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Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT)

The Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT), established in 1988, operates with the aim of promoting environmental conservation and sustainable development for the benefit of Jamaica and its people. They assume responsibility for the conservation and management of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park.

Covering an area of 101,313 acres in Eastern Jamaica, the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park spans four parishes and soars to a height of 2,256 metres. The range is not only an iconic landmark having played a central role in shaping Jamaican society and sustaining its quality of life, but it is also one of the richest natural and cultural sites in the world.

The natural environment of the emerald mountains which forms the skyline of eastern Jamaica is as aesthetic as it is functional. It is one of two known habitats in Jamaica of the giant swallowtail butterfly, the largest butterfly in the Western Hemisphere, as well as home to the Jamaican boa and the endangered Jamaican coney. Additionally, an obvious biodiversity hub, the park is one of the largest migratory bird habitats in the Caribbean with over 200 species of birds, including the endangered Jamaican blackbird.

The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park is protected under the Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act, Forestry Act and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust Act. The site has joined the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Egypt as an area of universal value; deserving of special protection. In 2015, the Blue and John Crow Mountains were designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Recognized for both its natural and cultural significance, the range is the only mixed site in the Caribbean, and one of only 35 mixed sites in the world.

Blue Mountain Boundary Defence and Protection Project

<i class="fas fa-chevron-right"></i> <i class="fas fa-chevron-down"></i> 2017 - 2019: Phase 1

The Blue Mountain Boundary Defence and Protection Project was an undertaking of the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT). The overall goal of the initiative was to protect the existing forest of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park from encroachment and to address land degradation in the park’s established buffer zone.

In this phase, the aim of JCDT was to ensure the protection of biodiversity throughout the area while safeguarding the water supply in Kingston and the wider eastern Jamaica region. In addition, their activities also contributed to Jamaica’s climate change adaptation and mitigation effort.

The two-year project:

- Identified key boundaries where encroachment was a problem in order to enhance enforcement and compliance.
- Raised awareness regarding the National Park’s boundaries and relevant legislation.

To achieve the first objective, the JCDT team used surveying techniques in the field to locate the surveyor’s monuments. They marked the boundary physically with markers which included the planting of a line of distinctive Blue Mahoe trees.

To achieve the second objective, the boundary was walked with park rangers, community leaders and community members. Additionally, JCDT held meetings to address concerns and to explain the importance of retaining the forest. The signs and markers they placed also raised awareness as to the location of the boundary and the importance of avoiding encroachment.

<i class="fas fa-chevron-right"></i> <i class="fas fa-chevron-down"></i> 2020 - 2023: Phase 2

In this phase, the three-year project:

1. Completed the ongoing project by:
• Establishing and maintaining a 3.5km of firebreak in the invasive grass from the Cinchona side.
• Planting and maintaining at least 3,500 Blue Mahoe along the 9.4km boundary.
• Securing community “buy-in” through outreach and training.
• Increasing enforcement and compliance patrols in the area.

2. Established a trail from Abbey Green to Cinchona that would assist in attracting volunteers and support from the local community while also providing opportunities for income generation.

3. Raised funds for a 4WD vehicle that will be utilized for both this project's implementation and the JCDT's activities in the National Park as a whole.


To learn more about the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust, please use the following links:

Website: https://www.jcdt.org.jm/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlueMountainsJamaica/

Project Location: St. Andrew and St. Thomas

Area of Intervention

• Conservation of Jamaica’s Natural Environment

• Sustainable Environmental Development

All donations are managed by the board of trustees of the C.B. Facey Foundation and the Jamaica Conservation Partners.

All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Friends in the United States will also receive tax-deductible benefits by making a donation through the American Friends of Jamaica website payable to the Friends of The C.B. Facey Foundation.