Jamaica Designates Fourth Ramsar Site
14 June 2012: The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) has announced that the Government of Jamaica has designated the Mason River Protected Area Bird Sanctuary, as its fourth Ramsar site.
According to Ramsar, the site consists of various wetland types that help prevent downstream flooding by absorbing precipitation. It supports approximately 430 plant species, some of which are listed as vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List. Educational activities are carried out on the site, which is threatened by invasive species, illegal bird shooting, fires, illegal removal of trees, and encroachment.
Jamaica's designation contributes to one of the goals contained in the Ramsar Convention's Strategic Plan for 2009-2015, which is to reach a protected area of 250 million hectares by 2015. [Ramsar Press Release]