What better news on International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22) than this wonderful award for Ingrid Parchment, Executive Director of the Clarendon-based Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM), in the Portland Bight Protected Area. If you scroll back through my blog, you will see several articles about the work of C-CAM and the amazingly beautiful and endlessly fascinating Portland Bight. Congratulations, Ingrid, this is so well deserved.
Here is more about our very own Jamaican Hotspot Hero, including an interview and a great photograph of Ingrid and C-CAM Science Officer Brandon Hay with Prime Minister Andrew Holness after a tour of Goat Islands. If you recall, a national consultation was held in Jamaica in 2017 on the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot. And after his tour, the Prime Minister decided not to allow Goat Islands to be destroyed and turned into a Chinese mega-port. Now, the plan is for it to be turned into a haven for the Jamaican Iguana, once considered extinct. Will the Protected Area again be reconsidered for a UNESCO Biosphere area – which was deferred by the then Environment Minister Robert Pickersgill back in 2013?
In the midst of the COVID-19 gloom and doom, this is all joyous news for Jamaica’s environment. A heartfelt thank you to Ingrid and her team, and to all those Jamaicans and their supporters at home and abroad, who were involved in the hard work and advocacy surrounding Goat Islands. Happy endings.
Jamaican conservationist honored as biodiversity ‘Hotspot Hero’ by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Ingrid Parchment is being recognized for achievements in protecting the country’s species and ecosystems
Arlington, Virginia, USA (22 May 2020) – On this International Day for Biological Diversity, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) announces that Ingrid Parchment and nine other conservationists from around the world have been named “Hotspot Heroes” for their efforts to protect the world’s biodiversity hotspots. The honorees were chosen from the hundreds of civil society organizations that have received grants from CEPF in the 10 global biodiversity hotspots where the fund is currently active.
CEPF is recognizing these heroes as part of the celebration of its 20th anniversary. The fund empowers nongovernmental organizations, indigenous groups, universities and private enterprises to protect the world’s biodiversity hotspots—the world’s most biologically diverse yet threatened terrestrial regions—and help communities thrive. CEPF does this through grants and technical support for conservation, organizational strengthening and sustainable development.
The Hotspot Heroes and the nongovernmental organizations they work for are making outstanding contributions to the conservation of the hotspots. They exemplify the kinds of dedicated, dynamic people who work to ensure that intact ecosystems can continue to sustain flora and fauna and provide clean air, fresh water, healthy soils, sustainable livelihoods, resilience to climate change and much more.
Ms. Parchment is executive director of Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM). She and C-CAM played a critical role in convincing the government of Jamaica to terminate plans to build a large shipping port on Goat Islands, which would have required removing all of the island’s trees—devasting bird habitat and critically important mangroves—and essentially dooming the Critically Endangered Jamaican iguana (Cyclura collie). It also would have meant a loss of fisheries that local communities depend on.
“Ms. Parchment really was the local face for the Goat Islands campaign, and she galvanized community interest,” said Michele Zador, CEPF grant director for the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot, which includes Jamaica.
C-CAM is a leading advocate for effective conservation of the Portland Bight Protected Area, the largest protected area on the island and home to at least 20 globally threatened species as well as some 50,000 people spread among six fishing villages. With the help of two CEPF grants, C-CAM undertook Jamaica’s first participatory management planning process for a protected area and then implemented that plan, now considered a model for the island.
“The Hotspot Heroes represent the many tenacious, committed conservationists who are taking action every day to ensure the future of the biodiversity hotspots and the people who depend on these vital ecosystems,” said CEPF Executive Director Olivier Langrand. “They endure a multitude of challenges—long hours, grueling travel, difficult working conditions, political hurdles and even threats to their lives—in pursuit of a healthy, sustainable world.”
“Ms. Parchment and C-CAM provide an invaluable service to the people of Jamaica by protecting Goat Islands and the Portland Bight Protected Area, ensuring a future for ecosystems that are essential for local communities,” said Langrand.
CEPF is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan and the World Bank.
Since 2001, CEPF has catalyzed enduring, locally led biodiversity conservation through US$250 million in grants to more than 2,400 organizations in 98 developing and transitional countries. Results include more than 15 million hectares of formal protected areas established, at least 890 globally threatened species supported, and more than 3,500 communities benefiting. Learn more at www.cepf.net, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.