Support for the Campaign to Protect Goat Islands is Growing

The fate of the Portland Bight Protected Area, including Goat Islands, remains hanging in the balance. Despite efforts to obtain more information on whether the area will be sacrificed as a “logistics hub” to be constructed and operated by a Chinese firm, China Harbour Engineering Company, the Jamaican Government has continued to play its cards very close to its chest, not volunteering any information at all.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you this list – by no means exhaustive – of all the organizations that are in support of the campaign to save this precious piece of our ecological and cultural heritage. Many are overseas, and this shows the strong network of scientists and environmentalists working in the field. As we should be aware, scientists nowadays are global creatures, sharing information and discussing their findings and research across borders. They collaborate all the time on field expeditions and programs (such as the Caribbean Birding Trail which includes Jamaica and this protected area) and meet regularly – in person and online.

Incidentally, before I share this list I wanted to let you know that the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce, which apparently spearheads the logistics hub, will be hosting a one-day conference on the project in Kingston on Tuesday, November 12. Ironically, this coincides with a two-day meeting of the Iguana Support Group at Hope Zoo, which will bring together representatives of several zoos in the United States and elsewhere that have collaborated with Jamaican zoologists over the years on the breeding program for the Jamaican Iguana – which was saved from the brink of extinction in 1990. Now the iguana’s habitat is severely threatened by the hub. One politician (the Minister of Transport & Works Omar Davies, who has an interest in the logistics hub) dismissed the iguana as “two likkle lizard” that cannot get in the way of “progress.” 

If I have made any errors in this list – or have omitted anyone that I should have included – please let me know. I will update this blog post, accordingly, and keep it updated.

Huge thanks to all these organizations, near and far! We so appreciate your support!

  • Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK
  • ARKive, Bristol, UK and Washington, DC, USA
  • Avian Research and Conservation Institute, Gainesville, Florida
  • Betty White (“Golden Girls”), Actress
  • Birds Caribbean (formerly the Society for the Conservation & Study of Caribbean Birds)
  • Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
  • Caribbean Birding Trail
  • Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM), Jamaica
  • Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Puerto Rico
  • Centre for Biological Diversity, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  • Chester Zoo UK
  • Conservation International, Arlington, Virginia, USA
  • Countrystyle Community Tourism Network, Jamaica
  • Dream Team Divers, Jamaica
  • Earthjustice, San Francisco, California, USA
  • Environmental Foundation of Jamaica
  • Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (eLaw), Eugene, Oregon, USA
  • Feel Like a Biologist
  • 51% Coalition: Women in Partnership for Development and Empowerment through Equity, Jamaica
  • Fort Worth Zoo, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
  • GoNOMAD Travel, South Deerfield, Massachusetts, USA
  • Greenpeace NZ, New Zealand
  • Herp Alliance, Saint Charles, Illinois, USA
  • Herpeto, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Herpetology, Free University of Brussels (VUB), Belgium
  • HuffPost Green
  • I.F.R.O.G.S (Indigenous Forest Research Organization for Global Sustainability), Stuart, Florida, USA (with reps in other countries)
  • Iguana Specialist Group (ISG) – IUCN Red List
  • International Iguana Foundation (IIF), Fort Worth, Texas, USA
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature), Cambridge, UK
  • Jamaica Civil Society Coalition
  • Jamaica Conservation & Development Trust
  • Jamaica Environment Trust
  • Jamaicans for Justice
  • Misty Mountain Herbs, Jamaica
  • Mockingbird Hill Hotel, Jamaica
  • National Coalition Jamaica
  • NoMaddz Bongo Music, Jamaica
  • North American Reptile Breeders Conference, California, Illinois, Texas, USA
  • Novataxa: Species New to Science, Hat Yai, Thailand
  • One World Wildlife, Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK
  • Plant Conservation Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Project Noah (supported by National Geographic)
  • Queensland Ecotourism Authority, Australia
  • Ramsar Convention (the Portland Bight Protected Area is a Ramsar Wetland of Importance)
  • Reptile Hunter
  • Reptile Lovers ACE (Awareness, Conservation & Education)
  • San Diego Herpetological Society, San Diego, California, USA
  • San Diego Zoo Global, San Diego, California, USA
  • Seven Oaks Sanctuary for Wildlife, Jamaica
  • Shawn Heflick, Explorer, Conservation Biologist & Wildlife Expert, Palm Bay, Florida, USA
  • Southern California Herpetological Association & Rescue, Fuller, California, USA
  • The Biodiversity Group, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  • The Biologist Apprentice, Mexico
  • The Nature Conservancy (worldwide), Arlington, Virginia, USA
  • The Reptile Report, Denver, Colorado, USA
  • The Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York, USA
  • Tropical Herping, Quito, Ecuador
  • United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK), Grandy, North Carolina, USA
  • Urban Jungles Radio (Danny Mendez), New York, USA
  • Vietnam Herpetology
  • Wildlife Nature: Facebook
  • Windsor Research Centre, Jamaica
  • World Wildlife Fund

And thousands of people from Jamaica and around the world have signed the petition on change.org, which is here: http://www.change.org/petitions/no-to-port-on-goat-island-jamaica-no-trans-shipping-port-portland-bight-protected-area-jamaica?share_id=eqkTTbjcGd&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition  If you have not signed it yet, please consider doing so and share with anyone who may be interested. Even if you have, do take the time to read the interesting information, articles etc shared on the page and join the ongoing, daily updates and conversation on Facebook: No! To Port on Goat Island Jamaica.’

