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Logistics hub not a major threat to the environment - Pinnock

Published:Monday | June 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Pinnock

Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer

DR FRITZ Pinnock, executive director at the Caribbean Maritime Institute, has said the plan to construct a logistics hub on the Goat Islands is not a major threat to the environment.

"The greatest threat to the environment is not the development (of the hub), but rather the hungry people who have no means to provide for their children. I am also an environmentalist, but I am also realistic," Pinnock told The Gleaner.

Meanwhile, Pinnock said more speedy consultation is needed on the impending plans to build the logistics hub.

Broad-based engagement

"What I have always been saying is that the engagement has to be broad-based, which means the development of the hub must include the social, environmental and economic, all three have to be looked at together, and not in isolation," Pinnock told The Gleaner.

"I think efforts are being made to get things going, but we must speed up the conversation, and instead of pointing fingers, going forward, the engagement should be how do we get things done," he said.

Pinnock said there are many options to relocate the wildlife and other environmental commodities that exist in the area.

"There are some animals there, but they can be relocated. What is needed is a mega saltwater fish pond that can now provide a sustainable fishing industry, which we don't have. The truth is, what we have there is not worth protecting in its current form. It's eroding, close to disappearing, and a lot needs to be done to enhance it, and at the same time give persons a livelihood," Pinnock told The Gleaner.

A tour was held recently of Little Goat Island. Pinnock was unable to give a timeline for the tour of Greater Goat Island.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com