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Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has called for persons to ensure that their activities don’t affect the environment, and endanger the wellbeing of the nation.
“We need to appreciate that what we do, as part of our everyday lifestyle, can impact on the quality of our lives,” he told the 7th Annual National Tree Planting Day ceremony at the Black River Municipal Park, St. Elizabeth, on Friday (October 2).
“When we engage in slash and burn and hillside farming, we sometimes don’t see that the consequences of improper preparation will lead to flooding and hillside erosion. And that will affect the quality of our water, and our wildlife; all of these things are linked,” Dr. Tufton said.
In lauding the efforts of the Forestry Department, which organises the annual tree planting exercise, Dr. Tufton noted that it engages schools and other groups to constantly remind people of the importance maintaining a large stock of trees.
“It is an opportunity for us to educate and remind ourselves of the importance of managing our ecosystem, to ensure that we enjoy what nature has to offer and (that) we live in harmony with nature and benefit from nature,” he stated.
The Forestry Department has distributed some 55,000 seedlings, as part of the national tree planting drive, over the past seven years, covering over 2,000 acres of land across the island.
“As we plant a tree, I would like us to deal with the every day practice, in a manner that recognises the sustainability component of our lifestyle,” Dr. Tufton told the gathering, which consisted of primary school children, personnel from the Forestry Department and other stakeholders.

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