Environmental costs of Goat Islands port expected to be severe

A protected area is a geographical space dedicated to or managed for the long term conservation and sustainable use of its ecological systems, biodiversity or other specific,natural, and cultural resources.

The Portland Bight Protected Area (PBPA) was conceived as a multi-use area to be managed as a Biosphere Reserve. It includes wilderness areas, e.g., dry forest areas and wetlands as well as disturbed areas such as farms, factories and towns with residential and business areas. A biosphere reserve should be managed by local stakeholders in partnership with government agencies with the goal of ecological and economic sustainability.

The PBPA is the largest Protected Area in Jamaica at ~ 1,876.2 km2 in total, about 519.8 km2 of that is land area and the rest is marine area. Most of the land area, 210.3 km2 is dry limestone forest including the Hellshire Hills. It has about 82 km2 of healthy mangrove wetlands along most of the coastline. As a result of the richness of the wetlands in the area, much of the coastline of the PBPA has been declared as the Portland Bight Wetlands and Cays Ramsar Site.

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