Steps to reduce pollution of the Rio Cobre being planned Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The government will soon announce changes to reduce pollution of the Rio Cobre in St Catherine.

This was disclosed by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Matthew Samuda.

“Very soon, we will make some announcement in terms of timelines and approaches that will be taken. We have already met with four of the largest operations in that space and we’re aligning on timelines in terms of changes to their manufacturing process,” he indicated.

While acknowledging that the proposed changes are “very expensive”, Samuda assured that “there is a commitment to get it done, both from the private sector and from the government side”. “But that will be a significant programme of work that will take a lot of support,” he emphasised.

Samuda was speaking during Wednesday’s (June 5) symposium on ecosystem restoration in observance of World Environment Day.

The forum was held at The Summit in New Kingston under the theme ‘Accelerating Ecosystems Restoration – A Call to Action’.

He said collaborative approaches and significant steps are needed to address biodiversity loss and pollution.

Against this background, he welcomed the significant stakeholder turnout for the symposium, noting that “this is what is required to build that coalition of national support if we’re to make, in some cases, very expensive policy decisions in terms of our consumption and in terms of our land use”.

“We’re going to need everybody. We’re going to need political unity, agreement with the private sector, civil society, students [and] academia. It’s going to be very important because when we take the discussion on pollution, it means changes in the manufacturing and engineering processes,” the minister emphasised.

He maintained, “If we’re going to target the issue of effluent discharge, for instance, we’re going to have to make changes that will be expensive for our manufacturing sector, which does have an inflationary impact.”

“We’re committed to making these changes but it requires a coalition to build the support to facilitate these discussions because it is not easy,” he stated.