For me personally, this is probably the biggest and best news of the year! Yesterday evening, Prime Minister Andrew Holness tweeted the following to Diana McCaulay, the CEO of the Jamaica Environment Trust from the Town Hall meeting he was holding in Queens, New York. Here is JET’s press release of September 23, welcoming the news, after years of campaigning…and of course reminding the Prime Minister that there are “matters outstanding”… We look forward to hearing more from him, but meanwhile: Thank you, Mr. Holness, for listening.
The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) welcomes the statement from Prime Minister Holness that the logistics hub port will not go ahead at Goat Islands, due to the environmental damage it would cause. The Prime Minister mentioned other sites were being considered and we look forward to receiving further information in the coming days. A great deal of the concern about this project stemmed from the lack of information that was provided – JET hopes that a more transparent approach will be used in the future regarding this and other large investment projects.
JET encourages the Prime Minister to hold a press briefing on his return to Jamaica on the major environmental decisions that are pending. We would like to hear about the status of the declaration of boundaries for Cockpit Country, followed by closure to mining – a very long outstanding matter. We note Minister Mike Henry’s statement yesterday on the question of the coal plant in Nain, but would like to suggest that the energy source for an aluminum smelter and industrial park is something that would have to be settled at the outset, before deciding that the project is viable, and cannot be taken at a later date. JET has been concerned about the damage caused by the North South Highway link to property and quality of life in some communities as well as the serious impacts on the marine environment on the north coast. Similarly, Jamaica’s problems with solid waste management are all too obvious – we request information on the status of discussions about a waste to energy plant for Jamaica, recycling, waste diversion and reduction and other management measures to reduce the impacts of one use packaging.
JET will continue to monitor developments in the Portland Bight Protected Area, including the natural gas floating platform required by the Jamaica Public Service Co. Ltd. and any other developments which may threaten the natural resources that have been protected by law.
JET thanks everyone who supported the Save Goat Islands campaign.