Support for REDD+ readiness in Jamaica

IIED is supporting the government of Jamaica with readiness for Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). This support will enable Jamaica to prepare a National REDD+ Strategy for a low-carbon and climate-resilient society. 

June 2020 - June 2022
Duncan Macqueen

Director of forests, Natural Resources research group

Localising forest-climate action
A programme of work engaging with locally-controlled forestry organisations to upscale effective climate change adaptation, resilience and mitigation through the restoration of forest landscape biodiversity
A scenic shot of forest with two waterfalls

A scenic shot from Jamaica – the 'land of wood and water' (Photo: Duncan Macqueen, IIED)

Jamaica is currently engaged in the first of three REDD+ phases, the 'readiness' phase. This will build capacity towards a National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS), Forest Reference Emissions Level (FREL) and Safeguard Information System such that Jamaica can qualify for 'implementation' (phase two) and 'payments-for-results' (phase three).

Results-based payments can help Jamaica meet its Forest Policy Vision (PDF) that "by 2062, Jamaica’s forests and its biodiversity are sufficiently restored and sustainably managed, so once again the island can adequately be described as 'the land of wood and water'".

A National REDD+ Strategy for Jamaica holds considerable economic promise. It can:

  • Mobilise foreign exchange in the form of carbon finance behind green development
  • Help agriculture to diversify into climate-smart agroforestry that helps import substitution and improves food security
  • Upgrade Jamaica’s tourism brand around environmental sustainability and help diversify attractions beyond 'sun, sea and sand', and
  • Help re-green post-mining lands – always with an eye on benefits to the poor.  

What is IIED doing?

An IIED-led consortium is supporting Jamaica’s Forestry Department through a Green Climate Fund (GCF) project, managed by the climate change division of Jamaica’s Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change.

A collaborative approach is being taken to ensure Jamaican leadership is designing a strategy that is equitable, sustainable and effective. The partners are as follows:

  • IIED is managing the project and leads on the policy, legislative and institutional gap analysis, and the drafting of the National REDD+ Strategy
  • A geospatial team from the University of Edinburgh leads the assessment of land use and land use change drivers of deforestation and forest degradation – and the upgrading of geospatial capability in Jamaica
  • CIVITAS is leading stakeholder assessments, a gender strategy development, the development of a safeguard information system and grievance mechanisms, and
  • Jamaican partners Nicole West-Hayles and Ryan Lee are leading stakeholder communications and outreach.

The final outputs of the project include Jamaica’s National REDD+ Strategy and two concept notes for submission to the GCF. These concept notes offer a springboard towards Jamaica’s first attempts to implement the strategy.

The hope is this work will ultimately support Jamaica in its ambitions to ensure it can meet the social, economic and ecological needs of current and future generations.