NEPA Briefs Municipal Corporations On Proposed Cockpit Country Protected Area
Published Date: August 22, 2019
Mayors, Chief Executive Officers and other senior Municipal representatives from Trelawny, St. Ann, St. James, Manchester, Clarendon and St. Elizabeth were in attendance at the Municipal Corporations on Proposed Cockpit Country Protected Area Meeting. The meeting was convened to brief the teams on the process adopted by the government in declaring the proposed Cockpit Country Protected Area (CCPA) boundaries, explain the accompanying initiatives and actions for areas outside of the boundary, provide information and clarification on mandatory environmental impact assessment (and archaeological impact assessment), and the plans to develop and implement a management plan for the CCPA.
Peter Knight, Chief Executive Officer and Government Town Planner, who chaired the meeting stated that, “the government led by Prime Minister Holness is to be credited with providing leadership and working diligently in partnership with the key environmental and planning agencies and departments and other stakeholders in collectively agreeing on a boundary referred to as the CCPA”.
The briefing included a presentation on the CCPA, highlighting its significance and raising awareness of the proposed CCPA as a no mining zone as designated by Cabinet. Following the presentation, representatives from the municipal corporations sought clarification on issues regarding the CCPA including, the considerations in the definition of the proposed boundary and progress of the on-the-ground-verification (“ground truthing”) process to outline the boundary.
Commenting on the meeting His Worship The Mayor of Trelawny, Councilor Colin Gager, stated that he was grateful for the meeting. He said, “We are glad for this meeting so that we can relay these facts to our councillors. There is a lot of misinformation and the people have the right to be informed properly. We do applaud the bold move by the Prime Minister to identify a boundary.”
Other mayors expressed similar sentiments and opined that the briefing was overdue and that they were now placed in a better position to assist with the dialogue on the CCPA. Representatives from partner GOJ entities, including the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC), Water Resources Authority (WRA) and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) were present at the briefing to respond to queries.
Note to Editor
After extensive consultations and deliberations, the area designated as the proposed Cockpit Country Protected Area was announced in Parliament on November 21, 2017 by the Most Honourable Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
The proposed CCPA spans six parishes – Trelawny, St. Ann, St. James, Manchester, Clarendon and St. Elizabeth. The area comprises approximately 74,726 hectares and will be protected under law. This includes existing forest reserves, significant hydrological, ecological features and cultural and heritage sites. A management plan will be prepared in a partnership with private landowners, local groups and other stakeholders.