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Enviro group braces to challenge logistics hub development in protected area

Published:Thursday | August 22, 2013 | 1:59 PM

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer



The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) says it will mount a legal challenge to any plans by the Government to use lands within the Portland Bight Protected Area for the establishment of a logistics hub.




The declaration by JET follows an announcement in China yesterday by Land Minister Robert Pickersgill that consideration is now being given to the use of Goat Island One and Two as the site of the hub.



Pickersgill, who is part of a Jamaican delegation headed by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on an official tour of China, indicated that the site was the "preferred selection" of the Chinese investors undertaking the project.



But speaking at a press conference this morning, Danielle Andrade, the legal director at JET said the body was contemplating seeking a court order to force the government to hold the Portland Bight Protected Area in public trust for the people of Jamaica.



Andrade said JET is in the process of getting its documents together and is prepared to act swiftly.



Chief Executive Officer of JET, Diana McCaulay raised concern about the massive devastation that construction of the logistics hub will have on the entire eco system in the area and said she is not sure the Government searched for suitable alternative sites.



"There is a lack of transparency in the way this was done," McCaulay told reporters.



The Portland Bight Protected Area is approximately 1,876 square kilometres with about 50,000 residents who depend primarily on fishing.



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