More Supporters Every Day: Save Goat Islands


When I last posted an update about support for the campaign to save the Portland Bight Protected Area, including Goat Islands, I noted, “The Jamaican Government remains alarmingly silent on the matter.” Nothing much has changed. We now hear remarks by Government officials that the proposed transshipment port, to be built by China Harbour Engineering Company, is on track and will be considered by Cabinet in the near future. Minister of Transport and Works Omar Davies apparently has a “draft agreement” in his possession. When asked months ago by journalists for a copy of this agreement last year, Minister Davies prevaricated. Of course, the agreement was never made public. In fact, the Government has blocked efforts to get additional information on the planned project through the Access to Information Act (see my recent posts for further information).

Well, I have updated the list that I posted on December 29, 2013 of all the organizations (and some influential individuals) that have come out in support of the campaign. They are in Jamaica, the UK, USA, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Brazil, Belgium, Netherlands, South Africa…even Vietnam.  As I noted before, scientists are part of a global network that knows no borders. They continuously support each other, collaborating on field expeditions and programs (such as the Caribbean Birding Trail, which includes this protected area). If I have made any errors in this list – or have omitted anyone that I should have included – please let me know. As you can see, the list has grown longer. There are more supporters every day!

How can you help? 

Read the Briefing Paper on the Goat Islands/Portland Bight posted by the Jamaica Environment Trust on its new website: http://savegoatislands.org, where you can find updates, articles and much information, including ways in which you can help. The link is here: http://savegoatislands.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Goat_Islands_PBPA_Briefing_Paper.pdf

Become a member of the Jamaica Environment Trust! Volunteer, or make a donation… Visit the JET website at www.jamentrust.org for more details.

Buy a Save Goat Islands T-shirt – available via the online form in Jamaica (J$1000) or in the U.S. for $15 at this link: https://www.booster.com/savegoatisland. See the Save Goat Islands website for further details.

Share the short animated video “Don’t mess with Goat Islands,” created by Jamaicans. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7wAg7y3h2A (It’s very catchy, I warn you!) Lyrics: Inilek Wilmot; Vocals: Quecee; Music: Jeremy Ashbourne. Animation: NivekPro Animations. A new, beautiful PSA video can also be seen at http://savegoatislands.org/photos-videos/videos/

Thousands of people from Jamaica and around the world have signed the petition on change.org, 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. It includes many heartfelt comments from supporters, as well as additional articles and information.

Write to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller; President/CEO of the Port Authority of Jamaica Professor Gordon Shirley; Dr. Omar Davies, Minister of Transport and Works; and Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Land Water Environment and Climate Change.

Write letters to the newspapers: the Jamaica Gleaner (letters@gleanerjm.com) and the Jamaica Observer (editorial@jamaicaobserver.com). If you are overseas, please spread the word online via the media, etc…

Join the Facebook page: No! To Port on Goat Island Jamaica. It is updated daily with news, relevant articles and updates, including links from many of our supporting organizations – and archived information that you are unlikely to find anywhere else. Please also join the Facebook pages of the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM), the NGO that manages this Protected Area; and of course that of the Jamaica Environment Trust, which spearheads the campaign in Jamaica.

Follow @SaveGoatIslands and @jamentrust on Twitter.

