Forest sector receives EU funding to support public financial management

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A section of Blue Mountain in Jamaica

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), in partnership with the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM) and the Jamaica Conservation Development Trust (JCDT), yesterday launched a two-year forest management project funded by the ‘European Union.

The project has received funding of €290,065 or over $41 million in capital which aims to build the capacity of civil society groups with the aim of strengthening public financial management (PFM) while improving governance and accountability, budget control, efficiency and effectiveness of resource control. It also aims to respond to recommendations set out in a 2017 report focused on updating PFM reform action plans, with the aim of increasing public access to budget information.

Called the first of its kind for the region, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Marianne Van Steen, called the project innovative.

“We have identified four projects with civil society that work in the field of forestry, and we are happy to launch a very important and innovative one. Through this project, we want to accelerate the process and expand the capacity of civil society to engage in participatory budgeting and financial management for the forestry segment in Jamaica,” she said at a virtual launch. Thursday.

VAN STEEN…Through this project, we would like to accelerate the process and expand the capacity of civil society to engage in participatory budgeting and financial management for the forestry segment in Jamaica.

“We also hope that the project will equip civil society organizations with the necessary toolkit to work with the government regarding budget planning and the activation of the country’s national forest management and conservation plan,” he said. – she added, noting that with the EU placing the fight against climate change among its highest proprieties this year, they have decided that a large part of the funds to be disbursed will be dedicated to these areas.

The project, which will run until November 2023, targets civil society groups and other beneficiaries, including public sector forest managers, policymakers and budget makers, as well as direct forest users. Sites targeted for the project locally include the Portland Bight Protected Area, the Blue and John Crow Mountains and Cockpit Country.

According to Ainsley Henry, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Conservator of Forests in the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, the project will have a transformative impact on the local forestry sector.

“We foresee a more structured and responsible spending sector as this project can only help it grow and become more sustainable. As the sector attracts more funding, transparency and efficiency in how funds are spent are key to credibility with funders. We are happy that this project is helping to fill these gaps through training. The launch of this project will significantly lay the groundwork for work that will significantly advance the sector and make it more resilient,” he said.

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