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The Forestry Department is encouraging all Jamaicans to give back to their communities by planting trees on National Tree Planting Day, Friday, October 4.

The day, which is observed annually on the first Friday in October is this year being celebrated under the theme, “Plant yuh owna tree an' some fi di res' a we: Give back to yuh community”.

CEO & Conservator of Forests, Ms. Marilyn Headley says the theme is a call to action for every Jamaican to recognize that they have a role to play and they cannot continue to rely on the efforts of the few organizations and individuals who are planting trees.

“Trees provide a myriad of benefits that we cannot begin to quantify and without which, life as we know it would be impossible. When we think of the clean air that we breathe, the water we drink, food, medicine and the role trees play in climate change mitigation, we should not need anyone to tell us to plant trees,” Ms. Headley stated.

She noted that a lot of countries are implementing wide scale tree planting programmes but if each citizen was playing his or her role since the initiation of National Tree Planting Day in 2003, Jamaica would've have been far ahead of the game.

“It is now time for every citizen, old and young, every organization whether public or private as well as our churches and schools to give back to our country, to give back to our communities and to leave a rich environmental legacy for generations to come,” Ms. Headley said.

As is customary, the Forestry Department is distributing an assortment of timber and ornamental seedlings for persons to engage in tree planting exercises. Distribution started on Monday, September 23, and will continue until Friday, October 11, 2019.

Persons are invited to visit the Agency's nurseries at its Head Office, 173 Constant Spring Road; Moneague, St. Ann, adjacent the JDF Camp and Williamsfield, Manchester to collect seedlings for tree planting projects. Distribution runs from Mondays to Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, the main ceremony and national project for this year's observance will be at Jamaica House in Kingston. Other ceremonies and projects will be held at the Upper Rock Spring All Age & Infant School in Hanover; Victor Dixon High School in Manchester and the Port Antonio High School in Portland.

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