The Forestry Department is urging Jamaicans to take decisive steps to secure a healthy and environmentally safe future for Jamaica by planting more trees this National Tree Planting Day.
National Tree Planting Day will be observed on Friday, October 6, under the theme, “Today’s Trees, Tomorrow’s Future”.
CEO & Conservator of Forests, Ms. Marilyn Headley, says the future of Jamaica depends on what we do today and she is calling on Jamaicans to start playing their part to help Jamaica achieve and maintain a healthy natural environment which is goal number four of Vision 2030, Jamaica’s National Development Plan.
"A healthy natural environment is the foundation for progress and development and the future of our country is dependent on this. Forests and trees play a very critical role in achieving this Vision 2030 goal by protecting our watersheds, keeping our soil intact, protecting our coasts and businesses from the effects of storm surges, cleaning our air as well as mitigating against the impacts of climate change," she said.
Miss Headley further noted that trees and forests also play a critical role in the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, which are aimed at protecting the planet and improving the lives of individuals now and into the future.
"For this reason, we have chosen the theme, ‘Today's Trees, Tomorrow's Future’ , to highlight how important it is to plant trees today as an investment in the future of our country and the future of our children and the generations to come. If those before us didn't plant trees back then to secure our future, I cannot imagine the world we would live in now," she said.
Meanwhile, Principal of Calabar High School says he is pleased that the institution was chosen to host this year's main ceremony and national project
"At Calabar, we value trees and the role they play in our environment and our lives and we have always recognized the importance of playing our part in planting trees, which we have been doing over the years. We are pleased to have been chosen to host the National Tree Planting Day project and we look forward to nurturing the trees that will be entrusted in our care to ensure that in the future our boys will reap and enjoy the benefits," he said.
Other National Tree Planting Day projects will also be carried by the Agency at Newell High School, St. Elizabeth; St. Hilda’s Diocesan High School, St. Ann; and Buff Bay Vocational Training Centre, Portland.
In the meantime, the Agency will be giving away an assortment of timber and ornamental tree seedlings, starting Monday, September 25. Individuals may visit the Agency’s nurseries at its Head Office, 173 Constant Spring Road; Moneague, St. Ann, adjacent to the JDF Camp; and Williamsfield, Manchester to collect seedlings for tree planting projects.
Distribution will continue until Friday, October 13, however, there will be no distribution on Friday, October 6 to facilitate tree planting activities in observance of the day.
National Tree Planting Day which is a nationwide observance led by the Forestry Department, is aimed at promoting the value of forests and trees, while providing an opportunity for everyone to contribute to increasing the island’s forest cover and beautifying the surroundings by planting trees