ANTHONY CLAYTON, K’ADAMWE K’NIFE AND ANDREW SPENCER, UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES, JAMAICA
Abstract: Most of Jamaica has been subject to settlement and development. It is still biologically diverse, with many endemic species, but this biodiversity is now under threat. The sugar industry, which does particular damage to rivers and reefs, has only survived because of EU subsidies, which are now being phased out. It is therefore being prepared for divestment, and refocused on ethanol production to reduce oil imports. It appears that this plan may have already failed, because it depended on factors (external trade regimes and tariffs) which are not under Jamaica’s control, so a new policy is urgently needed. This project applied the Integrated Assessment (IA) methodology described in the UNEP-WCMC/ETB document ‘Biodiversity in Integrated Assessment of Trade Policies’ in the Agriculture Sector to examine the impact of policy changes on Jamaica’s sugar industry, and the implications for the economy, employment, society, environment and biodiversity. The study identified several possible future scenarios for the industry, and developed a solution that would achieve a range of goals, moving away from extensive, low-value forms of agriculture to intensive, high-value forms, increasing revenue, profits and skill transfer, while simultaneously reducing environmental impact.
Keywords: integrated assessment; IA; Jamaica; sugar industry; scenarios and biodiversity.