The people's views on Goat Islands must be heard

The people's views on Goat Islands must be heard

Monday, March 03, 2014

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Dear Editor,

The development of the Goat Islands as a major trans-shipment port goes against all the proposed plans and development that have previously been put forward for the Portland Bight Protected Area.

The revelation that a coal-fired plant is being contemplated adds to the great concerns that have been expressed about this proposed development.

When I go to community meetings or talk to community members in areas such as Old Harbour Bay, Portland Cottage or Mitchell Town I hear them expressing real concern about the possible increase in flooding to these areas in the event of a hurricane — part of a general feeling that their livelihoods will be negatively impacted by this development and that they do not expect to be employed by this port. They want to know what they can do so that their voices can be heard in this discussion.

Being a voice for the environment does not mean that all the expertise lies with you. Being concerned about the environment and working to ensure that it is not damaged or destroyed is also expressing concern for persons who are dependent on the environment to make a living. People send information on the issues to others they want to speak on their behalf, such as Diana McCaulay. Research is done by the speaker and others to ensure accuracy of content. Focusing on good environmental practices, criticising bad planning and decision-making, chastising Government for not abiding by their own regulations and for making decisions without proper consultation is what we all should be doing to ensure that we have a future.

Ingrid Parchment

Executive Director

Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation

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