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Cabinet has given its approval for the undertaking of a programme to manage bauxite lands to ensure continued viability of the sector, and to monitor the utilization of lands before and after mining.
Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman told a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on Monday, March 20, that this effort would involve the re-activation of a Bauxite Land Management Committee, which would seek to, among other things, ensure the protection of bauxite lands from squatting by enforcement of the relevant legislation, and ensure that land which might be considered for lease, sale or government use, subjected to prior review and the recommendation of this committee.
In addition the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) will collaborate with relevant partners through the Bauxite Land Management Committee, to undertake a comprehensive study to determine viable economic alternatives and livelihoods for persons displaced by mining.
The Minister said the Committee, which had existed before, had broken down but was now being re-activated based on a proposal received from Development Minister, Dr. Paul Robertson, supported by Land and Environment Minister, Dean Peart.
Membership of the committee will include the Commissioner of Lands, the Commissioner of Mines, the General Manager of the JBI, the Permanent Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry and a number of Permanent Secretaries in other ministries, among other individuals.
Senator Whiteman said the partnership, which would be characterized by much networking, would make a difference.
The JBI will be the Secretariat for the Committee, which will make its first report to Cabinet in six months.