JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator, Dr. Ronald Robinson has said that a bilateral agreement to expand the exploration of hydrocarbon resources in the Joint Regime Area (JRA) shared by Jamaica and Columbia will soon be a reality.
Making his contribution to the 2008/09 State of the Nation Debate in the Upper House on July 18, Dr. Robinson said earlier this year the Jamaican Government conveyed to Columbia its interest in expanding the Area currently being explored for oil in the Caribbean Sea to include the JRA.
“A pressing issue for Jamaica today is that of energy insecurity and the consequent high oil prices. Every opportunity that could lead to a reduction on our dependence on oil imports, big or small, is worth exploring,” he said.
He outlined that alternative sources of energy such as ethanol, solar and wind power must be considered, and that conservation practices must be put in place.The JRA falls under the Maritime Delimitation Treaty signed by both governments in 1993 and is a zone of joint management, control, exploration and exploitation of the living and non living resources.
On another matter the State Minister said that the International Seabed Authority (ISA) is considering draft regulations on prospecting and exploration for sulphides and cobalt rich crusts. He said several pioneer investors are currently undertaking prospecting in the deep seabed.
Senator Robinson said the ISA, which is the only inter-governmental organization of its kind in the Latin American and Caribbean region, and which is headquartered in Kingston, is linked with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which Jamaica fully supports.
“The convention allows for the participation of developing countries in these activities so there is no reason why a country like Jamaica should not prepare itself to participate in future exploration and mining activities in the deep seabed,” the State Minister said.