Thu | Apr 9, 2020

Don’t use arable lands for development

Published:Thursday | April 11, 2019 | 12:18 AM


Open letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness:

I’m writing to you today in regard to the planned Bernard lodge ’city’ development. I think this idea needs to be re-evaluated.

I recently read a comment in an article where the writer said “God nah make no more land.” This could not be any more true, especially for our little island.

Throughout the course of ‘development’, we must also make plans to conserve. We must try our best to preserve the little remaining green spaces we have, including forests, farmlands and parks. If housing is an issue, the policy should be to build upwards, not outwards. Tourists don’t leave from their concrete jungles to come to an island concrete jungle.

If you don’t carefully consider this move, it will have a similar impact as bauxite mining on our environment and economy. The figures show that millions of dollars have been pumped into our economy through bauxite mining, but the average Jamaican in these areas has not benefited. All we’re left with is our beautiful landscape destroyed.

Mr Prime Minister, I do believe it would be of greater benefit to the people of our island and the visitors if investments were made in preserving the natural beauty and ecosystem of our island. Why not look into developing hiking trails? Biking trails in the hills? More nature reserves?

We occupy an island of 4,244 square miles; this is not a lot of land. Countries like Costa Rica have made it a priority to protect their environment and it seems they’re still doing well.

You are a likeable person, Mr Prime Minister, but don’t make decisions based on the fact that you think it’s what will make more people like you. Make bold decisions for the good of our country.

We have beautiful landscapes and this should be preserved and not destroyed. Some of our hills rival the English countryside. Do we really want to destroy this to make a quick buck?

We have enough resorts, Mr Prime Minister. Build upwards, preserve our environment.