Jamaica Gleaner

National tree planting initiative crosses two million mark


THE FORESTRY Department is reporting that it has passed the two million trees planted mark as the country heads toward planting three million trees under the National Tree Planting Initiative. The agency reported that 2,229,527 trees have been distribute­d and/or planted across the island since October 2019.

“This is a significan­t developmen­t,” said Jerome Smith, principal director of Forest Operations at the Forestry Department. “While the pandemic has slowed the progress of the initiative, we are confident that the target will be reached by the end of the 2022/23 financial year. With more than two million trees already recorded, the intense push by the Agency and with the continued support of our partners who have come onboard through our various programmes, the target is now well within reach.”


Programmes and promotions offered by the Forestry Department and that attract public participat­ion include the My Tree Legacy programme which invites past students and past students’ associatio­ns to to engage in tree planting, as well as the recently launched Grow with Me campaign which provides free seedlings to parents and guardians to plant the umbilical cord of their newborns, a tradition that was once very popular in Jamaica. The Forestry Department is also engaging with the island’s youths through the National School Tree Planting Competitio­n that began in September this year.

“Environmen­tal degradatio­n has and continues to have farreachin­g impacts on our society and will require the participat­ion of every Jamaican to help rebuild our defences. So far, almost 200 partner entities and thousands of individual­s have come onboard to do their part. Partner entities range from private and public sector agencies to schools and community groups,” Smith said.

The National Tree Planting Initiative was launched by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in October 2019 and is aimed at planting three million trees in three years.

Groups or individual­s who are interested in receiving and planting trees under the initiative are invited to contact the Forestry Department at fdinfo@forestry.gov.jm or 876-618-3205.

 ?? CONTRIBUTE­D ?? Forestry Department’s Principal Director of Forest Operations, Jerome Smith
CONTRIBUTE­D Forestry Department’s Principal Director of Forest Operations, Jerome Smith

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