Positive Tourism News

Positive articles, news and events in the Caribbean.

BUILDING TOURISM RESILIENCE TO THRIVE IN THE “NEW NORMAL”

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INTRODUCTION

Mr. Speaker, I rise on this my 31st occasion to address this honourable house in this critically important sectoral debate as I speak of the developments and challenges faced by one of our nation’s key industries, tourism. With COVID-19 upending the affairs of every single nation, east and west, I must extend hearty commendation and gratitude for the leadership of Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, as he effectively steers Jamaica through the choppiest seas in our nation’s modern history. We all pray that God will continue to strengthen him in these unique times whilst we work as a team to deliver success at the end of this crisis.

 Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank:

  • Almighty God,
  • My constituents of East Central St. James,
  • Tourism sector stakeholders and the people of Jamaica,
  • My dear wife of 46 years Carmen, my son and grandchildren

Mr. Speaker, to my constituents of East Central St. James, I say thank you for your support and patience in my continued leadership of your affairs. The negative economic and social effects of COVID-19 are there for all to see.  However, we take comfort in the range of projects resulting in improved roads, greater access to water, a deepening of community development and engagement activities, especially for our youth, housing developments, urban renewal, positive developments in agricultural projects, better sports development initiatives and stronger avenues for job creation.

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Bartlett Announces Over J$2 Billion in Funding for Small Enterprises in Tourism

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KINGSTON, Jamaica; July 10, 2020: Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett has announced that over $J2 Billion in funding will be made available for Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs). The move, forms part of the government’s commitment to help these small tourism businesses retool and rebound amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding, which was championed by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), will be from multilateral partners and financial institutions such as the Development Bank of Jamaica, World Bank, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, EXIM Bank and Jamaica National Group.

Speaking today at the press briefing where the announcement was made, Minister Bartlett said: “Our SMTEs have been severely displaced due to COVID-19 and have recorded economic fallout of an average of $J2.5 Million each. As part of our recovery efforts for the sector, they will play a significant role by stimulating economic activity and as such this funding of over $J2 Billion which is needed, will assist them greatly to rebuild.”

SMTEs will have access to a suite of loan facilities and grants ranging from a low as J$5 Million up to a maximum of $J30 Million.

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Japanese Ambassador Pays Farewell Courtesy Call on Minister Bartlett

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KINGSTON, Jamaica; July 2, 2020:  Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Hiromasa Yamazaki (left) on Wednesday July 1, 2020, paid a farewell courtesy call on Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices.  During the meeting, Minister Bartlett thanked the Ambassador for his contribution in strengthening relations between Jamaica and Japan. He also presented him with a token of appreciation. Ambassador Yamazaki, who was appointed as Japan’s top diplomatic representative in Jamaica in 2017, is slated to conclude his tour of duty shortly.

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Health & Wellness to emerge as a driving force in the New Tourism

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Negril, Jamaica (June 25, 2020). Representatives of the Wellness Tourism Network recently met with Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism to discuss greater inclusivity of the Wellness Tourism niche and its stakeholders on Sunday, June 14, 2020 on Zoom virtual platform. The Roundtable, moderated by Sharon Parris-Chambers, Tourism Consultant & Co-founder of the Caribbean Health Tourism & Spa Conference (2005 -2009), set a standard in the emerging industry. Representatives of the evening’s session: Sharon & Theo Chambers, Diana McIntyre-Pike, Wolde Kristos & Elizabeth Terry engaged participants in insightful and purposeful dialogue.

The Roundtable Agenda unfolded with Prayer, Welcome Overview and Message, Response by Minister Edmund Bartlett, Questions & Answers and Wrap Up/Next Steps. Diana McIntyre-Pike, President, Countrystyle Community Tourism and Villages as Businesses, outlined the five goals and objectives of the Network during the Welcome Message. These included:  To establish an on-going close working relationship between the Wellness Tourism Network and the Ministry of Tourism and its partner agencies; Inclusion of the Wellness Tourism Network experts as active participants in wellness tourism governance – e.g. Boards, councils, committees; Recognize local wellness tourism experts’ eligibility as paid consultants in respective areas of expertise; Ensure inclusion of the Wellness Tourism Network in the planning of key wellness tourism events and to further develop and expand Wellness Tourism in Jamaica & the Caribbean.

