Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill is calling for a more sustainable use of the country’s forest resources. He says Jamaica’s forest resources have been negatively affected by the activities of individuals and corporations. These activities, he says, include mining and quarrying for ore, housing and other forms of development, as well as agriculture.
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For this year’s observance of National Tree Planting Day (NTPD), the Forestry Department is urging persons to plant more trees in urban centers across the island given the high levels of carbon dioxide emission in those areas.
Also, with hundreds of hectares of forests affected by fires since the start of the year, persons living in and around the affected areas are also being urged to join in the cause of restoring the island’s forests by planting out these areas.
The Forestry Department announced that even though there was a national increase in forest cover, there was significant reduction in the quality of forest cover across the island.
The sustainable management and conservation of forests must be considered in the design and implementation of the new sustainable development goals and the new climate change agreement to be adopted this December in Paris, according to UN officials and forest experts in messages for the International Day of Forests, observed on 21 March.