In its recent Big Up Wi Beach campaign, JET (and students participating in the program) have found sand mining – whether legal or illegal – to be a factor in the deterioration of some of our beaches. So why has the Minister approved a permit (originally turned down by the NRCA) for sand mining on a turtle nesting beach? Is this for another tourism development elsewhere? I think we need answers on this.
Please find below JET’s press release:
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Kingston, Jamaica: The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) has been working with the Duncan’s Bay Citizens Association to improve management and protection of local beaches. There have been problems regarding legal and illegal sand mining, garbage pollution and clearance of beach vegetation, and JET has been in frequent contact with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) regarding these issues over the past two years.
There was an advertisement in the print media on Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 for a public meeting regarding a new sand mining operation by Duncan Bay Development Company to take place on the same day, although some leaflets and other methods of communication were used locally. Once more, JET objects to the lack of notice to interested parties who do not live in the immediate vicinity of such developments.
JET understands that this sand mining application was turned down by the Board of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) but was allowed on appeal to the Minister. The Duncan’s Bay Citizens’ Association has provided the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) with considerable evidence that this area is used by nesting sea turtles, which are protected under Jamaican law. JET cannot therefore understand why the developer’s appeal was successful.
The Prime Minister of Jamaica, the most Hon. Andrew Holness, ON, MP, is the portfolio minister for the environment. JET therefore respectfully requests the Prime Minister to advise whether:-
– he was adequately briefed on the risks of sand mining to the coastal environment, particularly in the context of global climate change;
– he was aware of the local community’s opposition to any further sand mining; and
– he was aware that the beach in question is a documented turtle nesting beach.
JET reiterates its objection to the removal of sand from Jamaican beaches to other beaches in different parts of the island, due to the risks this poses to the marine environment and coastal infrastructure.
Contact: Diana McCaulay, CEO, JET 469-1315