of the target partner groups involved,
including NGOs and community
institutions such as schools, churches,
service clubs, women's organizations
and youth groups.
Proposals submitted to the Green
Fund are screened by the Coordinating
Unit and then reviewed by a Project
Advisory Committee (PAC), which
makes recommendations for approval to
the Head of the Development Assistance
Section of the Canadian High Com-
mission. The PASC is multi-disciplinary
in nature, comprised as it is of repre-
sentatives from the Natural Resources
Conservation Authority, the Social
Development Commission, the National
Environment Societies Trust, the Assoc-
iation of Development Agencies, the
Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica
and two representatives of the ENGO
community, viz. the Portland Environ-
mental Protection Association and the
Negril Coral Reef Society. The sterling
contribution of this committee has stood
the Green Fund in good stead and has
been a major factor in the high rate of
success in the implementation of our
projects. To date, just under Cdn.$1
million has been disbursed to some
sixty-eight projects. Contrary to


commonly held perceptions regarding
the accountability of NGOs and com-
munity groups, the Green Fund has
found these groups to be highly respon-
sible regarding expenditure of grant
funds. Reporting requirements are met
in the great majority of cases. Gentle
prodding brings the others quickly into
Most of the funding has been spent
on public education activities ranging
from the staging of dramatic productions
to community seminars, testing of
school curricula materials and support
for community-based resource centres.
Environmental health and sanitation
projects have also benefited con-
siderably from the fund. Support for the
island's first wind energy turbine, the
first community-based fuelwood nursery
and a project to upgrade the country's
ability to conserve endemic plant
species are achievements of which the
Green Fund is particularly proud.
The Green Fund makes efforts to
coordinate with the Environmental
Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) to avoid
duplication and overlapping of activ-
ities. The two mechanisms generally
complement each other well and have
co-funded a number of activities. The
Fund also works in tandem with the
Canada Fund for Local Initiative, which
finances community-based development
efforts, and looks forward to working
closely with CIDA's ENACT pro-
gramme when that comes on stream.
As the Green Fund approaches its
final year of operation, and the findings
of a mid-term evaluation are made
known, it is obvious that for the Fund to

remain relevant, the focus of the project
will have to be reviewed and redefined.
The chief beneficiaries of the Project
have matured and their needs are
changing. In 1992 when the project was
being developed, CIDA project manage-
ment efforts were governed by
'Management by Objectives' but now
the thrust is toward 'Results Based
Management'. The need to focus more
on results was emphasized by a recent
evaluation of the Green Fund which
recommended that the goals and
objectives of the Project should be more
sharply focused and more 'measurable'.
The development of a strategic plan was
also recommended to guide the im-
plementation of an extension phase of
the Project. The challenge will be to
integrate the required changes into the
Project while maintaining those positive
attributes perceived by clients, decision
makers, and the wider NGO community
regarding the Fund. The evaluation
revealed that the Fund was described as
being 'accessible, responsive, non-
bureaucratic, efficient and client-
focused' by these groups. Further, they
said that the Project should continue in
the same vein but that it should be
extended and be given an increased
The climate for increased en-
vironmental activity (advocacy, con-
servation, awareness) is as good as it has
ever been and several donors are
becoming involved. On the public sector
side, the NRCA is extremely supportive
of local action by citizens and co-
management of natural resources with
community groups and NGOs. It has

also been working hard to recruit the
private sector. Many of these organi-
zations have a wide range of reasons for
joining the projects, including global
trends and trade imperatives, as well as
the spectre of the 'stick' (of 'Carrot and
Stick' fame) soon to be wielded under
the NRCA Act
Several NGOs are well positioned to
undertake management of significant
sections of the island's natural resource
base. The Montego Bay Marine Park
and the Blue and John Crow Mountains
Park have been joined by the proposed
Port Antonio Marine Park, the Negril
Marine Park and the Portland Bight/
Hellshire Hills Conservation Area as
areas to be managed by NGOs. A major
concern for these groups is supporting
their long-term financial viability, and a
great deal of effort is being expended on
solving this problem. For the less-
developed groups, there is a need to
structure and formalize their organi-
zations. Entities such as NEST, working
in collaboration with the USAID-funded
DEMO (Development of Environmental
Management Organisations) Project,
have done much to assist this
The Green Fund expects the years
ahead to be exciting indeed as these
activities unfold, and eagerly anticipates
continuing to be part of the process.

Canada/Jamaica Green Fund
8 Dominica Drive,
Kingston 5, Jamaica.
Tel.: (809) 929-3597-8

i -AutEyre-Honorary Research Fellow of the Geography
I 'iepartent of the UWI, has been writing on environmental topics
I many year and internationally known for his work on tropical
Sforests. -

Rhema Kerr, a graduate of ULWI, is Director of the Hope Zoo and
a member of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation
Network (WIDESCAN).

Catherine Levy, immediate Past President of the Society of
Caribbean Ornithology and of the Gosse Bird Club, is Caribbean
Liaison Officer for the international organization. Partners in

Susan Otuokon. a graduate of UWI, gained her MSc in Aquatic
Resource Management at London University. She is Director of
Programmes at JCDT.

Ann Haynes-Sutton, an ecological consultant with a special
interest in wildlife and habitat conservation and management, has
worked with the NRCA and was a founder member of the JCDT.

Robert Sutton, one of Jamaica's leading field ornithologists, is co-
author with Audrey Downer of Birds of Jamaica a photographic
field guide.

Barry Wade. Chairman and Consulting Principal of Environmental
Solutions Ltd.. has been a contributor to JAMAICA JOURNAL on
environmental topics for over two decades.



