Climate Change Impacts and its Potential Integration in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Process & Property Management: The Case of the Negril Tourism Industry in Jamaica
Juvelle Taylor and Orville Grey
Montego Bay Community College, University of the West Indies (Mona)
Vol. 3, Issue 2, 2020. DOI: 10.33277/cesare/003.002/03
Tourism-related developments in Negril, Jamaica, hotels in particular, are most vulnerable to climate change because of their location. This research examined the extent to which climate change impacts were integrated in select EIAs undertaken in Negril between 1992 and 2013, and industry managers’ knowledge, perception, and awareness to climate change. Negril is Jamaica’s foremost tourist destination with a significant proportion of hotel developments along eleven kilometers of coastline that is highly susceptible to climate change. The research design is qualitative involving a review of EIA reports approved by the lead agency, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) using a modified climate change assessment tool and questionnaires completed by hotel industry managers in Negril. Thereafter, the findings were analyzed using the SPSS statistical software. The findings revealed that climate change integration in the EIA reports reviewed generally improved with time. EIAs generally lacked an integration of climate change impacts in project modelling to include future perspectives. Industry managers were generally aware of climate change impacts related to their developments, and government assistance and regulations regarding tourism and climate change. However, it was clear that additional training is necessary. This thesis is the first in evaluating the level of integration of climate change in EIA studies in Jamaica and it is hoped that the findings will inform EIA implementation. It is recommended that a climate change assessment tool be included in the reviewing of EIAs, and climate change considerations are specifically incorporated in the terms of reference issued. Tourism is an important contributor to Jamaica’s economy and therefore this study recommends a full evaluation of all tourism-related EIAs due to the significant fixed assets located along Jamaica’s vulnerable coastline.
Climate Change, Vulnerability, Environmental Impact Assessment, Tourism Sector, Jamaica