JIS News

The Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change is encouraging citizens to participate in the National Tree Planting Initiative being executed by the Forestry Department.

“The Government is encouraging every Jamaican man, woman, child – everyone – to plant a tree, whether inland or on the coast. It is a very simple but important activity,” Minister Charles told JIS News in an interview.

He explained that the tree-planting initiative will help the nation safeguard food security, water security, conserve biological resources and assist with the adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change.

The National Tree Planting Initiative was launched by the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on October 4, 2019. The objective is to plant three million trees within three years to support national development in the areas of climate change and reforestation to increase forest cover and establish high-value urban green spaces for all Jamaicans.

“Through the initiative, the Government wants to create an understanding of the importance of trees and the synergy between human and plant life resulting in a change of behaviour, starting with our children up to our adults, in terms of how we interact with, protect and treat our environment,” the Minister expressed.

He explained that trees are one of the most affordable ways a country can mitigate the effects of climate change while beautifying its environs. 

“Trees and other plants store large amounts of carbon dioxide, which helps to stabilise the climate and purify the air. As countries cope with the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, planting trees to create spaces for recreation and to boost mental well-being is important and needed,” Mr Charles stated.

 Persons interested in participating in the National Tree Planting Initiative may visit any of the Forestry Department’s nurseries to collect up to 10 select ornamental and select timber seedlings.

Individuals or groups wishing to plant more than 10 trees as a community, business or organisational project should email the Forestry Department at fdinfo@forestry.gov.jm to request the seedlings required. All seedlings received must be maintained to ensure that they mature.

The Forestry Department is a Department within the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, mandated to manage and conserve the forest ecosystems of Jamaica for the benefit of present and future generations.

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