Jamaica is targeting the planting of three million timber and ornamental trees over the next three years under a National Tree Planting Programme launched by Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, on Friday (October 4).
The initiative, which is being managed by the Forestry Department, will see the foresting of 3,000 hectares of land with two million timber seedlings, while the remaining one million timber and ornamental seedlings will be distributed to the public for planting.
Prime Minister Holness, in his address at the launch ceremony held at Jamaica House, said that the initiative is part of the Government’s strategic response to climate change.
He said that the island is already experiencing the impacts of climate variations, with more intense drought and unpredictable weather, hence the need to take urgent action.
“It is an investment in our future,” he said, adding that “our children are depending on us”.
More than 1,000 interns under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment Programme (HOPE), will be trained and certified in basic forestry management and engaged in the planting exercise.
The Prime Minister said that the Government is looking to engage the private sector in the use of geographic information system (GIS) technology to track the planting and maintenance of the seedlings.