The Bauxite Community Development Programme
The Bauxite Community Development Programme is a programme of special funding for communities near bauxite and alumina operations which face a number of challenges including the effects of noise, dust, plant odours, spillages, a reduction in agricultural lands, the dereliction of mined-out lands and relatively low levels of infrastructural development and employment. The programme was established in October 1996, by the Government of Jamaica which designated the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) the agency responsible for its management.
The main goal of the programme is to reinvest earnings from the bauxite/alumina industry by implementing long-term sustainable projects in communities affected by bauxite mining and alumina operations. Ultimately, the programme is expected to lead to improvements in standards of living in the affected communities and to ensure that there is “Life after Bauxite”. Since the beginning of Phase I of the BCDP programme in 1996, to the end of Phase V in 2012, approximately $348 million was disbursed for over 280 projects in the areas of agriculture, adult learning, vocational skills training, the refurbishment and construction of classrooms and computer laboratories at basic, all-age and high schools and adult training centres, the refurbishing of community facilities and repairs to numerous section of roadways in the five bauxite parishes.
The programme has been made more effective through the establishment of seventeen (17) Joint Bauxite Community Councils within the mining, port, rail and plant communities. The monthly joint bauxite council meetings provide the forum for identifying and developing ideas and proposals for the BCDP and also the forum for critical dialogue and the resolution of issues between affected communities, bauxite companies, government agencies and other stakeholders. Ultimately, the BCDP aims to lead to improvements in standards of living in the affected communities and to ensure that there is “Life after Bauxite”.
BCDP Advisory Board
The Advisory Board provides guidance and advice on the policies, strategic direction and general operation of the BCDP. It provides final approval for projects submitted for implementation and approves the disbursement of funds to these projects. The Board comprises seven members.
The Bauxite/Alumina Joint Community Councils
The identification and successful implementation of projects in mining communities is heavily dependent on the involvement of community members. The JBI has been instrumental in establishing joint community councils in the communities surrounding bauxite mining and alumina plant operations. The aim of the councils is to provide an opportunity for open communication between community members, bauxite companies, and relevant government agencies, and to reinforce the economic and social relevance of the industry, while recognizing and addressing the priorities of the communities.