Friday, June 17, 2011

Jamaica’s Coastal Capital at Risk: Report from the Field

A new economic valuation shows what Jamaica’s economy stands to lose if its coral reefs decline further.

Last week, I traveled to Jamaica with my colleagues Lauretta Burke and Benjamin Kushner to launch a new analysis called Coastal Capital: Jamaica – The Economic Contribution of Jamaica’s Coral Reefs. We spent several rainy days in Kingston, where we launched the report at two events, met with many members of Jamaica’s environmental community, and sampled delicious (but spicy) Jamaican cuisine. The sun came out near the end of the week, which allowed us to get out to the beach and see some coral reefs before heading back home.

Our first stop was the Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals’ (JIEP) bi-annual conference in Kingston. This year’s conference theme was “Balancing National Development and Environmental Protection,” and WRI officially launched Coastal Capital: Jamaica. We followed this launch event with a three-hour seminar on our results at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus. More than 80 people attended the two events, including some of the key players in environmental policy and coastal management in the country. Two of Jamaica’s national newspapers also covered the report, headlining the importance of the country’s coral reefs to its tourism and fishing industries. More >>>

Location: Cayman Islands