Beautiful Jamaica. Under Threat.

I am posting below a few photographs from a magnificent album by Jamaican Max Earle. They are actually stills from a three-minute video, which you can find here:

Just see for yourself. The video was made in the Portland Bight Protected Area, which includes Goat Islands – where China Harbour Engineering Company intend to build a mega-port. Most of these photos were taken in and around Goat Islands. These are Max’s words introducing his photo album on Facebook, which contains many more beautiful images:

I’ve been given the gift of imaging this area of our land that will very soon be no more…forever. The decisions that have been made in the interest of development have been done with no concern for the thousands who live and scrape a living here. As our future unfolds in this way…my heart breaks for my land, and my people.

For more information and to see how YOU can help, go to

The Goat Islands area contains two out of three fish sanctuaries - a nursery for fish and many other marine creatures and birds in pristine (NOT "degraded") mangroves.
The Goat Islands area contains two out of three fish sanctuaries – a nursery for fish and many other marine creatures and birds in pristine (NOT “degraded”) mangroves.
A beach of shells on Great Goat Island.
A beach of shells on Great Goat Island.
Young mangrove.
Young mangrove. The sea would be dredged to 60 feet deep for the transshipment port, destroying marine life.
A little girl at Old Harbour fishing village.
A little girl at Old Harbour fishing village.
Birds, another crucial link in our fragile eco-system.
Birds, another crucial link in our fragile eco-system.
This, the larger of the two Goat Islands, would probably be dynamited and pushed into the sea if the port development goes ahead.
This, the larger of the two Goat Islands, would probably be dynamited and pushed into the sea if the port development goes ahead.



13 thoughts on “Beautiful Jamaica. Under Threat.

  1. Do we the natives of this paradise have a say as to what is or what is not done with our land or our taxes? When are we going to unite as a people and let these politicans know that they are working on our behalf


    1. I am afraid they have forgotten the meaning of the word “public servants.” Since last year, the Urban Development Corporation which has been “delegated responsibility” for selected parts of the Portland Bight Protected Area, has prevented Jamaicans from setting foot on Goat Islands. You have to go through hoops to get a permit to land there. The UDC has also closed the Two Sisters Caves in Hellshire (also a part of the Protected Area) so Jamaicans can no longer visit there. The reason is not clear?


    2. I feel very sad about what is about to happen. This type of raping of the island for the almighty dollar, without concern to its infrastructure and natural state. Jamaica left in its natural state is a true paradise. If only the those with the power to allow this project could see the value in making the entire island of Jamaica a place where every Jamaican on the island had some responsibility in preserving its natural beauty. The single most important project that needs developing is establishing a world class train system that would run around and through the island. That, in my humble opinion, would be far more enticing to having more people wanting to visit Jamaica. New vision, new thinkers is what is needed to steer the beautiful island of Jamaica in a new direction. The hierarchy who are in control appear to be stuck in a narrow mindset, out of touch with concern and respect for the land we are custodians of, to leave in pristine condition for the next generation. For those who are concerned, let your voices be heard. All Jamaicans should be made aware of what is happening.


      1. I know exactly how you feel and I feel the same way. I also believe in the train system – the last administration tried to revive a part of it, but it wasn’t financially viable. Everyone was so happy and excited about it, however. I once traveled on the “diesel” – in the 1980s – all the way from Kingston to Montego Bay. It was an unforgettable experience and would be a great attraction for visitors. I also think the Goat Islands area would be perfect for ecotourism, as I discussed in an article some time ago. One of the islands could have a lovely yoga resort/retreat. It is so peaceful and unspoiled. The mangroves are flourishing and healthy, contrary to what some reports suggest. We are trying to spread the word, and if you can help to do so, that would be great! You can join our Facebook page (No! to Port on Goat Island, Jamaica) and that will keep you up to date. We need all the support we can get and have not given up. And you are absolutely right – our government seems to have no vision or understanding of the value of this area, how it could be SUSTAINABLY used and preserved for future generations. They don’t think long term, you see.


  2. Without reading your blog, I would have no idea of the issues affecting Jamaica. Thank you for enlightening me, though now I am unsure whether Jamaica should still be on my bucket list. I don’t want to contribute to the i.e. decline of the beaches.


    1. Oh dear Catherine! I am glad I am enlightening you on what is really happening here. But I think the challenge of the eroding beaches is not exclusive to our island and there is a combination of factors, including climate change, rising sea levels, storms etc… It is still a beautiful, beautiful place and I do hope you will visit!


  3. Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
    Thank you for sharing this. I hope with enough international outcry this insane plan can be stopped. Why put such a big shipping center on an island anyway? It will cause such damage and be very vulnerable to hurricanes.

    One of my favorite authors Susan Cooper, bb’s write The Dark is Rising series, also write a book called The Green Boy (I think-i may have the title wrong) .
    It was about these young brothers on a small island in I believe the Bahamas.

    Some similarly destructive development was slated for their island but magic occurred and stopped it during the story.

    Today was the worldwide meditation for healing the Leys/energy channels in the land. Perhaps someone there knows the old ways of working with the spirits of the land.
    A Chinese company should know better than to destroy natural formations like that anyway. Feng shui is not an interior design fad there but a very ancient science. At least in Hong Kong the businesses who use it well are reported to be more successful. I guess like everywhere there are people who respect traditional knowledge and people who ignore it or mock it.:-/


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