The Wellness Tourism Network stakeholders are wellness professionals (complementary and alternative medical practitioners), farmers, herbalists, wellness consultants, naturopaths, manufacturers and wholesalers, researchers and students, owners of resorts and spas, spa technicians, lifestyle transformation centres, owners of yoga and fitness centres.

Sharon Parris-Chambers presented an Update of the Wellness Industry, wherein she called on the Minister to lead the industry through greater integration to include: Local expertise & stakeholders to play a more active role, awareness and utilization of natural resources; diversification of the Sector, which should include Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM).

She further added “Re-imagining of Wellness Tourism should be inclusive of the following: 1) greater awareness of the Jamaica Spa & Wellness Brand 2) Attracting Thought Leaders & Visionaries to Jamaica as a catalyst for more rapid implementation of strategies which, have been coined to positively impact and shape the future of the Caribbean, as the region seeks to fully capitalize on the $4.2 trillion Global Wellness Economy 3) Brand Jamaica must remain unique and include Rastafari, African & Taino healing methods. 4) Developing a Cadre of trained professionals to deliver exceptional Jamaica Spa and Wellness products, services and experiences 5) Inclusion of Spiritual and Mental Health within the definition of Wellness would bring us closer to tapping into the Personal Development Industry estimated to grow to US$13.2 billion by 2022.”

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Jamaicans Protest Sunday on Social Media in Solidarity with Global Protestors

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Reuters news (Kingston) June 6 edition reported that Jamaican protestors outfitted in Black, Saturday June 6, 2020 in Kingston, protested despited the blistering sun. Gathering on Saturday, they supportd the global protests" against police abuses sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month." One of the protestors, Human rights activist Lloyd D'Aguilar, attended the protest at the U.S. Embassy. He was concerned about a lack of action on killings by security forces in Jamaica. "There are never any follow-up protests," he said. "The positive is that people are paying attention to the massive protests in the United States - this is where we need to go." the article stated.

Protesters in solidarity with the African Diaspora opposed to the racial and violent death of George Floyd in the USA are staging protests around the world. In Jamaica, Barbados and other Caribbean islands. One of the Western Jamaica community leaders A. McKenzie recommends "peaceful protests with a purpose and safety as we are in a pandemic, gather some people around you, or just you. Write up a placard and stand and take a picture, The placard can be in support or just say. "Where there is no justice there will be no peace" or something similar. Take a picture, you must be out of your house, then post the picture on Facebook.com, Instagram or Whatsapp. This will be in lieu of movement outside of Kingston as lockdown and curfews still exists. Lets do it Sunday, June 7, 2020 and bombard social media with our pictures of solidarity.

Source: A. McKenzie & Caribnewsroom

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Caribbean Indigenous and Maroon Women call for action on World Environment Day

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June 5, 2020.  Everywhere around the world, World Environment Day is being observed against the backdrop of growing unrest and demands of social justice for people of African descent. This year’s theme ‘It’s Time for Nature’ is especially resonant for us of the Maroon Women Chamber of Cooperation.  As survivors of generations of colonial violence and repression, we continue to struggle for self-determination as people of African descent and the freedom to live in communion with the natural environment that has been our source of survival for centuries.

In a recent online meeting that brought together women from across the region and Diaspora, we agreed to approach CARICOM on a number of issues. As our leaders engage in discussions on COVID-19 recovery, we ask that our Maroon communities have a seat at the table in the conversation. Whether the challenge is COVID-19 or Climate Change, we believe that our voices need to be heard and considered in the development of a sustainable development plan for this region. We believe that we are deserving of respect and visibility in national and regional discussions on a way forward for the Caribbean.

We believe that we should have the endorsement of individual and regional governments and agencies to support the development and propagation of modes of survival and community resilience that have come out of our Maroon legacy. We call on the governments of the Caribbean to look to our communities for the answers to some of the pressing issues we are facing, even as these communities struggle to survive because we cannot fully practice the modes of resilience we inherited from our foremothers and fathers.

