Montego Bay, Jamaica, October 10, 2016 – Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Forest Policy will be tabled in Parliament shortly. “The policy seeks to protect our trees and forests, including those at risk such as our closed broadleaf and riparian forests (wooded area near to water),” he said in a speech delivered by Councillor for the Montego Bay North Division, Leroy Reid, at a tree-planting ceremony at Mount Alvernia High School in St. James on October 7. Dr. Chang noted that the policy is part of measures to guide the sustainable use of the nation’s tree resources. He informed that the National Forest Management and Conservation Plan, which is the 10-year blueprint for the forestry sector, is being upgraded.
Region 4 Director in the Ministry of Education, Information and Youth, Dr. Michelle Pinnock, lauded schools in western Jamaica that participated in activities to mark National Tree Planting Day 2016. She noted that the Ministry supports efforts to create a healthy environment to aid the teaching-learning process. “The Ministry of Education recognises the importance of taking action as it relates to improving our environment, and so the Ministry endorses this initiative and is committed to using education to increase awareness and provide information on how we can all take action,” she said.
Dr. Pinnock gave the commitment of the Ministry to working with all stakeholders to raise awareness among students on environmental matters. The annual tree-planting exercise aims to highlight the importance 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 surroundings by planting trees. Activities were carried out under the theme ‘Trees Today, Trees Tomorrow, Trees for Life’.