National Tree Planting Day Message: Secure our Future, Plant a tree today

On this the 12th observance of National Tree Planting Day, the interest and participation in the activity has been especially strong. Since distribution commenced two weeks ago, dozens of persons and organisations have steadily visited our nurseries and distribution points to collect seedlings for their tree planting activities. 

The Forestry Department is happy to see the support and growing interest in the activity and thanks all individuals and organisations who have participated by planting trees, educating others and helping to make National Tree Planting Day successful.

This year’s observance of National Tree Planting Day comes at a critical time as it follows a longer than usual dry season and a spate of forest fires which have destroyed several hectares of valuable forest resources. Now that the rains are here, we encourage everyone to use this opportunity to plant trees so we can restore some of what has been lost.  

The theme for this year’s observance is “Adapting to Climate Change… Secure our future, plant a tree today”.  Small island states including Jamaica are especially vulnerable to climate change, however healthy trees and good forest cover help to reduce its impacts. Adapting to climate change by increasing and securing our forest cover is essential and so we want everyone to help to secure Jamaica for the next generation by helping to increase its tree stock this National Tree Planting Day. 

Trees are very important to our environment providing water, encouraging soil fertility and cleaning the air by trapping carbon dioxide and other toxic gases.  They also have great aesthetic and spiritual value. 

Tree planting is encouraged at any time during the rainy season and to ensure that you are able to participate, the Forestry Department will continue to distribute free seedlings until Friday, October 10.  

It is because of the many benefits that I encourage everyone to participate in the tree planting day exercise by planting trees in your homes, schools, business places, and recreational spaces.

Let us set the stage to beautify our communities, improve forest cover and develop a more environmentally sustainable country.
Thank you for your continued support.

Marilyn Headley
CEO & Conservator of Forests