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Environment group seeks funding for Goat Island's study

Published:Friday | March 21, 2014 | 8:47 AM

Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor - Radio

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Caribbean Coastal Area Management (C-CAM) Foundation says it is raising funds to hire an international firm to do a cost effectiveness comparison of developing a port at the Goat Islands versus the Kingston Harbour.

C-CAM does conservation work in the Portland Bight Protected Area where the Goat Islands are located.

There has been much public debate since it was announced that China Harbour Engineering company was looking to build a transhipment port on the Goat Islands.

However, C-CAM’s Executive Director, Ingrid Parchment, says much of the discussion pits the environment against the economy without any meaningful conversation about the true costs and benefits of the proposed port development.

She says C-CAM wants to understand the country’s options by getting a better sense of the financial and environmental costs of the proposed port development versus other potential sites.

Parchment says examination of financial costs will focus on the capital and recurring costs of the port and associated infrastructure, such as access roads.

She says the study will also look at the dollar value of the ecosystem services lost to project damage and the cost for offsite conservation and restoration activities.

C-CAM says the study could also look at the cost of developing one other possible site.

Parchment says the assessment is expected to cost about US$50,000 and C-CAM has already received expressions of interest from possible funding partners.

She says the findings from the report are to be made available to the public through the media and workshops by June.


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