As we move into the hurricane season, some of our communities are on the brink of collapse because of the economic impact of COVID-19. We call for urgent action to ensure resilience and survival.  We call on our governments to rethink their COVID-19 relief efforts to include and support people driven initiatives. Land rights, spiritual autonomy, racial discrimination and access to state resources to mitigate the effects of climate change are all social justice issues. They cannot and should not be separated from each other. We call on our governments to acknowledge these connections and act before it is too late.

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Wellness Tourism Roundtable to be Staged with Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett

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June 3, 2020. Negril, Jamaica, W.I. Partners of Wellness Wednesdays & Access Jamaica WhatsApp Social Media Network in association with Carib Academy, online eLearning platform, invite you to a scheduled Zoom Wellness Tourism Roundtable meeting with Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Tourism Minister on June 10, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. (Jamaica Time) 8:00 p.m. EDT (US and Canada) via ZOOM platform.

The Wellness Tourism Roundtable is convened by Sharon Parris-Chambers, Wellness Tourism Consultant & Co-founder of Caribbean Health Tourism & Spa Conference (2005-2009) and partners:  Theo Chambers, (Marketing Consultant & Co-founder of Caribbean Health Tourism & Spa Conference); Claudia Gardner (Journalist & Bee farmer); Diana McIntyre-Pike (founder Countrystyle Community Tourism & Villages as Businesses & Tourism Consultant/Trainer); Elizabeth Terry (NLP Master Trainer); Wolde Kristos (Tourism Consultant).

If you are a stakeholder in the Wellness Tourism industry, this is an opportunity to voice your opinion on the way forward in a Post COVID19 ‘New Normal’ world. How can your Wellness Interventions make a difference and help transform Jamaica’s Wellness Industry?
Space is limited; if you want a seat at the Roundtable, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 876-275-3169 for an invitation.

The group welcomes the participation of traditional healers & practitioners, manufacturers, herbalists, hoteliers – resorts - villas, spa directors, spa technicians, lifestyle transformation centers, community wellness and rural spas to name a few.

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Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation to Reopen Tourism Sector

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NASSAU, Bahamas, June 2, 2020 – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, along with the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Committee, a group comprised of public and private sector partners, announced today a collaborative plan for re-opening the country’s borders and tourism sector, as well as the resumption of international commercial travel starting July 1. A press conference provided details of the “Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan” to be used as an approved, comprehensive guide of health and safety protocol to be followed consistently across the country.

From procedures pertaining to entering and departing The Bahamas via airports and seaports, to a Clean & Pristine certification program implemented across hotels, restaurants and other consumer-facing tourism entities and touchpoints, the plan outlines extensive health and safety protocols that will be enforced throughout The Bahamas to mitigate risks for all visitors and residents alike.

“Our top priority has and will always be our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors” said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu. “We must remember that we are living in a new normal in the wake of COVID-19 and a lot is going to change across the tourism sector. We are putting an even greater emphasis on making sure The Bahamas is safe and clean for everyone, and look forward to once again providing travelers with the tropical experience our islands are known for.”

A Phased Approach

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Tourism Ministry Provides 10,000 Masks For Frontline Industry Workers

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KINGSTON, Jamaica; June 02, 2020 (JIS NEWS): The Ministry of Tourism has provided 10,000 masks for frontline industry workers as part of safeguards against the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), when the sector reopens.

 The masks, one element of the personal protective equipment (PPE) used in the fight against COVID-19, were handed over to industry representatives by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.

The presentation was made during a virtual ceremony at the Ministry’s offices in New Kingston on Friday (May 29).

 “We are recommending that all the workers of the tourism industry should wear their mask. The Prime Minister [the Most Hon. Andrew Holness] has already made that a condition for all of us, and the medical fraternity has supported that; so we want to assist in ensuring full compliance,” Minister Bartlett said.

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IRITS Cultural Wellness & Culinary Festival Welcomes Reggae Veteran Entertainers

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Photo Caption: Mighty Diamonds: Lf to Rt. Capo (Joseph Williamson), Tabby Diamond (Donald Shaw) and Judge Diamond (Lloyd Furgeson) Celebeate 50th Anniversary at IRITS Cultural Wellness & Culinary Festival, Montego Bay, January 26, 2020
Photo Credit: RIV Archives

Montego Bay, Jamaica (February 14, 2020).
The creation of IRITS Cultural Wellness and Culinary Festival by the Outreach and Education team from the Rastafari Indigenous Village (RIV) took place two and a half years ago. Founded and managed by Arlene McKenzie and Firstman (Edward Wray), the festival takes place within the Portobello community on the last Sunday afternoon of each month. It has been growing steadily ever since.

