Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are a major threat to the vulnerable marine, freshwater and terrestrial biodiversity. IAS are a major interest to the Island of Jamaica as they pose a direct threat to the high level of biodiversity the Island enjoys. Jamaica’s industries are centred on the country’s biodiversity. As such a decrease in biodiversity threatens the livelihood of fishers, farmers, and persons employed to the tourism industry. Negative impact on these industries as a result of IAS will result in a significant reduction in Jamaica’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The project objective is to mitigate the threat to local biodiversity and economy from IAS. This will be achieved through five main initiatives: increasing the national capacity to address potential risks posed to biodiversity of global significance from invasive alien species; increasing regional cooperation to reduce risk posed to biodiversity of global significance from invasive alien species; strengthening access to data and establishment of best practice, and public awareness of IAS; increasing capacity to strengthen prevention of new IAS introductions; and increased capacity to respond, control and manage IAS impacting globally significant biodiversity. The fifth initiative includes the implementation of pilot projects to control and manage the spread of the Lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles) in Jamaica; protection of the endemic Jamaican Iguana through monitoring and selective eradication of predators; and control and management of the Melalucea (Paper Bark Tree) and Wild Ginger (Alpinia allughas) in the Lower Black River Morass.