She says the government has ignored numerous objections and appeals from residents and stakeholders as well as a comprehensive and compelling Environmental Impact Assessment showing the irreparable damage that will occur.
Senator Frazer- Binns says with these concerns, coupled with objections from State Agencies, the Government is irresponsible and erred in its use of the Ministerial powers under the NRCA Act in granting permission to Bengal Development Limited / Jamaica World LLC to mine and quarry bauxite, peat, sand and minerals.
“Bengals obligation to pay a J$40 million environmental performance bond, the projected J$635 million Government earning in taxes and the positive impact on employment cannot offset the lasting ecological, hydrological and biodiversity damage to the area”; Senator Frazer-Binns posited.
Senator Frazer-Binns further asserted that the Government must answer the following questions:
1. Was a hearing held and if so who were the members of the panel
2. What if any were the considerations to which the Minister addressed his mind
3. Did the Minister consider the provisions in the Development Order 2000 which provide that the area must remain in its natural state
4. Did the Minister consider the views of the residents in and around the community
5. Did the Minster consider the view of the Forestry Department on the deforestation that would result from such activities.
6. Does any of the Directors, Shareholders, partners or stakeholders have any
connection to the Jamaica Labour Party
The Government owes an explanation to the people and must answer these questions honestly.
She urged the Government to learn the lessons from the devastation caused by recent rains and how damage to the environment contributed significantly to this. The Dry Harbor area has new emerging and unnamed flora and fauna species presently being studied by our University and we cannot for money or relationship destroy the uniqueness of this area. The direct impact on our water system must also be considered.
“Mining/ Quarrying of any kind is one of the most exploitive activities and studies have revealed that it is the single largest contributor to deforestation in Jamaica and deforestation is one of the major causes of landslides.”
The People's National Party remains resolute in the protection of our environment and the health and safety of our people. "We are urging the Prime Minister to demonstrate a commitment to the proper management of our environment and cancel the permit to allow mining on lands in the Dry Harbour Mountains,"
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