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  • The Government has reported that during the fiscal year 2019/20, the Forestry Department satisfactorily met the conditions to access the first tranche of €2 million under the four-year European Union-funded Budget Support Programme.
  • With this, the organisation is now on its way to achieving associated year-two targets for all eight indicators under the programme.
  • This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during his Budget presentation in Gordon House, on Thursday (March 19).

The Government has reported that during the fiscal year 2019/20, the Forestry Department satisfactorily met the conditions to access the first tranche of €2 million under the four-year European Union-funded Budget Support Programme.

With this, the organisation is now on its way to achieving associated year-two targets for all eight indicators under the programme.

This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during his Budget presentation in Gordon House, on Thursday (March 19).

“Jamaica’s forests cover 40 per cent of the island. The sustainable management of these forests, as well as continued reforestation initiatives, is needed to counter the negative effects infrastructural development and climatic change have on existing levels of forest cover,” Mr. Holness said.

He added that during the fiscal year 2019/20, the Forestry Department conducted reforestation of 130 hectares of denuded lands, completed 87 per cent of the targeted 150 hectares and completed an assessment of 2,500 hectares of mangrove and swamp forests, along with ground-truthing of the boundary of the area proposed for protection of the Cockpit Country, which is now far advanced.

The Prime Minister also noted that the National Tree Planting Initiative to meet the targeted three million trees in three years is ongoing as part of the Government’s strategic response to issues of deforestation and protection of the watersheds.

“So far, we have planted almost 100,000 trees as part of this effort and the private sector has already pledged over 700,000 trees in support of this important initiative,” he said.

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