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Abstract Detail

Greater Caribbean Biodiversity and its Eco-physiology: Sustainability or degradation in next 50 years?

Carby, Barbara [1], McDonald, Franklin [2], Thorhaug, Anitra [3].

A Jamaican Model of Sustaining Plant Resources for Caribbean Nations.

Since Columbus's first trip past the Jamaican coast, the European Colonists exploited the Islands' terrestrial and marine biodiversity. After the Jamaican Independence (August, 1962), Parliament created regulations for managing the Plant resources from forests to natural lands. The present system of management tools for sustaining Botanical resources evolved Post-Independence partially with the United Nations, include the following: 1.) Anticipatory prevention by planning for disasters (mudslides, hurricanes, earthquakes, oil spills, forest fires, drought, insect infestations); 2.) Ecosystem Restoration techniques (reforestation, wetland, seagrass , and coral restoration); 3.) Careful tracking of plant resources. The Jamaican Disaster Assistance office created policy and practice to assist in attempting to save resources during catastrophic events such as oil spills, hurricanes, and earthquakes. They also trained equivalent environmental and disaster assistance managers in the Commonwealth Caribbean nations, and finally throughout the Caribbean Antilles. Laws and regulations for environmental management, voted into place by parliament, administered by the Department of Natural Resources Conservation and National Environmental and Planning Administration include permitting of effluents, takings¯ of resources, and finally planning of urbanization and industry occurred, including, mining, lumbering and woodworking, farm effluents. Assessment of plant resources included interactions of wildlands with agriculture, coffee plantations, real estate development and lumbering. There are 40 parks and reserves throughout the country. These Parks along with and their first underwater parks helping sustainability critical to the tourism sector of the national economy. The 10,944 km2 Island has interior mountain ranges to 2290m. During three centuries massive deforestation occurred changing Arawak wildlands into intensive agriculture on coastal plains and slopes. Jamaica was never attached to any mainland, thus presently containing an unusually high numbers of endemic species (830) of the 3003 species of flowering plants and 82% or 579 fern species. The 780 km2 national Blue Mountains and John Crow Parks have 600 species of flowering plants with 87 endemics .Cockpit Country has 1500 species of vascular plants of which 400 are endemic , Orchidaceae, Rubiaceae, and Compositacea are chief groups. The marine ecosystems, riverine, and high mountain forests are major tourist attractions. Biodiversity has shown 87 species of endemic plants. The coasts are surrounded by fringing coral reefs, and seagrass beds, badly damaged around urban centers, but of prime importance to local fisheries and highly critical for tourism and have high biodiversity, needing protection from passing vessels and development.

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
Greater Caribbean Energy and Environment Foundation restoration projects
Centre for Sustainablity Univ. West Indies
Disaster Reduction Risk Centre Univ. West Indies, Mona, Jamaica

1 - University of the West Indies, Disaster Risk Reduction Centre , Mona , Kingston, Jamaica
2 - University of West Indies, Institute for Sustainable Development, MOna Campus, KIngston, Jamaica
3 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 370 Prospect St. , New Haven , Ct., 06511, USA

Endemic Jamaican species
anticipatory environmental management
disaster response for flora
oil spill response
restoration plant resources
seagrass restoration.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY11
Location: Rosedown/Riverside Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Time: 4:00 PM
Number: SY11006
Abstract ID:221
Candidate for Awards:None

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