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Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is urging citizens to plant a tree in order to preserve the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • Mr. Holness was speaking at a tree-planting exercise at the Dupont Primary School today (October 7) to mark National Tree Planting Day.
  • The Prime Minister, along with representatives from the Forestry Department, visited three schools in his West Central St. Andrew constituency, where seedlings of the Blue Mahoe, Queen’s Flower, Cupressus, among others, were planted.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is urging citizens to plant a tree in order to preserve the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change.

“We live in an island state that is susceptible to the effects of climate change, not just from hurricanes but other events such as the rising sea level. It is in our interest to do our part to plant more trees,” he pointed out.

Mr. Holness was speaking at a tree-planting exercise at the Dupont Primary School today (October 7) to mark National Tree Planting Day.

The Prime Minister, along with representatives from the Forestry Department, visited three schools in his West Central St. Andrew constituency, where seedlings of the Blue Mahoe, Queen’s Flower, Cupressus, among others, were planted.

The others are Penwood High and Seaward Primary and Junior High.

Mr. Holness noted that the seedlings would, in a few years, grow into strong and sturdy trees.

He said it is important for students to get involved in tree-planting initiatives as they will understand and appreciate the importance of trees to the environment, and become better citizens of the planet.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Department and Conservator of Forests, Marilyn Headley, said tree planting is important in maintaining the country’s forest cover, which is at 40 per cent.

“Trees are your biggest absorbers of carbon dioxide,” she said, noting that they provided good-quality water.

“Trees ensure our hillsides are stable. When you have a hillside fully covered with trees, you do not have that full water run-off,” she added.

Ms. Headley indicated that her agency has distributed thousands of seedlings free of cost since September 19 and will continue to do so until October 14.

She is urging persons to care for the trees once planted and to desist from cutting down trees that are protected under the Forest Act of Jamaica.