Another move to destroy our environment

In the name of ‘development’? Is there no other way to analyze areas for the presence of minerals or ores? As far as I’m concerned, this should be front page news. These companies are spectres, they’re menaces to our future and stability.

Environmentalists move to ‘Save the Cockpit Country’
published: Friday October 20, 2006

Upset about what it said are plans by a major company to start mining the Cockpit Country for bauxite, a group of environmentalists has lashed out at the idea and are planning a national and international ‘Save the Cockpit Country’ campaign.

The group that calls itself the Cockpit Country Stakeholders Group said a bauxite company has made an application for a special exclusive prospecting licence to prospect for bauxite in the area.

In a statement, the group outlined the environmental significance of the area, noting that mining the Cockpit Country would have devastating ecological effects.

According to the group, the Cockpit Country has the world’s most outstanding karst topography, steep-sided hills and deep, round valleys eroded from the limestone bedrock. The wildlife of the Cockpit Country is specially adapted to this landscape and numerous species that are found nowhere else in the world are in this ecosystem.

The group noted that the area is the largest remaining region of intact wet limestone forest in Jamaica and is a refuge for at least 79 of the over 100 bird species found in the island, including Jamaica’s two endemic parrot species.

Major rivers
Five major rivers are fed from the aquifers under the Cockpit Country – the Black River, Great River, Montego River, Cabarita River and the Martha Brae. Five parishes derive their water supply, in whole or part, from this forested area – St. Elizabeth, Hanover, St. James, Westmoreland and Trelawny.

“The Cockpit Country Stakeholders Group is advocating that no prospecting licences or mining leases be issued without careful consideration of the views of this Group,” the statement declared.

The stakeholders include scientists, educators and other members of Birdlife Jamaica, Bluefields Peoples’ Community Association, Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation, among other interests.

(picture’s caption: The forests of the Cockpit Country in Jamaica’s interior are a world-famous karst (limestone) habitat, home to many plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. The spectre of bauxite mining here has raised the ire of environmental groups. – Andrew Smith/Photography Editor )

mood: anxious
sounds: office

3 Responses to “Another move to destroy our environment”
  1. Stunner says:

    Let’s hope they can save it before the government sells it out as they do with so many of our natural resources.

  2. Mikki_L says:

    See, I think the min of tourism needs to capitalize more on the eco tourism potenial Jamaica has, and the cockpit country could be a big revenue maker. But it’s funny, over our short history I don’t think Jamaicans have been as environmentally conscious as we should have… probably because we have more ‘important’ things like crime, economy and basic necessities to think about. But I think our negligence is going to catch up with us!

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  1. […] Another Move to Destroy Our Environment (October 2006) […]

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