Mott MacDonald has created a set of new guidelines that will help Jamaican planners, designers and developers with beach restoration and coastal management activities. Produced as part of the World Bank’s Disaster Vulnerability Reduction project, the guidelines will help to build climate resilience into existing and future designs for coastal management or beach restoration projects. The project was financed by the European Union-funded ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Program and managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.
Jamaica’s coastal zone is extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts such as rising sea levels, while at the same time the increasing frequency of hurricanes is having a detrimental effect on poor coastal communities along the shoreline. The country’s coastal ecosystems have also suffered from overfishing and large developments along the coastline, which render the coastal zone increasingly vulnerable to natural hazards.
The new guidelines, created in partnership with Sustainable Seas and Smith Warner International Ltd, concentrate on four key themes of nature-based interventions, stakeholder engagement, climate change impacts and evidence-based solutions. Mott MacDonald held engagement and facilitating workshops with the Government of Jamaica and other key stakeholders, as well as collaborating throughout the process with a technical working group. The consultancy also conducted a high-level geographic information system mapping exercise to classify the country’s coastline and reviewed up-to-date guidance on coral reef, sea grass and mangrove restoration, design and management.
Peter Phipps, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “There was a need to enhance previous guidelines and provide Jamaican stakeholders with the tools to plan, manage and initiate interventions at ridge to reef scale in a holistic manner, such as considering watershed boundaries, intertidal areas and nearshore coastal habitat rehabilitation. These new guidelines will offer advice on how coastal management schemes and activities in Jamaica can be implemented along the entire coast.”