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Between Preservation and ExploitationTransnational Advocacy Networks and Conservation in Developing Countries$
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Kemi Fuentes-George

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034289

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034289.001.0001

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Jamaica and the Conservation of Globally Important Bird Habitats

Jamaica and the Conservation of Globally Important Bird Habitats

(p.1) 1 Jamaica and the Conservation of Globally Important Bird Habitats
Between Preservation and Exploitation

Kemi Fuentes-George

The MIT Press

This chapter describes how the Cockpit Country, a mountainous limestone forest region in the northwestern section of the island, was threatened by the possibility of bauxite mining, which would displace local residents and degrade natural resources. It then traces how a transnational network participated in the creation and implementation of the GEF project titled the Project on Sustainable Conservation of Globally Important Caribbean Bird Habitats. It shows how the network developed a scientific consensus after members held a series of transnational workshops and knowledge building exercises on bird habitat management in Cockpit Country, thus becoming an epistemic community. Despite having a consensus, the network could only persuade those policymakers with whom they socialized in the Forestry Department and the Ministry of Environment to adopt new environmental regulations. Moreover, although the network initially used economic justifications to argue for conservation, policymakers in the Jamaica Bauxite Institute and the Ministry of Agriculture rejected these, asserting the importance of short-term economic exploitation. Only when the network was able to mobilize the mass public around justice claims was the network able to generate sufficient political will to curb bauxite mining in Cockpit Country.

Keywords:   Jamaica, Epistemic community, Bauxite mining, Cockpit Country, Transnational network, Scientific consensus

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