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Opposition calls for sacking of NRCA board

Published:Wednesday | December 17, 2014 | 1:49 PMNews Editor Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The parliamentary opposition is calling for the sacking of the board of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority's (NRCA) for its approval of the Negril breakwater project.

It was announced yesterday that the NRCA has approved construction of the breakwaters as part of a beach management strategy to slow the pace of erosion of the Negril coastline.

However, the project has been the source of great contention among environmentalists, residents and the business community in Negril who argue that the break water system will damage the environment and affect tourism in the community.

Opposition Spokesman on the Environment, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, says the NRCA Board’s decision runs counter to its mandate, to provide for the management, conservation and protection of the natural resources of Jamaica.

According to him, the absence of a comprehensive Economic Impact study into the effects of pursuing the highly technical and disruptive project slated to run for several months and the fact that the Environmental Impact Assessment is incomplete are cause for concern.

And he says he’s also concerned about the lack of genuine consultation by the Government with Negril stakeholders, including Hoteliers.

He argues that the NRCA did not sufficiently take into account the views of members of the Negril community and experts here and overseas who have consistently shown the breakwater proposal is not a good idea.

Wheatley says Negril stakeholders have put forward serious proposals that are less expensive, more effective and environmentally friendly.

Wheatley says the JLP is of the opinion that beach nourishment is the way to go.