Category Archives: Feature Article
NEGRIL, Westmoreland. 23 June 2015 — The Negril Area Environmental Protection Trust (NEPT), as part of its mandate to manage the Negril Marine Park, recently hosted an awareness-raising workshop to benefit local community stakeholders.
Held on June 10, the workshop attracted the participation of more than 75 participants, among them water sports operators and fisher folk from the five main fishing beaches in the park — Green Island, Orange Bay, Negril, Little Bay, and Broughton.
“The objective of the workshop was to highlight the breaches in the Negril Marine Park as well as to improve the stakeholders understanding of the importance of Special Fishery Conservation Areas, the Marine Park Regulations and the Negril Marine Park Zoning Plan,” said a release from NEPT.
“The overarching goal is to stimulate self-governance or regulation amongst the stakeholders. This will ensure that proper practices are carried out in the Negril Marine Park, thus reducing the expenses incurred in boat patrols and other costly enforcement activities,” the release added.
The day’s event was chaired by NEPT Executive Director Keisha Spencer. who, together with Antoneisha Dunn, a Marine Park Ranger/Fisheries Warden, engaged participants in a pre-test to gauge their understanding of the importance of a marine park, user zones within marine parks and the rules that should govern marine parks.
With that foundation laid, a series of presentations were done, including one from Jean Brown, president of the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society, on the history of the Negril Marine Park and the Negril Environmental Protection Area (EPA); and another from Ranya Reid-Edwards, an environmental officer from the National Environment and Planning Agency, on the Negril Marine Park Zoning Plan.
“This presentation [by Reid-Edwards] was key as user conflicts often arise in particular no-fishing zones and motorized craft activities in non-motorized zones. The plan is a five-year one and when gazetted will make the Negril Marine Park the first to have a zoning plan,” the release said.
Other presentations included Dr. Karl Aiken’s ‘Fish Sanctuaries In Jamaica: Success Through Enforcement’.
Aiken — a senior lecturer in marine zoology at the Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, Mona — highlighted the need for mechanisms to address the decline in fish stocks in Jamaica, the establishment of sanctuaries as an important mechanism, the success stories in Jamaica, and the benefits to fisher folks when they obey the laws governing special fishery conservation areas.
The workshop concluded with presentation of prizes and a documentation of next steps.
Participants received a variety of prizes, which were awarded for categories such as The Most Indigent Fisherman, The Longest Fishing Fisherman, The Most Knowledgeable Fisherman, The Most Principled Fisherman, The Model Fisherman, and The Best Attendant.
“Next steps from the workshop will include NEPT continuing its monthly outreach meetings with the fishing groups and more so to develop alternative livelihood projects that will support fisher folks [who] are currently engaged in spear fishing. Spear fishing is illegal in a marine park,” the release noted.
“NEPT will also work with the groups to build their capacity and to implement projects that will provide sustainable funding to improve the natural resources in the area and demarcation of the zones in the park to ensure compliance,” it added.
As a part of the next steps, the NEPT team engaged marine police officers in a familiarisation tour of the Negril Marine Park.
“The officers were taken to the northern end of the Negril Marine Park and key areas where breaches were highlighted such as the dive and snorkel sites, swimmers lane and non-motorised zone and conservation zones,” the release revealed.
“The boundaries of the Orange Bay Special Fishery Conservation Area were also shown to the Officers. The familiarisation tour was done as one means of strengthening the collaboration with the Negril Marine Police officers and also to aid in bridging current enforcement gaps,” it said further.
The Negril Marine Park was officially declared on March 4, 1998 and covers a total area of approximately 160 km2, extending from Davis Cove River in Hanover to St. John’s Point in Westmoreland. The boundaries of the park begin at the high water mark on shore to approximately two miles (3.2 km) out to sea.
For more information, contact:
Ms. Keisha Spencer
Eleven Civil society organisations and six Journalists on Thursday joined forces to see how they could best communicate biodiversity and conservation issues in the Dominican Republic using both traditional and social media.
Climate Change Destroying Fishermen’s Livelihood in Jamaica – Special Reports from UN Climate Talks in Durban, South Africa
Panos Caribbean & CCMP – Durban, South Africa, December 2011 -As Climate Change talks enter the second week in Durban, South Africa, Jamaican journalist Carol Francis of Jamaica News Network, JNN, talks to fishermen from the Greenwich Beach Fishing Village in Kingston, Jamaica about how climate change has affected their trade. Carol is one of several journalists from the Caribbean currently attending the global two-week conference.
The serious impact of climate change is felt more severely by those most vulnerable to the global phenomenon and persons in small, rural communities in the Caribbean are among those who will be most affected.
Stanford Gordon, who has been a fisherman for more than 30 years explained that things are so bad that he is seriously thinking about giving up fishing.
According to Gordon, warming coastal waters, and the destruction of coral reefs have seen their catches dwindle. Increasingly frequent hurricanes often means it’s too dangerous to go to sea. Many fear what the future holds.
“We having more storms than years ago and it destroy the coral on the bottom of the sea,’ one of the fishermen explained.
“It mash up fisherman life of living! And nobody cares for us! Nobody!” Another declared bitterly.
Listen to the fishermen talk about the crisis they are facing here: [audio:http://panoscaribbean.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Jamaican-Fishermen-Lament-the-Impacts-of-Climate-Change-PANOS-CCMP.mp3|titles=Jamaican Fishermen Lament the Impacts of Climate Change PANOS-CCMP]
By Andrea Downer, Journalist
Kingston, Jamaica. July 8, 2011- Panos Caribbean kicked off its 25th anniversary celebrations in last month by showcasing the organisation’s work in environment at the annual Green Expo which was held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica from June 10-12, 2011.
The Green Expo is an environment exposition organized by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT). The expo is usually held during the national environment awareness week, which this year started on World Environment Day, June 5th.
“We decided to take a thematic approach to highlight the work we are doing. So since environment is the area with the most activities right now, we decided to start there,” explained Jan Voordouw, Executive Director of Panos while adding that Panos’ Environment Programme started in 2005.
Panos Caribbean is a regional organization which helps journalists to cover sustainable development issues that are overlooked and misunderstood. We also help people who are affected by certain issues to express themselves through the media, and as such participate in arriving at solutions. Panos focuses on themes which transcend national boundaries, such as child rights, HIV/AIDS, environmental degradation, gender and community solutions to development challenges.
Panos works to ensure that development information is effectively used to foster informed public debate, to promote participation by all groups in society and achieve accountability of leaders and policy makers.