  • 350.org
  • African Wildlife Foundation, Washington, DC, USA
  • Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK AND Berkeley, California
  • A Peaceful Planet Facebook page
  • ARKive, Bristol, UK and Washington, DC, USA
  • Avian Research and Conservation Institute, Gainesville, Florida
  • Beautyofplanet.com
  • Betty White (“Golden Girls”), Actress and Activist
  • Birds Caribbean (formerly the Society for the Conservation & Study of Caribbean Birds)
  • Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
  • Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
  • Caribbean Bird Festivals, Arlington, Virginia, USA
  • Caribbean Birding Trail
  • Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM), Jamaica
  • Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Puerto Rico
  • Caribbean Wildlife Alliance, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
  • Centre for Biological Diversity, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  • Chester Zoo UK
  • Climate Progress, Washington, DC, USA
  • CommonDreams.org
  • Conservation International, Arlington, Virginia, USA
  • Countrystyle Community Tourism Network, Jamaica
  • David Suzuki Foundation, Vancouver, Canada
  • Dream Team Divers, Jamaica
  • Earth: The Operator’s Manual – Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
  • Earth Tribe – Activist News
  • Earthjustice, San Francisco, California, USA
  • Eco-Index, ℅ Rainforest Alliance, New York, USA
  • EcoWatch, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  • Environmental Defense Fund, New York, USA
  • Environmental Foundation of Jamaica
  • Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (eLaw), Eugene, Oregon, USA
  • Eve for Life Jamaica
  • Fans of Animal Rights Facebook page
  • 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
  • Indigenous Environmental Network
  • International Animal Rescue
  • International Iguana Foundation (IIF), Fort Worth, Texas, USA
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature), Cambridge, UK  (the Jamaican Iguana is listed as “Critically Endangered” on this globally recognized list)
  • Jamaica Civil Society Coalition
  • Jamaica Conservation & Development Trust
  • Jamaica Environment Trust (spearheading the campaign in Jamaica)
  • Jamaicans for Justice
  • J-FLAG
  • 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
  • Pachamama Alliance, San Francisco, USA and Ecuador
  • Panos Caribbean, Haiti and Jamaica
  • Plant Conservation Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Project Noah (supported by National Geographic)
  • Queensland Ecotourism Authority, Australia
  • Rainforest Action Network, San Francisco, California, USA
  • Ramsar Convention (the Portland Bight Protected Area is a Ramsar Wetland of Importance)
  • Reptile Hunter
  • Reptile Lovers ACE (Awareness, Conservation & Education)
  • Rock Iguanas Facebook page
  • San Diego Herpetological Society, San Diego, California, USA
  • San Diego Zoo Global, San Diego, California, USA
  • SEEtheWILD, Beaverton, Oregon, 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
  • Stenapa St. Eustatius, St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean
  • Stichting Doelgroep Groene Leguanen (SDGL), Haarlem, Netherlands
  • Sustain Jamaica Facebook page
  • Sustainable Earth: A Future for Wildlife and People Facebook page
  • Sustainable Man Blog: http://sustainableman.org/ San Francisco, California, USA
  • The Biodiversity Group, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  • The Biologist Apprentice, Mexico
  • The Climate Reality Project, founded and chaired by Al Gore, Nobel Laureate and former Vice President of the United States
  • The Jamaica Caves Organisation
  • The Nature Conservancy (worldwide), Arlington, Virginia, USA
  • The Ocean Foundation, Washington, DC, USA
  • The Ocean Portal: National Museum of Natural History/Smithsonian, Washington, DC, USA
  • The Rainforest Site, Seattle, Washington, USA
  • The Reptile Report, Denver, Colorado, USA
  • The Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx Zoo, New York, USA
  • Tropical Herping, Quito, Ecuador
  • Truthout, USA
  • United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK), Grandy, North Carolina, USA
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC, USA
  • Urban Jungles Radio (Danny Mendez), New York, USA
  • Vietnam Herpetology
  • We Are Wildness
  • Wildlife Nature: Facebook
  • Windsor Research Centre, Jamaica
  • World Wildlife Fund

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

Thank you!

Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust.
Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust.
Aerial view - end of Great Goat Island top right. (Photo: Max Earle)
Aerial view – end of Great Goat Island top right. (Photo: Max Earle)
Fishermen push out their boat at Old Harbour Fishing Village, Galleon Bay. (Photo: Max Earle)
Fishermen push out their boat at Old Harbour Fishing Village, Galleon Bay. (Photo: Max Earle)
Reflections at Goat Islands. (Photo: Max Earle)
Reflections at Goat Islands. (Photo: Max Earle)
Goat Islands. If the transshipment port is built, this area will be destroyed. (Photo: Max Earle)
Goat Islands. If the transshipment port is built, this area will be destroyed. (Photo: Max Earle)
The pristine (NOT "degraded") mangrove at Goat Islands. (Photo: Max Earle)
The pristine (NOT “degraded”) mangrove at Goat Islands. (Photo: Max Earle)
The view from Great Goat Island. (Photo: Max Earle)
The view from Great Goat Island. (Photo: Max Earle)
Brown Pelicans, Galleon Bay, near Goat Islands. (Photo: Max Earle)
Brown Pelicans, Galleon Bay, near Goat Islands. (Photo: Max Earle)
Students from the University of the West Indies talk to residents of Old Harbour about the proposed plans to build a port at Goat Islands. (Photo: C-CAM)
Students from the University of the West Indies talk to residents of Old Harbour about the proposed plans to build a port at Goat Islands. (Photo: C-CAM)
Representatives of the Planning Institute of Jamaica on a tour in the Portland Bight Protected Area, organized by C-CAM.
Representatives of the Planning Institute of Jamaica on a tour in the Portland Bight Protected Area, organized by C-CAM.
Members of Bustamante High School's Environmental Club and their advisor and coach Dilip Ragoo (third right) gather for a group shot on the banks of Salt River with the Braselletto Mountains rising in the background, after beating Old Harbour High at a World Wetlands Day debate organized by the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM), which manages the Portland Bight Protected Area. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)
Members of Bustamante High School’s Environmental Club and their advisor and coach Dilip Ragoo (third right) gather for a group shot on the banks of Salt River with the Braselletto Mountains rising in the background, after beating Old Harbour High at a World Wetlands Day debate organized by the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM), which manages the Portland Bight Protected Area. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

