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The preservation of trees is critical to sustaining Jamaica’s development, according to Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda.
Minister Samuda, who made the comments at the recent launch of the Forestry Department’s National School Tree Planting Competition at the agency’s offices in Constant Spring, St. Andrew, said planting and protecting trees are integral to protecting the environment and safeguarding persons’ wellbeing.
“The economic agenda for growth cannot be decoupled from the agenda for environmental protection. The two go hand in hand, if we are to have sustainability within our society,” he said.
The competition aims to encourage greater youth participation in the National Tree Planting Initiative (NTPI) to plant three million trees, and is open to students at the early childhood, primary, secondary, and tertiary levels.
The winners and first and second runners-up at each level will receive $300,000, $150, 000, and $75,000, respectively. There will also be sectional prizes for the most outstanding teachers and students.
The competition is being jointly sponsored by the Jamaica Public Service Company, VM Wealth Management, Xsomo International, and Fraser, Fontaine and Kong Limited.
Minister Samuda described the competition as an “excellent initiative” that “acknowledges and recognises the important role our schools have in making sure that our children are not just highly educated, but highly conscious of the role that they have, to ensure the preservation of trees.”
Interested persons and institutions are invited to register for the competition by completing the entry form on the Forestry Department’s website: www.forestry.gov,jm/national-school-tree-plantin.
The school at each level disseminating and planting the most fruit and ornamental seedlings on their grounds or in the surrounding community by February 28, 2023, will win cash and other prizes.
The Forestry Department will provide the first 50 seedlings to each registered institution.