Everyone encouraged to plant more trees
MONTEGO BAY (JIS):
Minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, has joined the call in encouraging persons to plant more trees, saying it plays a significant role in human existence.
"Trees give us life. They give us what we need to live, to breathe and to survive. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the environment and are critical in the process of global warming. By planting trees today, we are securing our future," he said.
Green made the call while addressing a national tree- planting ceremony at Munro College in St Elizabeth last Friday.
The annual exercise, spearheaded by the Forestry Department, aims to highlight the role of trees in the sustenance of life, while providing an opportunity for the public to contribute to increasing the island's forest cover and beautifying the surroundings.
Activities were carried out under the theme, 'Trees Today, Trees Tomorrow, Trees for Life'.
Green also alluded to the removal of trees across the country, which he said is having a negative impact on the environment.
"It is now becoming more difficult to forecast rain and the approaching hurricanes and storms despite the advancement in technology. Our world is changing rapidly because of these destructive activities," he said.
"We must engage in the constant planting of trees in order to rebalance our society and our environment. We must therefore do all that we can to re-establish that balance into the environment," Green added.
He urged the Forestry Department to expand on the day's initiatives by encouraging the planting of trees at regular intervals and not only at special annual events.
Custos of St. Elizabeth Beryl Rochester, who also spoke at the event, said tree planting should be an ongoing initiative in schools and across the nation as it would contribute to a sustainable future for all.
"This will help to start a movement among citizens to further deepen their commitment towards the protection of our environment by planting more trees, while at the same time protecting existing ones. Plant a tree today, as trees are our friends," Rochester urged.
Tree-planting exercises were also held at Penwood High School, Dupont Primary and Infant School, Seaward Primary and Junior High School, and Kingston High School in the Corporate Area.
Other participating schools were Mount Alvernia High School in Montego Bay; Happy Grove High, Portland; and Moneague Primary in St Ann.
Free seedlings are being distributed to the public by the Forestry Department until October 14.