The BJCMNP, Jamaica UNESCO WHS Nomination Dossier quotes Carey, 1997 statement that the word Maroon “has been adapted by academics as a generic term to apply to groups of persons resisting plantation slavery in the Caribbean and the American continent”. In fact the term is now being applied to groups all over the world who resisted enslavement by the Europeans, by fleeing to hard to access wilderness areas. The Maroons of eastern Jamaica (Windward Maroons) are however considered the classical representation and prototype, having been the first example of Grand Maroonage, the first free Maroon state in the post 1492 world, and still enduring today.
The Blue and the John Crow Mountains of Jamaica are:
- 2 of the Caribbean’s 290 Key Biodiversity Areas (BirdLife International, 2010)
- 2 of the Caribbean’s 48 Wholly Irreplaceable Sites (BirdLife International, 2010)
- 1 of the 200 globally important sites for the conservation of plant biological diversity (WWF/IUCN. 1997)
- 1 of the 78 most irreplaceable protected areas for the conservation of the world’s amphibian, bird and mammal species (Bertzky et al.,2013).
The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park (BJCMNP) is located in the eastern end of the island of Jamaica. It extends over a planimetric area of 486 km2 (48,600ha) and represents 4.4% of Jamaica’s land surface. When topography is taken into consideration, the area is 78,212 hectares (193,292 acres) which indicates just how mountainous the terrain is.