Cockpit Country Stakeholders Call For Thorough Eia Consultation Process For Mining Permits
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Cockpit Country Stakeholders Call For Thorough Eia Consultation Process For Mining Permits

Bauxite pit vicinity Cockpit Country Photo credit Ja Environment Trust

In an open letter to the Chief Executive Officer of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) signed by 15 civil groups and 71 individuals, the Cockpit Country Stakeholders Group (CCSG) is expressing concern about the conduct of virtual public consultations during the Covid-19 period. The letter points out that many Jamaicans, particularly in rural areas, do not have ready access to the internet and are likely to be excluded from virtual meetings. The signatories are concerned to ensure that the requirements for meaningful public consultations are not watered down or avoided entirely.

The context is the imminent public consultation process as part of the conduct of an Environmental Impact Assessment for the Noranda Special Mining Lease 173 in Trelawny and the border of St Ann, which the CCSG contends encroaches on Cockpit Country, although the area is outside of the designated Cockpit Country Protected Area, announced by the Prime Minister in 2017.

The open letter makes the following suggestions:

  • The public consultation for SML 173 should be broadcast on national television, as was done for the Montego Bay Bypass Road, as well as on radio. Questions should come in via different means (Zoom, WhatsApp, Social Media, text, phone call, e-mail) and once they contain no profanity, be displayed on the TV screen as the meeting progresses.
  • ALL questions should be answered either during the meeting, whether the questions are read on the air or not, and/or presented in an Addendum to the EIA within 30 days of the date of the public meeting.
  • This approach could also be bolstered by in person meetings in local communities in small numbers.
  • Comments from the public should also be facilitated with a dedicated e-mail and allow for input to be sent by post.

 “Because of Covid restrictions on gatherings, we are calling for special efforts to reach the rural residents of the area covered by Special Mining Lease 173, especially farmers, so that they can be fully informed of the potential impacts of bauxite mining on the environment, their communities and livelihoods,” said Wendy Lee of the Seven Oaks Sanctuary for Wildlife in St Ann. “They, along with other stakeholders, must be given an opportunity to provide input which must be taken into account in the final decision.”

The letter also requests information on the mechanism by which public concerns guide decision-making.

See the letter along with the signatories here.

Contact:

Alvin Gallimore, journalist, St Ann resident

876-401-3066

Dr. Susan Koenig, Windsor Research Centre

876-997-3832
Wendy Lee, Seven Oaks Sanctuary for Wildlife

876-359-1505

Diana McCaulay, Board Chair, Jamaica Environment Trust

876-469-1315

Signed on behalf of the following agencies and individuals

AGENCIES

  • Archaeological Society of Jamaica
  • Birdlife Jamaica
  • BirdsCaribbean
  • Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation
  • Caribbean Women’s Regional Network
  • Caribbean Youth Environmental Network
  • Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages
  • Jamaican Caves Organization
  • Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust
  • Jamaica Environment Trust
  • Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals
  • Natural History Society of Jamaica
  • Queen’s Highway Citizens Association Ltd
  • Seven Oaks Sanctuary for Wildlife
  • Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency
  • The Cockpit Country Warriors
  • Windsor Research Centre

INDIVIDUALS

  • Elizabeth Andrew
  • Ivanie Godfrey
  • Christine O’Sullivan
  • Zachary J. M. Beier
  • Lisa Gordon
  • Jan Pauel
  • Jacqueline Binns
  • Doris C. Gross
  • Julia Porter
  • Rhema Kerr Bjorkland
  • Deborah Harris
  • Denice O. Ramharrack
  • Jean Bramwell
  • Louise Henriques
  • Dr. Angela Ramsay
  • Audrey Brown
  • Anthony Holmes
  • Andrea Richards
  • Nicole Brown
  • Audrey Holmes
  • Caroline Richards
  • Rev. Kirk Brown
  • Trevor Hope
  • Cdr. Michael Rodriguez
  • Rev. Garfield Campbell
  • Anne Hopwood
  • Veronica Salter
  • Dr. Gail Codrington
  • Lyndon Johnson
  • Christopher Scott-Brown
  • Jane E. Cohen
  • Jennifer Jones
  • Robert Stephens
  • Dr. Marceline Collins-Figueroa
  • Frank E. Lawrence
  • Wayne Sutherland
  • Debbie Devonish
  • Wendy A. Lee
  • Dr. Ann Sutton
  • Hugh Dixon
  • Horace Levy
  • Samere Tansley
  • Dr. Jane Dodman
  • Emma Lewis
  • Prof. Elizabeth Thomas-Hope
  • Rev. Roy Dodman
  • Lisa Lindo
  • Ulla Wykoff Tomlinson
  • Leo Douglas
  • Ruth Loewe
  • Vaughan Turland
  • Peter Espeut
  • Elke Macdonald
  • Linette Vassell
  • Laura Facey
  • Shirley Mais
  • Adrian Watson
  • Dr. Esther Figueroa
  • Stephanie Martin
  • Judith Wedderburn
  • Bernadette Frankson
  • Diana McIntyre-Pike
  • Dawn Williams
  • Earl Gibson
  • Canon Garth Minott
  • Barbara Zampelli

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