The Government of Jamaica has pledged to declare the Cockpit Country
a National Protected Area and promised that no mining
will be allowed there. However, the officially declared Cockpit Country Boundary (the GREEN area) encloses only two-thirds of the Cockpit Country - shown by the bright pink line - as recognised by residents, scientists, environmentalists and the Cockpit Country Stakeholders’ Group (CCSG). A Special Mining Lease #173 has been granted for bauxite mining in a large section of northeast Cockpit Country (the BLUE area) which is rich in biodiversity, cultural heritage, ecotourism sites, farming communities, and critical underground water resources.
the undersigned, call on the Government of Jamaica to accept the boundary
proposed in 2009 by the Cockpit Country Stakeholders’ Group (CCSG) as the
official outer boundary of the Cockpit Country.
call on the Prime Minister to do this on behalf of the residents of the areas
excluded from the ‘designated protected area’ announced in 2017 and on behalf
of all people who value the irreplaceable wildlife, scenic landscapes, history,
cultural heritage, ecosystem services, traditional livelihoods such as farming,
and ecotourism opportunities that these areas provide.
call on the Prime Minister of Jamaica to declare all of the area within the
CCSG Boundary CLOSED TO MINING, QUARRYING AND PROSPECTING and declare the
entire area a National Protected Area.
We ask that the GOJ immediately withdraw all mining leases and permits
for mining, quarrying and/or prospecting in the lands within the CCSG boundary.
seek protection for the Cockpit Country in its entirety, because all the areas
that were included within the CCSG boundary were recognised as integral parts
of the Cockpit Country – hydrologically connected, culturally and historically
significant, economically valuable for sustainable livelihoods, and of national
ecological importance not only in terms of biodiversity but in ecosystem
services such as underground water resources.
About the Cockpit Country Boundary
proposed by the Cockpit Country Stakeholders’ Group was developed between 2007
and 2009 by scientists, community groups and environmental NGOs and was based
on geomorphology, biological diversity, hydrology, historical and cultural
heritage, and economic sustainability criteria, including the value of
ecosystem services such as water security and mitigation of the impacts of
This CCSG boundary
was proposed to the Government of Jamaica in 2009 and endorsed by 3,901 people
who signed the ‘Save Cockpit Country,
online petition on The Petition Site in 2009; by 37,568 citizens
and residents of Jamaica who signed the ‘Save
petition to the Prime Minister in 2017; and recommended as
the official outer boundary by the government’s own Cockpit Country Boundary
Consultation in 2013, done by the Centre for Environmental Management at UWI.
Communities EXCLUDED from the ‘official’ 2017 boundary include: in the northeast – Stewart Town, Jackson Town, Alps, Sawyers, Belmont,
Richmond Pen, Mahogany Hall, Barnstaple, Madras, Bryan Castle, Gibraltar, and
Endeavour; in the south – Appleton,
Balaclava, Maggotty, Thornton, White Hall, Ipswich, Ginger Hill, Jointwood,
Mulgrave, Dry River, and Retirement; in the north and northwest – Cambridge,
Plum Park, Catadupa, Kensington, Bandon, and Bunkers Hill. People in these
communities should not have to lose their homes, farmlands, forests and
traditional livelihoods or suffer the adverse impacts of bauxite mining. The government of Jamaica
should demonstrate its stated commitment to protecting the Cockpit Country by including
within the official boundary of the Cockpit Country Protected Area these lands
which so many experts and stakeholders agree are part of the Cockpit Country.
Posted: 26 July 2019 (Updated: 30 August 2019)