According to a recent report, environment and community groups in Jamaica are planning to challenge the government’s bauxite mining permission in Puerto Bueno area in the courts backed by the Office of the Public Defender. The latter will offer legal aid to stakeholders of Puerto Bueno Mountain, in the Dry Harbour Mountains of St Ann parish, and in the Cockpit Country forest, for the constitutional fights to stop mining.
Jamaica’s government has granted a license to Jamaica World LLC to mine in Puerto Bueno, which happens to be home to endangered species. As per the report, the government has granted permission despite a denial earlier by the National Environment and Planning Agency for an environmental permit.
The environment and community groups in Jamaica have won the backing of an opposition party as well for challenging the government’s mining permission in the court.
Local NGOs and residents in Cockpit County have also raised objections to the approval for Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners to mine 8,335 hectares of land in Cockpit Country, as environmentalists and farmers wary of potential devastation to the ecologically sensitive area.
An assessment by Jamaica National Heritage Trust also showed that an open pit bauxite mining could have adverse impacts on communities and on attempts to have the Cockpit County Protected Area placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.