Thwaites wants debate on Cockpit Country
Opposition Member of Parliament for Central Kingston Ronald Thwaites has called for Parliament to have a debate on the Cockpit Country.
Thwaites made the call in a private member’s motion yesterday afternoon in the House of Representatives.
He argued that the Cockpit Country has ecological value and is an area of national importance.
Noting that there has been a public debate on the Cockpit Country, he said the matter warrants discussion in Parliament.
The Cockpit Country has one of the largest reserves of bauxite in Jamaica and environmentalists suspect that the government will allow bauxite companies to disturb what is supposed to be a protected area to mine the deposits.
The area is home to a diversity of Jamaica's protected endemic species and is the source of 40 per cent of the island's water.
A coalition of civil groups and concerned individuals have used the new petition portal established by the Office of the Prime Minister to get the requisite signatures to force the Government to review and respond to their Save Cockpit Country appeal.
They are lobbying against bauxite mining within the protected boundaries of the Cockpit Country.
On Monday, OPM said Prime Minister Andrew Holness will respond to the petition in 30 days.