Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Not-so-critical editorial

Published:Thursday | January 9, 2014 | 1:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Your editorial of January 7 displays a disturbing ignorance of the meaning of the term 'sustainable development'. It does not mean 'keeping things pastoral'. The term rose to significance in the 1987 Brundtland Commission's report Our Common Future. One definition is 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. Sustainable development is also official Jamaican government policy. To quote Vision 2030: Goal 4 - Jamaica has a healthy natural environment. National outcomes 13 and 15 - Sustainable management and use of environmental and natural resources; Sustainable urban and rural development. So it is not the 'neo Luddities' who are inflicting this concept on Jamaica. Nor did the 'neo Luddites' declare the Portland Bight Protected Area under Jamaican law.

Your editorial further uncritically accepts the promises of Jamaican jobs and benefits from the proposed port, which, in the absence of details, are little more than public relations. As for creative engagement, the environmental community has tried -- but the Government of Jamaica has refused to provide information on the agreement with the China Harbour Engineering Company and the technical proposal for the port, even though this information was requested under the Access to Information Act.

DIANA MCCAULAY

Chief Executive Officer

Jamaica Environment Trust