The Government remains committed to protecting the environment, in particular, the Cockpit Country.
Prime Minister Holness reaffirmed the Government’s stance on protecting and preserving the Cockpit Country during his national independence address.
The Prime Minister underscored that only environmentally sustainable projects will be pursued.
“Based on the technical advice of the experts and after consultations, the boundary of the area to be protected was decided. This is an important step in protecting this critical national asset for generations to come and ensures that there will be no mining or any other activity that could harm the environment in the protected area,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In that regard, the Prime Minister highlighted the legislative step taken by the Cabinet to grant further protection to the Cockpit Country Protected Area.
“The Cabinet also took further steps to ensure that before any mining can be done in areas outside of and close to the cockpit country protected area as defined, an environmental impact assessment study must be done. We are very sensitive to the concerns raised about the Cockpit Country Protected Area and we are very sensitive to the area surrounding and in close proximity to the Cockpit Country Protected Area,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness said environmental issues are now of greater concern in the face of more frequent and intense droughts, hurricanes and shifting rainfall patterns.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister outlined the decisive actions the Government has taken to protect the environment.
“We aborted the Goat Island project. We rejected coal as an option for a powering a bauxite operation in Jamaica. We have put in place an enterprise team to oversee the divestment and modernization of Jamaica’s solid waste management system which is at an advanced stage. We instituted a ban on some plastic items. We will shortly launch a deposit refund scheme plastic bottles. Shortly, I will announce a massive tree-planting programme right across Jamaica,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
In addition, the Prime Minister stated that the Government is now a stakeholder in the consultation process to declare certain areas in Black River, protected areas.