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Landell Mills organises EU visibility campaign launch with the Jamaican Forestry Department to address climate change challenges

News 08.07.20 Jamaica Communications and knowledge management

Landell Mills recently organised the launch of the European Union's (EU's) largest budget support programme in Jamaica, the Integrated Forestry Management Programme in Jamaica (IFMJ), in partnership with the Jamaican Forestry Department. The Jamaican Forestry Department is responsible for the management and conservation of Jamaica's forest resources, and contributes to building Jamaica's climate resilience.

The IFMJ launch was delivered through an EU communications project entitled 'Visibility for Addressing Environmental and Climate Change Challenges through Improved Forest Management in Jamaica', implemented by Landell Mills. The aim of this communication support project is to increase EU visibility awareness, and to promote the achievements of the IFMJ and the partnership between the EU and Government of Jamaica (GoJ) in jointly mitigating the adverse impact of climate change. The GoJ and the EU have both recognised the clear connection between deforestation and climate change, and as a result a total of €15m ($J2.3 billion) has been committed by the EU to the GoJ.

Forests currently cover approximately 40 percent of Jamaica, the third largest island in the Caribbean. Climate change is compromising Jamaican forests that are already depleted due to deforestation and ecological degradation. As a result, forest-based livelihoods in Jamaica are deprived of ecosystem services. Climate change has a further significant impact and knock-on effect on tourism and related trades, a vital source of income for Jamaica.

The visibility campaign launch took place on 9 March 2020 at the Tree House Conference Centre, Hope Botanical Gardens in St. Andrew, Jamaica. A jingle and four videos, showcasing the unique beauty of Jamaica's forests and encouraging their preservation, were unveiled to commemorate the occasion. The event was well covered in national, regional and local media. The launch event was attended by high-level EU officials, EU Delegation staff, and representatives from the Forestry Department and the Jamaican Government.

The Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, Mrs. Butkeviciene, who attended the launch event, noted that climate change is a force the EU is fighting across the globe. She stated that "the best way to do this is by preserving our natural resources and the first natural resource that comes to mind are our forests".[1]

The Forestry Department's Acting Chief Executive Officer, Rainee Oliphant, echoed this positive sentiment by asserting that "it is a good time for the local forest sector."[2] She added that with this economic support from the EU, she hoped the Forestry Department could become a source of economic revenue for Jamaica: "We want to go beyond being a technical repository of information and become a revenue generating organisation as well." [3].

Landell Mills will be providing EU communications support to the IFMJ until April 2022.

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