Nature Conservancy donates drone mapping data for Goat Islands Wildlife Sanctuary project

Nature Conservancy donates drone mapping data for Goat Islands Wildlife Sanctuary project

Saturday, June 27, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has donated technical services valued at almost US$50,000 to the Goat Islands Wildlife Sanctuary project.

The sanctuary project is managed by Urban Development Corporation (UDC).

The TNC donation, done through its climate adaptation initiative Resilient Islands, included satellite imagery and extensive drone mapping data which will be used in the zoning of the Goat Islands to identify potential areas for development, potential nesting areas for the Jamaican iguana, and potential areas for the re-introduction of various endemic plants and animals.

The data, which was handed over to the UDC on Friday, is also expected to be used to conduct ecological assessments and geographic information system (GIS) analysis of Old Harbour Bay in St Catherine to provide baseline data that will inform the development of the islands and nearby communities.

Sara Simpson, director of natural resource management and environment planning at UDC explained the significance of the donation.

“This contribution from TNC will go a long way in bringing the Goat Islands Wildlife Sanctuary to life. The drone mapping and imaging will complement the extensive pre-assessment work that has to go into the project. Given that Goat Islands has many elements that are uniquely Jamaican, including the reintroduction of the Jamaican Iguana to the space, TNC's support is of national consequence. The UDC is exceedingly grateful to TNC for their support,” Simpson said.

TNC's Resilient Islands is a partnership between TNC and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help communities adapt to climate change in the Caribbean.

The Jamaica Red Cross is also supporting TNC's work with the Goat Islands project to promote the use of coastal habitats in order to reduce climate risks.

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