March 23, 2011
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is to provide oversight and technical support for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) and two of the islands Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) located in Western Jamaica.
On Tuesday, 15 March, 2011 the NRCA signed the MOU with the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society (NCRPS) and the Negril Area Environmental Protection Trust (NEPT) for the management of the Negril Marine Park. The two-year agreement will empower the two organizations to undertake specific day-to-day management activities on behalf of the NRCA. Funding by the NRCA will cover staff and other operational expenses for one year - in the first instance. The National Environment and Planning Agency will have oversight responsibility and provide technical support to the two entities.
Negril Marine Park was designated a marine park on 4 March 1998 by the Natural Resources (Negril Marine Park) Order under the Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act. The park is an area of approximately 185 km2 extending from Davis Cove in the parish of Hanover to St. John’s Point in Westmoreland. The boundaries of the park begin at high water mark on shore to approximately 3.2km out to sea. The area contains a wide range of physical features and bio-diversity, including beaches, estuaries, coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangrove communities, rocky shores and cliffs. It provides several national benefits including tourism, recreation, fishing, education and research.
This MOU marks the first between the NRCA, the NCRPS and NEPT for the management of the park. In 2002, the NRCA collaborated with NCRPS to manage the Marine Park, when the NRCA delegated management of the area to the organization under a five-year agreement. A one year MOU was also signed in 2008 with NCRPS.