The State of Jamaica’s climate – full report

1. Rationale & Background

1.1. Jamaica

Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea with a total landmass of 10,991 square kilometres. The island is centred on latitude 18o15’ N and longitude 77o20’ W. It is approximately 145 kilometres south of the island of Cuba. Jamaica is elongated along west-northwest to east-northeast alignment, roughly 230 kilometres long and 80 kilometres wide at its broadest point. The island’s exclusive economic zone is approximately 25 times the size of its landmass. Jamaica has several rugged mountain ranges, with the highest point, the Blue Mountain Peak, soaring over 2,256 metres (7,402 feet). About sixty percent of the island’s bedrock is white limestone; twenty five percent is volcanic and cretaceous, ten percent alluvial and five percent yellow limestone. More than 120 rivers flow from the mountains to the coast. There are fourteen parishes in Jamaica, with Kingston being the capital of the country. The coastline is approximately 1,022 kilometres. The climate of Jamaica is mainly tropical with the most important climatic influences being the Northeast Trade Winds and the island’s orographic features (mainly the central ridge of mountains and hills). – Jamaica’s Initial National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (GOJ 2001).

1.2. Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience

The purpose of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) is to help developing countries to integrate climate resilience into development planning and offer additional funding to support public and private sector investments for implementation. Donor countries including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom have pledged USD 1.3 billion in funding for pilot programmes currently being implemented in 18 developing and under-developed countries including Jamaica that demonstrate a high vulnerability to climate change. Jamaica features in both the Regional and National Tracks of the PPCR. Jamaica’s PPCR was administered in two phases. The first phase of the project resulted in the development of a Strategic Plan for Climate Resilience (SPCR) in 2011. The SPCR has been developed to help Jamaica with climate adaptation. It is also aligned to Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development plan and addresses and builds on gaps that have been identified during the first phase, also making the implementation process easier.

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