Pica Chairman Wishes Jamaicans Safe Travel In Festive Season

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Joe Issa, Chairman of the St. Ann Development Company (SADCO) which, like its parent company the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), seeks to transform Jamaica’s most viable urban centres and strategic rural towns while preserving the natural environment and spurring economic development, has welcomed the elevation of one of Jamaica’s forests?—?Dolphin Head in Hanover?—?to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC).

Submitted: July 06, 2017

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Submitted: July 06, 2017

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Joe Issa, Chairman of the St. Ann Development Company (SADCO) which, like its parent company the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), seeks to transform Jamaica’s most viable urban centres and strategic rural towns while preserving the natural environment and spurring economic development, has welcomed the elevation of one of Jamaica’s forests?—?Dolphin Head in Hanover?—?to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC).

“I think it (listing on the OOC) is good news for Jamaica’s tourism …Over the years, the country has shown to lack protected areas for heritage tourism and that constitutes an impediment to the industry’s competitiveness.

“Moreover, heritage tourism is an area which we at SADCO and UDC are seeking to develop with the assistance of investment partners,” Issa says, stating that the listing of Dolphin Head forest “is a big accolade coming from The Queen…It will help promote our natural resource pillar internationally and enhance the competitiveness of our tourism product.”

The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) report which benchmarks countries in five main pillars including the Human, Cultural & Natural Resources pillar, have shown that between 2007 and 2015, Jamaica’s competitiveness slipped 28 places.

The report has also noted that lower than expected performance on the Natural Resources pillar is partly due to a lack of UNESCO Natural Heritage sites and a low percentage of land being officially protected.

Issa suggests, therefore, that Dolphin Head, which is said to harbour many endemic species and is part of the last piece of closed broad leaf forest, along with the Blue and John Mountains National Park already inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, will help Jamaica capture a larger share of the lucrative nature and heritage tourism markets.

Jamaica was not only among the 20 successful countries of the 52-nation Commonwealth which had applied for acknowledgement on the QCC, but was also one of only three countries selected to showcase the significance of Dolphin Head to Jamaica, at a reception to announce the winners, held in Buckingham Palace hosted by Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, the Gleaner reported, stating it is “a shot in the arm for Jamaica’s forests.”

The QCC, which was launched at last year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, is said to be undertaken by the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), along with the Commonwealth Forestry Association.

It was designed “to create a network of forest conservation initiatives throughout the 52 nations of the Commonwealth to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s service and dedication as Head of the Commonwealth”.

Its objectives are to generate awareness of the value of forests and preserve them for future generations, create a unique network of forest conservation projects with credibility and integrity, and raise the profile of the Commonwealth as having the capacity to unify to ensure forest conservation.

The RCS was reported as saying “it will use the Commonwealth network to facilitate a programme of knowledge exchange activities, to share best practice and to create new, collaborative initiatives that contribute to forest conservation across the globe.”

SADCO is said to manage several of UDC’s assets in the parish of St. Ann including the popular Green Grotto Caves, the Ocho Rios Bay Beach also known as Turtle Beach near the Cruise Ship Pier, Turtle River Park at the entrance of the town, Pearly Beach, Laughing Waters, Roaring River, Malvern Park Property, the Ocho Rios Craft Market, and some undeveloped lands.

The assets are spread throughout the island including western Jamaica, which is home to the newest addition to Jamaica’s internationally recognized natural sites.


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