Jamaica gets temporary relief from natural disaster in the making

Today 2 small environmental groups, the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) and the Northern Jamaica Conservation Association (NJCA) won an unusual victory in the courts against the Government of Jamaica and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).

JET and the NJCA had sought a judicial review of the environmental permit granted to the Pinero Group to construct a 2,000 room hotel in the wetlands at Pear Tree Bottom, near Runaway Bay.

Url Mangrove coast, Jamaica(from hofstra.edu)

This is one development that has been consistently opposed by Jamaica's environmentalists. Read or (at least skim) the review of the EIA for the salient points, and find out what has been happening at Pear Tree since Tankweld originally proposed to develop the area in 1992.

Since this triumphant declararion by the former Prime Minister in October 2005:

"Recently, I broke ground at Pear Tree Bottom in St. Ann, for our largest ever tourist resort which will be constructed by the Pinero Group of Spain – an investment of US$200 million which will create permanent direct employment for 2000 workers and indirect employment for several thousand others. During the construction period, some 3000 workers will be employed. This will make a vast and positive difference to the standard of living of the people from this area."

the development has suffered 2 major hiccups – the teargassing of workers last November and the collapse of part of the building earlier this month.

Perhaps the Pinero Group should have a chat with those American hotel people over at the Ritz-Carlton, who found out last year, surprise, surprise, that a river runs through it……That probably wasn't in their Environmental Impact Assessment either…..

"The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle" (Lynne Cherry)

"Caribbean Literature And the Environment: Between Nature And Culture (New World Studies)" (University Press of Virginia)

"Environment And Development In The Caribbean: Geographical Perspectives" (University Press of the West Indies)

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