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Crockodile basking.

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On Earth Day (April 22) 1999 Jamaica's Minister of the Environment and Housing, the Hon. Easton Douglas, signed an order creating the Portland Bight Protected Area (PBPA) under Section 5 of the National Resources Conservation (1991) Act. 

At 1,876 sq. kilometres (724 sq. miles) the PBPA is Jamaica's largest protected area.  Its 520 sq. km (200 sq. miles) terrestrial area is 4.7% of Jamaica's land mass, and its 1,356 sq km (524sq miles) of marine space is 47.6% of her shallow shelf.  The PBPA contains 210 sq km (81 sq miles) of dry limestone forest,  82 sq km (32 sq miles) of wetlands, and an as yet undetermined area of seagrass beds and coral reefs.  It is habitat for birds, iguanas, crocodiles, manatees, marine turtles, fish and 50,000 human beings.  It contains two ports, parts of three sugar estates, several fish farms, a bauxite-alumina plant, a feed mill, two power plants and other industrial and commercial entities.

The management responsibility for the PBPA has been delegated to the Caribbean Coastal Area Management (C-CAM) Foundation. C-CAM has prepared a management plan for the PBPA which has been accepted, and is contractually responsible for implementing it, including finding most of the funding.

The management approach taken by C-CAM is "co-management", a collaborative approach where representatives of all the stakeholders meet in Council to design and implement approaches and strategies.  The challenge is to create a situation where humanity and nature can co-exist peacefully and with mutual respect, and where people can make a decent living.  Our efforts have put C-CAM and the PBPA on the cutting edge of natural resource management practice -- sustainable development practice -- in the world community.

The above information is taken from the following existing web site for this area where further information can be found.

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For comprehensive GIS datasets on Jamaica, see the Nature Conservancy Internet Map Services.