Prime Minister Andrew Holness has now defined the boundaries of the environmentally and culturally important Cockpit Country.
Prime Minister Holness announced the new boundaries in the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon. This follows a successful petition by the Jamaica Environment Trust JET) to have the government address the issue.
Prime Minister Holness told the House that mining will be outlawed in the new area in an effort to preserve the ecological and environmental value of the area
Prime Minister Holness announced new boundaries today to include an expanded area estimated at approximately 75-thousand hectares.
The boundary will cover areas in the three parishes of Trelawny, St. Elizabeth and St. Ann.
This includes what Prime Minister Holness calls a core area of some 59-thousand Hectares.
Prime Minister Holness also argues that the environmental value of the Cockpit Country will exclude it from all mining activity.
Mr. Holness also says the Ministry of Culture must move swiftly to have the Cockpit Country Protected Area designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
He says a detailed description of the boundaries will be provided after consultation.
Major development activities in environs surrounding the protected area will be subject to rigorous scrutiny and enforcement.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Environment Trust, JET, Diana McCaulay is welcoming the new boundaries of the Cockpit Country.
But she says there are still some areas of concern.