The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a major economic downturn for the Jamaican economy, and as such we acknowledge a rational given by the Prime Minister that the mining in the Dry Harbour will result in an estimated $635 million in taxes and up to 100 Jamaican jobs as a rational to the reason for the overturning of NEPA’s decision. The Council however, is deeply concerned with the proposal as this will have a deleterious and irreversible impact on the flora and fauna found in the ecosystem.
The reasons for our stance can be seen below:
1. Environmental Damage to the Endemic Flora and Fauna – The Dry Harbour mountain contains many endemic species which is found on the island. The proposition in place currently will place these species at a great danger to be extinct.
2. Potential Health and Safety Impact on Community Residents – Evidence has shown that residents living in communities in which mining and quarrying has taken place is at a greater risk of developing health related issues such as asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, etc. this is resulting from the increased dust particles lodged in the atmosphere alongside contamination of water sources
3. Negative Climate Change Impact – The Dry Harbour contributes significantly to the fight against climate change, and given the fact that we are approaching the end of the most active atlantic hurricane season, the evidence is clear that we should be investing in measures which will promote climate action and sustainability to ensure future generations can live comfortably.
The Students’ Union Council understands and appreciates the need for economic development which is now essential given the current economic climate. However, the Council is asking for such economic growth and advancements to be done in a beneficial way to all stakeholders which includes the natural environment.