THE EDITOR, Sir:
I wish the Government and en-vironmentalists would desist from taking a uni-polar approach to development, where it's either development or the environment. I think the rest of the intellectual world has moved past this approach.
There needs to be full disclosure of the Goat Islands plan itself. There is no way to achieve prioritisation of the project (not development) objectives if actors are not cognisant of the intricacies of the plan. I therefore urge the minister to disclose All the intricacies of the proposed project so that environmentalists, etc., can also make informed decisions.
Clearly, the Chinese are in it for the economic and geopolitical advantages. I trust that the interests of the Government, and those of the ecology of Jamaica, are not in conflict.
Jamaica's economic, social, cultural and physical health is intimately linked to the health of its ecological processes. There is no getting around that! Our actions can exacerbate already vulnerable conditions, as well as create ones where none existed before.
A similar monitoring committee to that set up to police Government's actions, in realising the IMF goals, needs to be established, specifically for this and similar projects.
The country has too many pro-fessionals who operate outside of the benefits of Jamaica. The Government needs to co-opt its intelligence for national development. It does not only exist within the ambit of economy and law, also in planning, engineering, architecture and environment, etc. Such a monitoring committee should be given access to all matters surrounding this and other similar projects.
Jamaica is at a critical juncture in its development process. The country's infrastructure services and systems are not aligned to its economic- development goals. This creates burdens on such services.
The Government should consider the physical and social windfall of the project and communicate this to the Chinese, who, I think, are open to dialogue and reasonable amendments to the project.