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Copyright (c) 2006 The Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, PA
Penn State Environmental Law Review

Article: Civil Society and Environmental Protection: The Case of Jamaica

Fall, 2006

15 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 1


Harold A. McDougall*


I. Overview: What's the Problem?

In the summer of 2003, as Director of the Howard University Caribbean Law Program, I supervised fourteen students from the Howard University School of Law and five other U.S. Law Schools, as well as two from the Norman Manley Law School in Kingston, Jamaica, in a program of clinical study and research in Jamaica. The project was underwritten by a 2001-2003 Alumni Initiatives Award grant I received from the U.S. Fulbright program, a follow-on to my service as a Fulbright Scholar in 1999 at the Norman Manley Law School.

Our group researched the feasibility of increasing the level of environmental protection in Jamaica's Portland Parish. The study, took place between June 2nd and June 27th, 2003 and was commissioned by Jamaica's National and Environmental Planning Agency ("NEPA") and the Portland Environmental Protection Association ("PEPA"), a nongovernmental organization active in environmental issues in the Parish.

Of Jamaica's fourteen parishes, only two are smaller than Portland. 1 Portland Parish which is also Jamaica's third most sparsely populated parish 2 with only 80,000 residents. Portland has some of Jamaica's most beautiful and under-utilized land, including the island's last remaining block of lowland rainforest, connecting its highest mountains to its most extensive system of reefs. 3 Jamaica's economy is heavily dependent upon tourism's ability to bring in foreign currency. Portland is clearly the next frontier in tourist development because of its picturesque beauty and relatively underdeveloped tourist industry. Portland stands to benefit as well - the parish's ...
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