Protect Cockpit Country in Jamaica
Protect Cockpit Country in Jamaica
Jamaica is known around the world for its all inclusive getaways, beautiful white sand beaches, rum, reggae music, and natural beauty. One of such natural beauty is the Cockpit Country. Cockpit Country in Jamaica is a protected historic, wildlife conservation area. Jamaica is known as the land of wood and water, because of the lush natural vegetation and the island's unique ability to constantly create new, clear, fresh spring water that explode from the earth throughout the hills and mountains. The constant creation of fresh water springs in Jamaica is owed to the Cockpit Country, also known as the Heart of Jamaica.
The beautiful and unique Cockpit Country is being threatened by bauxite mining. Bauxite is a natural component used to create aluminum. The Cockpit Country is home to many wild birds, fish, turtles, exotic frogs and lizards, the endangered swallowtail butterfly and other small tropical animals. The Cockpit Country is also a historic site that was included as a part of the Maroon Treaty with the British in 1738, establishing the first sovereign and autonomous African and Indigenous Arawak community in the western hemisphere.
Since 1942 the Jamaican government has been mining bauxite predominantly in the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Manchester, and Clarendon. The aim was to improve industry, create jobs, and increase the Gross Domestic Products (GDP). Despite the government's good intention, Jamaican bauxite mining has proven futile over the years, producing only 5000 jobs in a population of more than 2.7 million people and accounting for only 4% of Jamaica's GDP.
The health and environment impacts of bauxite mining has been catastrophic. The bauxite mining is done in and around farming communities. As a result, communities in and around the mining areas have had loss of clean air, loss of clean water, and loss of soil fertility. The rivers and springs that were once clear are now dirty and the residents no longer have clean drinking water. Many wildlife such as the majestic fireflies have disappeared. Many persons have developed respiratory issues as a result of the mining dust, which produces poor air quality and poor rain water quality. In fact the mining has caused the rain water to become red instead of clear. The farmers in the surrounding communities have been having difficulties growing produce, because of low reclamation quality control and failure of some companies to reclaim the land. In layman's terms there are no nutrients remaining in the soil and the farmers' livelihood has been jeopardized.
The most recent area that was approved for bauxite mining is within the Cockpit Country. Mining in the Cockpit Country can cause mass devastating throughout Jamaica, because the Cockpit Country is Jamaica's natural water filtration system. The reason why Jamaica has many new springs is because the ground absorbs rain water and then the Cockpit Country filters the water and distributes the water via new and existing springs throughout the island. The Cockpit Country is responsible for creating 40% of Jamaica's fresh drinking water.
Please join me and help protect the Cockpit Country. Please sign the petition to help preserve the Cockpit Country and save Jamaica's water and historic forests, preserve wildlife, and protect the health of many innocent persons.
Thank you. One love ❤.