The Forestry Department has distributed over 17,700 seedlings in observation of Labour Day 2017 and is urging persons who have planted trees as part of their Labour Day projects to be vigilant in taking care of them.
CEO & Conservator of Forests, Ms. Marilyn Headley, commends individuals and organizations that included tree planting in their projects but is reminding persons that it is only part of the process.
“The tree planting exercise was the easiest part. Now that the trees have been planted, we need to ensure that we water them and take care of them so that they survive. Time and resources have been put into producing these seedlings and you have also dedicated your time and resources in collecting and planting them. Let’s not make all our efforts go to waste,” she said.
Ms. Headley says that in light of the recent heavy rains that caused flooding in various sections of the island, persons need to start recognizing the roles trees play in lessening the impacts of extreme weather events on the country.
“If we had more trees planted on our hillsides, we would see a reduction in flooding because the trees would help the soil to absorb that water to recharge our groundwater resources. However, because our hillsides are bare, we have all that water running off along with the soil causing landslides and flooding,” she noted.
She says that in addition to a reduction in storm water runoff, trees help to filter water and also helps in climate change adaptation and mitigation through the absorption and storage of greenhouse gases.
In the meantime, persons who were unable to collect and plant trees during this rainy season will have another opportunity to do so in September when the Agency begins distribution for National Tree Planting Day which will be observed on Friday, October 6.
This will be during the primary rainy season which runs from late September to November.