RIV hit a high note with the recent appearance and celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Mighty Diamonds on January 26, 2020, which evolved out of a partnership with Masani Productions from Rastafest Canada. Mighty Diamonds are harmony trio Jamaican recording artistes performing in the genre of roots reggae with a strong Rastafarian influence. The group was formed in 1969 and are best known for their debut album Right Time (1976) with hit songs I Need a Roof and Them Never Love Poor Marcus, which were performed. The mega hit Pass the Kouchie drew loud accolades from the crowd.. The veteran reggae group received a stirring tribute by Barry G, veteran broadcaster to the delight of an appreciative audience who enjoyed the stroll down memory lane.

Emerging from a group of Village friends and family gatherings, IRITS evolved into what it is today, a veritable cultural showcase of Jamaica’s brightest and sought-after entertainers. IRITS speaks to spiritual balance, peace, harmony with one’s inner being. It is a strictly well-mind, well-body, well-spirit event, which incorporates the literary arts, spiritual development, Nyabinghi drumming & reasoning, musical & poetic expressions, arts & crafts, always staying on the cutting edge.

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 Jamaica and Panama Sign Multi-Destination Marketing and Airlift Agreement

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MADRID, Spain; January 24, 2020: Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett has announced that Jamaica and the Republic of Panama have signed a multi-destination arrangement, as part of efforts to strengthen tourism relations between both countries.

The agreement was signed today during FITUR, the largest International Tourism Trade Fair for inbound and outbound Ibero-American markets, currently underway in Spain.

Jamaica has previously signed similar agreements with Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, to advance regional integration by fostering and harmonising legislation on air connectivity, visa facilitation, product development, marketing and human capital development.

‘The signing of the agreement today with Panama brings us to five countries in the North-Western Caribbean that have now developed an arrangement for convergence of their marketing and airlift arrangements.

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Golden Tongue Award - Poetry Competition/Challenge

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Golden Tongue Awards 2020 - Poetry Competition/Challenge - Calling All Aspiring Poets

Poetry in Motion 2020 is pleased to announce the highly anticipated annual PiM - Golden Tongue Awards 2020 - Poetry Challenge/Competition which opens today, Wednesday January 15th, and closes on Friday, January 31st, 2020. Kindly care and share with all aspiring poets and submit entry forms with poems as early as possible.

 Poetree For Charity With Clean Intelligent Fun For The Entire Family & Community

 Poetry in Motion, affectionately called PiM, is the most celebrated, longest running and most successful annual Poetry Festival in the colourful literary history of Jamaica and the Caribbean and is highly recognized internationally in the world of Poetry. Please see attached and below.

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Barry G to be Honored at the Mighty Diamond Award Show

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Montego Bay, Jamaica (January 25, 2020). Barry G, the Boogieman's next appearances will begin Sunday, January 26, 2020 at Rasta Indigenous Village, Montego Bay, St. James 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. He will toast the Mighty Diamonds who are celebrating 50 years in the Reggae idustry. Join the Boogieman as he receives yet another award for his contribution of 45 years in the entertainment industry from the Rasta Indigenous Village.

MC Barry G kicks of The ‘Children of the Icons” concert tour this Saturday, February 1 in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, launching the concert series at 7:00 p.m. Admission Free. Aaaoowww!

