After three years of being forced to stay indoors, Jamaicans are now able to return to normal activities, and the Forestry Department, ahead of the upcoming Labour Day holiday, is encouraging Jamaicans to take the opportunity to plant more trees around their homes and communities.
Conservator of Forests and Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Department, Ainsley Henry, who described tree planting as an investment in the environment, shared that the pandemic has increased the need for more green spaces, especially in urban communities, noting that Labour Day 2022 presents the optimal opportunity to create these spaces for the future.
“Tree planting is an investment in our environment for the future and something that every Jamaican should participate in,” he explained.
Continuing, he said: “In addition to being an essential food source, trees and shrubs improve soil and water conservation, store carbon, moderate local climate by providing shade, regulate temperature extremes, increase wildlife habitat and improve the land’s capacity to adapt to climate change. As we observe Labour Day 2022, I want to encourage all Jamaicans to plant at least one tree as their investment in the future.”
With the National Tree Planting Initiative now in its final year of planting of three million trees in three years, the Agency will be amplifying and expanding its distribution activities to ensure that all Jamaicans will have access to tree seedlings for their Labour Day tree planting activities.
Nurseries at the Forestry Department Head Office in Kingston, Moneague, St Ann and Williamsfield in Manchester, as well as the regional offices in Montego Bay, St James and Port Antonio, Portland, will be stocked with seedlings available to the public for Labour Day planting.
Henry went on to note that the already established partnerships will continue.
“We are also continuing our partnership with Texaco Jamaica – GB Energy where we will be hosting pop up distribution events at several Texaco Jamaica service stations across the island over the coming weeks with the first stops at Texaco Port Antonio and Texaco Annotto Bay this Thursday (May 19) and Texaco Constant Spring Road this Friday (May 20).”
The Forestry Department said individuals or groups interested in accessing seedlings can visit any of its locations. Those interested in planting 10 or more seedlings for Labour Day 2022 are asked to send an email to the Forestry Department at firstname.lastname@example.org with their requests.