Sat | Oct 19, 2019

Clarifying facts on forest cover

Published:Tuesday | October 8, 2019 | 12:08 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The following discrepancies were identified in the captioned Gleaner editorial of Saturday, September 28, 2019, titled ‘Let’s plant trees - but do more’:

The land use/cover change assessment of Jamaica (2015) for the period 1998-2013, identified an increase in forest cover of 0.41 per cent over the 15 years. Current forest cover for Jamaica is 40 per cent, that is, 439,938 hectares, not 30 per cent. The figure of 0.1 per cent deforestation was relevant to the period 1989 to 1998.

The Forestry Department manages 116,862 hectares of forested Crown lands. The remaining 323,076 hectares of forested land is privately owned. The Forestry Department reforestation programme is 150 hectares per year.

The Forest Policy for Jamaica was approved in 2017. We have a Forest Act, not Forestry.

ROBERT MORGAN

Parliamentary Secretary