Contact:

Sharon Parris-Chambers
Publicist
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
876-275-3169

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Internationally acclaimed Bishop TD Jakes to stage flagship leadership conference in Jamaica next year

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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica; November 12, 2019. Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, says internationally acclaimed Bishop TD Jakes is looking at staging his flagship leadership conference in Jamaica next year. The announcement was made at a special brunch, organized by Jamaica Vacations at Royalton Resort, for Bishop Jakes who docked in Trelawny with over 1800 guests as part of his Faith and Family Caribbean Cruise.Thomas Dexter Jakes, more popularly known as TD Jakes, is a pastor, author and film maker. As pastor of the Potter's House, Bishop TD Jakes' conferences draw over 30,000 people."As Jamaica continues to diversify its product offerings to suit the passion points of our visitors, developing faith based tourism is high on our priority list. Many people travel for religious reasons.I am therefore honoured that Bishop TD Jakes has indicated his interest to host his mega conference in Jamaica which will attract thousands locally and overseas," said Minister Bartlett.It is estimated by the World Tourism Organization, that 300 to 330 million people travel for religious purposes every year.Bishop TD Jakes' church services and evangelistic sermons are broadcast on The Potters Touch, which airs on lightsource.com, the Trinity Broadcast Network, Black Entertainment Television, the Daystar Television Network and the Word Network."We are excited about the possibilities of having some events in Jamaica that i think would be of interest not only to Jamaicans.We are interested in leadership development, where business and faith can collaborate to create a more wholesome atmosphere," said Bishop TD Jakes.Minister Bartlett added that, "Jamaica will be the ideal location for this mega conference given the island's Christian and religious culture.” PHOTO CAPTION MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica; November 12, 2019: Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (L), in discussion with Bishop TD Jakes ahead of the special lunch organized by Jamaica Vacations (JAMVAC) at Royalton Resort in Trelawny today, in honour of the internationally acclaimed Pastor. Minister Bartlett announced at the lunch that Bishop TD Jakes is looking at hosting his mega Leadership Conference in Jamaica next year. For more information, contact:Corporate CommunicationsMinistry of Tourism64 Knutsford BoulevardKingston 5Tel: (876) 920-4926-30Fax: (876) 906 1729
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Jamaica and Panama to Establish Multi Destination Arrangement

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LONDON, United Kingdom – Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett has announced that Jamaica and the Republic of Panama is set to establish a multi destination arrangement, as part of efforts to strengthen tourism relations between both countries.

This announcement follows discussions with Minister of Tourism for Panama, His Excellency Ivan Alfaro, and Minister Bartlett at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London yesterday.

“Multi destination tourism is a strategy to increase the product offerings of the respective destinations but more so to enable better air connectivity between markets particularly, for long haul destinations. With this multi destination arrangement, Panama will become a hub for long haul flights and Emirates and Air China are among the two targeted carriers,” said Minister Bartlett.

The Jamaica Tourist Board and the Panamanian Tourism Authority will meet to conclude details of the arrangement by January 2020 for signing during FITUR in Spain.

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How to Recapture Life, Health & Happiness

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Myriads of Baby Boomers numbering into the hundreds of thousands are seeking the Fountain of Youth and have contributed to the development of wellness products and services around the world. They are joined by Millennials who want to experience more health and wellness in their daily lives and while on vacation.

Recapture Life, Health & Happiness with Qigong is a workshop that teaches the preventative and curative practice of therapeutic movement to help you take charge of your life. The Workshop is presented by Glenville Ashby Ph.D. for the first time in Jamaica. You won’t want to miss this opportunity!

This practice is used in leading university hospitals worldwide as a complementary healing modality. Learn how these techniques can change your life, manage lifestyle and Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) affecting many Jamaicans. Examples of NCDs are: strokes, most heart diseases, most cancers, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and others.

You deserve to be happy, look younger, pain free and live the life you envision. Register today – Space is Limited. Call 876-275-3169 for information and AFYA for booking 876-434-7433.

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Cockpit Country Coalition & Concerned Citizens to Demonstrate September 17, 2019 @ 9 am 

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Friday, September 13, 2019. Montego Bay, Jamaica, W.I. Cockpit Country Coalition and Concerned Citizens have rescheduled the demonstration at the House of Parliament on Duke St. in Kingston.  The new date and time for this peaceful demonstration is September 17, 2019 starting at 8.30 am. at the assembly point at west National Heroes Circle Kingston.

The aim of the demonstration is to make a firm, resounding and decisive statement to the government of Jamaica that the people resident in Cockpit Country, Jamaica, the Diaspora - and our resting ancestors, are diametrically opposed to any form of mining in the Cockpit Country Landscape. The message to the government is to withdraw the ill-conceived "Cockpit Country Protected Area Boundary" presented in Parliament on November 21, 2017 which was designed deliberately by government to facilitate the Mining of rich Bauxite deposits known to be in Cockpit Country landscape and starting with the mining of Special Mining Lease Area 173. 

