The LIME Foundation has undertaken a major initiative with the Forestry Department that will see the entity 'adopting' one hectare (two and a half acres) of Government Forest Reserve lands in the hills of St Andrew. The LIME Foundation is sponsoring the initiative to the tune of approximately $500,000.
The foundation becomes the latest participant in the 'Adopt-A-Hillside' Corporate Reforestation Programme, which provides corporate entities with an opportunity to actively participate in the reforestation of denuded areas within forest reserves or forest estates located on Crown lands across the island. The announcement coincided with National Tree Planting Day - October 4.
Halberstadt, the area which has been earmarked, is located to the southern side of the Blue Mountains and was severely affected by deforestation for the purpose of conversion for agriculture. The long-term commitment made by the LIME Foundation will provide the consistent maintenance and monitoring required to rehabilitate the area.
Marilyn Headley, chief executive officer of the Forestry Department, says the maintenance of 'tree cover' on hillsides is crucial to the management of rainwater and preventing land slippage. Illegal lumber harvesting is one of the main threats to these areas.
"We have always felt that input from corporate Jamaica is important in achieving our work, so having one of our biggest corporate citizens getting involved will assist in spreading awareness on the issue. LIME has adopted one of what we hope will be many hectares," Headley said.
LIME Foundation will also be spearheading a tree-planting initiative in at least 25 schools across Jamaica over the next few weeks.