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JM | Nov 25, 2021

Large-scale tree planting set to take place as part of Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project

/ Our Today

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Forestry Department and NROCC signs MOU

Stephen Edwards (seated left), managing director of the National Road Operating and Constructing Company (NROCC), and Ainsley Henry (seated right), conservator of forests, sign a memorandum of understanding between the Forestry Department and NROCC.

A large scale tree planting is set to take place, as part of the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project in St James, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Forestry Department and the National Road Operating and Constructing Company (NROCC).

The MOU, which was signed on Tuesday (November 23), calls for reforest land in St James to restore tree cover that may be affected during the construction of the greatly anticipated Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project.

The reforestation agreement represents a proactive approach by NROCC to begin the process of restoring tree cover, even before any roadwork has commenced.

This effort will ensure that the impact on the 62.5 hectares of forest due to the road construction is mitigated through phased reforestation with NROCC, which is developing the project, providing the lands for replanting.

For its part, the Forestry Department will provide tree seedlings and technical expertise to guide the planting and maintenance activities.

Latest partnership between the Forestry Department and NROCC

This tree planting programme is the latest partnership between the Forestry Department and NROCC, which has been working to add trees along the North-South and Highway 2000 roadways. Earlier this year, the road company started this effort by planting trees on land adjacent to a section of the North South Highway in support of the National Tree Planting Initiative and to offset tree losses from previous projects.

Stephen Edwards, managing director of NROCC, said: “NROCC is committed to developing sustainable and resilient infrastructure in an environmentally responsible manner where the total life cycle of a roadway and its possible long-term effects are taken into account during the planning phase of the project.

Stephen Edwards (left), managing director of NROCC, and Ainsley Henry, conservator of forests.

This monumental MOU creates a framework that will ensure there is no net loss of tree cover when the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project comes to fruition.  

For his part, Ainsley Henry, CEO & conservator of forests, said reforestation exercises redound to the benefit of all Jamaicans. 

“Recognising that unfortunately Jamaica will lose tree cover due to the infrastructure development/roadworks, the agency is pleased that NROCC is taking proactive steps to restore tree cover and I encourage this sort of approach to development planning and project execution. The tree cover to be established will undoubtedly lead to the regeneration of ecosystems and offer havens for biodiversity,” Henry said.

Major components of the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project include a 15-kilometer Montego Bay bypass road from Ironshore to Bogue Road, and the Long Hill bypass, which involves the construction of approximately 11 kilometers of highway from Montego Bay to Montpelier.

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