We call on the government to replace the “Cockpit Country Protected Area Boundary” with the Cockpit Country Stakeholders Boundary which was recommended as the outer border of Cockpit Country Landscape in the 2013 island wide public consultations report on defining the Cockpit Country Boundary done by Prof. Webber.

We appeal to all Jamaicans to travel to National Heroes Circle on Tuesday September 17, 2019 with their Banners for 8.30 am assembly - and then to march to the house of Parliament to convey this decisive message to the Government.

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Cockpit Country Coalition & Concerned Citizens Demonstration for September 17, 2019

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Montego Bay, Jamaica, W.I. Cockpit Country Coalition and Concerned Citizens have rescheduled the demonstration at the House of Parliament on Duke St. in Kingston.  The new date and time for this peaceful demonstration is September 17, 2019 starting at 8.30 am. at the assembly point at west National Heroes Circle Kingston.

The aim of the demonstration is to make a firm, resounding and decisive statement to the government of Jamaica that the people resident in Cockpit Country, Jamaica, the Diaspora - and our resting ancestors, are diametrically opposed to any form of mining in the Cockpit Country Landscape. The message to the government is to withdraw the ill-conceived "Cockpit Country Protected Area Boundary" presented in Parliament on November 21, 2017 which was designed deliberately by government to facilitate the Mining of rich Bauxite deposits known to be in Cockpit Country landscape and starting with the mining of Special Mining Lease Area 173. 

We call on the government to replace the “Cockpit Country Protected Area Boundary” with the Cockpit Country Stakeholders Boundary which was recommended as the outer border of Cockpit Country Landscape in the 2013 island wide public consultations report on defining the Cockpit Country Boundary done by Prof. Webber.

We appeal to all Jamaicans to travel to National Heroes Circle on Tuesday September 17, 2019 starting at 8.30 am for assembly - and then to march to the house of Parliament to convey this decisive message to the Government.

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Cockpit Country Coalition & Concerned Citizens September 3 Demonstration Postponed

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Thursday, August 29, 2019. Montego Bay, Jamaica, W.I. Cockpit Country Coalition and Concerned Citizens have postponed the peaceful Demonstration of “No Mining in Cockpit Country Landscape” scheduled for Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. at Gordon House until further notice.

This decision was taken consequent upon information that Parliament will not yet be in session on that date. The media will be alerted with the latest developments.

Contact:
Cockpit Country Coalition
876-393-6584

 

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Cockpit Country Coalition & Concerned Citizens to Demonstrate at Parliament September 3

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August 27, 2019. Montego Bay, Jamaica. Stakeholders representing independently-owned and operated micro & small enterprises (MSEs) within Western parishes gathered at the Rastafari Indigenous Village, located in Montego Bay on Sunday, August 25, 2019 as a special feature of the IRITS cultural festival.

The IRITS festival is a celebration of all things Jamaican; it is held on the last Sunday of each month to share culture as follows: music, wellness, ital cuisine & environmental concerns. The meeting, hosted by Rastafari Indigenous Village and facilitated by Hugh Dixon, was a Call for Clarity to mobilize around a Cockpit Country Forum to ‘Reason’ and understand the issues related to mining in the Cockpit Country.

Hugh Dixon, Executive Director, Southern Trelawny Environment Agency (STEA) gave an informative PowerPoint presentation on the history, heritage and socio-economic situations surrounding the recent activities related to mining within the community. 

He showed several maps of Jamaica and highlighted the territory which clearly delineated the Cockpit Country and its boundaries as declared by the Cockpit Country Stakeholder Group (CCSG) separate and distinct from the government’s boundary of the Cockpit Country Protected Area (CCPA). The Cockpit Country stretches through the parishes of: St. James, Trelawny, St. Ann, Manchester and St. Elizabeth. Dixon declared that within the Transition Zone approximately 70,000 residents will be impacted. Bauxite mining in the Cockpit Country transition zone will set us up to “lose our livelihoods to a foreign interest that used to suppress us; our people will be disenfranchised and our economy disrupted.”

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