Blue and John Crow Mountains
The site encompasses a rugged and extensively forested mountainous region in the south-east of Jamaica, which provided refuge first for the indigenous Tainos fleeing slavery and then for Maroons (former enslaved peoples). They resisted the European colonial system in this isolated region by establishing a network of trails, hiding places and settlements, which form the Nanny Town Heritage Route. The forests offered the Maroons everything they needed for their survival. They developed strong spiritual connections with the mountains, still manifest through the intangible cultural legacy of, for example, religious rites, traditional medicine and dances. The site is also a biodiversity hotspot for the Caribbean Islands with a high proportion of endemic plant species, especially lichens, mosses and certain flowering plants.
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Important centre of Caribbean plant endemism
Significant populations of globally (critically) endangered plant and vertebrate species
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA)||There are longstanding efforts to establish a national network or system of protected areas.|
|3||Jamaica Conservation & Development Trust (JCDT)||JCDT, which is in charge of the property's operational management, is engaged in a number of partnerships and projects supported by various domestic, bilateral and international sources.|
|№||Site need title||Brief description of potential site needs||Support needed for following years|
|1||JCDT in partnership with the Government of Jamaica||light of increasing interest in the culture - nature nexus under the World Heritage Convention, the recently inscribed mixed property supporting by a living culture lends itself to further analysis of the reality of and options for integrated approaches.|
|2||JCDT in partnership with the Government of Jamaica and possibly additional partners||As noted in the nomination dossier and the management plan (Jamaican Government, 2014), the highest elevations of the Blue Mountains, John Crow Mountains and the nearby Port Royal Mountains used to be connected through vast and uninterrupted forests. Today, these still exceptionally valuable forests are reduced to islands in a massively modified landscape, including within the national park. Forest restoration in the lower elevations would not only re-establish areas of potentially high conservation values, but would generate and secure ecosystem services, buffer the property and help restore the landscape connectivity.|
Anadón-Irizarry V, Wege DC, Upgren A, Young R, Boom B, León YM, Arias Y, Koenig K., Morales AL, Burke W, Pérez-Leroux A, Levy C, Koenig S, Gape L, Moore P (2012) Sites for priority biodiversity conservation in the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot. Key Biodiversity Area Special Series. Journal of Threatened Taxa: 4(8): 2806–2844. www.threatenedtaxa.org
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BirdLife (2009) Jamaica Country Profile (pages 261-268 by Levy S, Koenig S (2009) in Devenish C, Díaz Fernández DF, Clay RP, Davidson I, Yépez Zabala I (Eds). Important Bird Areas Americas - Priority sites for biodiversity conservation. Quito, Ecuador: BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 16).
Chai SL, Healey JR, Tanner E (2012) Evaluation of Forest Recovery over Time and Space Using Permanent Plots Monitored over 30 Years in a Jamaican Montane Rain Forest. PLOS ONE 7(11).
Chai SL, Tanner E (2010) Are we losing the best Parts of our Protected Areas in Tropical Mountains? Biotropica.
Chai SL, Tanner E, McLaren K (2009) High rates of forest clearance and fragmentation pre- and post-National Park establishment: The case of a Jamaican montane rainforest. Biological Conservation 142: 2484–2492.
Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) (2010). Ecosystem Profile. The Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot.
Davis, SD, Heywood, VH, Herrera-MacBryde O, Villa-Lobos, J, Hamilton A (eds.) (1997) Centres of Plant Diversity: A Guide and Strategy for their Conservation. Volume 3: The Americas. IUCN Publications Unit, Cambridge, U.K. http://botany.si.edu/projects/cpd
Devenish C, Díaz Fernández DF, Clay RP, Davidson I, Yépez Zabala I (eds) (2009) Important Bird Areas Americas - Priority sites for biodiversity conservation. Quito, Ecuador: BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 16).
Dinerstein E, Olson DM, Graham DJ, Webster AL, Primm SA, Bookbinder MP, Ledec G (1995) A Conservation Assessment of the Terrestrial Ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank in association with the World Wildlife Fund. Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Evelyn OB, Camirand R (2003). Forest cover and deforestation in Jamaica: an analysis of forest cover estimates over time. International Forestry Review 5(4): 354-363.
Goodland T, Healey JR (1996) The invasion of Jamaican montane rainforests by the Australian tree Pittosporum undulatum. School of Agricultural and Forest Sciences University of Wales, Bangor, UK.
Haynes, AM, Sutton RL, Harvey K (1989) Conservation Trends and the Threats to Endemic Birds in Jamaica. Biogeography of the West Indies, 827-838.
Hodges M (ed) (2008) Guide to the Blue and John Crow Mountains. The Natural History Society of Jamaica. Kingston, Jamaica.
ICOMOS (2015) Evaluations of Nominations of Cultural and Mixed Properties to the World Heritage List. ICOMOS Report to the World Heritage Committee. 39th Ordinary Session, Bonn, June-July 2015. WHC-15/39.COM/INF.8B1.
IUCN (2015) Evaluations of Nominations of Natural and Mixed Properties to the World Heritage List. IUCN Report to the World Heritage Committee. 39th Ordinary Session, Bonn, June-July 2015. WHC-15/39.COM/INF.8B2.
IUCN Consultation. (2014). IUCN World Heritage Confidential Consultation: Blue and John Crow Mountains, Jamaica
JCDT (Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust) (2011) The Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Blue and John Crow Mountains Management Plan 2011 - 2016.
Jamaican Government (2014) Nomination of the Blue and John Crow Mountains for Inscription on the World Heritage List.
Protected Areas Committee (2009) Jamaica’s National Ecological Gap Assessment Report. A component of the Protected Areas System Master Plan of Jamaica.
USAID (n.d.) Country Profile. Property Rights And Resource Governance. Jamaica.
Weis T (2000) Beyond peasant deforestation: environment and development in rural Jamaica. Global Environmental Change 10: 299-305.