Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Cockpit Country is an environmental, cultural and historical asset which the Government of Jamaica values greatly.
According to Holness, the Government is sensitive to the environmental concerns about the Cockpit Country and is moving to ensure that it is protected.
He made the pronouncements on Independence Day, August 6 at the Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial food show in Clarendon.
“We agreed upon a boundary for the Cockpit Country, that boundary will be enshrined in law and within that boundary, there will be no mining and within that boundary as well certain agricultural practices will be banned such as slash and burn and the use of dangerous chemicals. It will be a regulated space to protect a water bank of Jamaica, to protect the forest that grows in the Cockpit Country and to generally protect that area as a national ecological park for Jamaica,” said Holness.
The Prime Minister underscored that in seeking to protect the Cockpit Country the Government examined the unique geomorphological feature of the Cockpit, the forest and its biodiversity. The Government also took into consideration the hydrology of the area examined, the water that flows in and out of the area along with the sinkholes, caves and other areas through which water seeps underground to create the largest water bank for the island.
According to Holness, in addition to the environmental sensitivities around the Cockpit Country, the Government is fully cognisant of the historic and cultural value of the area.