Land & Coastal Projects

Rescuing Our Mangroves: The Southern Clarendon Jamaica Mangroves Project

Along the south coast of Jamaica, known as Southern Clarendon, there is a 40 km-long coastline that should have healthy mangroves for all the ecosystem services these marine forests provide. However, of over 3,500 hectares of mangroves along this coast, more than 1,600 are dead and much of the rest is imperilled. Among the major contributors to the death of the mangroves are changes in hydrology arising from coastline alterations after large storms, falloff in agriculture and hence irrigation water flows, human impact through ill-conceived engineering works such as roads and train tracks that bisect mangroves; and felling of mangroves trees to produce charcoal by local communities.

UWI Solutions for Developing Countries (UWI SODECO), an international research entity within the Vice-Chancellery, located at the Mona Campus, is currently implementing a project to sustainably restore damaged acreages of these mangroves. The IDB has contributed a US$2.45 million grant towards funding for the rehabilitation of the Southern Clarendon mangroves.

One of UWI SODECO’s major areas of focus is the rehabilitation and protection of coastal forests which contribute greatly to resilience to climate change and to the preservation and enhancement of livelihoods of individuals and communities.