UNEP CityAdapt Project Invests over JM$14M (US$90,000) in Kingston Inner-city Schools and Greenwich Town: Partners with Jamaica 4-H Clubs to install Rainwater Harvesting and Water Purification Systems, Greenhouses and Container Gardens.
Engaging with Jamaica’s vibrant youth population, nearly 30% of whom are under 15 years old, with nature-based approaches to cope with climate change, has been an important goal of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) CityAdapt climate adaptation project scoped for Kingston and two other medium-sized cities in Latin America.
Challenges with urban planning in the face of a construction boom of heat-absorbing multi-storey residential complexes in Kingston, have led to increased density of the urban space, warmer than usual temperatures and hot, uncomfortable schools and classrooms.
Since 2018, the Jamaica 4-H Clubs has been a key CityAdapt project partner, piloting Nature-based interventions to build resilience to the many impacts of climate change in the low-income community of Greenwich Town and at several schools in the city.
To date, more than JM$14 million (US%90,000) has been spent to install rainwater harvesting systems, climate-controlled hydroponic greenhouses, and container gardens at Tivoli Gardens High, St. Andrew Technical, Kingston Technical, Camperdown High Schools and at the special needs community training institution, Abilities Foundation.
Residents of the Greenwich Town community have also benefited from a state-of-the-art rainwater harvesting and purification system with connected sediment and carbon filters to provide water that is safe for drinking and household use.
“Many lessons have been learnt from the CityAdapt interventions at the school level”, according to Villet Kelly-Bennett, Business and Entrepreneurship Development Manager at Jamaica 4-H Clubs.
“These, plus the apiculture training for young persons in our urban spaces, are all aligned to the Ministry of Agriculture’s new ‘FACE of Food’ campaign, which focuses on food security, agribusiness development, and climate smart technologies and export expansion”, she added.
Urban Beekeeping/Entrepreneurship and Graduate Research
Specialised training in Beekeeping and Entrepreneurship has been facilitated under the CityAdapt project by the Jamaica 4-H Clubs for 50 persons from communities in and around Kingston. 250 bee colonies were distributed to beneficiaries and equipment to sustain their apiaries and colonies for increased honey production and diversification into the many other products that can be harvested through apiculture.
The project has also funded research by UWI graduate students in environmental areas such as the growth of mangrove seedlings in sargassum compost, assessing sustainable tourism in rural communities, ecosystem services in fishery conservation, and the potential of tourism earning from Jamaican coral reefs.