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by Kesha Stewart | Associate Writer
We do get on about the attractiveness of Jamaica as a country and some places are absolutely breathtaking.
Negril is one such location. It is a delightfully captivating bit of real estate. What’s more, it has accounted for millions of happy memories and fulfilled vacation dreams over several decades.
Stakeholders are increasingly cognizant that if Negril, Jamaica is to remain on future travellers’ bucket lists then there must be ongoing work to restore, preserve and improve its environment. There must be consistent attempts to make sustainable environmental practices a way of life for the average person.
At present, there are many efforts to keep Negril environmentally stable. There is a recycling centre, a protected area has been declared and groups and people are working to make the sea around Negril beautiful for the years to come with their efforts to replenish the corals continuously.
A recycling facility located along Nonpariell road, a collaboration between the Negril Chamber of Commerce (NCC) and The Recycling Partners of Jamaica (RPJ). The Negril Recycling Centre collects certain types of waste not just from Negril but from other parts of the parish.
It's a great initiative that helps reduce the volume of waste taken to the Retirement Landfill in St. James. Sadly, in late 2017 the residents were greeted with the unwelcomed news that a severe fire had caused much damage. In recent times the NCC were the recipient of a grant through the Digicel Foundation which went toward restoring a section of the roof as well as electricity to the facility.
The NCC helps to make environmental awareness a big deal by promoting it in advertisements or through forums and outreach programmes. The facility is limited to the recycling of plastic and glass bottles, for now, however, they plan to expand into other types of waste including styrofoam and cardboard.
The resorts, other business and community members are onboard and the RPJ are looking to acquire a truck to collect the garbage more efficiently from their target areas.
At the hub of this is a coral tree nursery. It supports the growth of 3,600 coral pieces of acropora plamata (plahora) and acropora cervicornis (staghora).
The nursery, located in the Orange Bay Fishery Conservation Area, is designed to strengthen Negril’s resilience against the impact of climate change, increase coral diversity, contribute to coral restoration and by and large bolster the availability of fish in the area.
It will also do wonders for the diving and snorkelling experience for those who love underwater sights and experiences.
The nursery is a way to support the long-term restoration of corals because they are aiming to plant 3,600 pieces each year at the restoration sites.
The Negril Area Environmental Protection Trust (NEPT) designed and implemented the project with funding from the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ), through their Special Climate Change Adaptation Fund which comes from the Special Climate Change Adaptation Grant.
The programme forms part of the Government’s Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR), a thrust to make Jamaica climate resilient. The Programme is funded through the Climate Investment Funds from the Inter-American Development Bank and The World Bank.
The Tourism Enhancement Fund, the Tourism Development Company, the Negril Chamber of Commerce, and regular everyday folk support the project. If you love nature or are a dive enthusiast you will love this project. I think it will help Negril continue being the fabulous tourist destination it is now.
You may email firstname.lastname@example.org for updates on the organization’s work and to learn how you may contribute to this initiative.
The Royal Palm Reserve once joined in the mission to maintain Negril’s biodiversity; it has since shut its doors to the public.
While open, the reserve was described as “perfect” by nature enthusiasts. Located in Negril's Great Morass, the Royal Palm Reserve operated as an “educational and tranquil eco-tourism attraction.” The green carpet was rolled out just for you to enjoy.
The private tour allowed you to interact with literally hundreds of exotic species. It was a top spot for ornithologists and birders.
Each tour ended with a satisfying lunch at an authentic Jamaican Restaurant.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the Negril Great Morass. A wonderful part of Negril's biodiversity.
It is the second largest wetland area in Jamaica and definitely one of the largest coastal wetland ecosystems in the entire Caribbean region. The area is known to be inhabited by several endemic Jamaican wildlife species while also hosting internationally recognised migratory species as well.
This area features magnificent open waters, marsh and mudflats, mangroves, terrestrial forest, and swamp forest as its main habitats. Within the swamp forest, you will see significant representation from the Royal Palm Reserve and the Bull Thatch.
A little background on the Negril area Environmental Protection Trust (NEPT)
NEPT is a non-profit, NGO that “serves the Negril Environmental Protection Area by Conserving and Protecting the environment to achieve a better quality of life for present and future generations.” It was formed in 1994 and is a registered company.
NEPT has six strategic programme areas:
“NEPT represents the environmental and sustainable development concerns of the Negril Environmental Protection Area.”
Personally, I think the groups and individuals are to be lauded for the effort they are making to preserve the environment in the Negril area.
It would be great to see more stakeholders coming on board in whatever way they can to make Negril environmentally stable both now and in the future.
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Biodiversity In Negril | Written: August 30, 2022