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Protect Jamaica’s Cockpit Country – ALL OF IT!

Protect Jamaica’s Cockpit Country – ALL OF IT!

3,266 have signed. Let's get to  5,000
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This petition has been created by Wendy L. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
Wendy L.
started this petition to
Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, O.N., M.P.
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.
  1. We, 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.
  2. We 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.
  3. We 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.
  4. We 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

The 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 Climate Change.

This CCSG boundary was proposed to the Government of Jamaica in 2009 and endorsed by 3,901 people who signed the ‘Save Cockpit Country, Jamaica’ online petition on The Petition Site in 2009; by 37,568 citizens and residents of Jamaica who signed the ‘Save Cockpit Country’ 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.