JAMAICA | PNP Senator Condemns the Destruction of Mangroves in Palisadoes, Port Royal

Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns

KINGSTON, Jamaica September 6, 2021 -  Opposition Spokesperson on Land, Environment and Climate Change, Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns, has condemned the government's destruction of mangroves and other protected areas, especially during the hurricane season. 

In a statement today, Senator Frazer-Binns says the Government, through its actions or actions of its agencies, has failed to honour their commitment to protect the environment. 

Based on recent reports which alleged the removal of mangroves within the Palisadoes Port Royal Protected Area by the National Water Commission, Senator Frazer-Binns highlighted the inconsistency with the Government's promise to protect and preserve the environment and the actions of state agencies such as NWC.

Opposition Spokesperson on Land, Environment and Climate Change, Senator Sophia Frazer-BinnsOpposition Spokesperson on Land, Environment and Climate Change, Senator Sophia Frazer-BinnsShe noted that, “the removal of the mangroves by the NWC is particularly disheartening as the NWC is an agent of the State and should be aware of the impact of the destruction of mangroves on the environment. Any damage to our protected mangroves is a major threat to the coastal environment especially during such an active hurricane season.” 

In addition to the destruction of mangroves in the Palisadoes Area, there are further reports of the removal of mangroves in Trelawny to facilitate the expansion of Falmouth. Senator Frazer-Binns is calling on the Government to desist from undertaking any further activities which are likely to impact the environment until a thorough study has been done and realistic proposals and measures have been taken to ensure there is the balancing of development and environment protection. 

“We simply cannot continue like this. It's destructive, disheartening and deleterious to our environment. Destroying mangroves will leave areas of the island open to damaging waves, floods and storm surge. Mangroves are indispensable as they provide sanctuary for many species, store carbon and protect against flood damage. In fact, mangroves are crucial in reducing the negative impact of climate change”, said Senator Frazer-Binns.

As we continue to experience the 2021 Hurricane Season, we need a renewed effort to protect and rehabilitate mangrove ecosystems that safeguard the livelihoods of coastal communities across Jamaica. The Opposition, therefore, calls on the Forestry Department and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA)  to investigate these reports and actions and impose the necessary fines. 

Finally, as a show of contrition, Senator Frazer-Binns recommends that the NWC  commences a programme for the replanting of mangroves across the island.

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