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Earth Today | Forestry sets timeline to confirm boundary for ecological gem

Published:Wednesday | March 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMPetre Williams-Raynor

THE FORESTRY Department is looking to provide a detailed description of the announced boundary for the Cockpit Country within two years.

The revelation was made by chief executive officer and conservator of forests Marilyn Headley, who noted the requirement for ground truth.

"We have scheduled it that it should be completed in two years," she noted. "What we know for sure is that we are starting in this new financial year."

Alicia Edwards, forest resource information management manager, explained the process of gathering ground truth.

"Ground truth is empirical evidence that you collect on the ground as against what you deduce from any in-house system or process such as a drawing on the computer or other data that does not show what is happening now," she said.

"When we are at that step (ground truth), we would have actually set up base stations and surveying equipment to actually establish monuments (markers used by surveyors to mark the boundary for any enclosed feature being captured, such as a land parcel) along the boundary," she said.

"We would mark it until we have completed the legally identified boundary that would be referred to as the Cockpit boundary from a legal perspective," Edwards said further.

Up to recently, the Forestry Department was finalising the composition of the team to do the work and the required budget.

"We will need a diverse, qualified team of surveyors and a commissioned land surveyor," said Edwards.

After they do their work, legislation will follow.

"The critical thing is to translate the recommendation of the boundary into an actual boundary, and then, once the boundary is identified, that is what will be given over to the legal arm in the Government for the gazetting and declaration," she told The Gleaner.