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Jamaica Ridge to Reef Watershed (R2RW) Project



USAID/Jamaica has a long history of providing assistance to the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA). They are currently working together to improve the quality of key natural resources in selected areas that are both environmentally and economically significant, by increasing the adoption of environmentally sound practices and policies, improving effectiveness of wastewater management, and increasing the capacity of key agencies in the Government of Jamaica.

Two important projects: The Coastal Water Improvement Project (CWIP) executed by ARD, and the Environmental Audits for Sustainable Tourism Project have served to achieve these objectives. R2RW is designed to build upon these achievements, particularly those of CWIP, in terms of both establishing strong community partners to improve environmental management and expanding the coastal mandate of CWIP into upland areas.


R2RW is a five-year initiative between the Government of Jamaica's National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and USAID, addressing the degradation of watersheds on the island. R2RW comprises three interrelated components or Contract Results, reflecting the overall objectives of the initiative:

working with local-level organizations to promote sustainable environmental management practices for resource users;
identifying and supporting solutions that encourage better enforcement of existing environmental regulations and policy; and
enhancing the capacity of Jamaican government agencies and private-sector and civil society organizations to implement effective watershed management programs in Jamaica.
ARD and its subcontractor, Cargill Technical Services, Inc. (CTS) have been contracted to implement this activity. ARD provides a Chief of Party and a Watershed Specialist as long-term team members, as well as key short-term technical advisors to address each of the three components above. ARD will work in close collaboration with the NEPA/NRCA and relevant nongovernmental organizations. The focus will be on involving local communities in each of the targeted watersheds through a participatory process of problem identification and action planning.

R2RW initially will target the Great River and Rio Grande watersheds, which differ considerably in their characteristics and offer unique challenges. The Great River watershed includes Montego Bay and impacts mainly on the parishes of St. James and Hanover. The watershed faces numerous environmental threats caused by agriculture and urban development. The Rio Grande watershed, in the parish of Portland, is extremely mountainous and heavily dependent on agriculture and tourism. An area of significant biodiversity, the Rio Grande watershed is threatened by deforestation, soil erosion, inappropriate land use, and mining.

For more information about this project, click on the following link: Ridge to Reef Watershed Project, a brochure in PDF format.