Cockpit Country: Protected Gem

It is undeniable and some might even say irrefutable that Jamaica’s present Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, has spearheaded and implemented the most protection for the environment.  In fact, he can also be lauded for leading the region in this direction and bringing environmental recognition to several other countries around the world.

With that said, it is disappointing that so many uninformed, misleading, or intentionally distorted voices have selected the Cockpit Country as a poisonous attack to launch on a leader who has fought so hard for the preservation of this priceless gem.  Prime Minister Holness should be credited for ensuring the certified boundaries of the Cockpit Country were established after countless years of talk shops and intentions.  He went a step further to analyse the issues and effects of mining in and around the designated area, as the greatest asset of the nation’s water safety and security resides within these cool hills and serene valleys.

Let us give credit to previous administrations who took interest in the efforts of those surveying and searching for possible sites to mine bauxite and were mindful of the environmental impact of the requirements and procedures.  Those efforts cannot go unnoticed, but no attempt to overshadow, downplay or sully the pivotal role of PM Holness should be allowed.  His determination to not place politics or profit at the forefront has paid off to the point where the Cockpit Country is now an internationally certified and recognized treasure, protected and prized.

The Goat Island, the plastic ban which many called “a drastic ban”, and the Cockpit Country are just a few of the pillars upon which this government can proudly stand and be regarded.  The pressure to balance profitability, viable business interests, earning of critical foreign exchange and job creation beside the fundamental preservation and sanctity of a most precious protected area like the Cockpit Country requires more than mere leadership skills.  It takes resolve and a deep sense of understanding that the generations to come need to benefit from the long term works of today’s minds.

Those who are concerned about the activities around the Cockpit Country have nothing to worry about, as the Prime Minister has sought to reassure that only a minute space has been used and which in no way, shape or form has…or will ever…be allowed to affect any aspect of the designated and protected area we call and revere as the Cockpit Country.  As an aside, bauxite mining has not threatened or destroyed our water tables or preserved resources and several administrations have worked to ensure this has always been the case.

However, the propensity for misinformation and half-truths won’t be diluted by the flora and fauna of the lush vegetation within.  Instead, let us put aside the tendencies to play politics and create mischief and replace it with a resolution and fortitude committed to making the entire Jamaica environmentally friendly and safe for our children and many generations to come.

Rodney Campbell

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