- The Effects of Urbanization on natural Resources in Jamaica    click here to open paper content505 kb
by    Simms, Doneika | vibrakay@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The small island of Jamaica has been experiencing rapid urbanization, chiefly in the primate city of Kingston. This presentation offers an insight into the negative effects of urban growth on achieving ecological sustainability in the island.
Urbanization is a worldwide phenomenon that has rapidly increased in recent times. Caribbean SIDS (Small Island Developing States) are prime examples of countries that experience high rates of urbanization particularly in their primate cities. The problem however is that historically, Caribbean cities tend to be coastally located; thus the constant influx of people and the accompanying land development activities usually take a toll on sensitive environmental areas both inland and coastally located.
Various urban areas in the island of Jamaica have been observed to exemplify this global trend. In fact, approximately two thirds of Jamaica’s population lives in coastal towns and cities. The capital city- Kingston is key among them; with rapid population growth rates that presently tend to ‘spill over’ into adjacent satellite towns such as Portmore, St. Catherine. Whereas urbanization has its various advantages for growth in the country, there is a simultaneous negative effect that occurs, which leads to issues concerning the different types of land-uses and how they affect the environment. For instance, ecological sustainability is hindered when residential development takes place in watershed areas such as the historical site of Long Mountain; and the disposal of waste in gullies by squatters living along the banks thus polluting the coast. Also, land reclamation as a means of finding ‘solution space’ causes destruction of mangroves and other essential marine ecosystems; and when both domestic and industrial waste pollute the Kingston Harbour, this leads to eutrophication and the stifling of juvenile mangrove species.
Hence this study focuses on discussing the environmental issues that are symptomatic of urbanization and related urban land-use activities particularly in Kingston, Jamaica; analyzing the subsequent impact that is left on natural resources in the country, and thereafter, proposing measures that will enhance a harmonious relationship between urbanization and ecological sustainability in urban areas.
Urbanization and Ecological Sustainability in Jamaica
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