In case you missed it, please see this statement from Jamaica Environment Trust, who first raised concerns over the logistics hub plans: http://www.jamentrust.org/education/media/media-archive/2004-archive/160-statement-from-jet-on-goat-islands.html

And here is the statement from the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition, which includes JET and many other non-governmental and community-based organizations: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Six-reasons-against-port-on-Goat-Islands_14960085

And enjoy/share this song! https://soundcloud.com/jamentrust/dont-mess-with-goat-islands  Lyrics: Inilek Wilmot; Vocals: Quecee; Music: Jeremy Ashbourne.

Please support the campaign to preserve and protect the Portland Bight Protected Area, and Goat Islands! It is Jamaicans’ birthright…

A Government of Jamaica "No Fishing" market in the Portland Bight Protected Area. (Photo: C-CAM)
A Government of Jamaica “No Fishing” market in the Portland Bight Protected Area. (Photo: C-CAM)
Photo: C-CAM
Photo: C-CAM

Conservation officers patrol the Portland Bight Protected Area daily. (Photo: C-CAM)Conservation officers patrol the Portland Bight Protected Area daily. (Photo: C-CAM)

Near Greater Goat Island. (My Photo)
Near Greater Goat Island. (My Photo)
Mangrove in the fish sanctuary, Goat Islands. (My photo)
Mangrove in the fish sanctuary, Goat Islands. (My photo)
A trip round Goat Islands on September 14, 2013. (My Photo)
A trip round Goat Islands on September 14, 2013. (My Photo)
The winners in the JET Goat Island Jingle contest stopped by Earth House yesterday to collect their prizes. (L-R) Suzanne Stanley (JET), Kema White on behalf of first runner up Lisa White, Jeremy Ashbourne and singer Quecee first place winners (Inilek Wilmot was also part of the winning team), Danielle Andrade (JET), and Jeremy's mom Rosina Moder. Congrats to everyone! (Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust)
The winners in the JET Goat Island Jingle contest stopped by Earth House to collect their prizes. (L-R) Suzanne Stanley (JET), Kema White on behalf of first runner up Lisa White, Jeremy Ashbourne and singer Quecee first place winners (Inilek Wilmot was also part of the winning team), Danielle Andrade (JET), and Jeremy’s mom Rosina Moder. Congrats to everyone! (Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust)
Little Goat Island is one of two cays that make up Goat Islands. (PHOTO: ANN SUTTON)
Little Goat Island is one of two cays that make up Goat Islands. (PHOTO: ANN SUTTON)
Magnificent Frigatebirds, Portland Bight Protected Area. (Photo: Ted Lee Eubanks)
Magnificent Frigatebirds, Portland Bight Protected Area. (Photo: Ted Lee Eubanks)
The Hellshire coast, part of the Portland Bight Protected Area.
The Hellshire coast, part of the Portland Bight Protected Area.
Goat Islands. (Photo: Ted Lee Eubanks)
Goat Islands. (Photo: Ted Lee Eubanks)
Mother Brown Noddy and chick in Portland Bight Protected Area. (Photo: C-CAM)
Mother Brown Noddy and chick in Portland Bight Protected Area. (Photo: C-CAM)
From the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM).
From the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM).
Young turtle, Portland Bight Protected Area. (Photo: Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation - C-CAM)
Young turtle, Portland Bight Protected Area. (Photo: Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation – C-CAM)

9 thoughts on “Support for the Campaign to Protect Goat Islands is Growing

  1. Thanks for compiling this list Emma. I do think there are other organizations which support the protection of Portland Bight – they might not have signed the petition. I will circulate your blog to my lists and see if others put forward their names..

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    1. Oh, that would be great! I have a feeling there are some more out there, and it would be wonderful if we could add even more organizations’ names. Thanks very much. I will keep updating the post, then.

      Like

  2. I am very impressed by all those organisations and individuals who have signed. Well done yourselves and Thank you. I am equally concerned that Jamaican organisations still seem to be rather sparse. Is there such a fear of opposing government? Or are most people on the island not really concerned. Why the apathy? At least one person working close to government tells me it’s a lost cause. I really hope not.

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    1. Thanks. Well, there are several Jamaican organizations there – and remember the Civil Society Coalition includes several organizations. And there aren’t that many NGOs in Jamaica, it’s a small country! If you look at comments on the petition website you will see that many Jamaicans are indeed concerned and I sense that if anything that concern is growing. There is actually in some ways less apathy these days than there used to be, people are becoming a little more vocal. Just watch the local TV news! And I don’t believe in lost causes…

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