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Climate Change Adaptation Programme

The impacts of climate change are already affecting the PBPA in the form of floods, droughts and hurricanes of increased power. Immediate measures that are needed include increasing awareness, especially of the importance of natural ecosystems such as forests and mangroves in reducing climate change impacts.

In 2009, C-CAM implemented a pilot project which included piloting a variety of approaches such as rainwater harvesting, developing materials for use in schools,and the creation of a manual for community leaders involved in the review of Environmental Impact Assessments and other activities.

Problems

Impacts of climate change that are already affecting Portland Bight include:

  • sea level rise
  • increased severity of storms and hurricanes
  • changes in the amount and intensity of rainfall leading to increased floods and droughts
  • increased temperatures
  • increased vulnerability to storm surge

Despite several information programmes, awareness of issues and the importance of strategies to reduce the effects of climate change remains low. This is particularly evident in land use planning. In particular, there are proposals for an industrial zone in western Portland Bight, which is one of the most vulnerable coastlines in Jamaica.

Ongoing Measures

  1. NEPA and PIOJ are implementing a climate change project, which will fund the installation of marker buoys in Salt Harbour and Galleon Harbour SFMAs as well as the placement of Wave Attenuation Devices (WADs) within Old Harbour and NEPA mangrove replanting at Portland Cottage.
  2. A climate change strategy for the PBPA is being developed under the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund project.
  3. A Livelihood Baseline Assessment and Disaster Risk Analysis has been funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.