Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project
Implemented by the Organization of American States
Unit of Sustainable Development and Environment
for the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Caribbean Regional Program


Jamaica National Land Policy (July 1996)

Section 7.5.3:
Implementation (Strategies, Programmes and Projects)

  1. The capability to prepare floodplain (hazard) maps already exists within the country. Mapping activities have been undertaken by the Water Resources Authority which has prepared flood plain maps of the Rio Cobre river basin;
  2. The USAID/OAS Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project (CDMP) is currently working with the Geology Department of the University of the West Indies, the Seismic Research Unit, the Geological Survey Department, the Water Resources Authority and the National Meteorological Office to develop local capacity to prepare landslide, seismic zonation, and storm surge maps. The maps, when combined with the floodplain maps prepared by the Underground Water Resources Authority, will provide the necessary background geographic information for proper land use planning decisions-making. The preparation of these maps will be undertaken by the Joint Committee consisting of the technical agencies of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and the Town Planning Department. The selection of the parishes to be mapped will be done using one of two options:
    1. A systematic approach, moving from Kingston/St. Andrew (which would have been prepared by the CDMP) to St. Catherine, Clarendon, and so on; or
    2. Areas prioritized based on population or level of development.

Once these maps have been prepared they will be incorporated in the development approval process by the Town and Country Planning Authority. The decision to develop or not to develop an area will be based on the extent, severity, and frequency of the natural hazard event (probability) and the availability of current technology to mitigate negative impacts of the hazard. Total rejection to develop land will be a last resort and will only occur in extreme cases of danger.

The United States Agency for International Development and the Organization of American States Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project is willing to assist in developing the maps for the Kingston/St. Andrew area and also assist in the training of staff members.

Government will continue to collect data on the effects of natural hazards and work towards preparing a national plan for hazard management based on prevention and mitigation where possible.

CDMP home page: Project Contacts Page Last Updated: 20 April 2001