Earth Today | JCDT graduates community reps for tourism support
THIRTY-TWO PEOPLE from eight Windward Maroon communities have graduated from the Tourism Product Development Company’s (TPDCo’s) TEAM Jamaica and Tour Guide training courses, under the Maroon Communities Tourism Support Project being implemented by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT).
The JCDT is a civil society organisation and registered charity which manages the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park and World Heritage Site on behalf of the relevant government agencies.
The Maroon Communities Tourism Support Project is to support the preservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the Blue and John Crow Mountains by supporting sustainable livelihoods and strengthening community organisations in eight Maroon communities: Scott’s Hall, St Mary; Hayfield, St Thomas; and in Portland: Moore Town, Cornwall Barracks, Windsor, Millbank, Comfort Castle, and Ginger House.
The project is funded by the Inter-American Foundation and the European Union (EU) through the JCDT’s Forest Conservation Project and also JCDT’s BIOPAMA Project, which is also financed by the EU.
“The project aims to strengthen the organisational and business capacity of community members and their organisations to benefit from the growing interest in community tourism,” said David Walters, national park manager with JCDT, speaking at the graduation, held at the TP Lecky Hall at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education.
The Inter-American Foundation, for their part, noted their satisfaction with the progress on the project, which started in April 2021.
Gabrio Marinozzi, representative from the Delegation of the EU to Jamaica, said the graduates, through sustainable tourism, would be helping to protect the forests in and around the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, thus addressing serious global concerns, including climate change and biodiversity decline.
Upcoming activities for the project, which is scheduled for completion by the middle of 2023, include physical improvements to trails and attractions to ensure the safety and comfort of visitors.