The Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust was founded in 1988 by a group of Jamaican professionals who shared a conviction that Jamaica’s natural heritage required an advocate to ensure that the environment was not sacrificed as Jamaica pursued development.
The Founding Members of the JCDT were:
- Joy Douglas - Urban Planner
- Dr. Blossom O’Meally Nelson - Public Administrator and Logistics Expert
- Ossie Lee – Accountant
- Prof. Ivan Goodbody – Zoologist
- Dr. Ted Aldridge – Sanitary Engineer
- Janos Beyer – Architect
- Michael White – Hydro-Geologist
- Sylvie Grizzle – Hotelier
- Dr. Margaret Hodges – Medical Practitioner
- Dr. Conrad Douglas – Chemist
- Jeanne Robinson – Geographer
- Patrick Tenison – Agriculturist
- Karl Aiken – Zoologist
- Ann Haynes – Zoologist
- JCDT signed as an implementing organisation in the national Protected Areas Resources Conservation (PARC) Project which aimed to establish a modern protected areas system in Jamaica including two pilot Parks in Montego Bay and the Blue and John Crow Mountains.
- JCDT involved in planning for and management of the Montego Bay Marine Park and the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park.
- JCDT led the First Debt-for-Nature Swap in the English speaking Caribbean to capitalize the National Parks Trust Fund with endowments from USAID, Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico and The Nature Conservancy.
- The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park was designated and gazetted
- JCDT signs first delegation agreement with the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) through the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) for management of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park.
- The JCDT organizes the Caribbean’s first environmental expo at the national arena in Kingston, Jamaica. Green Expo engaged 12,000 patrons in environmental awareness and protection. The Green Expo was subsequently hosted in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2010.
- JCDT manages the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park – sourcing funding and implementing projects to ensure the effective conservation of the area’s natural resources and to promote and facilitate sustainable livelihoods in the local communities.
- The Policy on a National System of Protected Areas was approved by cabinet. This document was based on a JCDT deliverable from the PARC Project: A National System Plan for Protected Areas.
- JCDT implements the first of four annual Youth Poverty Alleviation through Tourism and Heritage (PATH) Projects with guidance and part-funding from the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office. This project resulted in the training of over 30 youth mainly from the Holywell area, in a variety of skills including tour guiding and business development. Several of the existing or former staff of the JCDT/National Park got their start through this project.
- JCDT plays a lead role in initiating the World Heritage Site nomination process for the Blue and John Crow Mountains by submitting the documentation for the Tentative List
- JCDT produces the first Management Plan for the National Park (2005 – 2010) since the original in 1993. Subsequent Management Plans prepared were 2011 – 2016 and the current draft (2017 – 2027) is being reviewed for approval by the NRCA.
- JCDT produces a Plan for Sustainable Tourism in the Blue Mountains region as part of a project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. The project included training of a number of community-based organisations including the Bowden Pen Farmers’ Association and Charles Town Maroon Council – to assist them in improving their tourism product.
- The Blue and John Crow Mountains is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of the outstanding universal value of its natural and cultural heritage.
- Major renovations and infrastructural improvements initiated at the National Park’s main recreational areas – Holywell and Portland Gap/Peak Trail with funding from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund - Rural Enterprises Development Initiative and the Tourism Enhancement Fund.