JIS News

Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners broke ground for a plant nursery in St. Ann on Thursday (March 31), which will support the entity’s ‘Operation Discovery Tree’ project that is aimed at planting 200,000 trees over the next three years.

The facility, which is being developed on mined-out bauxite lands, is expected to complement the country’s tree nursery capabilities, while enhancing the positive environmental impacts from Noranda’s ongoing tree-planting, greenhouse, aquaponics, and other land reclamation activities in the parish.

Operation Discovery Tree, which was launched in December 2021, supports the National Tree Planting Initiative (NTPI), which was launched in October 2019 with the aim of planting three million trees over a three-year period.

Some one million trees have already been planted under NTPI, which is geared at bolstering Jamaica’s reforestation efforts and climate change resilience.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, who attended the ground-breaking ceremony, noted that Operation Discovery Tree is a “substantial” undertaking.

“With the target set by the Prime Minister of three million trees, we know just how important and substantial 200,000 trees are when you consider that [approximately] 6.6 per cent of the target will be approached and pushed by Noranda. I think it is worthy of commendation,” he said.

“Efforts like these are particularly important if we are to put ourselves on a sustainable path [to safeguard] groundwater and air quality and to make sure that we build resilience using nature-based solutions,” he added.

The project is being carried out in partnership with the Forestry Department, Jamaica Bauxite Mining, Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) and the Noranda Community Councils.

Vice President and Country Manager for Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners, Delroy Dell, said that Operation Discovery Tree, combined with the entity’s progressive land reclamation and rehabilitation programmes, is intended to mitigate the impact of mining activities.

He pointed out that the undertaking will result in improved forest cover and reduce the carbon footprint.

“We are kicking off the special project with 10,000 trees being planted over the next two weeks. Up to yesterday, we have planted 1,700 trees,” Mr. Dell indicated.

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