Catch & Release - GOJ/GEF/IDB Yallahs Hope Project Catch & Release Volume 1: July - December 2016 - Page 4

Managing Watersheds with Farmers:

Project Objectives in Action

The Yallahs and Hope River WMUs are home to over 15,000 farmers and represent 7% of Jamaica’s farmlands. The care and management of these farmlands play an integral role in the health of the watersheds.

Traditional practices such as the wide scale destruction of trees or clearing of vegetation through slash and burn which once led to increased soil erosion, forest fires and the loss of biodiversity are now being replaced with new habits such as planting along the contours, applying agro-forestry methods and using natural vegetation as supportive services in extreme weather.

Farmers are leading the change process, learning from each other and practicing in their fields. With these new habits on the verge of becoming norm, the goal of implementing sustainable livelihoods agriculture and forestry will be achieved. The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and the Forestry Department are key partners in helping our farmers understand the connection between their practices and the wider natural environment.

The conservation of the biodiversity and the watershed’s resources is heading in the right direction.