Tue | Dec 5, 2023

Jamaica aiming for 40 per cent land mass protection by 2030

Published:Monday | September 25, 2023 | 10:00 PM
Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Matthew Samuda (foreground, second left) is joined by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffith (foreground, third right), in planting a tree at the Excelsior High School in Kingston today, as a part of Tourism Awareness Week 2023 activities. Looking on (in background, from left) are Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) Wade Mars; President of the Excelsior Past Students Association, Evan Thompson; Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Dr. Carey Wallace; Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Tourism, David Dobson; Deputy Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Peter Mullings; and upper-school students at Excelsior High. - Contributed photo

The Government is seeking to increase Jamaica's land mass protection to close to 40 per cent by 2030.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Water, Environment and Climate Change, Senator Matthew Samuda, who made the disclosure, said this target surpasses the international goal of 30 per cent protection by 2025.

“Jamaica has hit 25 per cent and I am committing to you that Jamaica will protect 30 per cent of its landmass by 2025. So, Jamaica will be well ahead of the international targets and will, indeed, exceed those targets getting to about 40 per cent by 2030, and that is something we are proud of,” he said.

Senator Samuda was addressing the Tourism Awareness Week 2023 Tree Planting Exercise today at Excelsior High School in Kingston.

Originally, the country committed to halt environment degradation through the protection of 30 per cent of landmass and coastal marine ecosystems by 2030 in keeping with obligations under the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, as well as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

As part of its environmental management programme, Jamaica is also on track to achieve its target of planting three million timber and ornamental trees by the end of the year.

The national tree-planting initiative, which was launched in November 2019, is aimed at expanding forested areas, including public and private forests.

Senator Samuda is calling on all citizens to participate in the national initiative.

“As at now, Jamaica has planted 2.7 million trees as a part of that target,” he said, noting that the “we will be able to complete that last 300,000 trees in three months”.

He said the tree-planting programme is critical, as the country has been facing harsher and more prolonged drought periods. 

“Let us meet that three-million-trees planting target. We are sure that somewhere between 80 and 90 per cent of what we have planted have survived but we are going to hit that three-million tree target by December 31,” he said.

 “We are going to ask everyone to work with us to make this target. The Forestry Department will make them (trees) available. In your homes, in your communities, you can plant them because we have to hit that target… as part of our restoration effort. We [all] have to play a part,” he stressed.

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