12 thoughts on “More Supporters Every Day: Save Goat Islands

    1. RightFromYaad finding another more suitable location for the proposed transshipment port other than the Goat Islands is NOT backward, it is forward thinking. Get your facts straight before spreading propaganda please.

      Like

      1. I think we have to think and discuss this without throwing labels around and accusing each other. As someone said the other day, what is the use of money and profit if you don’t have clean water, clean air and unpolluted land?

        Like

      2. Agree Petchary. Unfortunately there is a large contingent like RightFromYaad who seem to pick and choose what they hear and read about the situation. I am yet to hear anyone say they are against the Logistics Hub being built altogether. I’m not sure where they have gotten this idea from.

        Like

      3. I know, it’s a blanket accusation, and it is simply not true. No one has said they don’t want Jamaica to develop and grow. It would, of course, really help if the government had consulted in some way with the people – especially those who may be directly affected. It’s all a big secret and that is a major concern.

        Like

      4. How many of you ever heard of Goat Islands before this proposed site’s choice for a transshipment location?

        There is more environmental degradation occurring by Jamaicans living on gully banks and dumping refuse directly into them….

        The only way to reduce our impact on the environment is increase individual prosperity and advance the systems of our fledgling economy.

        Like

      5. If the transhipment port is put at a more suitable location then the 4000 fisherfolk who now live in the area will be able to keep their livelihood and avoid sinking into worse living conditions. Nobody is saying they don’t want a logistics hub, they are saying they don’t want it put in the most protected area in Jamaica. If you are truly interested in keeping people out of poverty then you would surely not want the fisherfolk there to lose their ability to feed themselves, send their children to school to get an education and to have some money for themselves. Putting the port at another location will ensure that as well as save that delicate area. Everybody wins in that situation.

        Like

      6. Not only had I heard of it, I had visited there several times and sat down and talked with residents – fisherfolk, farmers etc about sustainable living. If you had not heard of it before then it’s not my fault – perhaps we don’t know our island enough! I’m all for individual prosperity but don’t exactly know how this is to be achieved with this transshipment port. I can guarantee you the 4000 fisherfolk will not see an improvement in their lives. Also Goat Islands was under consideration for eco-tourism and as a breeding reserve for the iguana. P.S. Have you been there, by the way? It helps if you know what you are talking about! I disagree on the “cheap fossil fuel” too. That is not the way of the future. As for industrialization… right now the Chinese can hardly breathe in Beijing and their air pollution is spreading. Depends on priorities I guess. I would like to be able to breathe… 🙂

        Like

    2. If you had read my earlier posts (and followed media comments from JET) you would know that they specifically stated they are not against development. It is FOR sustainable development. However, the group believes that the chosen location for a transshipment port (in an area declared a Protected Area by former Environment Minister Easton Douglas in 1999) will cause tremendous damage – and is unsuitable, as an article by Jamaican engineer Howard Chin notes (please read!) PS Environmentalists are not backward people. They are trained scientists!

      Like

      1. Environmentalists in general are seeking to undermine human advancement. The billions in poverty around the world cannot advance to higher standards of living with housing, potable water and infectious diseases without environmental impact.

        I mean no disrespect with my above comments, but human life is precious and we need to continue using cheap fossil fuels to help our brothers all over the world and industrialize to lift people from hand to mouth living off the land.
        Click for more:
        http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/11/14/lawrence-solomon-fossil-fuels-now-beat-wind-and-solar-on-environmental-as-well-as-economic-grounds/

        Like

  1. Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
    Thank you for sharing this. I am so glad the resistance is growing. For too long the corrupt in government and corporations have done exactly as they pleased no matter who or what was damaged or destroyed. In most cases the destruction does not even save money or increase shareholder returns at all.

    I hope all of my readers will sign the petition and share this. The power of the people united across false borders is far greater than most ever realize!

    Like

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