Public Health Inspectors join campaign against Cockpit Country mining
In a move aimed at preserving the environment, public health inspectors have joined the campaign to block any attempt by Government to allow the mining of bauxite in the Cockpit Country.
Speaking at the closing session of the recent Jamaica Association of Public Health Inspectors (JAPHI) Annual General Meeting at the Hylton's Rose Hall Resort and Spa in St James, outgoing president, Rowan Stephens outlined that JAPHI is not opposed to development, but they should be sustainable.
Following the launch of a new petition portal by Jamaica House, civil society groups and other concerned persons uploaded a Save the Cockpit Country petition.
It called on the prime minister to establish the boundary of Cockpit Country to include hydrology, geomorphology, biological diversity, culture and history, and points to the Cockpit Country Stakeholders Group (CCSG) boundary as being the only one which takes all these into consideration.
The online petition also asked the PM to close Cockpit Country to mining, quarrying and prospecting in accordance with the community consultations already held and the recommendations of The University of the West Indies boundary study completed in 2013, and declare the region a National Park.
The Jamaica House portal require a minimum of 15,000 signatures in 30 days before the Government of Jamaica will consider and respond to the petition. The campaign generated over 20, 000 signatures during the period.
The Cockpit Country has the island's highest percentage of endemic plant and animal species, as an important ecotourism destination, and an important cultural and historical site since it was where the Maroons fought and prevailed over the British in 1738-9.