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The Forestry Department has partnered with the Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) Group for the establishment of forest cover in the Silent Hill Forest Estate in Manchester. The project, which was executed under the Agency’s Adopt-a-Hillside Programme, saw the planting of 1,331 tree seedlings on 2.43 hectares of land. The species planted were Cedar, Jamaican Mahogany, Bitter Damsel, Blue Mahoe and Caribbean Pine.

The Adopt-a-Hillside programme forms part of the Agency’s thrust to increase participation of the private sector and non-government organisations in the maintenance and restoration of the island’s forest cover.

Chief Executive Officer and Conservator of Forests, Ms. Marilyn Headley, has commended the JMMB Group and other corporate companies who have participated in the Adopt-a-Hillside Programme since it started in 2010. “I hope your commitment to safeguarding our forest resources and protecting our environment will serve as an encouragement to other companies as well as all Jamaicans and will speak to the individual and corporate responsibility we all hold,” she said.

Meanwhile, the JMMB Group has made a three-year commitment to the development of the forest cover in Silent Hill which includes funds for the maintenance of the planted area until the seedlings are established. Principal Director of Forest Operations, Mr. Jerome Smith, said the Agency welcomes all activities that seek to assist in the reforestation of denuded government lands across the island. “As an Agency, we do not possess all the resources needed to undertake reforestation efforts across the island so we depend on key partnerships and collaboration to achieve this objective. Reforestation is one of our key activities because it’s very important in preserving the economic, social, environmental and recreational values of our forests,” he said.

The organizations that have participated in the programme include: the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited, the International Development Bank; RBC Royal Bank (Jamaica), now Sagicor Bank; and Lime now operating as FLOW.

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