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On National Tree Planting Day (Friday, October 4, 2019), a ceremony was held at the lawns of Jamaica House where the Most Honourable Prime Minister Andrew Holness officially launched the National Tree Planting Initiative (NTPI) also called the Three Million Trees in Three Years initiative. This programme will involve the planting of three million trees over three years across the island and is being led by the Forestry Department.

An undertaking of this nature is no easy feat and involves the coordination and involvement of several stakeholders to drive the execution and success. We know you may have some questions about the NTPI, so here are five things you need to know about the initiative.

  1. The NTPI is being undertaken to support national reforestation efforts through the planting of three million trees islandwide and the engagement of 1000 environmentally focused Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) interns.  
  2. This initiative will target unattached youth between 18 and 24 years old from rural areas, who are not engaged in any meaningful way, and have an interest in being environmental stewards.
  3. Employment opportunities will also be provided for persons from communities adjacent to areas to be planted.
  4. The initiative is being proposed to be implemented over a three-year period and will involve the planting and maintenance of timber and ornamental tree seedlings across Jamaica and within specific urban areas supporting urban forestry initiatives.
  5. For trees distributed to and planted by the public, the programme, through the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, will seek to engage the private sector in the development of a geographic information system (GIS) application to monitor and track the planting and maintenance of seedlings.

If you know an organization that is interested in participating in this tree planting initiative, encourage them to get in touch with the Forestry Department at 876-618-3205 or fdinfo@forestry.gov.jm for details on how they can take part in the activities. In the meantime, individuals can also participate by adding tree planting to their National Labour Day projects and also doing tree planting in observance of National Tree Planting Day on the first Friday in October each year. The Forestry Department will distribute free seedlings of specific species to support your activities closer to the actual dates.

You can stay abreast of distribution information by checking the Agency's website at www.forestry.gov.jm, our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or by listening for updates in the mainstream media.


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