A transshipment port in the PBPA could prove to be economically and socially positive for Jamaica

We were asked to conduct a Scoping Study which is really equivalent to what is known in other development projects as an outline design or a preliminary study. At this stage we are simply asking: What is in this area? What has been its historical use? What is its legal status? What can be permitted in respect of what can be done?

This particular study is not an environmental impact assessment which attempts to predict the sort of impacts that will take place in a given area having identified and critically assessed the designs and the plans of the project. None of these are known about the project at this time. We don’t know the engineering designs and so on.

At the outset, the Environmental Management Scoping Study (EMSS) states its limitations, namely, that it is desktop and it is limited to scoping. That means we had to rely on work that has previously been done; and we had to access this quickly. There was no scope for intensive consultation; that must be done in an environmental impact assessment. In an environmental impact assessment a major component is the stakeholder consultation which is an ongoing process that you go community by community and get the perceptions of the people as to how they would be affected as stated in Agenda 21, to which the Government of Jamaica is a signatory. There is also the institutional stakeholder assessment and a socio-economic survey, based on the opinions of a representative sample of the people living in the impact zone.

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