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The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands is to engage the services of a Consultant to undertake a study to define the precise boundaries of the Cockpit country.
“There is no universally accepted description of the boundaries of the cockpit country .. therefore a consultant is to be engaged to carry out all the necessary studies, taking into account all the different criteria that have been applied to the description of the Cockpit country, for us to, once and for all, determine the exact boundaries of the Cockpit country,” Minister of Information and Development, Donald Buchanan has said.
He was speaking yesterday (January 22), at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
The Minister said that Cabinet received a submission from the Ministry of Agriculture, with respect to the deliberations of a Cabinet sub-committee that was established to examine the country’s minerals policy and the granting of exploratory and mining rights.
“The first meeting of that sub-committee invited and had discussions with the Cockpit Country Stakeholders Group. The Group made a presentation to the sub-committee, indicating that there were some 73,000 residents living in what they regard and describe as the Cockpit country, and indicated that the main stay of livelihood for these persons was agriculture,” the Minister informed.
Mr. Buchanan further added that the Group informed that the largest remaining primary forest in Jamaica, with a large population of endemic flora and fauna, is to be found in the Cockpit area.
“They also indicated that the humidity is 100 per cent and that several of the endemic species depended on this humidity for survival and said that any disturbance of the ecological and humidity balance in that area could have a negative effect on these species,” the Minister said.