Financial analyst Dennis Chung believes that environmentalists and the government have been going about the debate on mining and quarrying in the Dry Harbour Mountains in St. Ann, all wrong.
Mr. Chung says whenever these issues arise, they are not properly dealt with, leading to a tit for tat in the public domain.
The government has pointed to the potential economic benefits, while environmentalists are worried about the deleterious effect on the environment.
Mr. Chung says the government and environmentalists need to meet halfway.
"So, the government has a very good point in that they need to develop the economy and the environmentalists need to understand that there are technologies nowadays that allow you to have economic development and also to protect the environment and they must understand that poverty also is one of the worst forms of abuse to the environment. So we have to have some economic development and we have to find a safe way. The government also need to understand that we need to protect the environment. So there needs to be a win-win solution. But what I find though is that whenever they talk, they throw words at each other, but they don't deal with it objectively," he surmised.
He is suggesting the selection of an independent auditor to conduct a cost benefit analysis of the project.
"So, if I was dealing with it, I would sit down with them and I would say, listen, can we look at an impact assessment? Do some cost benefit analysis and whatever that shows - I mean, have some independent person that both of them agree with - then you look at it and say this is what we can do or this is what we can't do. Just have a proper cost benefit analysis done and inform the country about that instead of words in the media all the while where we don't know what the true position is," he recommended.