The market goes up, the marker goes down -
It s the natural way for things to go.
There is never a guarantee
that it will go in any particular way.
But, one thing is sure, the best time
to buy is NOW.

And, the best way to take advantage of
this opportunity is through the Jamaica
Unit Trust Investment Funds -
The Capitol Growth Fund,
The Income & Growth Fund
and the Giltedge Fund.

Giltedge Fund
This is a new investment
opportunity that is meant to keep
your money or work. growing in
value and earning you bonus
units, distributed twice yearly
to increase the value of
your investment.

Duy units in the Capital
Growth Fund and shore in
on investment pool created
to increase the value of
your money through
tax-free Capital Growth.

Take our advice
dmake r move
An investment in this Fund
gives you the best of both
worlds. The pooled
investments are carefully
managed to produce
dividend earnings for the Unit
Holder while the units also
accumulate growth value.

Call Jamaica Unit Trust Services,
or any branch of Scoriabank,
the Workers Bank,
National Commercial Dank
or your Stockbroker today.


50 Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston, Kingston 5
Tel: (809)9(8-7000-1, )926-6758, (809)9298135. (809)968-74867.
Fax: (809) 920-1055 Trustees Scotlabank Jamaulk Trust & Merchant Bank Ltd.

Pioneers in Unit Trust Investments.

I I I .1
1117-1111K I=

Glimpses of Jamaica's Natural History

The Mason River Field Station

T he Natural History A
Division of the
Institute of Jamaica
has in its care, the
Mason River Field
Station which lies
some 6.5 kilometres
out of Kellits on the
borders of St Ann and
Clarendon. The Station
covers 80.8 hectares
of which 47 hectares
comprise the nature
reserve. It is sur-
rounded by a com-
munity with a strong
farming tradition and, j1
at times, a view of the
property as potentially
prime farm land.
The area was first
brought to the attention
of the Natural History
Division in 1956 when
it was identified, quite
accidentally, as a
result of aerial photo-
graphy. The distinctive
feature was the exis-
tence of a bog 704
metres, above sea
metrS above sea The insectivorous Sundew (Drosero Capill.
level! Because of its
unique features, the Field Station has become an area of
significant interest to scientists word wide.
Unimposing at first glance, this nature reserve abounds
in plant life found nowhere else in Jamaica. Originally
dense forest, many of the original large trees have been
cut down or destroyed by fire. Nevertheless, the reserve is
home to over 400 species of fern and flowering plants.
Several are found only in the reserve, that is, they are
endemic to the area and hence endemic to Jamaica.
The reserve is home also to the insectiverous plant
Drosera capillaris, the Sundew. Native to Jamaica and
other tropical areas, this plant is of particular interest
because of its method of feeding. It grows in acidic soils


deficient in nitrogen.
The plant obtains the
necessary nitrogen
from insects which it
traps in the sticky
secretions found on
f the tips of hairs
S growing on the leaf
blades. It then pro-
duces digestive juices
which liquify the insect
so that it can then be
absorbed by the plant.
To date, Mason River
is the only locality
recorded in Jamaica in
which the Sundew
The Institute of
Jamaica, through the
"' Natural History Divi-
sion, has been main-
4 training this Field
Station for thirty-one
years. Lack of ade-
quate funds has made
it difficult to develop the
Station as a vibrant
research centre or to
is) aineFisher provide programmes
for the surrounding
community, and the wider society, on the importance of
the Station as a wildlife reserve.
Recently, however, through the Cultural Heritage Fund,
the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica has granted
$750,000 for the development and execution of an
education programme for the community, refurbishing of
buildings, repairs to fencing and the possible entombing of
one of the three springs as a possible water source for the
community. The project will be carried out by IOJ's Natural
History Division. The Institute considers this a wonderful
opportunity for further development of the Mason River
Field Station.

Prepared by the Natural History Division, Institute of Jamaica

Jamaica's leading cultural magazine

* excellent writing Jamaica history, art and science
* unusual photographs recorded for you in a readable
and attractive style
in depth look at aspects of Jamaican culture
Have this quality magazine delivered to you by mail.

Fill out the subscription form overleaf
Your subscription ends with Vol........... No..........


JAMAICA JOURNAL Subscription Form
ANNUAL RATE (3 issues)
OVERSEAS (2nd class airmail included)
Jamaica $600.00 U.K (a) Individual 15.00 U.S.A. (a) Individual $25.00
(b) Institution 20.00 (b) Institution $30.00
* Please add J$ '.00 if you are purchasing a gift
Subscription in Jamaican Dollars to be mailed overseas.

* From
Amt enclosed Make Cheque payable to
Institute of Jamaica Publications Ltd.
2A Suthermere Road, Kingston 10
Start Subscription with Vol......... No.......... Current issue

Marcus Teaches Us by Eleanor Wint

Stone Haven by Evan Jones

Other Products
sold by IOJP



Among our wide range of Titles are the following:-
History & Culture
Jamaican Folk Tales and Oral Histories by Laura Tanna
(Also available on Video and Audio Cassettes)
Port Royal by Clinton Black
Jamaica Surveyed by Barry Higman
Working Together for Development by Norman Girvan (ed)
The Rebel Women in the British West Indies During Slavery
by Lucille Mathurin-Mair
Lady Nugent's Journal of her Residence in Jamaica 1801-1805
by Philip Wright (ed)
Heritage Series
When Me Was A Boy by Charles Hyatt
Stella Seh by Barbara Gloudon
From Our Yard Poetry since Independence by Pamela Mordecai

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs