Contributed by Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns, Opposition Spokesperson on Land, Environment & Climate Change
Kingston, October 11, 2021: As nations around the globe celebrated World Migratory Bird Day on October 9, 2021, an agency of the Government of Jamaica was busy destroying one of the natural habitats for migratory birds. The People’s National Party wishes to bring the public’s attention to reports that road work being undertaken by the National Works Agency on a section of the South Coast Highway has destroyed natural habitats and caused excessive deforestation.
Senator Sophia Frazer Binns, Opposition Spokesperson for Land, Environment & Climate Change, calls on the National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA) to tell the nation why this development has been allowed without a complete Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, or complete consultations with local residents and businesses?
The Opposition Spokesperson said, “It is particularly worrying that no biodiversity evaluations were done and shared with the public before work began. This work may cause irreparable damage to natural bird sanctuaries. This is particularly worrisome, coming on the heels of a national tree-planting campaign.”
Senator Frazer Binns is calling on the NWA to immediately address this issue and enact policies which ensure their activities reduce any negative impact on the environment. She added that, “While the country’s infrastructure development is important, it must be done in a way that is safe and protects the environment”.
“Minister Charles has an obligation to tell the nation why his Government continues to engage in environmentally destructive acts that will affect Jamaica for years to come. The Prime Minister, who has responsibility for NEPA, must also immediately respond to this issue. He must act to protect the environment and punish those responsible for permitting this section of the roadway, before the requisite assessments were completed”, said a deeply concerned Senator Frazer Binns.
The Opposition Senator is sounding the alarm and says we must end the lip service and show true commitment to the environment with responsible actions from the nation’s leadership.