NEPA, Forestry Department join hands to stem budding charcoal export trade
THE National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), joined by the Forestry Department, is moving to stymie the budding charcoal export trade, citing the dire implications for the island's forests and wildlife they help to sustain as well as the water resources.
"We could never support the export of charcoal. We are going to lose our forests, our hillsides, and the country is going to look like a neighbouring Caribbean country. We cannot sit by and allow that," NEPA Chief Executive Officer Peter Knight told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
His statement followed reports that containers of charcoal were being prepared in Clarendon for export. The reports have prompted NEPA to write to Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese requesting that the Customs Department "refuse export clearance and direct the persons involved in the export trade" to them.
"The agency will subsequently arrange a joint meeting between itself, the Forestry Department and Jamaica Customs Department — and possibly the exporters — to discuss the developing trade and the implications," the CEO said in the letter dated January 9.