DU Wiki > Ă„mnen - Subjects > Tourism studies > KG3012 > Seminar 1 Cultural and natural World Heritage sites > Jamaica's World Heritage Sites (tentative list) The Underwater City of Port Royal > Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
Table of contentsNo headers
Jamaica currently has no sites on the World Heritage List. The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park was added to Jamaica’s tentative list under the Natural category in 2006 and has been nominated to be considered by UNESCO for inscription on the Wold Heritage List in 2011 – a decision has not been made.
Stand in the Jamaican capital, Kingston, and the eye is inevitably drawn upward to a ridge of rain-forest-covered mountains that loom some 3,000 feet over the coastal area. This 78,200 hectares expanse of tropical forest is the Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park and represents 4.5% of Jamaica's land surface. The park boasts the highest point in Jamaica – the Blue Mountain Peak at just over 7,000 ft. from which it is possible to see Cuba on a clear day and important watersheds that provide water for half of the island, and many areas of natural beauty and historic importance. The BJCMNP is actually composed of three mountain ranges – the Port Royal, Blue, and John Crow Mountains, divided by the Buff Bay and Rio Grande Valleys on the north side of the ranges. The Blue and John Crow Mountains, two distinctly different regions in geology and climate, hold unique reserves of biological and mineral resources and contain areas of unparalleled natural beauty. There is a high degree of local endemism in the park, which also has one of the highest levels of endemism in the Western Hemisphere, as well as the highest level of biodiversity in Jamaica. The BJCMNP contains the largest continuous tract of closed broad-leaf or natural forest in Jamaica. In the Blue Mountain region, of 240 species of higher plants, 47% are endemic. In the John Crow Mountains, 32% of the 278 species of flowering plants are endemic. The BJCMNP is the last of two known habitats of the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly – the largest butterfly in the Western Hemisphere. The BJCMNP is an important habitat for many Jamaican birds, including all the endemic species such as the endangered Jamaican Blackbird.
The BJCMNP is an area with great potential for recreational and educational activities, including nature tours, hiking, camping, bird watching and heritage tourism. The value of these forests lies in their unique gene pool and the potential for yet untested species, which could be used for pharmaceuticals, ornamental plants, agricultural products and craft items. As a watershed, the area supplies over 40% of the population of Jamaica with domestic water, in addition to water for agricultural, industrial and commercial usage. Despite its steep slopes, the area is used by small subsistence farmers for cultivation of cash crops and also by small and large coffee farmers to produce the highly priced and prestigious Blue Mountain coffee.
The BJCMNP has developed a Sustainable Tourism Programme for the BJCMNP and its Community Buffer Zone to become Jamaica’s newest destination – focused entirely on experiencing the region’s unique natural and cultural heritage with the local community. The BJCMNP has two main recreation areas within its boundaries: Holywell and Portland Gap and the Blue Mountain Peak Trail.
Since 1993, the BJCMNP is managed by a non-government organization called the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT). Challenges in managing and developing the site have been identified as follows:
 Endemism is an ecological word meaning that a plant or animal lives only in a particular location, such as a specific island, habitat type, nation or other defined zone.
 The boundary of the original forest reserve was retained to serve as the park boundary. Communities adjacent to these boundaries were designated buffer areas. These were the communities in which there was the greatest use and impact on the park’s resources.
Powered by MindTouch Core