Trading Ecology for a Highway in Jamaica

  •  kingston
  • Inter Press Service

Scientists and local environmentalists accuse the National Works Agency (NWA), which is responsible for the construction, and government's environment watchdog the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) of ignoring likely impacts of planned coastal improvement work in the protected wetlands. The area is said to be home to more than 300 species of plants and animals, including six native species of cacti.

The public is outraged at what many see as government's haste to start coastal protection works along a 2.5- kilometre stretch of the 14-kilometre-long peninsula. Environmentalists are calling for an Environmental Impact Assessment study (EIA) and the requisite public consultation process. In the absence of details about the planned development, many are sceptical that a three-year old EIA for similar work in the area is sufficient. The Palisadoes peninsula links Jamaica's capital city Kingston to the historic town of Port Royal and the larger of the island's two international airports.

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