This interdisciplinary project examines community participation in conservation management, looking at the impact of land use practices on biodiversity in Jamaica's Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park.The goal of our project is to provide an independent assessment of how biodiversity conservation efforts in the agricultural matrix of the park's buffer-zone could be more effectively implemented through increased local participation in management strategies. Our final report is the result of two-months of field research at three community sites located in different areas of the park's buffer-zone. One of the main ecological threats to the park is the spread of invasive species, which is facilitated in part by land clearance for agriculture. To assess the connection between collaborative management and attitudes and behaviors that affect land use decisions, such as burning, herbicide use, and timber extraction, we conducted surveys and interviews in local communities, with government agencies, and with non-government organizations. We also gathered data on birds, insects, and invasive plant species found in areas of varying disturbance, to quantify the impact of disturbance relative to levels of community participation.
Danielle Gartner, MS Environmental Justice
Jesse Lewis, MS Conservation Biology
Elizabeth Nellums, MS Environmental Policy and Planning
Anna Ruszaj, MS Conservation Biology
Jesse Worker, MPP/MS Environmental Policy and Planning