Mr. Speaker, for several years, the public has been actively engaged in a robust, constructive discourse on the delimitation of the boundary of the Cockpit Country.
Discussions have been ongoing for decades; transcending administrations but Mr. Speaker, the wait is over, today; after extensive consultations and deliberations we are announcing the areas to be designated as the boundary of the Cockpit Country and of the Cockpit Country Protected Area.
Mr. Speaker, let me start by defining what the Cockpit Country is and why it is so important? The Cockpit Country is a unique geological feature.
The Encyclopaedia of Jamaican Heritage’ describes it ‘… as steep sided valleys that alternate with conical hillocks to form a peculiar type of terrain known as karst topography.
The limestone cannot retain surface water and rain water immediately percolates below ground through cracks and fissures, widening these over millions of years until the pits or valleys are formed.