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Cockpit country boundary excludes important water resources — CCSG

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Cockpit Country Stakeholders Group (CCSG) says it is encouraged by the declaration by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at a sitting of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, that over 74,000 hectares of land will be designated as the Cockpit Country Protected Area and closed to mining under the Mining Act.

However, the group said it was concerned that the proposed boundary does not adequately protect the important water resources of Cockpit Country.

“Specifically, the north-eastern section of the boundary excludes sources of the Rio Bueno system. The southern boundary excludes Nassau Mountains and its sinks and spring risings; these eventually reach the Black River. It appears a mining lease has already been granted for this area,” CCSG said.

The group also requested detailed maps of the boundary as presented by Holness for review as it intends to lobby for adequate buffer zones for the protected area.

The long-awaited announcement of the decision to formally protected one of Jamaica's most biologically and socio-culturally important areas comes after Jamaicans made their support for the area known through the new Jamaica House online petition portal, and by signing hard copy petitions.

The Save Cockpit Country Campaign, as it was called, amassed 37,568 signatures.

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