JET exec welcomes gov't's move on Cockpit Country, but has concerns
Chief executive officer of the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) Diana McCauley has welcomed the move by the government to declare the Cockpit Country a no-mining zone.
However, the environmentalist says there are still concerns about some boundaries which were not included in Prime Minister, Andrew Holness' announcement yesterday.
Holness made the declaration in Parliament, weeks after the deadline for his response to a successful petition against permitting mining in the Cockpit Country Protected Area.
McCaulay pointed specifically to the Nassau mountains, noting that there would be serious issues if mining takes place there, as that’s where the Black River rises.
The environmentalist says the hydrological resources of water in the Cockpit country flows underground.
As a result, Mccaulay says even if there’s an area where there is no surface water that is going to interrupt those underground flows, activity could impact on the Rio Bueno it Trelawny.
The Prime Minister announced that the protected areas will include existing forest reserves, significant hydrological and ecological features and cultural and heritage sites.
The area, which comprises approximately 74,726 hectares, will be referred to as the Cockpit Country Protected Area and will be protected under specific legislation as advised by the Attorney General.