More Forest Cover Recorded

Photo: Donald Delahaye Senior Director, Forest Signs and Technical Services, at the Forestry Department, Miss Donna Lowe, speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’.

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica has recorded an afforestation rate of 0.41 per cent, a turn-around in the pattern of forestation since it was first checked in 1998.
  • At that time it was revealed that the country was being impacted by a deforestation rate of 0.1 per cent, losing some 336 hectares of forests annually.
  • The revelation is contained in the recently completed Land Use Assessment Plan report for 2013, which recorded actual forest cover on the Jamaican landscape.

Jamaica has recorded an afforestation  rate of 0.41 per cent,  a turn-around in the pattern of forestation since it was first checked in 1998.

At that time it was revealed that the country was being impacted by a deforestation rate of 0.1 per cent, losing some 336 hectares of forests annually.

The revelation is contained in the recently completed Land Use Assessment Plan report for 2013, which recorded actual forest cover on the Jamaican landscape.

Senior Director, Forest Signs and Technical Services at the Forestry Department,  Donna Lowe, told a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’  that this is good news, considering the negatives, such as extended dry periods and wild fires.

“It’s good to have an afforestation or a gain in forest cover. What this means is that areas that were once forested are now coming back into forests. Additionally, areas that were non forest areas, such as abandoned agricultural lands, are now reverting to secondary forests,” she noted.

Miss Lowe said while it is certainly good news for the country to have an increase in forest cover, the quality of the forest cover  is also of equal importance.

She added that Jamaica has seen a decline in all major forest categories, except the secondary forests (classified locally as bush).

Miss Lowe said the country has suffered in its primary forest cover and the  Forestry Department will be instituting stricter compliance and enforcement strategies to get persons to desist from destroying the forests or causing them to be destroyed, whether through illegal logging, fires, squatting or other entrepreneurial threats.

“We are encouraging Jamaicans to leave the forests alone.  Look at alternative measures and practices that you can use to conserve our forest cover,” she urged.

JIS Social